MTB news & racing round-up for August 17, 2007
Welcome to our regular roundup of what's happening in mountain biking.
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Edited by Sue George
Californians ready for next Jeep KOM round
Photo ©: Jeep KOM
The Golden State has long been a hotbed for mountain bike racing, with
favorable conditions for year-round training, plenty of trails, countless
multi-discipline competitions and a line-up of homegrown talent that has
brought home national and world titles; however, no Californian has yet
won the Jeep King of the Mountain Series.
Round two heads to the Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo, California, Saturday,
August 18. This marks the third consecutive year that the series has hosted
a leg in San Luis Obispo. The line up features no fewer than seven in-state
standouts who will battle for a share of the record US$100,000 cash purse
and the keys to a new 2008 Jeep Liberty.
With the Czech Republic's Michal Prokop and Australia's Jared Graves
competing in the UCI BMX World Cup in Beijing, China, Temecula's Eric
Carter has the opportunity to gain control of the standings with only
one race remaining. Blocking his path will be fellow Californians Cody
Warren, Rich Houseman, Brian Lopes, Dale Holmes, and hometown favorite
Travis Collins. But not to be forgotten are veteran Wade Bootes of Australia
and American Chris Del Bosco
One the women's side, current leader Jill Kintner of Seattle will also
be gone racing in Beijing, thus opening the door for a talent laden field
led by fellow American Melissa Buhl. Right on her heels is Anneke Beerten
of the Netherlands, who has two World Cup titles already in 2007 and Californian
Tara Llanes. Great Britain's Fionn Griffiths, South Africa's Joanna Petterson,
and Americans Leana Gerrard Neven Steinmetz round out the line-up of favorites.
Series champions are crowned based on a system of cumulative points earned
in each of three events. The season kicked off at The Canyons in Park
City Utah on August 4, and following the event in San Luis Obispo, the
series will head to Beaver Creek, Colorado, for the grand finale on September
1. The San Luis Obispo round will air on CBS Sports on September 23 from
5:00 - 6:00 PM EST.
Five American Olympic hopefuls selected for Beijing Test Event
Newly crowned US cross country
national champion Adam Craig
Photo ©: Dave McElwaine
Three men and two women were selected this week by USA Cycling to represent
the US at the upcoming mountain bike Olympic Test Event to be held in
Beijing on Saturday, September 22. The riders are expected to make the
trip to Beijing directly from the UCI World Cup Finals which will take
place on Saturday, September 15 in Maribor, Slovenia.
Adam Craig (Giant), Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Subaru - Gary Fisher), Todd
Wells (GT), Willow Koerber (Subaru - Gary Fisher), and Georgia Gould (Luna)
were chosen based on their 2007 UCI World Cup Performances.
Craig, recently crowned US national cross country champion, is the top
American in the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup standings, ranked 18th. Horgan-Kobelski
and Wells, who represented the US in the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens,
are ranked second and third respectively among Americans.
Koerber and Gould are ranked sixth and seventh respectively in the World
Cup standings, and both have notably posted top-five finishes at World
Cups this season.
Absent from the selections are riders like Jeremiah Bishop (Trek / VW),
who's recently regained form following illness that kept him out of two
June World Cups and national cross country champion Mary McConneloug (Kenda
/ Seven), who represented the US at the 2004 Games.
Fellow cyclists team to help injured Murray
Shaun Palmer's donated jersey
Photo ©: 23 Degrees Sports
Several mountain bikers are teaming up for a fundraising effort to help
Stephen Murray, a rider injured
during competition in June.
On Friday, June 22, dirt jumper Murray took a horrific fall on the final
set of a dirt section while sending a double back flip at the AST Dew
Tour BMX Dirt Finals in Baltimore, Maryland. He suffered career-ending
injuries to his spinal cord and vertebrae. Murray has won the X-Games
gold medal and back-to-back Gravity Games Gold medals.
Nigel Page and Steve Peat are among the riders and friends who are trying
to help Murray pay for the special treatments he is receiving. "Medical
bills can reach huge amounts in the USA, so here is where we can all help,"
A group of mountain bike pros have donated signed jerseys which will
be auctioned at the Fort William World Championships, but bids are being
accepted in the meantime at email@example.com. Whoever has the highest
bid for each jersey at the end of the auction wins it.
The list of riders donating jerseys includes: Steve Peat, Shaun Palmer,
Sam Hill, Nathan Rennie, Greg Minnaar, Cedric Gracia, Brian Lopes, Michael
Prokop, Gee Atherton, Dan Atherton, Brendan Fairclough, Chris Kovarik,
Matti Lehikoinen, The Kona Team, Tracy, Fabien and Kamil, Rob Warner,
Jill Kintner's Number one Jersey, Kirt Voreis, Andrew Neethling, Josh
Bryceland, Mik Hannah, Nico Vouilloz, Marc Beaumont, Will Longden, Neal
Donaghue, Nico Vinc, and Claudio Calouri. Donations are still being accepted.
Wiens sets Leadville 100 record
Dave Weins at 40 miles into the
Photo ©: Wesley & Garrett Geer
Dave Wiens (Ergon Grips) of Gunnison obliterated the course record in
the 2007 running of the Leadville Trail 100 mile mountain bike race. Weins
finished in 6:58:47. The old course record was set by Mike Volk in 1997
with a time of 7:05:45.
Weins came close to the record in 2004, but fell seven seconds short
(7:05:51), so the old record stood for 10 years.
Embattled 2006 Tour winner Floyd Landis took second place in a Colorado
marathon mountain bike race this weekend, clocking in just over seven
hours to finish, and coming home less than two minutes behind five-time
event winner Wiens.
The result showed that Landis is taking riding a bit more seriously these
days. He rode considerably better than at the Teva Mountain Games in June,
where he was passed by women's division winner Shonny Vanlandingham and
finished five minutes down on the winner. He still awaits a verdict from
his May arbitration hearing.
Landis, riding on a surgically repaired hip, finished the race in 7:00:30,
one minute and 44 seconds. Top endurance racer Mike Kloser finished third,
In the women's event, Gretchen Reeves won in 8:05:29, with a 26 minute
margin over Amanda Riley and 38 minutes ahead of Keri Nelson.
For full Leadville 100 results, click
Pua selects pit crew contest winner
Pua Sawicki announced the winner of a
contest to work in the pits as member of Team MATA at the 24 Hours
of Adrenalin Solo World Championships in Monterey, California, August
31 to September 2.
Terry Crandell of La Mesa, California, will support Sawicki in her bid
for the world championship title. The mechanical engineer was chosen from
mechanics, policemen, fans, and more who wanted to be there. All wrote
letters saying why.
Crandell's wife Bethany actually wrote the letter for him, and it really
touched Sawicki's heart. She really felt this reward would mean so much
to Terry and his family including daughters Grace, 4, and Rebecca, 2,
who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. The Crandells both work full time
and care for their children, including juggling countless appointments
for their youngest daughter, but Terry maintains a wonderful attitude
and always finds time to pursue his passion on two wheels.
The runners up were Lyna Saffell of Sandy, Utah, and Jonathan Puskas,
of Lake Oswego, Oregon.
Zink out for rest of the season
Following Cam Zink's hospitalization in Canada for a ruptured spleen,
and an upcoming scheduled surgery for his problematic knee, the Haro/Oakley
rider has terminated his season and is now focusing on regaining full
fitness for the 2008 season.
Zink's internal injuries were suffered at the Bearclaw Invitational
at Mt Washington, Canada, when he crashed on a practice run on the first
day the course was open.
"I was riding pretty mellow, just making my way through all the
course features when I second guessed myself," said Zink.
"I came up to the first of two dirt jumps which were pretty massive.
After the log drop I braked to stop but then decided to still go for it.
I came up short and almost saved it. The logical way out would have been
to jump over the bars, but with my knee being torn, I decided to hold
on and hope for the best. The "best" definitely isn't what happened."
"I flew over the bars from the top of the nine foot landing to flat
ground on my side. There was nothing sharp to jab my spleen, though the
impact alone was too much for it to take. After the crash my wrist hurt,
so I sat on the side of the course for a little bit. After 10 minutes
or so, my stomach started to hurt from all the blood filling up in my
abdomen. This was a familiar feeling as I've suffered the same injury
riding downhill six years ago."
"Then soon after my shoulders started hurting because of pressure
points that pass through the abdomen. This was the tell tale sign,"
finished Cam from his hospital bed soon after the incident.
The injury is a level two out of four rupture, which fortunately means
his body will heal on its own without surgical intervention, but with
a lot of down time. Following his release from hospital Zink headed home
to Reno to begin his rehab, which his wrist also needs, and then plans
will be made for his all important knee surgery.
"The knee surgery I'm looking into is not approved in America,
so I will have to look outside the country for specialist surgeons to
have it performed. I heard about it being performed on skateboard legend,
Danny Way, and it's supposed to be bomb proof! They replace the ACL with
a Kevlar rope and will also replace the meniscus with a whole new one.
This will most likely be the last knee operation for my poor knees."
After only six to eight weeks rehab for this type of knee surgery, compared
to the usual six months for conventional surgery, Zink will resume training
Top mountain bikers to inaugural Netti Enduro
Ready for the Netti Enduro?
Photo ©: Mark Watson
World 24 hours of Adrenaline solo mountain bike champion, Craig Gordon,
will be dusting off his Cannondale and going head to head with Matt Fleming,
winner of the Central Australian Bike Challenge, and Saul Britton, winner
of many 24 hour events at the inaugural Netti Enduro on Saturday, September
1-2 in Australia.
The trio will have serious competition from Dennis Van Hill, winner of
the 2006 Lithgow 8 Hour, Blair Martin, winner of the 2006 Kooralbyn Marathon,
or David McMurdo. On the women's side, Trek rider Kimberley Fleming, Australian
development team member Zoe King, and recent second in the Noosa Enduro
Naomi Hansen are the favorites.
A few guests from other disciplines will be looking to disrupt the plans
of the favorites: singlespeeders Rob Parberry and Paul Lidgard, adventure
racers Matt de Belin and Matt Koerber, and orienteer David Simpfendorfer.
Racers can choose between The Angry Doctor 100km or The Irate Intern
50km on September 2. The Nasty Nurse Prologue (10km) on September 1 is
also an option.
Race entries close online on Monday, August 20, and participation is
limited to 500 riders. For more information, visit www.arocsport.com.au/mtbenduro/mtbenduro_home.htm.
Simpson Desert Classic set for battle among sand dunes
For the last 20 years, the annual Simpson Desert Bike Challenge has been
an annual adventure for the select group of endurance riders who can organise
themselves and a support crew for an ultra-marathon in one of the most
remote areas of the world in South Australia.
The event comprises nine stages, almost 600km, over five days, and the
route uses the old Rig Road across the Simpson Desert. While the first
part of the race is focused on climbing and descending through sand dunes
with all but the strongest riders doing their share of walking and carrying
their bikes, the second half of the race challenges riders with claypans,
gibber plains, and the uncertain conditions of Goyder's Lagoon.
In 2007, the race has been picked up by the specially incorporated Desert
Challenge Inc. Led by president Ed Bourke, himself a former winner, Desert
Challenge has comprehensively reviewed race rules and every aspect of
the race organisation. They have affiliated with Mountain Bike Australia
and have re-established links with Outback communities.
One special feature of the Simpson Desert Bike Challenge is that there
is no big prize pool even for the winners. All proceeds are donated to
charity. For 2007, the beneficiary will be 4Wheels4Sean charity recently
relaunched by the cycling peak bodies in Australia. The spirit of the
event is personal achievement, contribution to the community and appreciation
of the environment.
This year's edition starts October 2 at Purni Bore in the west and finishes
at the historic Birdsville Hotel on October 8. Online entries, up to 50
riders, are open until the end of August. Visit www.desertchallenge.org
for more info.
Tour of White Mountains sponsorship extended
The Tour of the White Mountains endurance event announced a three year
sponsorship extension. Show Low Bluff Development Corporation, which was
title sponsor of the Tour in 2006, will remain the title sponsor through
the 2009 event.
Show Low Bluff is major mixed-use development in the city of Show Low
that is being designed with outdoor enthusiasts in mind. The community,
unique to Arizona's White Mountains, is oriented toward people who like
to walk, run, bike, canoe, kayak, and climb.
The 2007 edition of the race will be held October 6 on the trails within
the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest located near Pinetop-Lakeside, Arizona.
"I guess you could call this a no-brainer for us," said Jim
Showalter, manager of marketing for Show Low Bluff, "sponsoring one
of the premier mountain biking events in the Southwest that attracts the
very people who would enjoy the community we're developing."
The event, now in its 12th year, is the oldest endurance mountain bike
event in Arizona. "Part of its popularity is due to its trail selection
and time of year," said Todd Sadow, President of Epic Rides, the
organizing company. "We expect this year's event to attract over
1,200 participants and spectators to the White Mountains for event weekend."
For more information about the event, visit www.epicrides.com/towm/towm.htm.
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2007)