MTB news & racing round-up for January 26, 2008
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Edited by Sue George
Eatough to defend NUE series title
2007 Mohican 100 and NUE series
winner Chris Eatough
Photo ©: Guru Graphix
After Floyd Landis announced his
intention to compete in the US National Ultra Endurance (NUE) series,
Chris Eatough (Trek / VW) confirmed to Cyclingnews that he will
defend his series title for 2008.
"I plan on racing. I won the series last year. They made a couple
of good additions and kept all my favourites," said Eatough.
Eatough named the Shenandoah Mountain
100, the Lumberjack
100 and the Mohican 100
as his favorites, but he's also looking forward to checking out the Fool's
Gold 100, a new addition to the series set in Georgia. "The Shenandoah
Mountain 100 is the quintessential 100 mile race. It involves everything
- climbing, road riding and technical singletrack. It's a good all around
venue and a benchmark."
"I like the 100% singletrack course of the Lumberjack. It's all
in the woods the whole time," said Eatough. "I really like the
Ohio race [the Mohican 100], too. It was a good course - very varied terrain.
It was more climbing and more technical singletrack than I had expected.
In addition, you went up this challenging dam embankment that you had
to hike up carrying your bike at mile 96."
Eatough's experience in endurance races will no doubt pay off in 2008,
but another NUE series victory won't come easily. "Harlan Price [Independent
Fabrication] will be back. He won the series the year before I did and
was second place last year. He's been improving every year and he's focusing
on these 100 miles."
"I'm sure Floyd Landis [Smith & Nephew] will be a factor. He
has excellent fitness and takes these races fairly seriously," he
said of his newly committed competition. The two raced at the Shenandoah
Mountain 100 in 2007, but Eatough did not finish after suffering a severe
mechanical within the first 20 miles. Landis finished third.
pointed to an occasional training partner from the Balitmore, Maryland,
area as some unexpected competition for the men's field. "Chris Beck
is racing for Gary Fisher. I know he will do more of the races. We train
together sometime and he's working really hard and is good on long climbs.
He's been riding a long time and has a road background. He's always liked
mountain biking, but I'm not sure all of the cross country racing worked
Coming up on
Cyclingnews will cover the 60th edition of
the Dauphiné Libéré live
as of stage 4 on Wednesday, June 10, at approximately 15:00 local Europe
time (CEST)/ 23:00 Australian time (CDT)/ 9:00 (USA East).
WAP-enabled mobile devices: http://live.cyclingnews.com/wap/
Last but not least is fellow Trek / VW team-mate and co winner of the
BC Bike race. "If Jeff Schalk races, he will be a factor. He was
obviously good at the Shenandoah," said Eatough. Schalk won the series
A busy season
Eatough leads Price at the Mohican
100. That's how the NUE series would finish up in 2007
Photo ©: Guru Graphix
The six-time 24 Hours of Adrenaline solo world champion said he will
do a majority of the NUE series races. "I'll do most of them. One
or two I might have to miss due to conflicts with 24 hour racing."
Eatough will race the national championships, but has not decided on his
participation in the 24 Hours of Adrenaline Solo World Championships to
be held in Canmore in Canada.
The Maryland resident seems to have an amazing capacity to excel in multiple
endurance events each year. When asked about managing the recovery in
between, he said "I think it's a matter of not doing too many and
spacing them out just right. With three days of recovery, I'm pretty much
recovered. 24 hour races take two to three weeks. That's mostly physical
"Mentally, I'm always motivated to do these races. As long as I
can choose to the races, it helps. There are few events I'm required to
do, and I think that helps keep motivation high."
Before the NUE series kicks off, Eatough will race with team-mate Jeremiah
Bishop at the Cape Epic stage race in South Africa. Neither rider has
done the race before although both have competed together in a multi-day
"The Cape Epic is our first race of the year. It will be exciting
and a huge. It'll be a hard and fast race. It's be good motivation for
winter training here." In July, Eatough will race the BC bike race.
He did not name a partner.
Bishop and Eatough raced the TransAlp event as a team in 2002. "I
think Jeremiah is faster now. The TransAlp is when he seemed to step up
to the next level. He's certainly become a specialized cross country racer
and is focused on that. I've become more endurance-oriented. I don't have
the climbing speed that he has, but hopefully my experience and endurance
will make up for it."
The pair worked their way up the pro ranks together while living and
racing in the mid-Atlantic region of the US. Bishop will be using the
Cape Epic as a tune-up before the World Cup races which will be used to
select the US Olympic team while Eatough will be honing is endurance fitness
for another busy season.
When asked how long he would continue to race endurance events, Eatough
said, "At least a few more years. In fact, I think I'll probably
do quite a few more years. I may just start being more selective with
my races and doing less races total. I'm not feeling the effects yet and
my body is holding up fine. As long as my family allows me to keep doing
it, I'd like to keep doing it."
He pointed to another endurance guru, Tinker Juarez, as an example of
someone who's stayed in the endurance game for a long time. "Tinker's
keeps a pretty busy schedule for a guy in his 40s," said a complimentary
UK gets first all-female UCI mountain bike trade team
Photo ©: Jon Beckett
The United Kingdom's first all-female UCI trade team will race as the
Trek - Extreme Medics Racing presented by thecyclejersey.com for 2008.
UCI Masters World Champion Petra Wiltshire, the only British downhiller
to have twice won a World Championship (Bromont 2001, Pra-Loup 2007),
will take on the role of team caption with her 12 years of racing experience.
Instead of riding masters events in her rainbow jersey, she will race
the 2008 World Cup competition.
New signing Jaymie Mart will join Wiltshire. Mart has broken into the
top-30 riders in the world as the sole representative of the tiny island
nation of Barbados.
On the cross country side, Gemma Collins will fly the team colours. After
a bruising introduction to World Cup racing in 2007, where she competed
at the Champery round with broken fingers, Collins has set her sights
on becoming one of the UK's top riders, both domestically and internationally.
Having achieved her first podium finish at the final round of the 2007
British National Series, she is aiming to develop her skills (and UCI
ranking) aided by her coach, multiple British Champion and international
racer Jenny Copnall.
Photo ©: Joolze Dymond
In an unusual move, the team has also agreed to promote, not a sponsor,
but a campaign. The logo of the Tara Llanes Heart Of A Champion Fund will
appear on race clothing and the team's pit area. Llanes is a close friend
of the team, which will use the ongoing story of her fight back to health
after suffering a serious spinal injury as an inspiration. The team will
seek to publicise and raise money for the fund throughout the season through
a number of initiatives.
Look for the squad at European rounds of the UCI World Cup, the World
Championships, MegaAvalanche Week, selected rounds of the British downhill
and cross country series, the British National Championships and the Fat
Face Downtown Race.
Belgians to head competition at revised Sunshine Cup
Roel Paulissen (Belgium)
Photo ©: Didier Weemaels
Seven total riders from the Belgian national team, led by Roel Paulissen,
will make their way to the Sunshine Cup held in Cyprus this spring. It
won't be the the first time that three-time World Cup winner, who also
won silver in the 2007 UCI World Marathon Championships, heads to Cyprus
for some early season training, and he will likely be one of the favorites
for the individual races and the overall.
Swedish team-mate Fredrik Kessiakoff, also from Cannondale-Vredestein,
and Team Bikin' Cyprus' Chirstof Bishof will be among the world class
competition that comes to race. Kessiakoff won round two of the 2007 Sunshine
Organizers recently announced some revisions to the original calendar.
Due to a conflict with Carnival, the fourth and fifth venues have been
switched. The fourth round will take place at Voroklini while the finals
will happen in Limassol-Yermasogia.
Sunshine Cup 2008 (revised schedule)
February 23: Tochni Village (XCP)
February 29: Mantra-Kionia-Mantra (XCP)
March 2: Mantra tou kampiou (XCO)
March 9: Voroklini (XCP)
March 16: Limassol-Yermasogia (XCO)
TransAndes to bring stage racing to Chile
Racers in Chile will soon have a chance to try out the stage racing format
in the rugged Andes Mountains of Pategonia in Chile and Argentina with
the upcoming TransAndes Challenge regular and preview races. The preview
race registration opens January 30 for a four day event to be held from
May 8 to 11, 2008.
The main TransAndes race, with its six demanding yet scenic stages, is
not until February 3 to 8, 2009. In that event, racers will cover between
60 and 100 kilometers per day. The race will start and end in Pucón, Chile.
The format of both races will be similar to that of the TransAlp and
the TransRockies Challenges. Categories will include open men, open women,
open mixed, 60+ men (combined age), 60+ mixed, 80+ men, 80+ mixed and
For more information, visit www.transandeschallenge.com.
Four riders join Team Garmin-DCM
Team Garmin-DCM boasts four new riders for 2008 including Marc Bassingthwaigthe,
Arno Viljoen, Yolandi du Toit and Samantha Oosthuysen.
Bassingthwaigthe is one of the most talented Namibian mountain bikers
in the country. At the age 24, he will fill the role of team leader. Former
team-mate and compatriot Viljoen will join him.
"I am really looking forward to working with Team Garmin-DCM. We
have the same goals and ideals and the team that has been put together
has an excellent mix of complementary skills," said Bassingthwaigthe,
"I'm also very pleased to have my former team mate Arno Viljoen join
me as my wingman."
Du Toit is one of South Africa's best-known female cyclists, with 10
top three places in major events in 2007. The Olympic hopeful has ridden
for teams in the UK and Europe, gaining a reputation as not only a promising
and dedicated hard-working cyclist but also a team player with an engaging
George leads MTN Energade team
New arrival David George
Photo ©: MTN Energade Team
2006 Commonweath Games silver medallist David George made the leap from
road to off-road racing in part in 2007, and recently signed with MTN
Energade mountain bike team for 2008. George will partner with team-mate
Kevin Evans, the South African marathon mountain bike champion for the
upcoming 2008 Cape Epic race.
George has been helping Evans with his training the latter has dropped
more than three kilograms and more than six percent body fat compared
to the same time last year, mainly as a result of George's stage-race
training strategy and a disciplined nutrition plan.
"We're aiming for a podium finish at the Epic and the way our preparation
has gone so far, I'm pretty confident we can do it," said Evans,
who is still the only South African to have finished on the Cape Epic
podium (third with Austrian partner Silvio Weltschnig in 2005).
Photo ©: MTN Energade Team
"We're combining my mountain bike racing and Cape Epic experience
this will be my fifth Epic with David's knowledge of stage
racing preparation and nutrition and are hoping that will help us achieve
our goal," said Evans. "As part of our build-up, in February,
David will race on the South African national team at the Tour de Langkawi
and I will race on the MTN Energade road team at the Tour of Egypt. In
March we'll both race the Giro del Capo. These road stage races will help
get us accustomed to consecutive days of hard racing."
Last year, George raced with Christoph Sauser to finish off the Cape
Epic after both of their partners withdrew from the race.
Returning to the MTN Energade team for 2008 are Melt Swanepoel and Mannie
Heymans. Swanepoel had a successful 2007, with among other victories,
the elite men's African cross-country title and finishing runner-up to
Evans at the South African marathon championships. Heymans, a Namibian
national who is a two-time Olympian and multiple African champion, continued
to recover from a serious shoulder injury with some solid performances
in both stage races and marathon events and won his seventh Subaru Sabie
Carla Rowley, who started with the team as a marathon-racing novice
in 2007, has been retained following a successful first year, which saw
her finish regularly in the top 10, including a few podium positions.
2008 MTN Energade team: Kevin Evans, David George, Mannie Heymans,
Melt Swanepoel, Carla Rowley.
Trek / VW finalizes 2008 team
Trek finalized its roster for 2008. The names will look familar compared
to 2007. In addition to Jeremiah Bishop and Chris Eatough, Ross Schnell
will wrap up the men's line-up. Trek is sticking to its proven women with
the experienced Sue Haywood and her younger team-mate Lea Davison.
Haywood and Bishop were recently named to the US Olympic Long Team by
USA Cycling which means both are eligible to compete for spots on the
2008 US Olympic team.
Trek / VW for 2008: Jeremiah Bishop, Susan Haywood , Chris Eatough,
Ross Schnell, Lea Davison, Michael Browne (Team Director), Zack Vestal
(Manager), Laura Downey (Soigneur), Dusty LaBarr (Mechanic), Steve Borkoski
Tokyo Joe's picks up elite junior development team
Tokyo Joe's Team is going into its second year of supporting elite level
junior mountain bike program. The team already provides grassroots and
development support for those aged 13 to 22.
On the decision to sponsor a junior squad, Heather Szabo of Tokyo Joe's
said, "Tokyo Joe's has a history of offering support to the top juniors
in the Boulder area. This year we decided to take it up a notch in terms
of our level of commitment to the kids."
The 2008 team currently includes twelve juniors who will begin training
in Boulder this winter for the upcoming cycling season. The first team
camp will be held in Phoenix, Arizona for a week in February with additional
clinics and weekly rides to follow. Tokyo Joe's Junior Development Team
will compete in a full schedule of Mountain States Cup races, as well
as the USA Cycling Mountain Bike National Calendar of Events.
Boulder native Chloe Forsman who is a past junior and current U23 and
collegiate national champion is among those who have come through the
Tokyo Joe's program.
Gravity riders to converge in Nevada over St. Patty's weekend
Gravity riders will gather on Saint Patrick's Day weekend in Boulder
City, Nevada, at the Bootleg Canyon for downhill and super D competitions
plus a street party.
Event promoter Dave Collins, of Crash Innovations, has put together a
package of promotions, races and events to kick off the gravity season.
"Many industry members will remember the impact that the old Cactus
Cup races had on the beginning of the season back in the day," states
Collins. "We are going to re-create that vibe for the gravity crowd,
right here on the incredible trails at Bootleg Canyon."
Boulder City is widely known as the home of the Interbike Outdoor Demo
held each autumn.
(All rights reserved/Copyright Future Publishing Limited 2008)