MTB news & racing round-up for June 7, 2007
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Edited by Sue George
Eatough and Lowery win Mohican 100
By Sue George
Winner Chris Eatough
Photo ©: Guru Graphix
Chris Eatough (Trek / VW) made it two for two in the National Ultra Endurance
(NUE) series when he won the second event, the Mohican 100 in Ohio Saturday
in sultry, 90 degree (Fahrenheit) conditions. Behind him, Harlan Price
(Independent Fabrication) and Shawn Adams (October Lake Effect) rounded
out the podium. Carey Lowery (Outdoor Store) won the women's race ahead
of round one Cohutta 100 winner Dannielle Musto (Slingshot).
For 2007, the Mohican 100 got a new and improved course, including starting
with about 25 miles of technical singletrack almost from the gun. Winner
Eatough commented on the challenging beginning. "The first half was
pretty tough. There was 25 mile singletrack section from mile four to
29. It was pretty hilly and quite technical. Everyone had fresh legs,
so some people were riding really fast. It made the second half tough
even though the course was not as tough as the first half. The second
half was more about gravel road and farmland."
Eatough credited Price and Michael Simonson (Bell's Beer) for driving
the pace early in the race. "I was kind of following along. Michael
and Harlan were pushing the pace at the beginning. I went to the front
a couple of times. I thought they were going pretty fast." Tinker
Juarez (Cannondale) was also with the lead crowd before he later dropped
off the pace. Simonson put the hammer down and gapped Eatough and Price
on a hike-a-bike, but Price and Eatough were taking a more measured approach,
biding their time.
"I wasn't too worried, it wasn't a big gap," said Eatough.
"I was able to bridge across to him at halfway point. I dropped him
soon after. I rode last 35 miles alone." Price lost Eatough at aid
station 3. Both would catch Simonson, who later took a wrong turn and
lost one more place to finish fourth.
Only a few miles until
Photo ©: Guru Graphix
The women's race would shape up to be a two-woman battle. Musto took
off hard in the early singletrack, but wasn't able to hold off the technically
talented Lowery, who passed her and would lead solo until the end.
"Carrie is an amazing singletrack rider. And she passed me and that
was it," said Musto, who rode the rest of the race by herself in
no-woman's land. Her only company would be a thunderstorm, which lasted
for about 15 minutes. "I was happy to get wet because it was so hot."
Round three of the NUE will be the Lumberjack 100 on June 16. For complete
coverage of the Mohican 100, click
Dahle Flesjå forced to pause racing season
Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa (Multivan
Merida Biking Team)
Photo ©: Rob Jones
Reigning World and Olympic champion Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjå (Multivan-Merida)
took a break from her racing season to return Norway Monday. For several
weeks, Dahle Flesjå has been suffering from inexplicable stomach
problems and will return home to undergo comprehensive medical tests in
The Norwegian has spent her time since Offenburg's World Cup race in
Champéry, Switzerland, where the next World Cup race is scheduled
to take place this weekend without her.
"This decision to pause in the middle of the season has been very
hard to take for me," said 25-time World Cup winner Dahle Flesjå
about her situation. "But I know from experience that my health is
the most important element on the road to success." She has also
won seven World Championship titles.
She hopes to return to racing with her best form in plenty of time to
defend her two world championship titles.
Trans Germany debuts this weekend
The Trans Germany will make its debut on Saturday, June 9 in St. Wendel.
Approximately 300 teams of two, consisting of hobby bikers, ambitious
amateurs and mountain bike pros, will head towards Oberwiesenthal in the
Erz Mountains for the beginning of what will be 837 km and 18,313 meters
of climbing in eight stages.
The race features five categories including men, women, master men, grand
master men, and mixed. Top hopes for the men's win are last year's TransAlp
winner Karl Platt and his team mate Stefan Sahm (Team Bulls) who won the
2007 Cape Epic. In addition, Swiss riders Sandro Spaeth and Thomas Zahnd
(Team Texner-Stoeckli) as well as the German-Austrian duo of Andreas Strobel
and Silvio Wieltschnig (Team Fiat Rotwild) are aiming for the podium.
On the women's side, the Klose twins Sandra and Peggy (Team ZwillingsCRAFT)
will pedal for victory against Frenchwoman Danièle Troesch and
German Kerstin Brachtendorf from Team Fiat-Rotwild.
Carsten Bresser will tackle the route together with Canada's own Alison
Sydor as part of the team Tea, Rocky Mountain / Haywood in the battle
for the mixed title.
The race will visit St. Wendel, Neustadt, Erbach im Odenwald, Frammersbach,
Bischofsheim a. d. Rhoen, Oberhof, Bad Steben, Schoeneck and Oberwiesenthal.
Stay tuned to Cyclingnews for complete coverage.
Events in Australia and Colorado go carbon neutral
Two mountain bike events happening in opposite hemispheres have something
in common besides bikes. Both are going carbon neutral for the first time
The Breckenridge Singletrack Festival will bring mountain bikers together
in Colorado September 7-9. This inaugural festival will feature riding
on local trails, games, cold beer, live music, and free clinics.
Organizers are partnering with Sustainable Travel International, a not-for-profit
organization whose mission is to promote sustainable development and eco-friendly
travel, to offset 100% of the carbon emissions arising from the production
of the festival. They will track carbon emissions and purchase carbon
credits, which support projects that prevent carbon dioxide from entering
the atmosphere, to offset them.
Participants will also have the opportunity to purchase carbon credits
to offset their own carbon production related to attending the festival
at the festival. Other green initiatives at the festival include using
biodegradable beer cups and supporting recycling. Breckenridge is the
site of the Firecracker 50, which this year will host the USA Cycling
National Marathon Championships.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the globe, the VAUDE Highland Fling will
also be going carbon neutral for its November 10-11 marathon in the Southern
Highlands of NSW.
"We've always been a little concerned about the resources our events
use and the amount of fuel used by riders travelling to them," said
Event Director Huw Kingston. "We've justified this by the fact that
if people weren't riding one of our events they'd still be doing something
else for the weekend - driving, riding, eating and drinking - and the
fact that such events offer huge health and social benefits. We have employed
a consultant to calculate the CO2 production involved with running the
event itself and the transport to the event by the 2000 riders and supporters
and to select an accredited business through whom we will purchase Carbon
Just like Breckenridge, organizers will cover the cost of credits for
the event, and racers will be able to pay for credits to cover the effects
of their own travel.
For more info on the VAUDE Highland Fling, see www.wildhorizons.com.au
(registration opens June 20). For more info on the Breckenridge festival,
[Cyclingnews incorrectly published that this Highland Fling would
determine the Australian MTB Marathon Champions. In fact, the marathon
national champions will be decided at the Maxxis Coffs Mountain Marathon,
sanctioned by Mountain Bike Australia, on July 1. - ed.]
Keith Bontrager diary: TransScotland final wrap
The last stage was not the typical short party stage that these races
often end with. There was no big hurry to finish, but it was a long route
with some big climbs so it wasn't going to be easy.
I'll avoid dragging you through the repetitive descriptions that I have
fallen into. It was a good day, with a lot of fine singletrack, amazing
views, good weather and very little time off the bike. The only bad thing
that I came across was a very surly horsefly that smashed into my jaw
within a few km from the finish. It nipped me somehow and now my jaw looks
like I got punched. How can a fly bash into you like that and still find
a way to bite you at the same time?
There was no change in the GC. I ended up 9th. I'll take it.
Photo ©: TransScotland
I really enjoyed this race. The quality singletrack and the TT scoring
format are really fun. There is more good singletrack in this route than
in any other Trans-XXX race by far, maybe a factor of 10 or more. That
definitely makes for a better race for me. At this point I am pretty sure
I'll be back for more.
Some of these events start off on the notion that they have to go from
here to there, in a more or less straight line. The TransAlp goes south
from Germany to Italy. The Cape Epic crosses the cape. That's a fine idea
and it works well in some cases, especially the Alps. But in some cases
connecting the start and finish towns with interesting race routes every
day is not too easy to do. You can end up with some very long stages that
could be done on a road bike. That's also not that bad if you are into
it, and I can usually work it out. But it is not the same as racing on
a fair amount of sweet singletrack everyday.
So why not develop stage races that optimize the quality of the course
rather than going from here to there? Loop it around as required to make
each day hard, but a good MTB race. Don't call it Trans-XXX. Call it the
MTB Tour of XXX or 7 days of XXX. You get the idea.
You could even base the entire race in one spot and have the course go
off in a different direction each day, along the lines of Montezuma's
Revenge, but over a week instead of in one seriously insane day. Mix in
time trials, hill climbs, down hill TTs, etc. This would not be possible
everywhere, but there are spots in many places where it would be possible.
I can rattle off ideal locations in the Alps, Dolomites and in the States
where it could work. (These comments are here for a small audience - you
know who you are and I know you are reading this...)
To read Keith's complete diary entry, including advice on how to survive
a multi-day stage race, click
Tory Thomas diary: My first World Cup
Well I've done it. I've started and completed my first ever World Cup
mountain bike race. The race was the cross country World
Cup #2 in Offenburg, Germany, and WOW it was awesome!
The week leading up to the race was surprisingly relaxing. We stayed
at a lovely farm in Durbach, a cute town with buildings that look like
gingerbread houses, surrounded by rolling green hills crammed full of
grape vines, apple trees and berries. Our hosts, the Laible family, were
really generous with their time not to mention their freshly bakes bread,
jam and strawberries. They were very chatty and hardly seemed to notice
that we couldn't understand German - charades can get you a long way in
a foreign country!
Scoping the Course…
Practising repairing a flat tyre
in the tech zone.
Photo ©: Tory Thomas
We had a sneak preview of the course on Wednesday evening when we stumbled
across some bunting on our jetlag recovery spin. Being World Cup first-timers,
travelling buddy Jo Wall and I were mighty impressed by the fancy double-bunting
on both sides of the track (seasoned competitor Dellys Starr was
a little less impressed, although suitably entertained by our awe and
wonder!). We slipped our way down a tiny section of flowing singletrack,
which was made surprisingly technical by the afternoon's rain. I was more
than a little concerned by the way my front tyre was pinging off slippery
tree roots, however reassured myself that of course it won't rain
again before race day.
The following day we headed out for our first ride of the course. My
first impression of the course was WOW. It was seemingly a heap of singletrack
weaving through the sort of forest you see in the movies (think Robin
Hood: Prince of Thieves), spiced up with a few descents, made interesting
by the steep gradient and/or tree roots. As we rode around we laughed
about how epic the course would be if it rained. I also saw my first ever
squirrel which was a very big deal for me!
To read the complete diary entry, click
Trans Alp team wins most votes
Team Shannifer was voted winners of the 2007 UXC Trans Alp competition.
Jennifer Hanks and her husband Shannon Boffeli will represent Race Face
on their way to cross country glory. Team Shannifer will be flown to the
races with all entry fees paid. They will be outfitted with components
and clothing and be given tech support throughout the multi-day epic race.
The Trans Alps is scheduled to begin July 16.
The inaugural Stoopid 50 heads to State College, Pennsylvania June 8-10.
The area may be better known for hosting the Singlespeed World Championships
or the annual Wilderness 101, but this time mountain bikers will converge
on the Roth Rock State Forest for an entire weekend, which features two
fun rides (including one at night), an informal three stage competitive
event with a time trial, hill climb, and a "don't put your foot down"
trial. Camping and movies are also included before Sunday's highlight,
a single 50 mile one-lap race hosted by Nittany Mountain Bike Association
and Shenandoah Mountain Touring.
Promoters estimate the course will take five to eight hours to complete.
It is a potent mix of forest roads, trails (including some trails that
have never before been used in competition) and a 15 minute hike-a-bike.
One race volunteer described it, "This ain't no race for a Beginner."
Showing a sense of humor, Mid Atlantic Super Series promoter Ken Getchell
said, "Well, when you think about it rationally, every sport is 'stupid',
it's just that (race promoter) Frank Maquire and his crew are smart enough
to recognize it." The race's name also alludes to the way a person
speaking one of Pennsylvania's many dialects might pronounce "stupid."
Croatian race set for national park
Five years ago, Rajko Malojcic convinced the Senj tourist committee in
Croatia to start an amateur mountain bike race. This year's edition will
happen Saturday, June 16, starting from the town of Sv. Juraj and climbing
up to Zavizan at 1594m. An easier option starts from Oltari and only climbs
to 1,000 meters.
The race is one way to see the Sjeverni Velebit National Park. The record
winning time is 2 hours and 27 minutes. For more information, visit www.tz-senj.hr/Hr/Biciklijada_2007/Biciklijada_Zavizan_2007.htm.
Durango MTB 100 offers prize to break nine hour mark
Durango will host the fifth annual Durango 100 miler on Saturday, August
4. The race venue offers one of the world's highest 100-mile courses on
which racers will clear elevations of 11,500 feet during the event while
tackling 18,000 total feet of climbing. A US$500 bonus prize will be awarded
to the first person who can break the nine hour mark on the 100 mile course.
100km and 50km options are also available. For more information, please
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2007)