MTB news & racing round-up for February 2, 2006
Edited by Steve Medcroft
Welcome to our regular roundup of what's happening in MTB and Cyclo-cross. Feel free to send feedback, news and gossip to firstname.lastname@example.org
Jongewaard takes Wildside crown
Former Australian cross country champion and Commonwealth Games contender,
Chris Jongewaard from South Australia, has taken out the 2006 Wildside
MTB in convincing style after completing the last manic stage along Ocean
Beach at Strahan.
After the event a triumphant and relieved Jongewaard took the Wildside crown from Taberlay, its only owner to date. "The only guy to win it is Sid so it's pretty special, to get up in the Wildside. I'm stoked," he said.
For the rest of 2006 Wildside MTB Stage Race final stage race report, click here.
NZ National Championships; Leuchs aims for Gold
French-based Dunedin cross country rider Kashi Leuchs achieved his first of three goals in Nelson on Sunday by winning the New Zealand National Mountain Biking cross country Championship title. Leuchs, who lists the National, Oceania and Commonwealth titles as his key goals before heading back to the World Cup circuit in April, got off to a flying a start and did not look back.
Meanwhile the scorching conditions, big crowds, high tension and fast times combined to make last weekend's National Downhill and Cross Country Mountain Bike Championships a spectacular weekend of mountain biking all round.
The Downhill National Championship on Saturday produced fast times on the 2.5 km course, with team mates Nathan Rankin and Glenn Haden taking first and second respectively with less than a second between them. Local rider Kieran Bennett (Nelson) was third.
The elite women's field was lacking former world champions Vanessa Quin and Scarlett Hagan but did see Auckland rider Jennifer Mackgill produce a fast time to take the women's title.For brief results and the full report, click here.
Aussie National Mountain Cross Series winners
Now that all the races are in the books, MTBA announced the winners of the Australian National Mountain Cross Championship Series this week. The series winner for elite men is Luke Strom (248pts) just ahead of the winner of the Sydney Olympic park round 1, Alex Lloyd (225pts) and in third place is Dennis Beare (188pts). Luke finished 10th overall in last year's NORBA series with several top ten results. He's been working with Stéphane Girard (the French coach of Villoux, Minnaar etc.) and they decided together that Luke should now focus on MX - and the results show.
In open women, the clear leader is Emma McNaughton (360pts) over ACT rider Claire Whiteman (185pts) and Sarsha McGowan (175pts).
Tom Patton had a very consistent season, and as a result took out the Junior men class on 233 points followed by Ashley Grundy (176pts) and Graeme Mudd (145pts).
And lastly, but by no means the least, Randal Huntington was a close winner of the sport men class on 245 points just in front of James Collins (210pts) and in 3rd place Bruce Watman (130pts).
Goldman crowned winner at The Gathering
Santa Cruz Syndicate's Jamie Goldman was on fire at The Gathering, a dirt jump and skatepark competition held January 27th-28th in Renton, Washington, USA. Goldman (Santa Cruz, SRAM, Rock Shox) won the overall by earning third in the dirt jump competition and fifth in the skatepark; the only rider to podium in both events.
Spectators packed the stadium on Friday night to watch the dirt jump competition. Kurt Voreis (in attendance but not competing due to an ankle in jury) had a lot to say about the event. "The bleachers were filled with about 500 people who paid $15.00 a pop for both nights to be there, which is pretty unbelievable in the mountain bike world for a dirt jump/skatepark comp. A few BMX'ers showed up. Legend Leigh Ramsdell came out and was thoroughly impressed. Ruel Erickson throwing down a decade over the second set had a good outing, but wasn't strong enough for the mountain bike contingent. Finals actually happened in the practice before the finals. Some of the stuff getting thrown down in hopes to pull off a new trick for the final was sick. Those guys were going insane!"
The dream tricks didn't prevail this night. It was all the stylish tricks: 360's, x-ups, cans, that were taken higher and more stylish which brought it to a new level."
Pro Dirt Finals top five
1 Darren Berrecloth
The skatepark comp was held Saturday night. Voreis said, "The four man jam sessions moved things along efficiently. The six-minute format allows the rider to take a break while another rider takes a line. This gives them a chance to perfect their line and look for a possible new line while others are search for theirs. The riders end up completing four or more runs each in a six-minute jam session."
Goldman, who placed fifth, preferred the format over a single run saying, "I was stoked about how the jam session went. It made you get super psyched about what other guys were doing and made you want to try other stuff. It was like the dirt jump comp going off, how crazy it was! I flipped the spine and did a flip, 1-footed x-up on the spine, things I had never done before. I never flipped a spine until this comp,"
Pro Park Finals top five
1 Phil Sundbaum (3-whipped a box)
World championship venues announced
After a meeting of the UCI Management Committee in Kleve, Germany, venues for various world championship events for the next 2-3 years were awarded. After the successful Revolution series of track meetings were once again popular in 2005, Manchester will host the 2008 track world championships. The 2007 junior world championships will be held in Aguascalientes, Mexico, with the 2008 event to be held in Cape Town, South Africa. The 2008 MTB marathon world championships were awarded to the Italian city of Villabassa while the track masters world championships for the years 2007-09 will be staged in Sydney, Australia. Finally, the cyclo-cross masters world championships for 2007-09 were awarded to the Belgian city of Mol.
UCI announces Mountain Bike World Cup Organiser's Trophy
The UCI awarded it's Organiser's Cup this week; an award to recognize the best World Cup venues for the 2005 season.
In the Cross Country, Houffalize, Belgium was awarded the top trophy with Spa Francorchamps, Belgium second and Madrid, Spain third. In Downhill, Scotland's Fort William got the nod and Balneario Cambriu, Brazil and Mont Sainte-Anne the honourable mentions.
MTB World Cup registration open
USA Cycling announced that it is processing UCI World Cup registration applications for U.S. mountain bikers this week. Downhill and 4-Cross registrants no longer need any UCI points to register for a mountain bike World Cup. A rider must have a valid international license and be a U.S. citizen to enter a race through USA Cycling. Registration forms and procedures for the 2006 UCI Mountain Bike World Cups can be accessed through the links below.
Forms should be faxed to Marlis Johnson at (719) 866-4764 or mailed to:
No drops allowed in NORBA Marathon Series
Organiser of the U.S. based National Off-Road Bicycling National Mountain Bike Series announced the series rules and regulations this week. One significant change in the 2006 series over the 2005 series is the handling of event 'drops'; a rule that allows a racer to drop a specific of their results from a season (typically one race per season).
Changes for the 2006 series include the assignment of no drops in the marathon or Super D series (compared to one drop in the 2005). Which means contenders for the marathon overall title will need to attend all five races in the series. All five races are in West Coast venues, which puts a burden on East Coast athletes, but makes it a little simpler for West Coast racers to afford the travel to each event.
Two drops will be allowed in both the Mountain Cross and Downhill series. One in the cross-country and short-track endurance series. In each series that allows a drop, the National Mountain Bike Series finals cannot be used as the dropped race.
The 2006 NORBA Marathon Series race schedule
March 24, Nova Desert Classic, Phoenix, AZ
For complete and current series rules, check out the NORBA Nationals Web site.
'Race under the Sun' offers a warm season start
Organisers of the 'Race under the Sun' a new MTB race in Cyprus, March 19, 2006 are making final preparations for what promises to be a world-class event. Thomas Frischknecht's Swisspower team has recently confirmed its participation in the event which will take place in the town of Limassol/Yermasoyia. The Swiss outfit will be sending three riders, including Frischknecht, along with Nino Schurter and Till Marx.
Organisers hope that the Race under the Sun will be a good test for elite riders before the first World Cup round in Curacao two weeks later, April 1-2. The similarity of the two climates during March will offer riders who train and race in Cyprus the chance to acclimatise to the warm conditions also present in Curacao.
Florida MTB stage race planned for April
Josh Van Cleef, Director of Florida mountain bike stage race, the Santos Triple Bypass, announced that the 2006 event will take place April 22 and 23, 2006, in Belleview, Florida, USA.
The three stage event will be open to all NORBA (National Off-Road Bicycling Association) categories. Final awards will be based on traditional stage race timing, where the lowest combined time from all three stages determines the winner.
Stages 1 and 2 will be held on Saturday, April 22. Stage 1 will be a circuit race contested on a 1.5 mile cross-country course. Stage 2 will be the 8.5 mile Cytomax Time Trial. Stage 3, April 23, is Florida's first Marathon race. Pro and Expert classes will complete approximately 62 miles (100k) of backcountry racing. Sport and Beginner classes will run shortened 40- and 20- mile stages, respectively.
Proceeds from the race will benefit the Ocala Mountain Bike Association, who built and maintains the Santos Trails. Complete details are available now at http://www.mtbstagerace.com.
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