Archive for the ‘Topeak-Ergon Racing’ Category

Dalby Forest: Superb performance from Robert Mennen

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

Last week the Topeak Ergon Racing Team realized just how small the margins are in a race. Robert Mennen rode a good race finishing in 38th place. If one considers that the young star started in 80th position and moved up 40 places, this result seems all the more impressive. When asked about his performance Robert said, “After the disaster at the World Cup in Pietermaritzburg I had something to prove. It went really well for me right from the start. I found a great line and was able to leave many of my rivals behind. During the six laps I moved up steadily through the field. The result has put me in confident mood for the German championships”.

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However, the race didn’t go so well for Alban Lakata. The marathon world champion started in 69th place and moved up 40 places in the first two laps, but was swept back into 55th place during the course of the race. “I have modified my training to focus on the marathon world championships. I made a good start, but during the course of the event I lacked the strength to move further up the field”, said the Austrian after the event.

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It was a similar story for Wolfram Kurschat. The father of three started well, but couldn’t find his usual form. He finished in 59th place.

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Irina Kalentieva could not start in England due to problems with her visa.

Julian Death March

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

The Julian Death March lived up to its name this year. This year, Sonya Looney and Jeff Kerkove toed the start line of this 86-mile (138k) mountain bike course, which throws 13,000 ft (4000m) of climbing at the rides while covering a variety of mountain and desert terrain. Consisting of 3 loops, the Julian Death March is made up of mostly of low traffic dirt roads used my motor bikes, horses, hikers, and other mountain bikers

With the mass start of the event, Kerkove took to the front with Looney on his wheel. They would pull the nearly 100-racer field for the first 13 miles before the first major 3,000 ft climb out from the desert floor. Here the group would separate. Sonya would fall off the men’s pace but ride in 5th place amongst the men all day. Kerkove, leading the charge up the climb would be over taken by last year’s winner, and be forced to chase all day in 2nd place over the steep Julian terrain, before dropping to 3rd in the final 20 miles of the 86-mile event.

“For the first race of the year I am happy with my effort. The new equipment was spot on and I had a blast ripping the roads outside Julian!” stated Kerkove after crossing the line in 3rd place with a time of 7 hours.

Taking the win in the women’s race and placing 5th overall in the men’s field with a time of 7 hours 41 minutes, Looney flexed her early season muscles. Looney after she crossed the finish line, “The most fun part of the course for me was the Oriflame climb. It was about 4 miles, maybe 1600 ft of vertical, rocky, and hot! It was awesome. I don’t know why I like pain so much, but that was my favorite part!”

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RESULTS
Sonya Looney, 1st place female overall
Jeff Kerkove, 3rd place male overall

Irina Kalentieva victorious on her new Grand Canyon CF

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

The Russian champion from the Topeak-Ergon Racing Team surprised everyone with her victory at the HC-race of the Maremma Cup.

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The Topeak-Ergon Racing Team and numerous other European pro teams accepted the invitation of Thomas Frischknecht and SRAM to take part in the Maremma Cup in the Tuscany region of Italy.
Kalentieva, Kurschat and Lakata came from all over Europe to the medieval town of Massa Marittima. Kalentieva interrupted her training camp on Mallorca, Alban Lakata came more or less directly from the Sunshine Cup in Cyprus and Kurschat temporarily shelved his preparations for the coming season in his native Palatinate.
The aim of this early season event was principally to allow the riders to familiarise themselves with the new 2011 race bikes and make any make any necessary minor adjustments in cooperation with the race support team from SRAM.

On Friday evening the current marathon world champion Lakata and the German cross-country champion Kurschat competed in sprint race on a 500m long and twisty town centre course in the picturesque and historic city centre of Massa Marittima, and against a backdrop of booming music. The entire event took place under floodlights and was live on Italian TV. The stamina specialists Lakata and Kurschat both didn’t have the liveliness in their legs to be able to make any impression in the sprint finish.

On Saturday most of the riders’ schedule was taken up with photo shootings, interviews and group rides with journalists and sponsoring partners and the single trail paradise around Massa Marittima provided a truly ideal setting for this.

On Sunday the cross country race provided a suitable finale. At 9.20 in the morning the Elite ladies started their event, which was on a course that had a large proportion of single trails and some of these were very slippery and boggy due to the overnight rain. After a little tumble at the start of the race the first rider to go into the lead was the Frenchwoman Cecile Ravanel, while Kalentieva and the current world champion Wloszczowska were in pursuit just 20 seconds down. The Russian got better from lap to lap and at the end of lap 3 she pulled out all the stops to try and close the gap on Ravanel. Between laps 4 and 6 Irina succeeded in putting herself at the front of the race and quickly opened up a gap of 20 seconds on her pursuers and she was able to hold on to this lead until the finish line. This meant that her first event riding her new carbon hardtail was immediately a victory.
Kalentieva was over the moon after the race saying, “I’m really surprised. I’ve just come from my training camp and haven’t done any extra training for cross-country. I didn’t expect that I could win on such a technically demanding course. This win has given me a massive boost in my preparation for all the other highlights that are coming up this season!”

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