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Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

MTB news & racing round-up for February 22, 2006

Edited by Steve Medcroft

Welcome to our regular roundup of what's happening in MTB. Feel free to send feedback, news and gossip to

Only six UCI MTB teams officially registered

The UCI announced the teams that have fulfilled the paperwork necessary to become fully-registered UCI Trade Teams for 2006. Surprisingly, the list only contains six team names:

M-C, Max Cursor,CZE
OBA, Team Orbea, ESP
PRT, Pro Race Team, FRA
MOJ, Mojo Suspension, GBR
TAG, Team Alb-Gold Mountainbike, GER
BPT, Team Tui, SUI

The UCI says that other candidate teams have submitted paperwork but not to the standard to be recognized yet and have extended the paperwork deadline to February 28th to give them time to get on board. Teams need to be registered with the UCI for their rider's team affiliations to be listed on official results in UCI sanctioned events.

Aussie National Series finale wrap-up

Dylan Cooper
Photo ©: Mikkeli Godfree
(Click for larger image)

Mountain bikers vying for both the Australian national series crown and for some final fitness before the Oceania Championships (which will be held on the 2006 World Championship course in Rotorua, NZ) and the Commonwealth Games took on the trails around Mt Feathertop in Mt. Buller last weekend.

It was an event filled with strong individual performances but at the end of the day, the weekend's results made no difference in the crowing of the overall series winners.

In cross country, Dylan Cooper ( and Dellys Starr (Cycle Edge) took the wins on the 20k course but didn't gain enough points in the overall series to knock Chris Jongewaard (Avanti-Rock Shox) or Emma Colson (Giant-Top Bike) off the top step of the series podium.

In downhill action, DH super-couple Sam Hill and Sabrina Jonnier (Iron Horse) dominated the racing, winning their categories convincingly. Hill and Jonnier are indeed a hot couple at the moment, each coming off silver medals in the World Championships (by under a second) last year and each able to pull out some spectacular riding at the drop of a hat. Both will now travel to Rotorua, New Zealand for the Oceania Championships (as will many of the Elite fields) to check out the course that will host the 2006 World Championships.

Jared Rando (Giant) and Claire Whiteman (Kona) both secured the DH series wins with solid second places.

For complete report, results and photos, please visit the cross-country and downhill pages respectively.

Australian MTB champ injured

Australian national mountain bike champion Chris Jongewaard was a non-starter in last weekend's final of the Australian national series after injuring himself in training on Friday. Jongewaard sustained a nasty gash in his right knee that will require stitches - eventually.

They said it was mainly a flesh wound," said Jongewaard. "They're going to keep it open just in case some infections start up. I'll get it stitched up in the next few days. I'll be back on the bike and back into training and preparations for Commonwealth Games."

The national series final was the last outing for local riders on home soil before the Commonwealth Games MTB race in Melbourne on March 23. But first, there's the Oceania Championships in Rotorua, New Zealand on 4 March, where the men's team has a very strong chance of victory, especially if they work together. Then that teamwork will need to carry through to the Games.

"We'll be looking out for each other," said Jongewaard. "Sid [Taberlay]'s definitely a good guy to work for. I've worked with him many times before. We're just trying to get the best result for Australia."

The reserved Taberlay said, "Chris and I are pretty good chances. Chris has just had an injury. We'll see how that goes. There're probably a few stitches required. So hopefully it won't upset things too much."

"It's going to be a race where we definitely need both of us there working as a team to be able to win the race," confirmed Taberlay. "Hopefully if all goes great we should be in for a medal."

According to national mountain bike cross country coach, Damien Grundy, "The Australians still have strong competition from Britain and Canada Liam Killeen (England) and Geoff Kabush (Canada). The Australians all have the capacity and so do three or four other riders," he said.

First team gathering: the Gunn-Rita Dahle diary

The first gathering with my team, Multivan Merida Biking Team, has been exciting, action-packed and fun. A training camp combined with media commitments always means a lot of interviews and photographs from morning till night. I still feel a child-like joy and excitement at getting a new bike, and also at being able to show the wonderful machine off together with the new uniform for the season.

We've already spent a week here at Magalluf on Majorca together with the team, journalists, photographers, team sponsors and Merida dealers from various countries in Europe. The last of the press and media left for home yesterday, so now we're expecting some quieter days during which exercise, rest and restitution will once again be in focus. We were a huge group of 75 people who went out to eat together on Saturday evening. We had a delicious meal together in the large city of Palma.

Read the entire Gunn-Rita Dahle diary here.

Sea Otter teams up with Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

The 16th Annual Sea Otter Classic, held April 6-9, 2006 at the Laguna Seca Recreation Area, Monterey, California, has joined forces with The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, to give cyclists and spectators an opportunity to raise money through a fundraising program called "Make Cures Happen". Money will be raised in honour of Joshua Alfaro, an eight year-old boy with leukemia, who lives in Salinas, CA.

Through "Make Cures Happen", cyclists and spectators of the Sea Otter Classic can make donations to help blood cancer patients across the country: The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society invests in research and patient services. As an added fundraising incentive, anyone who raises over $600 will be invited to a VIP party during the event and will be included in a drawing of many adventure trips and bicycles, including holidays in Costa Rica and GT bikes.

"We are grateful that the organizers of the Sea Otter Classic have made The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society their charity of choice," said Greg Becker, President of the Board of Trustees of the Society's Silicon Valley & Monterey Bay Area Chapter. "The cyclists and spectators who raise money through "Make Cures Happen" are funding cancer research that will help hundreds of thousands of people battling leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma."

Spectators and cyclists who would like more information on "Make Cures Happen" can visit

Great Karri Ride on again

The Medibank Great Karri Ride in Western Australia's South West is taking place again from March 4-5, 2006. The 100 km MTB ride will see teams of up to five cyclists compete in a region known as a botanical 'hot spot' abundant with eucalyptus, especially the majestic Karri.

The touring event is laid out for all levels of riders, from weekend work-out to elite, with an additional ride for kids. For more details, please go to .

Launceston Mountain Bike 12hr

The Launceston (Australia) MTB club will be hosting another of their successful 12hr events. Scheduled to start for Friday, March 4 at 10am, registration for the event has opened online and will continue through the day of the event.

There will be a separate area for riders that are camping. Day parking at the event centre is limited (first in best spot). Overflow parking will be a short walk (400m). There will be an area for people bringing shade tents and seats (recommended).

Riders and volunteers are also asked to come be part of a working group to put the finishing touches on the course at Four Springs on Sunday 26th in preparation for the 12 Hour. Volunteers are encouraged to pack a lunch and meet up at the Boom gate at 10am.

For more information, please email Ben Mathers at:

King's Pretty & Strong fundraiser ends in $10,316 donation

Pretty and Strong
Photo ©: Chris King
(Click for larger image)

King Cycle Group recently announced the contribution of $10,316.56 to the Oregon and Southwest Washington Affiliate of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation in conclusion of the company's second annual Pretty & Strong sales promotion.

The promotion, which ran from September 1, 2005 to December 23, 2005, featured limited production runs of pink anodised bicycle components including the company's celebrated sealed bearing headset. Additionally, road and mountain bike hubs, headset spacers and stem caps, stickers, and a limited edition t-shirt were offered. A portion of the proceeds from every Pretty & Strong component or product sold through King's dealer/retailers was allocated to the local Affiliate of the Komen Foundation.

For more information, visit

Dunlap features at Five College Outdoor Festival

Alison Dunlap, the 2001 world mountain bike champion, will be the featured speaker at the Five College Outdoor Festival, March 2-4, 2006 at Hampshire and Smith Colleges, Amherst, Massachusetts. Dunlap will speak on Friday March 3 at 7 pm in Wright Hall at Smith College as part of the three-day event which aims to expose attendees to professionals and activities associated with outdoor recreation and education.

The festival will also feature the MountainFilm at Telluride screening of outdoor films from the Telluride MountainFilm Festival and a day of outdoor events and workshops including cycling workshops and races by Incline Training's Jay Gump on Saturday march 4.

For more information see

Chris Eatough to appear at Off Road to Athens screening

Readers in the Baltimore area are in for a double treat on March 15th. MTB feature documentary Off Road to Athens producer Jason Berry & six-time 24 Hours of Adrenalin Solo World Champion Chris Eatough will be on hand signing posters during a 7pm screening of the movie at the Charles Theatre. Tickets for the event are on sale through the producer's Web site:

IMBA Canada and the OCA announce 2006 Trail Improvement Grants

In 2006, the Ontario Cycling Association (OCA) and the International Mountain Bicycling Association's (IMBA) Canadian Office will once again award cash grants to fund trail creation and enhancement projects across the province. Mountain bike clubs in Ontario are invited to apply for three $500 awards. The application deadline is June 1, 2006; the grants will be awarded in July, 2006.

Projects that create or improve trails used for mountain bike racing will receive the highest consideration, but funding can also be used to improve trails for race training and recreational riding. Applicants must be current IMBA members, as well as members of the Ontario Cycling Association. The Ontario Trail Improvement Grants program is the result of a partnership
between the Ontario Cycling Association and IMBA Canada. A percentage of every full OCA membership sold in 2006 will be used to fund the program.

For more information, please visit

Heartland Sports announces 2006 XC and Endurance schedule

Midwest U.S. race promoter Heartland Sports promotions announced a full schedule of MTB racing for 2006 this week. Comprised of four cross country races and three endurance events across Kansas and Missouri, the season seems to have something to challenge every level of racer.

XC Series

3/5/06 – Cross Country - Landahl Park – Independence, MO
4/9/06 – Crank N’ Cruise – Crowder State Park – Trenton, MO
4/23/06 – Crocodile Rock Cross Country – Perry Lake – Perry, KS
6/4/06 - Cross Country - Landahl Park – Independence, MO

Endurance Events

3/18/06 – Spoke Pony Showdown 3/6 Hour race – Landahl Park – Independence, MO
5/20/06 – Dirty Kanza 200 – 200 miles in the Flint Hills – Emporia, KS
8/19/06 – Rapture in Misery 6/12 Hour race – Landahl Park – Independence, MO

Check out for more info.

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