MTB news & racing round-up for December 11, 2008
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Edited by Sue George
Seven events comprise new US professional cross country series
By Sue George
Ryan Trebon the men's pack at Sea
USA Cycling announced Wednesday the creation of a new national cross country
series for professionals racing in the US. The USA Cycling Pro Mountain
Bike Cross Country Tour presented by Sho-Air (ProXCT) will consist of seven
UCI-sanctioned events throughout the US in 2009.
Photo ©: Sue George
It replaces the now-defunct National Mountain Bike Series (NMBS), which
wrapped up at the end of the 2008 season. The series is comprised of three
east coast and three west coast races and a final in Las Vegas, Nevada,
held one day after the annual Interbike Expo trade show. Unlike the NMBS
races, which shared a common organizer, the ProXCT is a coalition of independent
races linked together into a national series. All but one of the races
are also part of the US Cup Kenda East or Kenda West series.
The series will open with the Fontana round of the US Cup in California,
on March 29, then continue with the Sea Otter Classic in Monterey on April
19. The Bump N'Grind in Birmingham, Alabama, on May 31 will mark the third
stop before Colorado Springs, Colorado, hosts the fourth round on June
13 with the Sand Creek International Classic. Mount Snow Resort in West
Dover, Vermont, welcomes round five on August 8, and along with the Yankee
Clipper at Windham Mountain in New York on August 15 will provide back-to-back
East Coast stops.
Series ranking points will be awarded to top finishers at each round,
with individual and team series leaders tallied. In addition, competitors
will also have the opportunity to accumulate international ranking points
since all seven races are inscripted on the UCI calendar.
Sho-Air International, an airfreight forwarder and tradeshow transportation
expert, is the presenting sponsor of the ProXCT. The company also sponsors
a racing team including riders like Sid Taberlay and Manny Prado. CEO
Scott Tedro, who will serve as the US Cup Series president sees his investment
as an effective marketing venture for Sho-Air.
"I'm lucky and excited to have been chosen to champion the ProXCT
and honored to work with USA Cycling as a supporter of mountain bike racing
in America," said Tedro. "The leadership that USA Cycling has
demonstrated throughout the process in order to fuel excitement about
pro cross country racing has been integral in developing a model which
I believe represents an intelligent business decision. I'm hoping that
the momentum we're creating encourages additional non-industry dollars
to follow. USA Cycling has been a great partner in this endeavor and I'm
looking forward to making the pro tour something to be proud of."
"The new ProXCT represents a tremendous step forward for professional
mountain bike racing in the US," said Steve Johnson, CEO of USA Cycling.
"I am very excited by the strong support of our presenting sponsor,
Sho-Air, and the fact that we have seven great venues in the inaugural
year of the tour."
Objectives of the inaugural tour include providing a sequence of international-caliber
events for elite cross country racers, recognizing the best cross country
teams and athletes competing on American soil, spotlighting America's
top races that have made a commitment to host UCI-sanctioned events, and
racing the level of competitive mountain bike racing in the US.
"After nearly a year of discussion and negotiations amongst our
many mountain bike constituents and soliciting input from race promoters,
athletes and industry representatives, we're thankful that Sho-Air and
various venues has stepped up to support pro cross country racing in the
United States," said USA Cycling's Mountain Bike Events and Program
Director Kelli Lusk. "This series ensures that our pros will have
a major season-long circuit which doubles as a dedicated and focused platform
on which to showcase their talents."
With the inscription of seven UCI events, along with the 2009 USA Cycling
Mountain Bike National Championships, elite competitors will have eight
opportunities to score UCI points at domestic races next season
one more compared to 2008. The points are important in qualifying athletes
for the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
"Now that a nation's qualification for the Olympic Games is based
on a four-year cycle, it's even more important we have UCI races in the
US this far in advance of London," said USA Cycling's National Mountain
Bike Development Director Marc Gullickson. "The ProXCT not only creates
opportunity for our athletes here at home, but the consistent exposure
to a highly competitive environment will raise the level of everyone's
Initial reactions of pro racers were positive. "That's really good
news," said Lea Davison.
"With the US Cup, it seems like US mountain bike racing is alive
and well," said Jeremiah Bishop.
An announcement for a gravity-based tour is expected in the coming weeks.
2009 USA Cycling Pro Cross Country Mountain Bike Tour (ProXCT)
March 29: U.S. Cup Fontana, California
April 19: Sea Otter Classic Monterey, California
May 31: Bump N'Grind Birmingham, Alabama
June 13: Carmichael Training Systems Sand Creek International Classic
Colorado Springs, Colorado
August 8: U.S. Cup Mount Snow, West Dover, Vermont
August 15: Yankee Clipper at Windham Mountain, Windham, New York
September 26: USA Cycling Pro Cross Country Mountain Bike Tour Finals,
Las Vegas, Nevada
Hermida renews with Multivan Merida
Spain's José Hermida has extended his contract with the Multivan
Merida Biking Team for another two years.
Hermida, who focuses on Olympic-distance cross country racing, has won
just about every title in his discipline except the elusive world championship
and the overall world cup titles. He is hoping to change this in 2009.
Hermida has riding for the Multivan Merida team for five years and plays
an important role in product engineering and development. Together with
Ralph Näf, Hermida was involved in developing the award winning Ninety-Six
cross country bike, one of the lightest und most succesful full suspension
bikes on the market and the bike raced by Hermida and other team members
at the Olympic Games in Beijing, China.
Norco Factory Team rides into 2009
Photo ©: Mark Gunter
The Norco Factory team will continue for 2008 with its 2008 riders plus
a few additions.
Trials rider Ryan Leech; slopestylers Jay Hoots, Ben Boyko and Darcy
Turenne; 4X and downhiller Fionn Griffiths; and jumpers Mislav Mironovic
and Dylan Korba will return to the squad.
New to the team for 2009 are downhill and 4X riders Nick Geddes of Vancouver
and Hans Lambert. Finally, the team will boast a new cross country division
based in Eastern Canada and including Andrew Watson and Catherine Vipond.
Torq team diary: Launched into action
By Tory Thomas & Jo Wall
The team poses at a photo shoot
Photo ©: Adam MacLeod / Freewheel
It's hard to believe it's already December. It's well and truly race
season in Australia, with weekdays and weekends crammed full of riding,
travel and racing. Life in the Torq team is very full - in the month since
our last diary entry, we've had our team launch, competed in a few road
and local mountain bike events, and last weekend we participated in the
second round of the National Cross Country mountain bike series in Illinbah,
Being part of the team is proving to be an enriching experience. I'm
not sure yet of my "role" in the team - sometimes I feel like
a mother hen (nagging the boys about wearing sunscreen and staying hydrated...!),
and other times I feel a sense of sheer relief that I have my team to
help me - I can ask teammate Robbie Hucker to help take my pedals off
my bike and cry on Assistant Team Manager's Dean's shoulder at the end
of a disappointing day.
Also, it's difficult to take yourself too seriously when there are so
many personalities crammed in to the one team - one minute I'm crying,
and the next minute I'm laughing.
Read the complete
RockShox SID Team: Not just for racing anymore
By James Huang, Technical Editor
The new RockShox SID Team
Photo ©: James Huang
The RockShox SID has been the most successful fork on the World Cup cross-country
circuit in history but it was long overdue for a major overhaul. The new
version is vastly improved in every way but one – SID isn't just a racer's
The venerable RockShox SID platform was many things to many people but
two things had always remained constant: it was one of the lightest forks
available but also among the flexiest and most unpredictable in technical
terrain. Thankfully, this latest iteration firmly puts that old reputation
to bed with a new trail bike-stout chassis, competitively light weight
and highly tunable and effective internals that should not only keep it
at or near the top of racers' wish lists, but also make it a viable short-travel
all-purpose trail fork, too.
Weight is kept in check with shorter stanchions and internal shaft lengths
which also decreases oil volume. Though RockShox had originally hoped
to roughly match the old SID on the scale as a result, our numbers suggest
that it fell well shy. A previous generation SID World Cup was just 1375g
(3.03lb) with a Pushloc remote and uncut carbon steerer; our comparably
equipped 2008 SID Team tester is markedly heavier – though still lightweight
– at 1585g (3.49lb).
Read the complete
review of the RockShox SID Team and the Monarch.
Midwest Fat Tire Championship Series set for 2009
The Midwest Fat Tire Championship Series announced an expanded schedule
for 2009, a result of merging with the St. Louis series to bring a true
state-wide series to Missouri. Two endurance events will be included with
the normal cross country races: the Tall Oak Challenge six hour race in
Jefferson City and the Berryman Epic, a 60 mile race covering the Berryman
and Ozark Trail in southeast Missouri.
2009 Midwest Fat Tire Championship Series
March 8 Series Race #1 - Oz Epic, Lake of the Ozarks State
Park, Kaiser, Missouri
March 22 - Series Race #2 - Lost Valley, St. Charles, Missouri
March 29 - Series Race #3 - Rim Wrecker, Council Bluff Lake Recreation
Area, Potosi, Missouri
April 19 - Series Race #4 - Le Tour de Tick, Neosho, Missouri
May 9 - Series Race #5 - Castlewood Challenge, Castlewood State Park,
St. Louis, Missouri
June 7 - Series Race #6/State Championship - Rhett's Run, Cosmo Park,
June 21 - Series Race #7 - St. Joes State Park, Farmington, Missouri
July 12 - Series Race #8 - OMBA Caramba, Sac River Trails, Springfield,
July 26 - Series Race #9 - Show-Me State Games, Rock Bridge State Park,
August 9 - Series Race #10 - Spanish Lake, Spanish Lake, Missouri
August 23 - Series Race #11 - Cape Race, Cape Girardeau, Missouri
September 5 - Series Lake 6-Hour, Jefferson City, Missouri
September 12 - Series Race #12 - Castlewood ICCC, Castlewood State Park,
St. Louis, Missouri
September 27 - Series Race #13 - Greensfelder, Eureka, Missouri
October 24/25 - Berryman Epic Tour/Race, Steelville, Missouri
For more information, visit www.midwestfattireseries.com.
Breck Epic registration opens
Registration for Colorado's newest mountain bike stage race opened last
week. With a US$250 deposit, racers may sign up on Sportsbaseonline.com
for one of 400 spots in the six-day Breck Epic from July 5-10, 2009. The
deposit is fully refundable until pricing is finalized on January 3.
Assuming there are at least five entrants in each, categories will be
Open Men Duo, Open Women Duo, Open Mixed Duo, 80+ Duo, 100+ Duo, Singlespeed
Duo, Solo Men Open, Solo Women Open, Singlespeed Open and Solo Men 40+.
Open MTB Gran Canaria registration open
Registration is open for the fifth Open MTB Gran Canaria on March 13-14
in Las Palmas. In 2009 the sunny, island marathon will offer more route
choices and will serve as the opener to the Austrian Trek Mountain Bike
Already signed up are Andy Strobel (Vaude Simplon), winner of the Ritchey
series and Michael Kalivoda (Ghost) in the men's category and Kerstin
Brachtendorf (Fiat Rotwild) in the women's category. Together with top
riders from Italy, the Netherlands and Austria they will fight for victory
on the Ronda Extrema.
Last year, racer participation doubled and this year racers may select
to compete over 38, 65 or 85km.
For more information, visit www.canary-bike.com.
(All rights reserved/Copyright Future Publishing Limited 2008)