MTB news & racing round-up for October 9, 2008
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Edited by Sue George
Winners crowned in final marathon World Cup
By Sue George
Petra Henzi (Fisher BMC)
Photo ©: Armin M. Küstenbrück
Colombian Hector Leonardo Paez Leon (Gewiss Bianchi) and Swiss Petra
Henzi (Fischer-BMC) won the second of the two 2008 UCI Marathon World
Cups last weekend in Ornans, France. Racers battled muddy conditions after
days of rain prior to the event. The race was not only the final marathon
World Cup of the season, but the final one in general as the UCI has not
scheduled any marathon World Cups for 2009.
Leonardo Paez Leon escaped initially with a small group of riders and
then rode off the front for a solo win over the 83km of the race. Just
over two minutes behind him was Lukas Buchli followed by Karl Platt (TBS),
Alban Lakata (Dolphin-Trek MTB Team) and Urs Huber.
"In different places, we sank up to our hubs in mud," said Team
Alb Gold's Hannes Genz, who finished ninth.
Leonardo Paez Leon's performance was good enough to give him the World
Cup overall title with 390 points. Thomas Dietsch (Gewiss Bianchi), who
won round one in Turkey this spring, took second with 370 points, and
Lakata finished third with 350 points.
In the women's 60km race, Henzi had a similar winning margin over Esther
Süss. Blaza Kelmencic (Giant Italia) finished third with Sabrina Enaux
(Team Lapierre International) in fourth and Michela Benzoni in fifth.
Round one winner Pia Sundstedt was named World Cup overall champion with
380 points. Süss claimed second with 360 points and Klemencic earned third
with 310 points.
By virtue of being the top-placed French racers, Dietsch and Enaux were
also crowned French national marathon champions.
The race in Ornans was the last chance for marathoners to claim a World
Cup win. "The UCI will discontinue World Cup Marathon for 2009,"
said UCI spokesperson Enrico Carpani to Cyclingnews. "The
current format doesn't meet our original concept, which aimed to attract
mass participation with popular and elite riders competing side by side.
We are currently looking into alternative ideas which will satisfy our
hopes for the future of this discipline."
Racing will continue this coming weekend in France, with the popular
Roc d'Azur race October 10-12.
See Cyclingnews' full coverage of the final
marathon World Cup.
24 Hours of Moab draws strongest field
Chris Eatough is a favorite for
the 24 Hours of Moab
Photo ©: Sven Martin
The 2008 24-hour racing season will largely come to an end for North
Americans with the 24 hours of Moab on October 11-12 in Utah. The final
round of the 24 Hour National Points Series, run by Granny Gear Productions,
is also going by the name of the Galactic Championships.
Among the dirt warriors assembling to do battle in the solo men's category
are two-time Olympian and 2003 winner Tinker Juarez (Cannodale-MonaVie),
defending champion Chris Eatough (Trek VW), and an on-form Josh Tostado
Eatough and Tostado made history recently with their gruelling performance
at the 24 Hours of Nine Mile.
Tostado led the race for 18 laps, only to be passed and defeated by Eatough,
who hit the front two laps from the end and won by a mere 16 minutes.
Eatough is under no illusions about the task ahead. "Nine Mile
was a tough race, and Tostado pushed me hard the whole way. There are
going to be lots of strong riders and good competitors at Moab. Tinker,
for one, has been having a very successful year."
Tostado will arrive in Moab hungry for revenge. Last year at Moab he
never hit full warp speed, and quit the race early. This year he will
be looking to earn the title.
Juarez is pleased to be back at Moab, and expressed excitement about
how many people from the MonaVie Cannondale team will be there. A two-time
Olympian, Juarez can be counted on to get in the middle of any Tostado/Eatough
"I'm hoping for a good race weekend," said Juarez. "With
Eatough and Tostado coming out, it should be a good battle."
This will be the first time all three are competing against each other
at the same time.
One dark-horse rider who could well mix it up with these front-runners
is 24 hour newcomer Eric Sullivan. Known as a successful adventure racer,
ski endurance athlete and erstwhile bar-room pugilist, "Sullie"
is looking a breakout ride that will prove him as a new star in the discipline.
Rob Lichtenwalner is setting his gyroscopes on the National Point Series
(NPW). The overall win would be his second in a row if he clinches it.
In the women's race, Pua Suwiki (Ellsworth) will beam in with the sole
intention of claiming the solo women's galactic title. After beating several
cross country pros to win the American Mountain Classic, and finishing
fifth overall in the National Mountain Bike Series, Sawicki looks a worthy
challenger for the defending champion, Jari Kirkland, whose result last
year was good enough to take second place in the solo men's race behind
Kirkland, 32, has distinguished herself as an adventurer racer in recent
years, and in her college years was an All-American swimmer. This will
be the first time the two have gone head-to-head in a 24-hour race.
For the women's series win, look for Liz Baumgardt-Kays attempting to
claim her first 24-hour race victory. With series leader Namrita O'Dea
unlikely to attend following the sudden withdrawal of her sponsor, Baumgardt-Kays
is virtually certain to win the series.
4,000 mountain biker racers, support crew and fans are expected to populate
tent city four the 14th edition of the race. 400 teams will compete on
the 15-mile track that winds through the foreboding and beautiful high-desert
English & Beck victorious in Yellomundee
Photo ©: Sportograf
The Paddock Club at the Yellomundee Regional Park was buzzing with excitement
on Sunday morning, with riders, spectators and race supporters awaiting
the qualifying rounds, kicking off Rocky Trail Entertainment's MTB
Grand Prix 2008. The new racing concept required every racer to complete
a short qualifying "hot lap" to secure their position in the
starting grid of the six-hour race that was to follow.
Jason English took out the first place in the MTB Grand Prix in the solo
male category, after qualifying for Pole Position, with a total number
of 17 laps on the 8.08km long track. With 13 laps, Craig Armour came in
second overall in the race, after starting with a 30 second penalty in
the starting grid. Another Sydney-sider, Brad Hawthorne came third after
catching up to the leaders from his sixth place in the qualifying.
The women's category was dominated by Sydney's Anna Beck - after coming
second in the qualifying rounds, she overtook Joanne Fox and secured the
first place with 12 completed laps. Fox came in second place with eight
laps in front of Belinda Blackhall who completed five laps.
Registration open & course info revealed for Alps Epic
Registration for the new Alps Epic in Australia on March 15-19, 2009,
is open and beginning to fill. The total number of entries, 250, has been
limited to ensure minimal impact on the fragile environment that the course
traverses. The event is 10% full, with a sellout expected by the early
bird entry deadline of December 1.
Organizers just released course information for the six-stage, five-day
event. "The beauty of this format of mountain bike racing is that
we have been able design the course around the best mountain bike tracks
in the area. This has enabled us to keep the stages relatively short allowing
plenty of time to explore this gorgeous part of the country," said
Craig Bycroft, course designer. The race will cover 200km with 99% of
it on dirt.
Stage four (from Nimmo to Island Bend) has been kept relatively short
to allow riders and their support crews time to ride or walk to the top
of Australia via a hike up Mount Kosciuszko.
The race is offering a unique category, the relay pair. This category
is designed for riders who would like to share the experience of the event
with their team mate. This makes it a good category for school teams and
also for couples who may be bringing their family along - one rides, the
other on family duty. Some of the shorter stages will allow both relay
pair riders to complete the stage if they choose.
For more information, visit www.alpsepic.com.au.
Gunn-Rita Diary: Busy days at home
Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa (Multivan
Photo ©: Dave McElwaine
Finally back on Norwegian soil again, and it feels wonderful! It wasn't
quite as wonderful to have to cut out all competitions before the end
of the season because of damage after the crashes in Beijing, but my body
is now totally healed and I'm back in full training again.
Exactly a month has passed since we left for home from Eurobike and moved
straight into a new house designed and built by KleppHus. After consistent
travelling throughout the past six months, it felt almost unreal to be
Since we had only taken one bed with us from our old apartment, it was
rather empty here for the first weeks. Loads of space - very unusual for
us who are used to hotel rooms where we barely have space for a suitcase
and a bike next to the bed. We still don't have all that much furniture,
but most of the contents of boxes and various equipment is in place and
some more furniture has been ordered.
We've had some very busy days since we got home. Much of the time has
been used for negotiations and bargaining on the telephone and on email.
We're still discussing with various professional cycling teams about sponsorship
for the period leading up to the Olympics in London in 2012, and nothing
has been signed yet. I've also had some meetings with possible sponsors,
and during the coming two weeks will meet with our present personal sponsors
to discuss a possible future together.
Read the complete
Equal purse offered for Wigwam Mountain Bike Challenge
The 2008 edition of the Wigwam Mountain Bike Challenge, a cross country
race hosted by the Sheboygan FAT KATS will be held on October 12 in Sheboygan,
New for 2008, men and women will receive an equal share of the prize
purse for the top five places. Regular payouts for the remaining top 10
will be based off the Wisconsin Off Road Series (WORS) standard payout
Returning to the race will be hole shot primes in which all classes will
have the opportunity to receive a cash payout for being the first, second
or third across a line setup 500 yards up the trail from the start. Also
returning will be the Equalizer hill prime, which rewards riders with
a US$5 bill for making it up the dreaded 20 yard Equalizer headwall that
leads into the Sheboygan Quarry.
For more information, visit www.fatkats.org.
New fundraiser for Llanes
A new raffle and auction fundraiser is being held for Tara Llanes, a
gravity racer who was paralyzed in a crash during a race near the end
of the 2007 season. Llanes is having her next surgery in November to relieve
Entries for the raffle cost US$5 and all proceeds will go directly to
the Tara Llanes "Road to Recovery" Fund. Mail entries to Pinned
MTB Magazine, Attn: Tara's Fundraiser, 316 West Mission Ave, Suite 117,
Escondido, California, 92025 USA or send payment via Paypal to JDylanDean@cox.net
with a subject of "Re: Tara's Fundraiser".
An Ebay auction will also start October 8, with both contests ending
on October 18. For more information, contact Dylan Dean at 760.443.3344.
Donated items for the raffle and auction include complete bicycles, forks,
Anneke Beerten's World Cup 4X leader's jersey, Andrew Neethlings 2006
4X race bike and a drawing by Haro Bikes founder Bob Haro.
Tour of Durango postponed
The Tour of Durango, scheduled for October 12, has been postponed until
Summer 2009 in order to expand the event. The mountain bike/run/hiking
event is a fund-raiser for Trails 2000 and the Southwest Conservation
Corps. Trails 2000, a nonprofit formed almost twenty years ago that is
responsible for building and maintaining the trails in and around Durango.
The Southwest Conservation Corps employs and trains young people and completes
conservation projects on public lands.
With support from title sponsor Alpine Bank, the event was ready to go
on Sunday, October 12 but the event committee was presented with three
opportunities to expand the scope and nature of the Tour of Durango. It
decided kicking off a first-year event with even more gusto and partners
would be worth waiting for.
"We realized that the event as it was originally proposed was going
to get us just part of the way to where we want to be, which is providing
an event the injects new energy to the Durango mountain bike and running
scenes," said event director Jeff Frost.
The plans for next year are to partner with an existing event and bring
a lot of visitors into Durango for a much larger-scale happening that
could add multi-day multi day mountain bike and trail running opportunities.
"With continued strong support from event partners and sponsors
Alpine Bank, Carvers Brewing Company, The Durango Herald, Studio 21, The
Point, Trails 2000, and the Southwest Conservation Corps on board for
the future, the 2009 event is in great shape," said Beth Drum, marketing
director for Alpine Bank.
All registered 2008 participants have been contacted and their entry
fees will be refunded.
(All rights reserved/Copyright Future Publishing Limited 2008)