MTB news & racing round-up for January 3, 2008
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Edited by Sue George
Wake-n-Bake elite team launched
By Sue George
Rebecca Tomaszewski (BeaverHook
Hills) on her way to a win at the 2007 Wilderness 101
Photo ©: Wes Cheney
A new elite team is emerging out of the Athens, Georgia area. Team Wake-n-Bake
will feature four racers and serve as an often-overlooked kind of team
where those competing in between club and pro team levels can excel. The
team's namesake, Wake-n-Bake, is a winter brew for primary sponsor Terrapin
Beer. Perhaps appropriately for a bunch of mountain bikers, the beer is
an oatmeal stout brewed with Jittery Joe's coffee.
"My goal is to get these riders some exposure," said Team Director
Mike Stanley to Cyclingnews. "I'd like to see one of these
riders get picked up by a big team."
"[Rider] Nicolas [Dale] pulled me aside and said we need a team.
I own a home audio company and started setting money aside," said
Stanley, who has sometimes traded home audio work for sponsorship help
for his riders.
"I saw a void. There was no one out there having a minor-league
like team for mountain biking," said Stanley. "There are the
big-name teams and clubs. I went to Interbike and pitched my idea."
Support for his team is growing with local and national companies coming
onboard - something for which Stanley is quick to express gratitude.
Rebecca Tomaszewski is one of the team's top riders. The winner of the
Wilderness 101 and the Cowbell Challenge is well known for her singlespeed
rigid-fork riding talent. She finished fifth at the Singlespeed World
Championships and will take on many of the NUE series races this coming
On the shorter cross country side, Nicolas Dale finished fourth overall
in the 2007 National Mountain Bike Series 19-29 year-old category. The
26 year-old semi-pro also took third at the NMBS finals for Expert Men
25-29 in Snowmass, Colorado, in August 2007.
Maria Carrelli has spent two years racing as an expert and is a current
and two-time Georgia State singlespeed champion. The 29 year-old is going
for three in a row for 2008. Her other top finishes have come in the Six
hours of Conyers, the Stump Jump, the Georgia State Cup, and the NMBS
round at Sugar Mountain.
39 year-old "Wild Bill" Lanzilotta used to race gravity events
with Greg Herbold in the 1990s, but a crash and punctured lung put an
end to his racing career for awhile. Now a University of Georgia professor,
Wild Bill finished on the podium in the overall category in the Southeastern
Series the last three years running and will serve as "Team Captain".
The team will be easy to spot with their orange Niner bikes decked out
with green Industry Nine wheels.
Team Wake-n-Bake for 2008: Maria Carelli, Nicolas Dale, William
"Wild Bill" Lanzilotta, Rebecca Tomaszewski.
Fullana signs new contract
Last Friday, Mallorcan racer Marga Fullana signed a contract to race
for the next two years. She will race for Massi-Illes Balears with the
support of equipment manufacturer Massi and the government of the Illes
"It is not only a sports agreement, but it is something more,"
The two-time World Champion (1997 & 1999) likened her new support
to that of a family and expressed her hopefulness for the upcoming Olympic
year. Fullana won a bronze medal in the Olympic mountain bike race in
Sydney, Australia, in 2000. She was ranked 13th in the UCI World Rankings
as of the end of 2007.
Mountain bikers fare well in annual Canadian cycling awards
Photo ©: Rob Jones
Quebec's Marie-Helene Premont was chosen as top Female Canadian Cyclist
of the Year for 2007 by CanadianCyclist.com. Premont, who finished
second in the season-long World Cup and was ranked fifth overall in the
world, won the vote with nearly 53% of first place votes. She finished
ahead of Pan Am Games mountain bike gold medallist Catharine Pendrel and
National Road Race Champion Gina Grain (18%).
Geoff Kabush ended the men's rankings second behind road racer Svein
Tuft, who captured nearly 60% of first place votes. Kabush collected 22%
of the vote ahead of Dominique Rollin (11%).
New Zealand's South Island Series to stop at Coronet Peak
200 riders are expected to gather at the purpose-built Coronet Peak Bike
Park January 4-6 for a round of the Subaru South Island Downhill Cup which
will see experienced riders hurtle down the 1.6km of singletrack. Then,
on January 5-6, cross country riders get their chance for a round of the
NZCT South Island Cross Country Cup.
These two events, formerly part of the New Zealand's MTB National Series,
are the precursor to the NZCT New Zealand National Championships.
Downhillers Sam Blenkinsop, Scarlett Hagen, Kieran Bennett and Nathan
Rankin will be on hand. All have represented New Zealand at World Cup
and World Championship events.
On the cross country side, confirmed competitors include up and coming
juniors Alex McGregor and Samara Sheppard. The talented New Zealanders
took part in the World Championships in Fort William, Scotland, in September
2007. They will be joined by international riders like Helene Valerie
Fruhwirth from Austria.
Kessiakoff to lead international contingent at Sunshine Cup
Fredrik Kessiakoff (Cannondale-Vredestein)
Photo ©: Rob Jones
World Cup cross country race winner Fredrik Kessiakoff is already signed
up for the Sunshine Cup coming up in Cyprus. The Swede is among riders
from nine nations on the start list with over a month to go until the
For the Swedish national team, the trip to race in Cyprus is not its
first one. In 2007, Kessiakoff won Sunshine Cup Round #2. This year, he'll
be beginning his preparation for the Olympic Games.
Led by Jaroslav Kulhavy and Tereza Hurikova, the Czech team will also
head to Cyprus. Kulhavy won the Race under the Sun and took second in
the Afxentia Stage Race in 2007. He went on to finish ninth in the World
Cup at Champery, Switzerland - his best result ever.
Riders from Italy, Ireland, Belgium, Great Britain, Hungary, Germany
and Poland will be on hand to battle for UCI C1 points. Top riders will
benefit from Cyprus' recent joining (as of January 1) to the Euro zone,
which means prize money will now be paid in Euros.
For more information on the Sunshine Cup for 2008, visit www.mtbcyprus.com.
Sunshine Cup 2008 Schedule
February 23: Tochni Village (XCP)
February 29: Mantra-Kionia-Mantra (XCP)
March 2: Mantra tou kampiou (XCO)
March 9: Limassol-Yermasogia (XCO)
March 16: Voroklini (XCP)
Coloma to lead ECP-Tau Ceramica team
Carlos Coloma will lead the ECP-Tau Ceramica mountain bike team for 2008.
He'll be targeting the European and World Championships as well as the
Beijing Olympic Games as a member of the Spanish team.
The team boasts no new riders; instead Coloma will continue to have the
company of Marc Trayter, U23 racer Oliver Avilés and junior Umbert
Almenara. The team, which hopes to balance the aspirations of experienced
riders like Coloma with the needs of up and coming riders, will ride Massi
bicycles in 2008.
Look for the squad at the most important races in Spain including the
Spanish Cup, International Catalan Cup, and Superprestige MASSI as well
as the Swiss Power Cups.
ECP-Tau Ceramica team for 2008: Umbert Almenara, Oliver Avilés,
Carlos Coloma and Marc Trayter.
Test of Metal sells out
Registrants from as far away as the United Kingdom., Yukon Territory,
Virginia, Oregon, Ontario, Manitoba, Hawaii, and California raced for
the 800 available spots for this year's 12th Test of Metal selling it
out by 8:01 pm, just two hours after opening.
"I think that the modification of our registration process helped
relieve some of the pressure of last year," said Race Director Cliff
Miller, referring to the 41 minute record sell-out for the 2007 event.
"We'll never have a spot for everyone, but this seems to be a fair
way to go. We've got our 1,000 riders registered and now they can begin
their training." Based on past experience, Miller is expecting a
20% attrition race before the event even starts.
The changes in this year's registration included 200 race spots offered
in a "locals only" registration on December 1 and the elimination
of the waiting list. The locals only registration sold out in just over
Profits from this year's events will go toward hiring a professional
trail co-ordinator. "The impact of this race on our trails is significant
and we need have a responsibility to ensure not only that the race course
in good shape," said Miller, "but also that Squamish's valuable
recreational resource, the mountain bike trails, is maintained."
Entries to the race are still available for those who participate in
Test of Metal trail maintenance days.
Dirt Sweat & Gears adds to fight against cancer and for equal prize
Pua Sawicki (Ergon/Ellsworth) took
a solid win in 2007
Photo ©: Will Thomas
In addition to supporting trail advocacy for the Southern Off Road Bicycle
Alliance (SORBA) and IMBA, the Dirt Sweat and Gears (DSG) race will benefit
the American Cancer Society.
"This year the American Cancer Society will benefit from your DSG
race participation," said Mark Cleveland, a partner in DSG. "It's
all about life and how you live it, but it's also about how we come together
to support people in need. The battle against this disease hits close
to home for many of us."
In the days before the inaugural race in 2007, Cleveland's wife Sheila
was diagnosed with breast cancer. She recently completed her last round
of chemotherapy treatment. "My partners at DSG recognize the great
work done by The American Cancer Society and we support their effort to
Celebrate, Remember, and Fight Back."
DSG has made an effort to reach out to its women's racers. The second-year
USA Cycling Ultra-Endurance Calendar event will offer men and women equal
prize money of more than US$10,000.
Women already signed on to attend include Rebecca Rusch (Specialized
Bicycles), Namrita O'Dea (Vassago Bicycles), Carey Lowery (Outdoor Store),
Danielle Musto (Titus/Maxxis), and reigning race champion Monique "Pua"
Sawicki (Ellsworth Bicycles).
Race Director Clay Higgins offered support for the recent work of Georgia
Gould (Luna) to petition the UCI for equal prize money for top places
for men and women. "We think it is critical that both male and female
elite athletes are compensated equally, and if we can continue to do just
that at our event, we see no reason that this should not become the norm
in cycling," said Higgins.
O'Dea Diary: To Georgia, Michigan & Florida
Eddie O'Dea riding
Photo ©: Namrita O'Dea
The racing for us really ended in September with both Eddie and I taking
the solo wins at the 12 hours of Dauset, a Gone Riding event in Jackson,
Georgia. After that, we spent October chillin' with friends, going to
beer festivals, riding for short instead of long hours, and getting some
work done. October really picked up with business for Eddie, and with
school for me. The month ended with a fantastic mountain bike trip at
R-Ranch in the Mountains of Dahlonega, Georgia.
Eddie rented a cabin to celebrate my 31st birthday and our one-year anniversary.
We got married in Dahlonega in October 2006, so it was a great place to
go celebrate! R-Ranch is known to be a landmark on the Six-Gap-Century
route, and has a lot of acreage with cabins, camping, and trails. The
trails are all on private land, so you must be a resident to ride...and
these really are some of the best trails we've ridden in Georgia! It had
everything...doubletrack, tight singletrack, steep ups and downs, swooping
trails, rocks, and tons of roots. Our cabin was on a private lake, so
the dogs had a blast, too. We didn't bring the road bikes this time, but
there are miles and miles of gorgeous road riding right out of the place.
Eddie and Namrita in Florida
Photo ©: Eddie O'Dea
In November, we started our strength training plan, i.e. gettin' huge
in the gym. The plan is an accumulation of advice from racer friends and
books. It started out with four days per week in the gym with very little
riding. I haven't been in the gym since 2003, so this has been interesting.
Normally we do our strength work on the bike during the winter and spring,
but we thought we'd give this a try.
My goals are to push a taller gear on my singlespeed next year with the
same effort; Eddie's goal is to rip legs off. But, it is a good experiment
as Eddie needs to understand the pros and cons of strength training on
the bike and in the gym versus just on the bike, for those racers he coaches,
too. I present an interesting challenge to him as a coaching client because
I only ride and race singlespeed off road. And, I don't like riding on
the road very much.
To read the complete diary entry, click
Montana mountain bikers unite to defend trail access
In response to threats to trail access across the state, Montana mountain
bikers united to form a group called the Montana Mountain Bike Alliance
(MMBA) to represent their interests. The group, formed in November, is
now working directly with the Forest Service and other user groups as
it revises forest plans.
"There's been a real hard push in the last little while to remove
bicyclists from a lot of trails," said one of the group's founders
Corey Biggers to the Billings Gazette. "We're trying to have
a voice for the whole state." Several areas have been proposed for
future Wilderness Study Areas, and because trails in Wilderness Areas
are not open to bicycle use, Montana riders would lose access to existing
riding trails in any newly designated Wilderness Areas.
Biggers commented that mountain bikers had not previously been well organized
in Montana. "Our goal is to get bikers politically motivated and
off the proverbial couch," added Bob Allen, another founder. The
group aims to balance land preservation with continued recreational trail
access for cyclists and other users.
Trails under threat of closure to mountain bike are in the Beaverhead-Deer
Lodge National Forest and the Gallatin National Forest and form part of
the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail.
For more information, visit www.montanamountainbikealliance.com.
Winter downhilling returns to Pennsylvania
While many riders in Pennsylvania will be busy working up the nerve to
head out and ride in the winter cold, a few brave souls will be racing
the eighth annual winter downhill race at Blue Mountain Ski Area in Palmerton,
Pennsylvania, on January 5 at 10:30 am local time. Four racers per heat
will compete mountain cross style reaching speeds of up to 50mph.
"I haven't done it and I don't think I would do it," said Jason
Boris, the Race Coordinate to the Pocono Record after last year's
event. "You have to have a lot of craziness."
For more information, contact Boris at 570-668-2919.
(All rights reserved/Copyright Future Publishing Limited 2008)