Melanie Simpson 12th in MTBO World Cup

Melanie Simpson recorded her best ever international result with a fine 12th in the MTBO World Cup sprint held at Veneto, in Italy over last weekend.  As the World Champs are to be held in Italy next year most of the top competitors were present.

Christine Schaffner (Switz) won in a time of 33.52 with a 40 second buffer ahead of Michaela Gigon (Austria).  These two are fighting for the 2010 no 1 ranking with Christine holding just a 7 point lead after this event.  Finland’s Marika Hara was 3rd in 36.44 and world sprint champion Anna Kaminska was 5th in 37.13.  Melanie recorded a time of 40.05 mins.

In the men Dane Erik Skovgaard Knudsen extended his world cup lead to an almost unassailable 44 points in winning the sprint in 36.10.  His main rival Beat Schaffner (Swiss)placed 5th today. Second place was taken by Italian rider Luca Dallavalle (37.08) giving the locals much hope for a podium finish next year.  Austria’s Bernhard Schachinger was 3rd just one second back.  ACT’s David Simpfendorfer was recorded as a DNF – no news on why at this stage.

In the middle distance event Australian rep Melanie finished in 21st position with a time of 59.48.  Talented Dane Rikki Kornvig took the victory in 48.30 with Michaela Gigon and Marika Hara again filling the minor places.  Christine Schaeffer’s 7th position enabled Micahaela to steal ahead again in the World Cup rankings.

In the men’s race the experienced Russian Ruslan Gritsan scored his best result of the season winning in 54.43 ahead of Czech riders Jiri Hradil (55.27) and Marek Pospisek (56.33).  Although Beat Schaffner finished 8th ahead of Erik Skovgaard Knudsen in 24th place the Dane will be the World Cup champion.  Australian David Simfendorfer took 92 minutes and finished 62nd.

The concluding event was the mixed relay.   Denmark reigned supreme (Refslund, Kornvig,Knvosen) in 2.40.20 just ahead of Austria (Gigon, Breitschadel, Haselberger) in 2.41.02 while Switzerland 2.41.54 (Dauwalder, Schaffner, Schaffner) held onto 3rd by just 4 seconds ahead of Finland (Hara, Lauril, Saarela)

Battered and bruised AJ takes Tour de Timor thriller

Adrian Jackson –  “AJ” – used his one minute 41 second lead at the start of today’s final stage to hold off fellow Australian  Steele von Hoff and win the 2010 Tour de Timor Race for Peace by just 29 seconds in front of Dili’s Presidential Palace and thousands of screaming spectators.
“What’s the time?” von Hoff yelled as he fell off his bike at the finish. “How much have we got?” Well… unfortunately, not enough! AJ won the $US15,000 first prize!  Twenty-two year-old  von Hoff, who is moving towards road racing and who aspires to compete in the Tour de France, won the final Stage in a blistering 1:52.48 but could not make up enough time to catch the battered and bruised “Yellow Jersey” 27-year-old “AJ.”

2010 title probably belonged as much to Ben Mather as he relentlessly led the way for as long as he could today. Mather, who is the Australian Mountain Bike Marathon Champion, has sacrificed his own race during the Tour to work with Jackson.
The 2010 Tour de Timor is contested over five gruelling days and 420-kilometers, more than 320 riders were competing for this year’s $US100,000 in prizes. The race is an initiative of the Government and President of Timor-Leste and is part of a wide-ranging strategy to help reduce poverty throughout the nation by attracting adventurers and tourists.