MTB news & racing round-up for July 2, 2008
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Edited by Sue George
Nash powers to first NMBS cross country win
By Dave McElwaine in Park City, Utah
Katerina Nash (Luna Women's MTB)
Photo ©: Dave McElwaine
Katerina Nash (Luna Women's MTB), a frequent visitor to the second step
on the podium, finally beat out her powerful Luna team-mates to win her
first National Mountain Bike Series (NMBS) cross
country race in Deer Valley, Utah. Georgia Gould (Luna Women's MTB)
rode in third position for much of the race, but nailed down second place
with a massive surge on the last lap.
"I've been riding well," said Nash. "I just tried to be patient. I was
climbing well and it just all came together. It was a good day.
"Catherine let me take the lead on a downhill and she made a small mistake
[behind me]," she added. "From that point on I just tried not to make
Catherine Pendrel (Luna Women's MTB) led for much of the race, but finished
third after over-shooting a corner on a fast descent. The Luna Women are
the top ranked women's team in the world, due to strong World Cup performances
"On the climb after the feed zone it started breaking up and Katerina
and I were rolling off the front," said Pendrel. "I was feeling good so
I went to the front on the climb and was going to let Katerina lead on
the descent because she was descending better than me.
"I actually made a mistake on the descent," she added. "I was hoping
to put in a strong last lap but Georgia put in a stronger last lap."
Many of the racers, including the Luna squad, traveled back from the
World Championships in Italy this week. It was uncertain how everyone
would respond to racing so soon. The question was answered in the few
seconds of the race as Pendrel and Gould shot to the front and led the
entire field up the mountain in a side-by-side effort.
For Nash, the Czech National Champion, the victory was sweet after some
disappointment this season. At the NMBS race in Fountain Hills she sustained
a knee injury that resulted in her narrowly missing out on a chance to
represent her country at the Olympic Games in Beijing, China this August.
With her win, Nash maintained her lead in the NMBS cross country series.
She also won the short
track the following day. The next round heads to Windham Mountain
in New York on July 12-13 for the only East Coast stop for the series
Trebon wins the hard way
Ryan Trebon (Kona) wins his first
Photo ©: Dave McElwaine
In the men's NMBS cross county race in Deer Valley, Utah, it appeared
that Ryan Trebon (Kona) was going backwards as a surging Jeremiah Bishop
(Trek/VW) passed him on the second lap. But Trebon came back and won the
race with superior climbing ability.
"I'd take time on Jeremiah on the climbs and then he'd catch me on the
descents," said Trebon. "I feel really comfortable on this bike [a 29er]
so I don't have as big a deficit on the descents. But Jeremiah still was
definitely going downhill faster."
Trebon's victory at Deer Valley was the first time a 29inch wheeled bike
has won a NMBS cross country race. There have been two previous wins by
Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Subaru/Gary Fisher) in short track and a time
Bishop, finishing second, raced his best race of the year, but in the
end could not hold off Trebon on the long climbs. Geoff Kabush (Maxxis),
who just returned from a good European racing campaign, was third but
never a factor in challenging for the win.
"I definitely stepped up to full gas," said Bishop. "I'm back and celebrated
when I crossed the line because I went for the win. I kind of just followed
my instincts and I attacked a little earlier than I thought I would [on
the second lap].
"I started to cramp on lap three and really felt it on the last lap,"
he added. "[Trebon] won the race on the virtue of a steady, strong race."
Horgan-Kobelski continued his streak of bad luck, first with a flat tire
that lost him at least eight positions. He recovered well and was moving
up when he broke a chain, which forced the rider to run his bike to the
finish and ride home in eighth place.
In the next day's short
track, Kabush played smart tactics to defeat Trebon for the win.
See Cyclingnews' full coverage of all the NMBS elite
and amateur races in Deer Valley, Utah.
Three of four US Olympic mountain bikers chosen
Todd Wells (USA).
Photo ©: Rob Jones
USA Cycling named three-quarters of its Olympic team on Tuesday including
Todd Wells, Adam Craig and Georgia Gould. One woman's spot remains to
Wells was the only men's automatic nomination by virtue of earning the
highest cumulative placing in his best three UCI Mountain Bike World Cup
events of 2008. His finishes included sixth in Vallnord, Andorra, 11th
in Houffalize, Belgium, and 13th in Fort William, Scotland. His placing
in Andorra was the best of any American male at the World Cup this year.
Craig joins Wells after being selected as a discretionary choice. Craig
was the only other American to finish in the top-ten at a World Cup this
season, with an eighth in Offenburg, Germany. He logged four total top
20 World Cup finishes including also Houffalize, Andorra and Fort William.
On the women's side, Gould was the only automatic nominee after she earned
the highest cumulative placing in her three best 2008 UCI Mountain Bike
World Cup performances. Gould logged dual fifth-place finishes in Houffalize
and Madrid. She also finished 11th at Fort William.
USA Cycling Director of Athletics and Team Leader for the Beijing squad,
Pat McDonough, called the American team "one of the strongest we've
had in recent history" and said the squad had medal-winning potential.
The remaining selection to the women's team will be announced by July
15. Mary McConneloug is considered by many to be the favorite candidate
by virtue of her standing as the second best American in the World Cup
standings thus far in 2008. McConneloug was the sole woman representing
the US at the 2004 Olympic Games.
Four Canadian Olympians selected
Marie-Helene Premont (Canada)
Photo ©: Rob Jones
The Canadian Cycling Association (CCA) announced its team of two men
and two women for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing in August: Marie-Hélène
Prémont, Catharine Pendrel, Geoff Kabush and Seamus McGrath. The
women and men will race August 22 and 23 respectively.
In mid-June, Prémont finished fourth at the World Championships
in Val di Sole, Italy. Showing her consistency on the international scene,
she also medalled at all five World Cup events this season so far. In
2004, she won silver at the Olympics in Athens.
"There's more attention on me than four years ago," said Prémont
according to the Canadian Cycling Association's website. "But I'm
prepared and I will go there to do the best I can. That's the approach
I had in Athens and I hope it'll work again this time too. But this year
I know what the Olympic Games are about and I think Ill be more
relaxed and more confident."
Her Olympic team-mate Pendrel finished sixth at the World Championships.
Pendrel raced last year's Test Event in Beijing and liked the course.
"It's physically demanding, there's absolutely no rest on it,"
The North American country will field two men with proven international
records. Although battling a recent cold at the World Championships, Kabush
placed as high as third in a World Cup round earlier this season while
McGrath claimed ninth at the Olympics four years ago.
Sean O'Donnel, the CCA's High Performance Manager, believes the team
has plenty of potential. "We go into Beijing with a strong chance
of earning at least one medal in both the men's and women's event. It's
a very experienced team and a very strong team and that bodes well for
Gujan and Saner triumph in Champéry
Martin Gujan and Marielle Saner won round
five of the Swisspower Cup in Champéry. The race took place
under fantastic, summery conditions on a technical course that saw many
changes in positions, crashes and mechanicals.
Gujan (Athleticum MTB Team) and Marco Aurelio Fontana (Hard Rock FRW)
dictated the pace at the front. At the beginning, Gujan's team-mate Mathias
Flückiger also played a role, but he later withdrew and did not finish
the race. Gion Manetsch (Athleticum MTB Team) was in third place after
the split was made on the second last lap. That's when Gujan got away
with Fontana and went on to a solo win in 1.46.46. Fontana ended up second
at 50 seconds while Manetsch finished third in 1.45. With his victory,
Gujan also took over the overall lead.
In the women's race, Marielle Saner Guinchard (Bikepark.ch / BMC) took
an unquestionable home victory with a time of 1.30.48. She was in the
front after lap one and never looked back. Behind her was second-placed
Maroussia Rusca (Scott Allianz Suisse), who would finish 59 seconds back,
and third placed Katrin Leumann (goldwurst-power / Sputnik) at two minutes.
The next round of the Swisspower Cup takes place in two weeks in Savognin
on July 12-13. See Cyclingnews' full coverage of round
five of the Swisspower Cup.
Jongewaard not selected for Olympics
Chris Jongewaard, one of Australia's top mountain bikers has been left
off the country's team for the Beijing Olympics over behavioural issues,
Cycling Australia announced Friday. The mountain bike spots were awarded
to Daniel McConnell and Dellys Starr.
While Jongewaard is the country's highest ranked rider, he was not considered
for the Games because he is facing charges over a hit-and-run incident
In February of 2007, Jongewaard had been celebrating the birthday of
his friend and training partner Matthew Rex when he hit Rex with his car.
Rex sustained head injuries and was temporarily placed in a coma, but
has since recovered.
"The committee believes it cannot in good faith nominate Chris Jongewaard,"
the Cycling Australia statement read. "We acknowledge he met the
performance criteria but nomination for selection in the Australian team
for the Olympic Games is based on more than results."
Jongewaard had until July 1 to file an appeal with final selections to
be determined on July 4.
Firecracker 50 to decide American marathon champions
The Firecracker 50 will host the USA Cycling Mountain Bike Marathon National
Championships on Friday, July 4, the Independence Day holiday in the US.
In its eighth year, the Breckenridge, Colorado, race is hosting the nationals
for the second consecutive year.
"The course was one of the best I've raced, with super fun singletrack
and challenging climbs," 2007 Marathon National Champion Shonny Vanlandingham
said to the Denver Post.
The race begins at 11 am, and racers will tackle two 25-mile loops with
a total of 10,800 feet of climbing. Given the high Rocky Mountains location
at more than 9,000 feet, the altitude is expected to play a role in the
Last year's event was
won by Shonny Vanlandingham (Luna Chix) and Jay Henry (Tokyo Joe's).
BC Bike diary: stage two's Dog Day
By Jon Posner
Somewhere in the middle of the
Photo ©: Jason Berry
I love it when a term can have two completely different meanings. Today
[stage two - ed.] was the dog day of the BC Bike Race.
We've all heard of the "dog days of summer" when it is so hot
you don't want to move, much less ride a 125 km stage of a mountain bike
race. Today the temperatures hovered around 34 degrees [degrees Celsius].
That's Canadian for 93 degrees [Fahrenheit]. That's a reeeeeal hot day
for these parts.
Have you seen 24 Solo? There's a great scene where the Aussie
Craig Gordon is talking about his racing strategy. He rides in "the
dog" or, the big ring of the crankset. In fact, we quote him all
the time from that scene..." It's in dog...eh...I say, 'Have you
got it in the dog?'" Today's stage consisted of 122 km of open gravel
logging road surfaces, with about 2.5 km of singletrack trail at the tail
end. It was really good trail. But the gravel road was a mind-numbing
five hour slog in the big ring at high speed with very little shelter
from the sun. I estimate we spent 90% of the day "in the dog".
The race started innocently enough, with a police escorted, rolling start
out of town. We must be a sight to see, our unruly mob of 450 or so brightly
clad lycra covered bike racers, about a city block's length and taking
up nearly the full width of the road. Most people pulled over to let us
go by and just watched with mouths agape, wondering just what is was they
Read the complete
diary for stage two. Or check out entries
from other stages of the BC Bike race. Jon Posner, Jason Berry, Chris
Eatough and Jeff Schalk are taking turns writing the diary.
Also see Cyclingnews' full stage-by-stage coverage of the BC
Teenage mountain biker mauled by bear
By Mark Appleton, Bikeradar.com
A teenaged girl competing in a 24-hour mountain bike event near Anchorage,
Alaska has been critically injured in a bear attack. The animal, believed
to have been a female Grizzly, struck in darkness at around 1.30am in
the town's Bicentennial Park yesterday morning, leaving the un-named victim
with bite injuries to her head, torso and thigh as well as a "sucking
chest wound." The latter typically occurs when an object penetrates
the body and punctures the lung cavity.
Medics, accompanied by shotgun-carrying police officers, entered the
park to retrieve the rider. According to the Alaska Daily News, she was
found by Peter Basinger, a fellow competitor on the Arctic Bicycle Club
event which began at noon local time on Saturday, using an 8 mile loop
of groomed trails. Basinger is said to have waited with the girl until
rescuers trekked the half mile into the forested park to reach them before
she was stretchered back to a waiting ambulance.
The teen, who according to some reports is just 14 years-old, underwent
surgery at the Providence Alaska Medical Center and is expected to survive
according a spokeswoman for the Anchorage Fire Department.
Gunn-Rita diary: Rough day at the worlds
Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa (Norway)
Photo ©: Rob Jones
A very demanding World Championship race track in 30 degrees (Celsius),
meant a really tough day at the office. Still, it was a valuable experience
with good feel and flow. An acceptable seventh place at this year's World
Championship is a step in the right direction.
A seventh place in a World Championship, seen against the backdrop of
my previous merits, certainly isn't an outstanding result in and of itself.
We work in order to make an impact at the very top of the world's elite,
and this will continue to be the case as long as I am a professional cyclist.
Yesterday's race was primarily an important training session during which
my machinery really got a run for its money, which in time will make us
Many were expecting a lot more of me yesterday, and I noticed a degree
of disappointment amongst people I spoke to after the seventh place. Kenneth
and I had both spoken openly about the fact that we weren't good enough
to take a medal at this championship, even with strong legs and a good
I lost most time to the best girls up the steepest climbs where sheer
strength is essential. That's exactly what we didn't get to train enough
through the winter, and it takes time to build up those qualities. For
this very reason, yesterday's race was a highly valuable session of training
which will doubtlessly pay off later on in the season.
Read the complete
(All rights reserved/Copyright Future Publishing Limited 2008)