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MTB News and Notes: U.S. Cup Finals won’t change date

The Sho Air-Specialized U.S. Cup East/West Shootout race, held on the final day of the Interbike trade show in Las Vegas, will not see a change in its September 26 date. The news comes after series organizers attempted to shift the race date to the afternoon of Tuesday, September 22. The proposed date change was meant to see the event, which is also the USA Cycling Pro Cross-country Tour (ProXCT) finals, run in conjunction with the final day of the popular Outdoor Demo at Bootleg Canyon.

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Pendrel, Plaxton lead ProXCT standings; Dahle Flesjå returns after baby

By Fred Dreier

The Sho Air-Specialized U.S. Cup East/West Shootout race, held on the final day of the Interbike trade show in Las Vegas, will not see a change in its September 26 date. The news comes after series organizers attempted to shift the race date to the afternoon of Tuesday, September 22. The proposed date change was meant to see the event, which is also the USA Cycling Pro Cross-country Tour (ProXCT) finals, run in conjunction with the final day of the popular Outdoor Demo at Bootleg Canyon.

“While we had overwhelming support from the industry, teams and riders … last minute scheduling, logistics and permit issues don’t make it feasible for 2009,” read a comment by Ty Kady, chief spokesman for Sho Air.

The Saturday event will cap off a week of racing in the city, including the Cross Vegas race on Wednesday, September 23, and the USA Crits finals on Thursday, September 24.

The U.S. Cup Finals will feature a showdown in the pro and amateur classes between the champions of the Kenda Cup West and East regional series, as well as the pro riders competing in the Pro XCT. The event will help decide the overall winners for the U.S. Cup and ProXCT series.

Pendrel, Plaxton lead ProXCT Standings

Canadians Catherine Pendrel (Luna) and Max Plaxton (Sho Air-Specialized) lead the USA Cycling Pro Cross-country Tour (ProXCT) standings, with four of the series’ seven races in the books. Both riders took wins at the fourth ProXCT round, the Carmichael Training Systems Sand Creek Classic, held June 13 in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Plaxton came into the event nursing a five-point lead in the series over Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Subaru-Gary Fisher) and Sid Taberlay (Sho Air-Specialized). Plaxton, who took the victory ahead of Horgan-Kobelski, now has 385 points in the series, and extended his lead over the American to 10 points.

Pendrel came into the Colorado Springs race trailing teammate Georgia Gould. The Canadian now holds a slim five-point lead over Gould with 395 total points.

The next round of the ProXCT is the August 7 Mount Snow Bike Festival, held at Mount Snow, Vermont.

USA Cycling ProXCT Series

Standings after 4 of 7 rounds
Men

  • 1. Max Plaxton (Can), Sho Air-Specialized, 385 points
  • 2. Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski, Subaru-Gary Fisher, 380
  • 3. Sid Taberlay (Aus), Sho Air-Specialized, 340
  • 4. Todd Wells, Specialized, 315
  • 5. Sam Schultz, Subaru-Gary Fisher, 275

Women

  • 1. Catherine Pendrel (Can), Luna, 395 points
  • 2. Georgia Gould, Luna, 390
  • 3. Pua Sawicki, Ellsworth/Heather Irmiger, Subaru-Gary Fisher, 310
  • 5. Kelli Emmett, Giant, 290

Dahle Flesjå Returns to Racing

Olympic gold medalist Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjå will return to professional racing this Sunday at the Gunn-Rita marathon cross-country in Montebelluno, Italy. The 76-kilomter race will be Dahle Flesjå’s first major test on the bike since giving birth to her first child, a son named Bjømar, in March of 2009.

Dahle Flesjå (Multivan-Merida) is a four-time cross-country world and World Cup champion, and the winner of the 2004 Olympics in Athens. She also owns four marathon cross-country world titles, including the 2008 title.

After suffering a disappointing DNF at the Beijing Games, Dahle Flesjå announced that she and her husband, Kenneth, would be missing for much of the 2009 mountain bike season to start a family.

The Norwegian said she holds no expectations at the marathon event except to finish. The Italian race took the name of the Norwegian champion in 2005.

“The Gunn-Rita marathon is a perfect opportunity to get back to racing,” Dahle Flesjå said.