The Australian mountain bike series will take on a whole new look this summer, with two new exciting formats to be introduced which will favour riders and spectators alike.
The 2011/12 season will be split into two, with the cross country riders vying for the ‘All Mountain Cup’ and the downhillers contesting the ‘Gravity Cup’.
Spectators across Australia will have the opportunity to witness the nation’s best riders, with events to be staged in Perth, Canberra, Thredbo, Mount Buller, Adelaide and Newcastle.
Each round will also feature an activity staged in the CBD of each host town to bring spectators closer to the action than ever before.
The new formats will allow for growth in both disciplines, by offering riders the chance to compete in additional events over the weekend.
The All Mountain Cup will include a number of additional elements over the course of each two-day event. Riders will compete in a stage-like environment, in which performance results will be tallied to determine the overall event winner.
In addition to the centrepiece Olympic Cross Country event, other formats such as the cross country eliminator (four-cross for cross country), cross country time trial, cross country enduro (25km to 50km), Super D (downhill cross country) and the return of the short course event will be scheduled over the weekend of competition.
In the Gravity Cup, all downhill classes will now have seeding races on the Saturday, followed by finals on the Sunday.
"Mountain Bike Australia has completely re-written the way the national level events are delivered,” said Tony Scott, Executive Officer of MTBA.
“The new All Mountain Cup is going to be a spectacle of cross country mountain bike racing that will appeal to all levels of skill and experience and one that will involve both riding prowess and strategy in several different short duration activities.
“For the gravity riders we have expanded the seeding races to include all classes. This means two timed runs for all riders.
“All of these changes are geared towards providing better value to participants by giving them more time on the bike, more often.”
Details for the Four Cross (4X) Cup will be announced shortly.
On-line entry will be available from September 1 for all rounds.
2011/12 Australian Mountain Bike Series
November 19 - 20 Perth All Mountain Cup
December 10 - 11 Thredbo Gravity Cup
January 21 - 22 Mount Buller All Mountain Cup and Gravity Cup
February 4 - 5 Mount Stromlo, Canberra Gravity Cup
February 11 - 12 Mount Stromlo, Canberra All Mountain Cup
February 23 - 26 Adelaide Australian Championships - all
March 3 - 4 Newcastle All Mountain Cup and Gravity Cup
For further information (media only), please contact MTBA Media:
Michelle Cook – 03 9822 7110 or email@example.com
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All eyes will be on South Australian Chris Jongewaard as he makes his return to the highest level of cross-country.
Jongewaard has been putting together final preparations this week as he returns to lead a four-man elite men’s team in the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships in Champéry, Switzerland on Saturday night.
Joining Jongewaard on the starting line will be Daniel McConnell (VIC), Lachlan Norris (VIC) and Sid Taberlay (TAS).
“It is fantastic. To get a spot on the team, the atmosphere is really awesome. I mean, far out, it is unbelievable,” Jongewaard said from Switzerland.
“I guess it is the first step to reinstating myself in the cycling world.”
And although the 32-year-old is by far the most experienced rider in the entire 33-member Australian team, he doesn’t see himself as a leader within such a young group.
Rather, Jongewaard is energised by the youthful team and is just excited to be back in the green and gold jersey, after a tumultuous two year period.
“I suppose it is becoming a little bit easier. I think I bond with the young guys a little bit more. “
“It’s not something that comes naturally to me, but I do try. It’s something that I will look at in the future as well.
“I can go look at when I was younger and looking at the older guys in the team, and you think, far out, they’re just normal people. They do the same thing as us, and they come up with the results.”
He has already had a chance to soak up the world championship atmosphere, and get a chance to acclimatise to a technically difficult cross-country course, when he led out Australia’s four-member relay team at the start of the week.
“It is a difficult course. The climbing aspect is really hard, but it is short, so I think the technical aspect is really high. It’s just a matter of planning your race, and try for no mistakes.”
“It’s about backing it off maybe that one or two percent, and making sure you’re not making those mistakes as opposed to yesterday (when he fell in the lead-leg of the team relay).”
“If I’m having a good day, I should be suited to the course. I haven’t got the explosive power at the moment, but I think the endurance is there, and I guess my focus is really there at the moment.”
“I want a good result, but I know it will be a tough day. I want to be there at the finish and get the best result I can achieve.”
After starting the season in sensational form, winning the national series and national title, Jongewaard has struggled recently in what he admits has become a long season.
But he is determined to pull out one more quality race before turning his attention to the 2012 season, where bigger goals lie beyond the horizon, including finally being able to call himself an Olympian.
“Hopefully I can pull one more good result out and then really focus on the next national season next year.”
“I’m quietly confident (of qualifying for Olympics). If I’m having a good day, mentally I can pull myself over the line and get a good result.”
“I’m not quite there yet, but I am certainly working towards it with my coach, and it is my central focus for next year.”
“I think I can put myself in with a shot if everything goes my way.”
The elite men’s cross-country is from 16:30 Saturday, 3 September (12:30am Sunday AEST) and will be streamed live online via SBS Cycling Central or on freecaster.tv.... Read More
We advised you some time ago that the on-line entry system for entry to the 2011-2012 National Season and our new and improved website that would give you all the information you need to know about the Season would be available on September 1st.
Despite all our efforts to achieve this date various things have beaten us.
Our new website host is not playing nice with the website and the work we needed done to set up pre-entry discounts has been delayed due to illness of the key coder.
We do, however, anticipate that both will be available this week.
MTBA will have some pre-event information available on the current website on Monday so travel plans can be made.
Our sincere apologies to both athletes and our members.
In the meantime we do hope that you are enjoying the great coverage of the 2011 UCI MTB and Trials World Championships from our media releases and are not losing too much sleep watching the live steaming on SBS.... Read More