MTB News: 2012 Olympic Course, DH Race Benefits Kids in Africa, and More

The weather is warming up and the trails are drying out here in the southeast which can only mean one thing: mountain bike season is on the way! Here are a few mountain bike news items we’re digging this week.

2012 London Olympics MTB Course

photo courtesy news.bbc.co.uk.

We’ve written about the 2012 Olympic mountain bike course a couple times already but this week BBC News posted more details about the new trail. The overall loop is just 5K (about 3 miles) – much shorter than we imagined – which means the men will ride about 8 laps or so. That also means the race will be super spectator-friendly for up to 20,000 fans and tickets will cost between 20 and 45 pounds ($32 to $72).

The course itself appears to be mostly done and workers have covered the rocky course with a layer of sand to protect it from erosion before the games. Since there weren’t enough rocks on site, 1.1 billion pounds of rock (that’s right – with a B) was brought in to armor the trail and provide a more technical challenge. There’s about 230 vertical feet between the high and low points on the course, though there’s no word on the actual ascent per lap. Check out more pics here.

DH Race at Cape Verde Benefits Children

On February 14 the Urge Cabo Verde DH event wrapped up at Cape Verde off the west coast of Africa. Here’s how one press release describes the race:

The concept for the event is simple: take a handful of the world’s best mountain bike riders and drop them into an under-privileged part of the world for an event that is more about helping the local children than a finishline at the bottom of a mountain (or volcano in this case).

On the womens’ side, Tracey Moseley took top honors while Rocky Mountain sponsored rider Sabrina Jonnier of France took second. From what we’ve seen the trails and conditions were epic but don’t get your hopes up about racing next year: the race is invitation only. Find out more about the event and the charities it supports.

Honey Stinger/Trek Mountain Bike Team

The Honey Stinger/Trek mountain bike team announced its 2011 roster yesterday and offers an impressive list of who’s who in mountain biking. With 37 amateur and pro riders, including Jen Gersbach and 24 Hour national champs Max Taam, Sari Anderson, and Len Zanni, we’re bound to see the honey-combed jersey on the podium this season. The team will compete in several high profile Colorado mountain bike races including the Firecracker 50, Leadville 100, and the Breck Epic Stage Race.

With Lance Armstrong’s (second) retirement announcement yesterday, perhaps this means he’ll find some time to coach the Honey Stinger off-road team. After all, Armstrong is a part owner in Honey Stinger and is (was?) sponsored by Trek so he’s (David Puddy voice) gotta support the team! 🙂

Pro Photographer Hosts MTB Photography Course

Nationally acclaimed outdoor photographer Scott Markewitz is hosting a mountain bike photography course in Moab this spring and you’re invited! Western Spirit will take care of the logistics so all you need is your DSLR camera and a mountain bike! Oh, and the registration fee – $1,995 which includes four nights lodging and all meals and instruction. Contact Western Spirit at 800-845-2453 or biking@westernspirit.com to reserve your space and check out Scott’s MTB photo gallery here.

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