Archive | xc.cult:ure

Neffness IX


How could I not post a photo giving props to our my [current] favorite big haired, flat billed hat wearing, super fast XCO racing, lady-type Jolanda Neff for winning her third UCI XCO race of the year on Sunday in Méribel, France, AND celebrating her overall Women’s UCI Mountain Bike World Cup series title???

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A Sad End to a Season


Sad news from the world of UCI XCO racing

20-year-old Dutch XCO racer, and current under-23 European cyclocross champion, Annefleur Kalvenhaar died Saturday as the result of injuries sustained during qualifying rounds of Friday’s XC Eliminator race in Méribel, France. It is reported that the Focus XC Team racer crashed off on a wooden bridge and landed awkwardly on her head. She was taken to a nearby hospital, then transferred by helicopter to an intensive care unit in Grenoble where she sadly passed away on Saturday.

The web site reports that the bridge used during the XC events had been used by cyclists and pedestrians alike throughout the weekend without incident and that the crash appears to have been a freak accident. All in all, an extremely sad way to draw the 2014 XCO series to a close and a horrible loss for the world of cycling, not to mention Kalvenhaar’s friends and family.

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Neffness VIII


In light of her complete and utter domination of this past Sunday’s UCI XCO race in Mont Sainte-Anne, Quebec, Canada, I would be remiss if I didn’t give another shout out to Jolanda Neff (Liv Pro XC Team) and her continued “Neffness.” It was pretty amazing to watch as she took the lead in the opening lap and never looked back. In the end she took the victory by over a minute on Canada’s own Catharine Pendrel (Luna Pro Team). With two races remaining, Neff leads the series with 900 points, 310 points over the second place Emily Batty (Trek Factory Racing).

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In an ironic twist of fate (or at least vocabulary) the UCI has eliminated the Cross-Country Eliminator (XCE) races from the 2015 calendar. With a growing number of top racers choosing to skip the XCE races to save themselves for the XCO main event later in the weekend and the UCI and promoters apparently not making any money from the event (always a motivating factor), it’s really no surprise. The format had its pros and cons, fans and detractors from the first race.

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Neffness VII


I just got back into town from a whirlwind trip back to Western PA and need to get some ride mojo going, what better way than with some Neffness?

I am pretty sure that Jolanda Neff is the Peter Sagan of Women’s XCO mountain bike racing, just with better hair, much nicer legs and (most likely) no want to pinch any podium girl bums… not to mention I have no desire to see Peter Sagan in a skirt showing off the bike geek tan lines on his thighs (unless he finally wins a fucking sprint finish!).

Photo via Jolanda Neff’s Facebook page, most likely taken by Bernard van Dierendonck

2014 XCM World Champion(s)


Sunday was the 2014 UCI Mountain Bike Marathon World Championships in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa.

Jaroslav Kulhavy (Czech Republic) and Annika Langvad (Denmark) took the titles. The XCM World Championship title is Kulhavy’s first and rounds out his trophy case nicely along with a 2012 Olympic Gold medal and a 2011 World Championship Gold Medal. I imagine it’s also a great way to salvage a season that up to now had been a struggle to comeback from a pre-season injury.

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Missoula Pro XCT Coverage? Part 2


This is Part 2 to yesterday’s already updated blog post where I lamented the lack of media coverage for the 2014 Missoula Pro XCT race. I’m still lamenting, but to show that I am not just sitting around bitching about how our National cross-country race series gets roughly the same media coverage as a community college intramural volleyball match, I am updating that post with some links and a photo I stole from the Sho-Air Cannondale Team Twitter feed (I await contact from their lawyers as I type).

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A Fave


This past weekend was one of my favorite races: The Hilly Billy Roubaix near Morgantown, West Virginia (just about 45 minutes from my old home in Western PA). I’ve done the HBR twice in the past (2010 & 2012) but much as I wanted to head back home and race it again in 2014, it just wasn’t going to happen this year.

I’ve loved the concept of Ultra CX races for years now and have long championed the formant and the series. Some longtime blog readers may even remember the weekly raids I used to make in the mountains of PA where I would mix together 40 to 60 mile loops of forest roads, double track and singletrack that featured more climbing in one ride than I get here in half a season. Sigh, memories…

Like I said, I wasn’t there this year, but much to everyone’s surprise the race happened anyway. It looked like it was a mud fest in parts and as per usual– a damn fine race. Check out winner (and fellow Michigander) Mike Simonson’s blog and his race recap. Nice to see Mike get the win and show folks that Michigan flatlanders can hold their own in the big hills (not me, but at least SOME).

You can find more about the Hilly Billy on the race’s Facebook page.

Missoula Pro XCT Coverage?


8:17 PM UPDATE updated their site with brief coverage
and a few photos by Tom Robertson, go check it out

Round 4 of the USAC Pro XCT happened this past Saturday, but if I wasn’t telling you, you would be hard pressed to know it. It’s now Monday (10:45 a.m. US EST) and there are still no results listed on or coverage on any media outlets.

As of the time of this post the Missoula XC web page DID have the results posted, so below are the top five elite men and women.

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