MTB news & racing round-up for November 1, 2007
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Edited by Sue George
NUE Series sets 2008 tentative schedule
By Sue George
Harlan Price and Chris Eatough
were regulars at NUE Series races in 2007
Photo ©: Cyclingnews
Organizers of National Ultra Endurance (NUE) Series released a tentative
schedule for 2008. The series grows to eight total races with the addition
of two new venues and the departure of one former venue.
"Several new venues contacted us and were considered; however, some
were first-year events, lap races, or had race dates just didn't fit well
for the overall NUE schedule," said Ryan O'Dell, a co-organizer of
the NUE series to Cyclingnews.
The Fool's Gold 100, held in Georgia, will join the series by slotting
into a mid-August spot for its second running. "The race took about
three years to come together and 2007 was the first year it happened,"
said Eddie O'Dea who promotes the race along with his wife Namrita. "I
knew of the series before we had our race, but I wanted to pull our race
off and make it actually happen before we became part of the series. I
wanted to make sure everything came together logistically."
The Fool's Gold race is somewhat unusual for the series in that it covers
two 50 mile laps instead of a single lap, but the course also boasts plenty
of singletrack which slows down even the top racers. "The fastest
finish time was 10 hours and 22 minutes," said O'Dea.
Also new is the Tahoe-Sierra 100, which will fill a void for the series
in the western US. By occupying the September 6 spot on the calendar,
the Tahoe-Sierra 100 will serve as the finale, a niche last year filled
by the Shenandoah Mountain 100 in Virginia. It will be the first time
the NUE finals are held in the West.
"2008 will be the first year for this event; however, racers were
invited to participate in a pre-race evaluation of the course in September
and provided NUE with rave reviews," said O'Dell. "According
to race director Jim Northey, there will be US$20,000 in cash prizes awarded
at this event." Northey also directs the "Coolest 24 Hour Race,"
a non-profit event that raised US$44,000 for the ACCEF in the fight against
"The Sierra-Tahoe course will include portions of the "Western
States 100" course, one of the largest and most popular ultra running
events in the US," said O'Dell. The addition of the California venue
addresses complaints of some West-coast based racers who have been asking
for an event closer to home.
Carrie Lowrey (Outdoor Store) took
top honors for the women in the 2007 NUE
Photo ©: Bill McCarrick
Gone from the series is the Endurance 100 in Utah. "We felt it important
to keep things dynamic...so the series doesn't get stale," said another
series co-organizer Garth Prosser regarding the changes for 2008. O'Dell
left open the possibility that the event might return to the NUE in future
years. Though not part of the series, the Endurance 100 will still happen
"There are no significant rule or scoring changes planned for 2008,"
added O'Dell. "The NUE Scoring system that was implemented in 2007
was based on requests from racers who preferred a simple, straightforward
scoring system that was easy to understand." Winners are determined
from the racers' best four of eight possible total races. Ties are broken
by placing at the final event.
Organizers chose the current schedule to allow as many racers as possible
to compete from all over the US. "Keeping the minimum races at just
four races necessary to qualify along with a good variety of venues and
dates, allows racers a more realistic opportunity to compete in the NUE
series and still commit to other popular events, including their state
series," said O'Dell.
"The NUE Series grew by 37% last year but is still new to many racers
which leads me to believe that the NUE Series and 100 mile endurance racing
in general is poised for growth," said O'Dell. "Our venues share
some common benefits." He pointed to the fact that most of the 100
milers have a single 100-mile loop, noting the difference from most 24
hour races which tend to roll racers around on a 10-15 mile course. O'Dell
also offered a theory that "the single-day format of the 100 milers
better suits busy endurance racers with families and day jobs because
they require a smaller time commitment for each event, but still provide
"a 7-12+ hour intense workout." Unlike some series, the NUE
requires no special license to compete.
For these and other reasons, Prosser thinks the 100 mile scene will grow.
"I would say we are heading to a max capacity with [number of] venues;
we may go up to 10 eventually, but participation [of racers] will definitely
grow. Double digit growth at most venues will continue. I would almost
guarantee triple digit growth at the Fool's Gold 100."
"2007 series winner [Chris] Eatough and other contenders like Harlan
[Price], Mike Simonson, Tinker [Juarez] and [Josh] Tostada have all given
verbal commitments for next year," said Prosser, who anticipates
tough competition for the overall titles next year. The top singlespeed
and masters racers are also expected to return. They will be encouraged
by the NUE series organizers and sponsors, who are intending to offer
cash and prizes to all racers who complete at least the minimum four qualifying
races in 2008.
NUE Series for 2008
April 19: Cohutta 100, Tennessee
June 7: Mohican 100, Ohio
June 14: Lumberjack 100, Michigan
July 19: Breckenridge 100, Colorado
July 26: Wilderness 101, Pennsylvania
August 16: Fool's Gold 100, Georgia
August 31: Shenandoah 100, Virginia
September 6: Tahoe-Sierra 100 California
Olympic national team sizes almost determined
Julien Absalon (Orbea) will be
a favorite for the 2008 Olympics
Photo ©: Rob Jones
The UCI rankings between January 1, 2006 and December 31, 2007, will
be used to determine Olympic starting spots by nation for the 2008 Olympic
Games in Beijing. On January 1, a country's 2006 ranking will simply be
added to its final 2007 ranking to determine an overall score. A nation's
ranking for any given season is calculated by adding together the point
totals of its top-three athletes in the individual rankings for that year.
To send the maximum team of three men and two women to Beijing, a nation
must have a top-five ranking in the men's standings and a top-eight ranking
for the women. Current rankings for 2007 (as of October 18) are listed
Once the point totals for 2006 and 2007 are combined, the order of ranking
for the men is France (7,864), Switzerland (7,349), Spain (5,472), Belgium
(4,364), and Germany (4,353), and the US (4,224). For the women, it's
China (7,236), Germany (6,346), Canada (6,182) and the US (6,123).
Unlike the selection system for the 2004 Games in Athens which only recognized
points from the 2003 season, the new two-year qualification window set
by the UCI rewards a country for consistency over a longer period of time.
The system also protects traditional mountain bike powerhouses from a
lackluster pre-Olympic year that could be caused by illness or injury
suffered by one of its star riders. Looking ahead, there has been some
discussion of implementing a four-year cumulative qualifying period.
Only a few events offering UCI points remain on the 2007 calendar. It's
a gamble as to what countries will send riders to places like Chile to
collect the final points up for grabs.
The US is just one nation hoping to make the cut for sending the maximum
possible number of athletes. For the 2004 Olympics, the US fielded a three
person mountain bike contingent of only one woman, Mary McConneloug, and
two men, Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski and Todd Wells. The US has all but assured
itself of two entries in the women's event for the 2008 Games and currently
teeters on the brink of sending the maximum of three men. The staff at
USA Cycling has been thinking of the pros and cons of chasing the few
remaining UCI points on offer before the end of the year.
"It's the beginning of the spring racing season in Chile, so it's
essentially another three weeks of travel for the riders to make it a
worthwhile endeavor," said USA Cycling National Mountain Bike Development
Director Matt Cramer. "And as you know, for North Americans, November
is typically a time for the riders to recover from their season and mentally
recoup from the past season and prepare for the 2008 season. It's also
the spring for the South Americans and they're geared up for the racing
season to begin and so the points down there will be far from easy to
Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa (Multivan
Merida) will try for a comeback in 2008
Photo ©: Nick Warren
"It wouldn't be easy to just show up and contend for those points
when technically we're in a recovery period and they're at the pinnacle
of their racing season," said Cramer. "In looking ahead to Beijing,
it would be a much better scenario to send two physically and mentally
well-prepared men to the Olympics who have a shot at contending compared
to sending three men who are tired and burned out from accumulating enough
points just to send three participants."
Cramer heads up the US program in which the men have ascended in the
last four years by seven notches from 13th to sixth place while the women
have raised their game three slots from seventh to fourth.
Cramer also gave his impressions of the Olympic course, which he viewed
at the Beijing Test event in September. "At first glance, it doesn't
look like a very difficult course. There's not much elevation gain and
its a very urban course with no real technical sections. There are
a few rock gardens that were manually built to make the course more difficult,
but what's really going to make the race hard is that each lap is only
four kilometers long.
"The men's race was ten laps and within each lap there are probably
10 to 15 very short, high-intensity efforts going up little risers,
coming out of hairpin turns into a little climb that maybe lasts 10 seconds
those sorts of things. It will all be about maintaining your momentum.
It's a high-power course that's going to favor a rider with power, but
also the ability to recover between those high efforts. So typically speaking,
riders that are good at fast, non-technical but very difficult, high-powered
courses are going to do very well in Beijing."
2007 UCI Nations Ranking - Men (as of October 18, 2007)
1 France 4315 pts
2 Switzerland 3284
3 Spain 3047
4 Germany 2591
5 Belgium 2487
6 Sweden 2021
7 United States of America 2019
8 Denmark 1970
9 Canada 1937
10 Czech Republic 1791
2007 UCI Nations Ranking - Women (as of October 18, 2007)
1 People's Republic of China 4334 pts
2 United States of America 3541
3 Germany 3069
4 Canada 3062
5 Russian Federation 2654
6 France 2263
7 Poland 2188
8 Czech Republic 2119
9 Switzerland 2112
10 Slovenia 207
Colorado and North Carolina schools battle at US Collegiate Nationals
Chloe Forsman (University of Arizona)
Collegiate Mountain Bike Nationals, held last weekend in Banner Elk,
North Carolina, turned into a battle between Colorado and North Carolina
schools in both the Division I and Division II categories.
Photo ©: Went Knipe
Fort Lewis College used wins in the men's cross country and downhill
and the women's downhill to help them take the overall Division I team
omnium title over host Lees-McRae College in second and University of
Colorado-Boulder in third. In Division II, the Colorado School of Mines
used a balanced attack to edge North Carolina's Warren Wilson College
for the Division II all-around team award.
In addition to awarding individual champions in the cross country, dual
slalom, and downhill disciplines, USA Cycling awards omnium champions
for both team and individuals. The omnium awards are what make collegiate
cycling like no other, using points from each men's and women's event
to tally an overall team winner.
"We brought a very, very solid team and things went well for us,"
said Fort Lewis College Coach Rick Crawford. "This is really what
it all comes down to. There are a lot of teams getting into the mix these
days and that's good to see. We hope for collegiate cycling to become
the development program for the pros."
The individual omnium awards help showcase some of the country's best
young all-around talent. Past collegiate winners who've gone onto international
success include Alison Dunlap (now retired) and Willow Koerber (still
racing internationally for Subaru / Gary Fisher).
Fort Lewis College used the top three individual performances in the
men's Division I omnium to help grab the team overall. Cross country and
short track winner Benjamin Sonntag came out on top of his two team-mates,
Rick Wetherald and Adam Snyder for the win. Chloe Forsman (University
of Arizona) edged Eszter Horanyi (University of Colorado-Boulder) after
they exchanged victories in the cross country and short track races.
Winning both the cross country and short track races handily, Colorado
College's Colin Cares earned the DII men's omnium award and Kylie Krauss
of Warren Wilson College won the DII women's omnium, also putting on an
In all, 22 national champions were crowned, but the true spirit of collegiate
cycling was shown through the more than 300 dedicated cyclists and students
who came to race for school and individual pride.
Division I Ominums
1 Fort Lewis College 730 pts
2 Lees McRae College 635
3 University of Colorado-Boulder 621
4 Lindsey Wilson College 527
5 University of Vermont 470
1 Benjamin Sonntag (Fort Lewis College) 330 pts
2 Rick Wetherald (Fort Lewis College) 302
3 Adam Snyder (Fort Lewis College) 294
4 Aaron Bradford (Lees-McRae College) 287
5 Tim Allen (Northern Arizona University) 286
1 Chloe Forsman (University of Arizona) 404 pts
2 Eszter Horanyi (University of Colorado-Boulder) 384
3 Danae York (University of Colorado-Boulder) 377
4 Maureen Kunz (University of California-Berkeley) 354
5 Rose Long (University of Vermont) 344
Division II Ominums
1 Colorado School of Mines 636 pts
2 Warren Wilson College 626
3 Mesa State College 535
4 Union College 515
5 Western State College 477
1 Colin Cares (Colorado College) 340 pts
2 Patrick Hurley (Warren Wilson College) 302
3 Patrick Means (Western Washington University) 298
4 Gregy Gibson (Union College) 290
5 Robert Jameson (Appalachian State University) 278
Women Individual Omnium
1 Kylie Krauss (Warren Wilson College) 446 pts
2 Kate Chapman (Western State College) 432
3 Naticia Slusher (Mesa State College) 430
4 Karen Amundson (Cumberland University) 392
5 Melissa Marts (Colorado School of Mines) 380
For full coverage of USA Cycling Collegiate Mountain Bike Nationals, click
Final NMBS 2008 schedule sees changes
By Sue George
NMBS organizers issued a revised schedule for the 2008 series. The series
will consist of six, not eight rounds relative to the draft version. Gone
from the originally published list are the Showdown at Sugar in North
Carolina and the round in Snowmass, Colorado. The 2008 finals at Tamarack
Resort move up one week to the Labor Day holiday weekend (as celebrated
in the US).
"The long and the short of it is that we're always looking at new
venues and to bring events to new regions," said Jeff Frost of Blue
Wolf Event Productions, the organizers of the NMBS Series. We were disappointed
in the Sugar Mountain [North Carolina] attendance and went with New York.
Windham is only 75 or 90 minutes from New York City." Frost expects
to draw from a whole new demographic. The event is in the Catskill Mountains
of New York and will also be fairly close to racers in several New England
The NMBS previously visited northern Idaho with a stop at Schwiezer,
but Tamarack Resort in southern Idaho is a new stop. "Boise has a
huge cycling community. Tamarack is just two hours north. We've been trying
for three years and it's finally worked out [for an Idaho venue to join
the series]," said Frost to Cyclingnews.
Commenting to the disappearance of Snowmass, Colorado from the calendar,
Frost said, "Snowmass had a three to four year run. The Venue never
really worked for us; whether it was a course problem or an expo problem.
But it thrives under the Mountain States Cup. We want both series to benefit
and we believe not having it as part of the NMBS will allow it to grow
as a Mountain States Cup event."
Frost hinted that the NMBS had not left Colorado for good. "It's
important for us to be in Colorado from a national series perspective.
Colorado and California are two key states. We're looking to return to
Durango in 2009. Adding a venue to the NMBS is about a two or three year
All but the East Coast National are slated to offer UCI cross country
points. Santa Ynez and Tamarack will award C2 points while the others
will award C1 points.
2008 NMBS Schedule (Revised)
March 29 - 30: NMBS #1
Fontana National, Southridge Park, Fontana, California (XCO/DHI/ST/4X/Super
April 5 - 6: NMBS #2
NOVA National, McDowell Mountain Regional Park, Fountain Hills, Arizona
May 17- 18: NMBS #3
Santa Ynez Valley National, Ted Chamberlin Ranch, Los Olivos, California
June 28 - 29: NMBS #4
Deer Valley National, Deer Valley Resort, Park City, Utah (XCO/DHI/DS/ST/Super
July 12 - 13: NMBS #5
East Coast National Windham Resort, Windham, New York (XCO/DHI/DS/ST/Super
August 30 - September 1: NMBS #6
National Mountain Bike Series Finals, Tamarack Resort, McCall, Idaho (XCO/DHI/DS/ST/Super
Gould & Kabush win US National Cross Country Calendar
Photo ©: Rob Jones
Following the Piney Hills Classic this past weekend, Canadian Geoff Kabush
(Team Maxxis) and Georgia Gould (Luna) were named overall winners of the
inaugural USA Cycling Mountain Bike National Cross Country Calendar.
After 29 events, Kabush topped the men's standings ahead of Todd Wells
(GT-Hyundai) by 55 points (500 - 445). Jeremiah Bishop (Trek-VW) was third
overall with 400 points, followed by Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Subaru-Gary
Fisher) in fourth with 399 points and Adam Craig (Giant) in fifth with
Gould won the women's division with 650 points, many of which were accumulated
by seven victories, ahead of Willow Koerber (Subaru-Gary Fisher) who earned
361 points. Shonny Vanlandingham (Luna) scored 355 points to finish third,
while Katerina Nash (Luna) finished fourth with 325 points and Heather
Irmiger (Subaru-Gary Fisher) rounded out the top five with 305 points.
Gould's victories included the Sea Otter Classic, the Fontana National,
the Deer Valley National, the Sugar Mountain National, the Nova National,
the Santa Ynez Valley Mountain Bike Classic and the Snowmass National.
She also scored points at the national championships with a second in
the cross country and fifth in the short track races.
By the end of the season Kabush boasted six victories including Sea Otter,
the Nova National, the Santa Ynez Valley Classic, the Fontana National,
the Deer Valley National and the Snowmass National. Kabush also scored
significant second-place points behind at the Sugar Mountain National.
Jared Graves and Melissa Buhl have already been named the gravity calendar
champions while Nat Ross and Rebecca Rusch have earned top honors in the
2007 USA Cycling Mountain Bike National Cross Country Calendar Final Standings
1 Geoff Kabush (Maxxis) 500 pts
2 Todd Wells (GT) 445
3 Jeremiah Bishop (Trek / VW) 400
4 Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Subaru / Gary Fisher) 399
5 Adam Craig (Giant) 365
1 Georgia Gould (Luna) 650 pts
2 Willow Koerber (Subaru / Gary Fisher) 361
3 Shonny Vanlandingham (Luna) 335
4 Katerina Nash (Luna) 325
5 Heather Irmiger (Subaru / Gary Fisher) 305
USA Cycling seeking National Calendar races
On the subject of national calendars, USA Cycling is soliciting applications
to be part of the second-annual USA Cycling Mountain Bike National Calendar.
57 events joined the calendars in its first year. In 2008, the structure
will again feature three different national-level calendars to recognize
the top competitive off-road cyclists in cross country, gravity and ultra-Endurance
Meanwhile, applications are also being accepted to host a 2008 USA Cycling
Mountain Bike State or Regional Championship. The goal of these races
is to recognize the best off-road cyclists in each state and region and
also serve as qualifiers for the USA Cycling Mountain Bike National Championships,
set for July 17-20, 2008 at Mount Snow Resort in Vermont.
(All rights reserved/Copyright Future Publishing (Overseas) Limited 2007)