MTB News & racing round-up for August 10, 2005, part 1
Edited by Steve Medcroft
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TransRockies exciting first stages
By Steve Medcroft
Formation flying at TransRockies
Photo ©: Rachel Boekel
The TransRockies stage race got underway in British Columbia on Sunday.
700 pro and amateur starters, paired in teams, began the weeklong race
across Canada’s portion of the Rocky Mountains with a short-by-race-standards
forty-kilometer singletrack prologue. The opener featured 1,150 meters
of climbing from Fernie and Sparwood, B.C. Between then and next Sunday,
riders cover 600 kilometers and 12,000 meters of rural mountain terrain
featuring, according to race organizers, “grueling climbs, technical singletrack
and deep un-bridged river crossings.”
In the prologue, the team of Andreas Hestler and 2004 Canadian national
espoir XC champ Marty Lazarski (Rocky Mountain) rose up to their billing
as race favorites in the men’s division with a 9:17 win over fellow Canadians
Troy Misseghers and Neil Grover (Race Face Mountain Men). "We're really
happy with the way the day went," Hestler said at the finish. "Though
it's only day one and there's nothing even remotely decided yet, having
a nine-minute cushion is way more than we hoped for and gives us a tactical
advantage for the moment."
Normally, tactical advantage means to sit back and let someone else wear
themselves out trying to make up the time. But in Stage 2, the Rocky Mountain
team found themselves with another chance to open the gap. In the 123
kilometer, 2100 meter route between Sparwood and Elkford, they Rocky Mountain
and Race Face Mountain Men rode off the front of the race together until
one of the Mountain Men flatted and the pair had to hold back. The pair
chased Rocky Mountain to get back into contention but lost an additional
six minutes in the overall.
The race is far from over though. On Friday alone, in the Stage from
Sandy McNabb Campground to Bragg Cree, racers have to deal with 110 kilometers
(44 of them technical singletrack) and 2300 meters of climbing.
There’s also more to the race than just the pro men’s event. Different
teams have held the lead at the end of each of the first two days in both
the women’s and the mixed-gender categories. In the 100+ Age Open category,
Keith Bontrager (yes, that Bontrager) and British MTB journalist Steve
Worland are sitting second behind Canadians Lindsay Gauld and Don Sissons
(Olympia Prairie Boys). Bontrager is writing a daily diary from the event.
You can read it here.
And the race is full of drama beyond just the unbelievable vista’s and
hard-core racing. In one scary and dramatic moment on Monday, Samantha
Phillips of Team Bike Shop/Bicycle Café crashed on the descent down Harley
Pass in Stage 2. She opened a deep gash and cut major ligaments in her
knee. Phillips’ teammate, Tom Zidek, piggybacked her up the next hill
where she was evacuated by helicopter. He then strapped her bike to his
back and rode it to the finish; including down the day's entire technical
Results, race reports and pictures:
Brian Head NORBA Wrap Up
By Steve Medcroft
Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Subaru Gary-Fisher) and fiancée Heather Irmiger
(Tokyo Joes) were both winners at Saturday’s Brian Head, Utah NORBA National
cross-country race. With his win, Horgan-Kobelski regained the NORBA series
lead over Tam Maxxis' Geoff Kabush (who fell to ninth on the day after
Twenty-six year old Irmiger’s victory was her first NORBA-series win.
"I kind of just played it pretty conservative at first and I knew it was
a long time until it got higher and harder, "she said about her approach
to the race. But after the lead group slowed, she took a chance and attacked
on a long climb. “It's kind of an amateur tactic (to go hard early).”
An amateur tactic that paid off when Irmiger was able to hold off 2005
four-time cross-country winner Shonny Vanlandingham by 43 seconds for
"I'm still still high off it," Irmiger said Tuesday evening. "Still not
Attempting the Hat Trick
Power couple JHK and Irmiger’s double cross-country win was the story
of the weekend but Jeremiah Bishop came awfully close to a double of his
own after racing all three cross-country events.
“It’s the first time I’ve attempted the hat trick,” he says. “It was
a really fun challenge. But it was really a means to an end; just part
of the training plan.” A plan that called for Bishop to get in an intense
block of competition-level riding over the weekend. “I’m trying to ride
into top form for the finals, mountain bike nationals and World Championships
Although individual racers have won both the cross-country and short-track
events at a single NORBA weekend before (most recently Geoff Kabush’s
short-track and cross-country wins in Snowmass, Colo. in July) not many
racers attempt all three cross-country events. “Ryder Hesjedal tried (the
hat trick) once,” Bishop says. “In Schweitzer (July 2004), he won the
cross country and marathon and placed 17th in the short track.” So Bishop
knew it was possible to get results in all three races.
He came second in Saturday’s cross-country then won Sunday morning’s
marathon. In the Sunday-afternoon short-track, he raced aggressively.
“I was probably a little too excited,” he said. “The lead pack of about
five guys slowed down into a headwind. It was irresistible attack so I
slipped around and tried to go.” Stuck in the wind alone, “they put the
smack down me; went around me like a pack of angry hornets” he says about
being overtaken a lap later.
Although fatigued, Bishop still managed seventh, his best short-track
result so far. His training now calls for the Harrisonburg, Virginia-based
pro to back off a little leading up to the Snowmass and Mount Snow NORBA’s
later this month. “I’m going to do some shopping,” he says, “pick out
my Tux (for his October wedding to fiancée Erin North).
Ferguson first race back ends in a spill
In the cross-country race in Brian Head, twenty-three year old Coloradan
Walker Ferguson (Scott USA), who is just returning to national-level MTB
competition after a racing sabbatical and was competing in his one and
only NORBA race of the year, crashed on a descent but escaped major damage.
“I’m bruised up but nothing was broken,” he said on Tuesday. Which means
Ferguson will be able to stick to his plan to “do a couple local races
here in Colorado then go to Mammoth for Nationals.”
Results, race reports and pictures:
Ryan Trebon sidelined after ‘Toona crash
By Steve Medcroft
Mountain biker Ryan Trebon (Kona Les Gets) was injured in a crash during
the International Tour de Toona road stage race in Altoona, Pennsylvania
July 28. With With less than fifteen kilometers to go in the Holidaysburgh
Circuit race, he touched wheels with another racer and hit the pavement,
snapping the radius bone (the inner of the two bones that make up the
forearm). Trebon was treated at a local hospital and was unable to compete
in the following week’s Brian head, Utah NORBA event.
Trebon says he will probably not make any of the remaining NORBAs either
but hopes to recover in time to compete in the Mammoth, California National
Championship cross-country race September 18.
Global MTB racing roundup:
Besides the NORBA action in Brian Head, Utah and the Canadian TransRockies
multi-day stage race, we posted the following results and race reports
from around the world:
Bishop wins Double Assault on Mount Mitchell
Professional mountain-bike racer Jeremiah Bishop became the first cyclist
to win both the Assault on Mount Mitchell road event and the Off-Road
Assault on Mount Mitchell mountain bike race, accomplishing both victories
in a single year.
On July 31, Bishop crossed the finish line on his mud-covered Trek bicycle
Assault after riding 61 miles with 11,000 feet of elevation gain in just
5:15. In May, Bishop completed the 117mile Assault on Mount Mitchell road
ride. Among one thousand entrants, Bishop was the first to summit the
6,648-foot peak with a total ride time of 6:11.
The 2005 “Assaults” marked Bishop’s first attempt in both cycling events.
“It was really fun to be the first rider to win the road Assault on Mount
Mitchell and the Off-Road Assault,” Assault had the most climbing I have
done over that distance since TransAlp. A super quality course, it was
really fun. Also, this victory represents a positive return to form after
recovering from a recent illness,” Bishop adds.
The 2005 Off Road Assault on Mount Mitchell was the most successful running
the event with over 265 participants. Bishop, 29, is a professional mountain
bike racer on the Trek/Volkswagen Racing Team. In 2003, he won the Gold
Medal in the Mountain Bike race at the XIV Pan American Games. Bishop
completed the 2004 mountain bike season ranked twentieth internationally.
Australian World's Team announced
National Mountain Bike selectors have selected the following riders to
represent Australia at the UCI World MTB Championships in Livigno, Italy
from the 31st Aug – 4th September, 2005.
Junior XC Men: Lachlan Norris, Garry Millburn, Cal Britten,
Joel Healy , Andrew Arthur, Daniel Johnston.
Junior XC Women: Erica Oldfield
U23 XC Men: Trent Lowe, Shaun Lewis, Daniel McConnell.
Senior XC Men (Opportunity exists for additional elite seniors
to qualify by 25th July): Dylan Cooper , Sid Taberlay, Brent Miller.
Senior XC Women: Emma Colson, Niki Fisher, Niki Gudex.
Junior DH Men: Amiel Cavalier, Liam Panozzo, Christopher Panozzo,
Ayden Eves, Sam Hocken, Hugh Mansfield, Darren Pokoj, Alex Swann (Reserve)
Junior DH Women: Tracey Hannah (TBC)
Elite Men Downhill: Sam Hill (WA), Nathan Rennie (QLD), Chris
Kovarik (QLD), Jared Graves (QLD), Michael Hannah (NSW), Joel Panozzo
(VIC), Bryn Atkinson (VIC), reserves (Justin Havukainen (NSW), Jared
Elite Women Downhill: Claire Whiteman (ACT).
Elite Men Four-Cross: Sam Hill (WA), Nathan Rennie (Qld), Chris
Kovarik (Qld), Jared Graves (Qld), Michael Hannah (NSW), Joel Panozzo
(Vic), Bryn Atkinson (Vic), reserves (Darren Pokoj (Qld), Justin Havukainen
(NSW), Jared Rando (ACT)).
Elite Women Four-Cross: Katrina Miller (NSW), Claire Whiteman
MTBA congratulates all the fine athletes and wishes them all a very successful
campaign at the Worlds in September.
USA World's team finalised
Following last week's announcement naming the automatic selections to
the U.S. squad for the 2005 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships in Livigno,
Italy later this month, USA Cycling finalised its team by announcing discretionary
nominations today. The 21 additional start positions bring the total number
of competitors representing the United States at the annual championship
event to 43.
Of the previously announced automatic qualifiers, Alison Dunlap (Colorado
Springs, Colo.) declined her nomination to the team. The two-time Olympian
and 2001 World Champion has announced her retirement from world-class
competition after the 2005 season in which she is focusing solely on domestic-based
events including the NORBA National Mountain Bike Series.
Discretionary picks to the men's cross country squad include 2004 U.S.
Olympic Team member Todd Wells (Durango, Colo.), Jeremiah Bishop (Harrisonburg,
Va.), Michael Broderick (Chilmark, Mass.), Barry Wicks (Corvallis, Ore.)
and current U.S. Elite National Road Race Champion Carl Decker (Bend,
The sole addition to the women's cross-country team is Heather Irmiger
(Boulder, Colo.). Irmiger has put up impressive results in cross country
events on the NORBA series this year with second and third place finishes
respectively at round three in Deer Valley, Utah and round four in Sandpoint,
Other additions include Nick Ranno (Boulder, Colo.), and Sam Jurekovic
(Durango, Colo.) in the U23 cross country category and Michael Cummings
(Snellville, Ga.), Kyle Hammaker (Marysville, Pa.), Mitchell Peterson
(Sandy, Utah) and Tristen Uhl (Smithville, Texas) in the junior men's
The elite men's downhill squad added four as Chris Van Dine (Salt Lake,
City, Utah), Gerritt Beytagh (Fletcher, N.C.), Curtis Keene (Fremont,
Calif.) and David Klaassenvanoorschot (Riverside, Calif.) earned nominations.
Melissa Buhl (Chandler, Ariz.), who was an automatic selection to compete
in the 4-cross, was added to the elite women's downhill roster.
Bronze medalist in the junior men's downhill at last year's world championships
in Les Gets, France, Kyle Strait (Redlands, Calif.), was an automatic
selection to the elite 4-cross squad, but also earned a discretionary
pick to again ride in the junior men's downhill race. Strait joins Brendon
Newton (Arvada, Colo.), and Kyle Adams (Hesperia, Calif.) as discretionary
selections for the junior men's downhill.
Veteran rider Mike King (San Diego, Calif.) earned a slot in the men's
Complete U.S. Team for UCI Mountain Bike World Championships:
Elite Men Cross Country: *Adam Craig (Bend, Ore), *Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski
(Boulder, Colo.), Michael Broderick (Chilmark, Mass.), Barry Wicks (Corvallis,
Ore.), Todd Wells (Durango, Colo.), Jeremiah Bishop (Harrisonburg, Va.),
Carl Decker (Bend, Ore.)
Elite Women Cross Country: *Mary McConneloug (Chilmark, Mass.),
*Willow Koerber (Horseshoe, N.C.), *Shonny Vanlandingham (Durango, Colo.),
*Kelli Emmett (Colorado Springs, Colo.), *Susan Haywood (Davis, W. Va.),
Heather Irmiger (Boulder, Colo.)
U23 Men Cross Country: *Sam Schultz (Missoula, Mont.), *Nick
Waite (Davis, W. Va.), *Andy Schultz (Missoula, Mont.), Nick Ranno (Boulder,
Colo.), Sam Jurekovic (Durango, Colo.)
Junior Men Cross Country: *Colin Cares (Boulder, Colo.), Michael
Cummings (Snellville, Ga.), Kyle Hammaker (Marysville, Pa.), Mitchell
Peterson (Sandy, Utah), Tristen Uhl (Smithville, Texas)
Junior Women Cross Country: *Danae York (Indio, Calif.), *Chloe
Forsman (Boulder, Colo.)
Elite Men Downhill: *Cody Warren (Alpine, Calif.), Chris Van
Dine (Salt Lake, City, Utah), Gerritt Beytagh (Fletcher, N.C.), Curtis
Keene (Fremont, Calif.), David Klaassenvanoorschot (Riverside, Calif.)
Elite Women Downhill: *Kathy Pruitt (Lake Almanor, Calif.), Melissa
Buhl (Chandler, Ariz.)
Junior Men Downhill: *Travis Bond (Chattanooga, Tenn.), Kyle
Strait (Redlands, Calif.), Brendon Newton (Arvada, Colo.), Kyle Adams
Elite Men 4-Cross: *Brian Lopes (Trabuco Canyon, Calif.), *Kyle
Strait (Redlands, Calif.), *Robin Baloochi (San Diego, Calif.), *Cody
Warren (Alpine, Calif.), *Rich Houseman (Temecula, Calif.), *Eric Carter
(Temecula, Calif.), Mike King (San Diego, Calif.)
Elite Women 4-Cross: *Jill Kintner (Seattle, Wash.), *Tara Llanes
(Los Alamitos, Calif.), *Melissa Buhl (Chandler, Ariz.)
*Denotes Automatic Selections
U.S. Congress Backs Take A Kid Mountain Biking Initiative
For the second year in a row, the International Mountain Bicycling Association
(IMBA) "National Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day" initiative has gained
support from the U.S. Congress. A joint resolution (H. Con. Res. 205/S.
Res. 195) sponsored by Senator Richard Burr (NC) and Congresswoman Virginia
Fox (NC) has been earmarked for swift passage this fall. Additional co-sponsors
are Senator Ken Salazar (CO) and Representative Mark Udall (CO).
In 2004, thousands of kids participated in more than 100 events nationwide
and in several other countries. IMBA expects even greater numbers of participants
The legislation is in memory of Jack Doub, a teenage mountain biker from
North Carolina. Doub was an avid teenage mountain biker who had a passion
for the sport from an early age, but passed away in 2002. The Jack Doub
Memorial Endowment helps fund the event.
National Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day encourages adults and cycling
clubs to introduce kids to the sport of mountain biking. It is held annually
on the first Saturday of October – Oct. 1 on this year's calendar.
Clubs and individuals who are interested in hosting an event should visit
http://imba.com/resources/kids/index.html for information and advice.
Trips for Kids, an organization that has been helping disadvantaged kids
discover mountain biking since 1988, will provide additional assistance.
Visit them at http://www.tripsforkids.org/
U.S. Transportation Bill Promises More Trails
The U.S. Congress is set to approve a new five-year federal transportation
Bill that will increase trails funding, including federal grants for singletrack,
according to the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA).
After two years of delays, the new bill is finally in front of both houses
of congress and will move on for President Bush's signature. In total,
it will increase funding for bike programs by nearly $2 billion through
Most important for mountain biking, the bill promises more money for
the Recreational Trails Program - a small but important project in the
massive $286 billion transportation bill. The Recreational Trails Program,
funded by non-highway recreation gas taxes, has helped communities build
and repair thousands of miles of trails, involving more than 7,000 projects
in all 50 states.
Funding for the Recreational Trails Program will grow to a total of $370
million over five years, $100 million more than the previous transportation
bill passed in 1998.
"This new bill is great for mountain biking," said IMBA executive director
Mike Van Abel. "We're pumped that funding for the Recreational Trails
Program will increase. This federal grant program is extremely important
to mountain biking's future."
"For the past two years, our lobbying team in Washington has pushed IMBA's
message. All of that hard work has paid off. Everyone who donated funds,
visited Capitol Hill during IMBA's lobby days, or contacted their members
of Congress, deserves thanks. You helped IMBA convince lawmakers that
mountain biking trails are important," added Van Abel.
The new bill also creates the first-ever national Safe Routes to School
Program, and authorizes more money for transportation enhancements and
other key programs that support bike facilities. Overall, bicycling and
recreation groups are very pleased with the legislation.
Bicycling organizations collaborated in the transportation bill lobbying
effort under the banner of America Bikes. Other trail and recreation interests,
both motorized and non-motorized, rallied together through the Coalition
for Recreational Trails. For more details on bicycling projects in the
transportation bill, visit the America Bikes website at www.americabikes.org.
To learn more about the Coalition for Recreational Trails, visit www.funoutdoors.com.
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2005)