MTB News & racing round-up for August 26, 2005
Edited by Steve Medcroft
Welcome to our regular round-up of what's happening in the dirt. Feel
free to send feedback, news and gossip to firstname.lastname@example.org
Single Speed World Championships Wrap Up
By Steve Medcroft
Men's winner Jesse LaLonde
Photo ©: Ryan Atkinson
Over four hundred singlespeed bike riders showed up in State College,
Pennsylvania this past weekend for the Singlespeed World Championships
(August 20). But before we move on to the Cyclingnews race report
of the event, there are a few things you need to know.
Firstly, Singlespeeders are not the mainstream of mountain biking therefore
you should not expect a race report for the Singlespeed World championship
to look like a mainstream cross-country race report. What we mean is that
singlespeed mountain bikes are a fringe passion. The people who ride them
say that removing gears takes the bike out of the equation and reduces
riding (and competition) to just the marriage of the athlete and the terrain.
A singlespeed bike is often the antithesis to the five thousand dollar
mountain bike; the one with a high percentage of carbon and every technological
advantage bike and component manufacturers can offer.
Abby Hippely celebrates
Photo ©: Ryan Atkinson
Singlespeeders, by average and not rule, are the punk rockers of mountain
biking. They represents the image of the hardened, tough-as-nails, ride
all day with no food, drink all night, ride all the next day kind of mountain
biker. This image is partially myth though; singlespeed mountain bikes
are popular among people as varied as downhill legend Marla Streb to U.S.
Elite Road National Champion Carl Decker. The guy who fixes your bike
at the local shop and the woman who tears the legs off the men on your
Wednesday night mountain bike rides are probably singlespeeders. Enough
Also, The race is not a sanctioned world championship. Promoter Eric
Roman, part owner of Nittany Wheelworks in State College, Pennsylvania,
says that he earned his bid to host the Worlds by simply asserting himself
as the host whenever spontaneous discussion formed around the subject.
“We just kept telling people it was going to be here whenever anyone asked,”
he said. The race became the world championship because everyone who wanted
to race in the Worlds agreed that this was where it would be held.
Read the complete Singlespeed World Championships report here.
Your Ad Here: Monique Sawicki interview
By Steve Medcroft
Born in Hawaii
Photo ©: Team MATA
With her win at the Snowshoe NORBA, Monique Sawicki locked up the National
Marathon Series title for the second year (an incredible track record
since she’s only been racing as a licensed NORBA pro those same two years).
She carried a four hundred-point lead after racing five of the seven marathons
and the title was virtually assured. In order to claim the title by the
rules though, Sawicki, who also won the NORBA Solo 24-Hours National Championship
in Spokane earlier this season, needed to compete in six of the seven
Since she missed the Brian Head, Utah NORBA (for financial and time-related
reasons), her last chance to get her sixth event was the marathon finals
in Snowshoe. Unfortunately, although she is producing the kind of results
that sponsors know will get her (and them) press, she didn’t have enough
backing to pay her travel expenses. Which meant that she and husband Ron
had to find a way to pay the bill themselves.
How is it that an athlete of world-class calibre, who has visibility
and publicity to offer sponsors, has to work full-time to afford to compete
in our sport? We talked to Sawicki (or ‘Pua’ as she's known to friends)
to try and understand.
for the full interview
More singlespeed wonders: Keith Bontrager diary
Singlespeed World Championships - August 24, 2005
First I wanted to finish off the last post by adding some of Rudy's art
and a shot of Ivan. Check the photos. Rudy is good. Ivan rules.
Back to the race.
Some of Rudy Nadler's art
Photo ©: Singlespeed Fellowship
The rest of the prologue legs were uneventful and quiet for me, though
there was some mayhem downtown. I managed to escape the serious drinking
by staying 20 miles from the pubs in an old beat down 4H camp with some
of the folks I'd been staying with in Pittsburgh. Secretly I had hoped
for something like this because, as much as this goes against the traditional
pre-race programme laid out by the Mullahs of the One True Single Speed
Jihad, starting a hard, technical, three hour race, with lots of climbing,
in heat, with only one gear, while feeling bloated and hungover just seemed
like the wrong way to go about it. I know some folks that can do it that
way, but I have never been able to. Dunno - maybe I won't make the cut
Anyway, the only pre-race highlight was the last six miles of gravel
road that led to the 4H camp. I drove it at night even though the Chevy
I got from Avis was very underpowered with a strange automatic transmission
that wouldn't stay in the lower gears. The evening there was quiet except
for a ping pong death match that went on pretty late.
The woods around State College are laced with singletrack. If the devil
rides, and I am pretty sure he does (when he is not running along chasing
pros up the cols in summer) it is very likely that he had a hand in laying
these out. They are about as rocky and evil as they can be and still be
called trails. In fact, it is occasionally not obvious that they ARE trails.
There are a few big rock gardens that make one think they must have taken
a wrong turn - the trail just seems to stop at this big pile of rocks...
Then with a closer look, the trail doesn't stop. It goes out the other
side, so these rocks are part of it. It just goes straight into those
See Keith Bontrager's entire Singlespeed
World Championships diary here.
Polish Worlds Team
The Polish Cycling Federation has announced its roster for the 2005 mountain
bike World Championships. Team members are already in Livigno, Italy training
at altitude in preparation for the Championships, which begin with a team
relay race on Wednesday, August 31st.
Maja Wloszczowska (Lotto), who will be fighting to better her silver-medal
showing in the 2004 race in Les Gets, France. There are also junior contestants
showing a lot of promise (Aleksandra Dawidowicz - Lotto and Marlena Pyrgies
- Polish Cycling Federation Team). They properly won the silver and the
gold medals during European Championships this year.
On the men’s side, fifth place 2004 finalist Marek Galinski (PSB Atlas
Orbea) is Polands hope for a medal in the men’s competition. He also will
play one of the most important roles in the relay race team (Poland has
won both a gold and bronze medal in this discipline in the past few years).
Polish Cycling Federation Team for the MTB World Championships 2005:
Seniors – women: Maja Wloszczowska (Lotto), Anna Szafraniec (Lotto),
Magdalena Sadlecka (Lotto).
Juniors – women: Aleksandra Dawidowicz (Lotto), Magdalena Pyrgies
Seniors – men: Marek Galinski (PSB Atlas Orbea).
U-23: Dariusz Batek (Lotto), Kryspin Pyrgies (Lotto), Pawel Szpila
(reserve - Lotto)
Juniors – men: Adrian Dzialakiewicz (Optex Opoczno), Daniel Zywer
(Lotto), Karol Sroka (reserve - Optex Opoczno).
Bush Rides IMBA-Built Singletrack in Idaho
President George W. Bush spent a vacation day mountain biking at the
new Tamarack Resort in central Idaho this week. The 25-mile Tamarack trail
system was designed and built by the International Mountain Bicycling
The president rode 16 miles, sampling many of the singletrack trails
that have earned Tamarack a reputation for world-class mountain biking.
Idaho Gov. Dirk Kempthorne joined the president for a ride that included
dirt roads, singletrack, a tour of the golf course and a visit to the
mountain bike challenge park. The president skipped the dirt jump park
and lift-serviced downhilling trails, although members of his security
team rode the challenging terrain earlier in the week.
IMBA's work at Tamarack is led by the IMBA Trail Solutions program, which
offers professional trail design, construction, and consulting services
in a fee-based format. The Tamarack project is IMBA's largest private
trail work contract to date. Veteran IMBA trail expert Joey Klein manages
the multi-year job that also includes professional trail builders from
Arrowhead Trails Inc. and Trail Dynamics, LLC.
"I heard the president really liked our trails," said Klein. "The security
guys told us he had a blast riding the berms and drop-offs on the Culebra
Loca trail, and that he headed back there for another ride early this
morning. I think he was impressed with riding purpose-built mountain biking
In a brief press conference, the president said, "I made a mistake in
not coming here earlier... This is a spectacular part of the world."
Bush's passion for mountain biking has resulted in unprecedented media
coverage for the sport. Nearly every major U.S. newspaper, magazine, and
T.V. network has covered the president's riding. The exposure has raised
awareness for mountain biking and generated a positive buzz for the sport
that is already enjoyed by over 40 million Americans.
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2005)