MTB news & racing round-up for July 25, 2008
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Edited by Sue George
World Cup racing resumes at Mont-Sainte-Anne
By Sue George
American Adam Craig (Giant) at
last year's Mont-Sainte-Anne World Cup
Photo ©: PhotoSport International
After more than a month off the World Cup Circuit, racers will return
for the next round in Mont-Sainte-Anne, Quebec, Canada. For cross country
racers, it will be round six and for gravity racers, round four. Mont-Sainte-Anne
is just 40km from Quebec City, which just celebrated earlier this month
the 400th anniversary of its founding by Samuel de Champlain.
Although a North American World Cup entails extra travel for racers
from Europe, many will make the trip, especially with the next World Cup
in Bromont, Quebec one week later.
The last round of the World Cup was contested in Fort William, Scotland,
the first week of June. During the break in the World Cup schedule, racers
have been busy at the World Championships in Val di Sole, Italy, and many
have also been contesting their national championships, too.
Mont-Sainte-Anne is the only venue to have hosted either a World Cup
or World Championship every year since the UCI's first mountain bike calendar
in 1991. It will again host the World Championships in 2010. It is part
of a three-week festival known as Velirium, which also includes the Canadian
National Championships and Quebec Cup racing. More than 2,500 athletes
are expected to compete.
Rafael Alvarez De Lara Lu (Spain)
Photo ©: Rob Jones
Racing action will kick off with the 4X. Riders will qualify on Friday
evening and compete in the finals on Saturday evening. World champions
Melissa Buhl and Rafael Alvarez De Lara Luca are the clear favourites
going into the race.
In the women's 4X race, American Buhl will see tough challenge from Dutch
woman Anneke Beerten, who is ranked number one in the world, Austrian
Anita Molcik and Japan's Mio Suemesa. Not yet on the start list, Czech's
Jana Horakova could also challenge for a medal. And wouldn't be a surprise
if some downhill stars like Sabrina Jonnier decided to also race the 4X.
On the men's side Spaniard Alvarez de Lara Luca will face France's young
Romain Saladin, Dutchman Joost Wichman and Germany's Guido Tschugg. Former
World Champion and American Brian Lopes is believed to be skipping this
round while attending the Kenda Festival in Massachusetts.
Gravity racers will see plenty of action Saturday as downhillers will
undertake qualifying and finals in the same day on a 3.1km course dropping
650m. The Atherton siblings Gee and Rachel will be looking to repeat their
World Championship-winning performances. They sit first and second respectively
in the men's and women's world rankings.
Unlike the gravity disciplines, many of the cross country contenders
will have their sights firmly set on the Olympic Games in Beijing, China,
next month. That means some of the fastest racers will not be focused
on a top result at Mont-Sainte-Anne as a top priority goal, but no doubt
many of them will be in fine form with just a few weeks to go before the
big day in China. There will also be a collection of racers not going
to the Olympics who will be giving it 100% for a chance at a World Cup
North Americans historically do better in the Canadian World Cups than
the European World Cups, so look out for a possible surprise break-out
or even career-best World Cup performance from a young Canadian or American
Cross country racers will compete on a 6.3km course with three major
climbs and several smaller ones. Each lap begins with a substantial climb
to separate the strong from the not-so-strong.
the complete preview of all events, including 4X, downhill and cross
country and stay tuned to Cyclingnews for full coverage of the
Mont-Sainte-Anne World Cup all weekend.
Wilderness 101 takes over central Pennsylvania for NUE series fifth
By Harlan Price
Brandon Draugelis (Bear Naked Cannondale)
racing the 2007 Wilderness 101
Photo ©: Chris Scott
The National Ultra Endurance (NUE) Series returns to the East coast and
its lower elevations after sending riders into the clouds at the Breckenridge
100 last weekend. The eighth annual Wilderness 101 will run this weekend
on Saturday, July 26, out of the sleepy town park of Coburn, Pennsylvania.
More racers than ever are signed on to tackle the hills and singletrack
of the Rothrock and Bald Eagle State Forests.
More than three hundred racers will line up to participate in the longest-running
mountain bike 100 miler in the country. First run in 1991, the "101"
helped establish the standard by which most 100 milers are judged. Promoter
Chris Scott in conjunction with Mt. Nittany Wheelworks have been running
the race since 2001 on mostly the same single loop course, but this year
riders can expect slight route alterations due to safety concerns and
Four of the top five men contending for the NUE series win will be on
the start line saddled up next to three of the top women. Jeff Schalk
(Trek / VW) is the man dominating the series in his first full year on
the circuit. He has effectively cut previous series champions Chris Eatough
(Trek / VW) and Harlan Price (IFracing.org) from the top podium spot and
only has to continue his winning way in one more of the four remaining
races to secure the overall win.
The question is whether Eatough's and Price's course knowledge will be
an advantage over Schalk's strength. Michigan riders Michael Simonson
(Trek / VW) and Christian Tanguy (American Bicycle and Fitness), currently
fifth in the series, will also be on hand to strengthen their series positions.
Missing from the equation will be current NUE series second place Evan
Plews (Scott/ Capitol Subaru) and Breckenridge 100 winner Josh Tostado.
Betsy Shogren won the 2007 "101"
Photo ©: Chris Scott
In the women's race, expect to see series leader Cheryl Sornson (Trek
VW) and local Michelle Stopper (Visit PA) go toe to toe. Last year's series
winner Carey Lowery (Outdoor Store) will also be on hand to keep everyone
worried. Unsure of her racing status is last year's 101 winner Betsy Shogren
(Cannondale/ Sobe), who recently suffered a wrist injury. If she can ride,
the rest of the field will be marking her moves. The women's NUE series
podium is still very much up in the air - waiting for someone to emerge
as a dominate force. If no one steps up at the 101, the outcome may remain
unknown until the final race of the series.
Among the singlespeeders, Dejay Birtch (Niner) will be trying to hold
on to his first place position, while his travel partner John "Fuzzy"
Myline (Shoair/Rock N' Road/Niner) will be looking to swoop in on his
spot. Don't be surprised to see newly crowned Semi-pro National Champion
and Pennsylvania resident Weston Schempf (Visit PA) in there dicing it
up with the series leaders for the singlespeed win.
Perhaps the most inspirational of the racers will be the master's men
with their own battle to prove age is of no matter. Previous series winner
John Majors (Griffin Interior) has inspired a new onslaught on elder statesmen
to come out to challenge. Greg Turner and Scott Root are making short
work of the top two positions, but consistency is the name of the game
and those with the experience understand this key element to the game.
Most riders will camp in the quaint Coburn city park, which doubles
as the start and finish of the single-lap race. Racers will be treated
to dinner and beer the night after the race underneath the pavilion.
Last year's event
was won by Jeremiah Bishop and Betsy Shogren.
2008 Hall of Fame inductees selected
The Mountain Bike Hall of Fame & Museum in Crested Butte, Colorado,
named its 2008 inductees: mountain biking's earliest pioneer John Finley
Scott, East coast mountain bike advocate Philip Keyes, Oakley's mountain
bike go-to guy Steve Blick, suspension pioneer and bicycle designer Bob
Girvin and pro racers Brian Lopes and Nat Ross.
The new members will be inducted on Wednesday, September 24 at 6:00 pm
in a ceremony held during the Interbike Trade Show at the Sand's Expo
and Convention Center immediately following the first day of the indoor
show. All Interbike attendees and the public are invited.
The first ten people were inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1988 and
each year since, three to seven more have been selected. The 2008 selections
bring the number of Hall of Fame inductees to 107 individuals plus four
24 hour racers head to Canmore
Twenty-four hour racers will head to the Canmore Nordic Center in the
Rocky Mountains of Canada for the 24 hours of Adrenalin World Championships
this weekend on July 26-27. For its 10th edition, the championship race
is returning to its roots - the site of the first championship event.
200 solo racers and 1,450 team racers are expected to compete on a fan-friendly,
athlete-challenging figure-eight course.
Among those registered are Tinker Juarez (Monaviecannondale.com), Gary
Buxton (Rebound), Craig Peacock (Flight Center), Leighton Poidevin (Banff
Lodging Co.), Johnny Waddell (Santa Cruz Syndicate), Gavin Rossouw (Specialized),
Wendy Skean (Hammer Nutrition) and Margie Smith (Wilson Mountain Sports.
Zoli wins third Italian title
Giant Italia's Yader Zoli won his third Italian national cross country
title in Grotte di Castro, Italy, last weekend.
On the opening lap, Zoli was joined by five others. By the second lap,
the leader were down to just three including Zoli, Andrea Tiberi, and
Johnny Cattaneo. Tiberi often set the pace, but it was Zoli who went off
the front for a solo win. It was his third consecutive national title.
Cattaneo finished second and Tiberi ended up third.
Marco Aurelio Fontana and Tony Longo were among those afflicted by hot
weather and technical problems. Fontana pulled out at the halfway point.
He and Zoli will represent Italy at the Olympic Games next month.
Osl sisters go one-two in Austria
Team Ghost International's Elisabeth Osl won the Austrian national cross
country championships last weekend in a time of 1'30"41. It was her
third national title, taken on seven laps of a 3.6 km race run under humid
conditions. Her sister Maria Osl finished second. The sisters will head
to Canada for the World Cups the next two weekends in Mont-Sainte-Anne
Gunn-Rita Dahle FlesjŚ diary: Ready for Canadian World Cups
Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa
Photo ©: Kenneth and Gunn-Rita Dahle FlesjŚ
The final test for me before the Olympics will be two World Cup races
here in Canada. There are amazingly many different races and programs
to take part in during the final preparation period before the Olympics,
but most of my competitors will be taking part here at Mt. Sainte Anne
in a few days from now.
We've been here for almost a week already, and are gradually beginning
to get used to the high humidity and the time difference of six hours.
I usually wake up early in the morning anyway, but it's been rather too
early these first few days here. It's getting better though. We've had
varying weather conditions this first week with rain in the afternoons.
Today the weather is reasonably good with occasional glimpses of sun.
The Canadian National Championships were held here at Mt Sainte Anne
yesterday, so we were able to ride two laps before the first start at
9:00 a.m. Today it's the Quebec Cup first, and then there'll be a cross
country race this afternoon with only us two taking part. It's going to
be incredibly tough because I feel quite worn out from all the training,
so it's not going to be easy to beat Kenneth today.
We've been training very well these past two weeks, with lots of intervals
and great long distance stints, so my body is feeling a little heavy now.
I recovered quickly after the World Championship triumph, which was a
good thing. From tomorrow, I'm focussing on relaxed training and then
it's back to a standard World Cup week regarding number of hours and intensity
of the training.
Read the complete
More carbon and new shocks for 2009 Trek Fuel EX
By John Stevenson, BikeRadar.com
Trek's new Fuel EX 9.9
Photo ©: Geoff Waugh
Trek Bicycles unveiled the 2009 version of its Fuel EX line of trail
mountain bikes in Durango, Colorado, with an all-new full-carbon bike
headlining a revamped range that Trek says is lighter and stiffer than
its predecessors. Trek mountain bike product manager John Riley explained
that the new carbon bike sprung from an effort to meld the stiffness of
previous aluminum Fuel EXes with the light weight of the 2008 carbon bike
- and to beat the weight of previous versions.
Aimed at general mountain biking and in particular endurance racing,
the top-of-the-line 2009 Fuel EX 9.9 has a claimed weight of 10.66kg (23.5lb),
on a 2.2kg (4.96lb) frame (with shock).
Several new technologies have helped get the bike under 24lb such as
the 'net moulding' technique borrowed from the new
Madone that directly integrates bearing seats for the suspension pivots
and 95mm-wide BB95 bottom bracket shell.
Net moulding saves weight by eliminating aluminium hard points but the
BB95 design also allows for a larger down tube, stiffening the frame against
lateral and torsional flex. At the front end, Trek's E2 head tube with
1 1/2in lower bearing also provides more space for a big down tube. The
practical upshot is a 28 percent stiffer frame on Trek's axle to axle
test, Riley said.
Top-end Fuels also get an OCLV moulded carbon link instead of the previous
Fuel's magnesium unit which saves 35g. The total upshot is that the 2008
carbon frame weighed 2450g; the 2009 is down to 2,238g.
the complete review and stay tuned for an upcoming review of the all-new
Top Fuel cross-country racer.
NorCal High School MTB Racing League hiring
The California-based NorCal High School Mountain Bike Racing League announced
two new job openings. The organization is hiring an Assistant Executive
Director (salary US$45,000 plus benefits) and an Administrative Assistant
(salary $30,000 plus benefits). Submit resume with cover letter, both
in pdf format, to Vanessa Hauswald at firstname.lastname@example.org. Cover
letter should describe how this job fits in with your current career path.
For more information, visit www.norcalmtb.org/temporary/asst_dir.pdf and
Watch Valley Cup to Tchérattes
The seventh round of the Watch Valley Bike Cup heads to Tchérattes
on Saturday. With two consecutive victories in the Watch Valley Bike Cup,
Caroline Scheffel Barth will try for a third in Tchérattes. She
will be challenged by second place in the standings, team-mate Gabrielle
Mosset. New Zealand's Nicole Swain will also be on hand to do battle.
For the men, the overall championship remains open. Except for the Arnon
Bike race won by Nicolas Rohrbach, Nicolas Lüthi and Joris Boillat
have shared the other wins. Boillat will be looking to avoid his misadventure
of last year when he bonked just a short way from the finish. For more
information, visit www.tcherattes.ch.
(All rights reserved/Copyright Future Publishing Limited 2008)