MTB news & racing round-up for January 11, 2008
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Edited by Sue George
Coronet Peak hosts two South Island Cups rounds
Riding Lookout Mountain
Photo ©: Olly Hagen
In hot and still conditions this weekend in New Zealand, Scarlett Hagen
and Nathan Rankin won the opening round of the elite women's and men's
races at the Subaru South Island
Downhill Cup series while Eric Drower and Jeanette Gerrie rode to
wins in round two of the South
Island Cross Country Cup. The cross country field was of modest size,
but the downhill race drew 265 racers, one of the largest fields ever
seen at a Mountain Bike New Zealand downhill race. Both rounds were held
at Coronet Peak.
A retired Rankin, who formerly represented New Zealand in competition,
was still in good enough shape to take a tight victory over Justin Leov
of Team Yeti by just 0.6 seconds. Hagen's win came with a much more comfortable
12.9-second margin over Sheryl MacLeod.
Drower lead the entire elite men's cross country race and finished with
a convincing nine minute and six second gap over Dayle McLauchlan. Jon
Richardson was another two minutes and 40 seconds back. With his good
form, Drower also set the fastest lap time (19'06").
Gerrie and Cathy Hamer battled it out in the elite women's race although
Gerrie assumed the lead on the opening lap of five total laps and held
it until her win. Hamer finished second, 22 seconds behind. Each of them
now has one win in the South Island Cup Series, with the up and coming
third and final round to determine the winner.
The racing continued just a few days later on the South Island with another
round of the Downhill Cup at Dirt Park, in the Pisa Mountain Range, in
Wanaka on January 8-9. Hagan and Rankin both collected wins, taking an
insurmountable lead in the series.
The final downhill wraps up in Nelson on January 12-13 and the next and
final round of the Cross Country Cup is scheduled for January 20 in Omihi
in North Canterbury.
See full coverage of the South
Island Cross Country Cup #2, the South
Island Downhill Cup #1 or the South
Island Downhill Cup #2.
Stropparo to lead Ideal Bikes International Team
Italian Annabella Stropparo will head up the Ideal Bikes International
Bike team for 2008. The Italian has won national titles in cross country
and marathon mountain bike disciplines as well as cyclo-cross. This season,
she'll race many major events on the Italian calendar as well as some
World Cup events. Stropparo finished second at the Italian
National Cyclo-cross championships this weekend.
The Ideal Bikes International Team will host its official presentation
on Saturday, January 26 in the head office of Serenissima Diffusion srl,
in Suseganea near Treviso, Italy, where the rest of the team's racers
will be announced.
Lehikoinen back on his bike
Matti Lehikoinen (Team G-Cross
Photo ©: Rob Jones
Following a training accident in September which resulted in three fractured
vertebrae, Matti Lehikoinen is back on the bike. The Finnish downhill
racer's motivation was helped by a new Intense Spider XVP bike he received
just in time for Christmas from MS-Intense Factory- Racing.
Lehikoinen, who is stoked to be riding again, has just started preparing
for the upcoming downhill World Cup season. At the end of January, he
will take a trip to Temecula, California, to test out his new downhill
Kenda, Titus and Hayes support 2008 team
Zephanie Blasi (Kenda) racing in
Photo ©: Dave McElwaine
Kenda USA, Titus and Hayes Bicycle Group are sponsoring the pro mountain
bike team of Quick Release Racing, Inc., based out of Ann Arbor, Michigan,
for 2008. The team's roster reflects the broad range of endurance-discipline
events. From cross-country racing to ultra-endurance events and festivals,
team members will attend events such as the 24 Hours of Old Pueblo in
Tucson, Arizona, the Sea Otter Classic in Monterey, California, the US
National Mountain Bike Series (NMBS), La Ruta in Costa Rica, the US National
Championships and the Kenda Bicycle Festival in Massachusetts.
In addition to competing, the female athletes will serve as ambassadors
for women's cycling across the country. A focus on developing young athletes
will continue with school and community programs aimed at getting more
girls involved in sports and cycling by partnering with local advocacy
and junior racing programs. The Joan C. Banfield Foundation of Dexter,
Michigan will host the team for a number of clinics targeting health and
wellness in the school system.
The team will ride Titus Carbon Racer-X and Exo-Grid titanium and carbon
Kenda / Titus/ Hayes Team for 2008: Zephanie Blasi, Wendy Caldwell,
Hillary Harrison, Heather Holmes, Robert Marion, Philicia Marion, Danielle
Musto, Krista Park, Amanda Riley, and Andy Schultz.
Gispert closes ECP-Tau Cerámica roster
Martí Gispert will continue racing for the ECP-Tau Cerámica
team in 2008. The rider from Puigcerdà will support Carlos Coloma
and Marc Trayter in the elite category and young riders U23 Olivés
Avilés and junior Umbert Almenara.
Gispert will be aiming to regain the form he had during the 2006 season
when he raced well internationally, including a second place in the Roc
d'Azur, a 15th in the World Championships and several top 20 finishes
in the World Cup.
With the signing of Gispert, the team closed its roster for 2008.
Merida Czech partners with CeMBA
The distributor of Merida bicycles in the Czech Republic pledged to
sponsor the fledgling Czech Mountain Bike Association. Merida's financial
support will help boost the organisation's MTB advocacy activities. Long
in the making, the Czech Mountain Bike Association, CeMBA (www.cemba.cz),
was founded in May 2007 to represent mountain bikers' interests before
national agencies and authorities. It is the first such organisation within
the former European socialist bloc.
The relatively young organization has worked to develop ties to the worldwide
mountain bike movement and acquired considerable expertise in advocacy.
CeMBA's president, Tomás Kvasnièka, became well acquainted
with the achievements of IMBA UK during his studies in England and in
the summer of 2007, he was granted an internship at IMBA's headquarters
in the US.
The agreement, signed in December, will provide funding to CeMBA and
allow the organization to hire two employees including Kvasnièka
and also Petr Slavik, communications coordinator. The association's establishment
comes in conjunction with a time when IMBA is directing more efforts outside
of North America.
Australian 4X to close this weekend
Photo ©: Evan Jeffery
The Australian Four Cross series will close in Hawkesbury on the outskirts
of Sydney at Ebenezer and finally Kurrajong this weekend. Hosted by the
Western Sydney Mountain Bike Club, round five will happen Saturday, January
12 with round six the following day January 13. The series opened back
in October with rounds one
and two at Sydney Olympic
Park. More recently, the series visited Illinbah on the Gold Coast for
in November and Thredbo for round
four in December.
Current national champion Caroline Buchanan is leading the series. She
will battle current second place in the series Sarsha Huntington. On the
men's side Luke Strom, Terrance Scarr and Thomas Hubert will go up againt
series leader Leigh Darryl. Ryan Hunt will be on hand to defend his spot
at the top of the U19s.
For more information on rounds five and six, contact Steve Humphries
Juarez's calendar filling up
Cannondale's Tinker Juarez will be returning to the 24 Hours of Adrenaline
World Championships to defend his 2007 solo title. The 2008 will return
to its roots in Canmore on July 26-27.
"After 30-something years of racing, and winning lots of races,
lots of national titles and going to the Olympics twice, the only thing
missing from my career was a world title," said Juarez. "So
I can't even put into words how proud it made me feel to win [in 2007]."
Juarez, who was also recently announced as scheduled to race the new
Baja Epic race in November, said the race in Canmore is his "number
Founder Stuart Dorland reported that Kenda USA had signed up as a major
sponsor for the entire 2008 24 Hours of Adrenaline series. Entries are
still being accepted for all events except the team categories have filled
for the Canmore event.
24 Hours of Adrenaline Series for 2008
April 26: Hurkey Park Spring (Southern California, USA)
May 3: Laguna Seca Raceway (Monterey, California, USA)
July 26: Canmore Nordic Center (Canmore, Alberta, Canada)
September 19: Hurkey Park Fall (Southern California, USA)
For more information, visit www.24hoursofadrenalin.com.
Alaskans race despite winter
Winter is no reason for mountain bikers in Alaska to stop racing thanks
to the Valley Mountain Bikers and Hikers Association which is hosting
three races including the Winter Trails Day downhill slalom race at Hatcher
Pass on Saturday, January 12. Unlike some downhill races, riders will
have to push their bikes up to the top of the hill prior to each run according
to the Anchorage Daily News.
On February 3, the endurance oriented racers can race the 25-mile VaMoose
25 cross country race in Willow. Racers will ride groomed, wooded hilly
trails and negotiate frozen swamps and the Susitna River. Finally, the
second annual Moose Drewl cross country is scheduled for early March and
is part of the Anchorage winter race series.
Revised date for Mohican 100
The Mohican 100 will happen May 31, not June 7 as originally announced.
Organizers told Cyclingnews that the original calendar posting
was a mistake and that the race is happening as usual on the weekend after
the Memorial Day Holiday in the US.
(All rights reserved/Copyright Future Publishing Limited 2008)