MTB News & racing round-up for August 31, 2005, part 2
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
Alison Dunlap Interview; Ending an Era
Photo ©: Rob Karman
By Steve Medcroft
Three-time US National Cross Country Champion, 2001 World Mountain
Bike Champion and two time Olympian Alison Dunlap (Luna Chix), ended her
NORBA National Series career with a win in Mount Snow on Saturday. After
a decade of racing during which she won a host of titles, the 36-year-old
American left the sport in the best way possible. Cyclingnews' Steve
Medcroft spoke with Dunlap about the end of an era and her plans for
life after racing.
Dunlap has said she wanted a NORBA National win during her final season
to feel like she was going out on top, and although she had podiumed in
four 2005 NORBAs before Mount Snow, Dunlap had only this one last chance
to win. The Luna Chix rider slipped into the lead ahead of Willow Koerber
(Subaru - Gary Fisher) after the end of the first of three six-mile laps
and never looked back, winning the race in front of family, friends, and
the mountain-bike community she has given so much to in the past decade;
a fitting finale to her NORBA Nationals career.
Dunlap is now one race away from ending a cycling career that started
with road racing in the mid nineties. She took up cycling after being
cut from her Division A Colorado College soccer team, and became the only
female member of the school cycling club, winning the women’s National
Road Racing Championship in her senior year.
After placing 37th at the Atlanta Olympic Road Race, she met professional
mountain biker and future husband Greg Frozley and soon switched her attention
to mountain biking. The rest, as they say, is history. Dunlap went on
to win NORBAs, US National Championships, Pan Am Games, World Cups, a
World Cup Championship and, ultimately, the 2001 UCI World Championships
in Vail, Colorado.
Cyclingnews: Knowing that your career is coming to a close, how
were you feeling coming into this weekend?
Alison Dunlap: I’ve been mentally getting ready all
season for the day when I’m done so I’ve been sad at every race I do -
I think about how I’m never going to do that one again or that I’m never
going to be at Mount Snow again. Or last week, I was like "thank God,
I’m never going to be in Snowshoe!" But at the same time it’s been really
exciting to go do these races. So I would say that I was excited coming
to Mount Snow but I’m definitely ready to be done with the season and
done with my career.
Read the entire Alison
Dunlap interview here.
Tech update: Carbon MTB wheels from Bontrager
Bontrager carbon MTB wheel
In our tech news section a couple
of days ago we featured some prototype carbon fiber wheels from Bontrager
that one of our spies had spotted at the Snowmass NORBA round. We dropped
Keith Bontrager a line to get more informaiton, but he wasn't able to
get back to us before our publication deadline.
KB has now got back to us to say, "Those wheels are very early prototypes,
nothing more. The idea is to get a feeling for what happens when pros,
rough singletrack, and carbon rims mix. Testing the water..." So
anyone who was excited about getting carbon rims for their racing MTB
should calm down.
Bontrager did spill a bit more detail though, in response to our questions
about weight, rotor fixing, spokes and tubeless compatibility. "The
rims are actually a little heavier than the lightest aluminum rims we
can make, though they are lighter than the current tubeless Race X Lite
rims," he said. "he hubs can go whatever direction we choose
(probably Center Lock given the recent trends). There is no sound technical
reason for plain gauge spokes. These are just quick and dirty for now.
"The rims are not tubeless ready at the moment, though the race
team guys can set them up without tubes using the usual work-arounds.
They will eventually be tubeless.
"As these things go, eventually may be a while off."
In the Pits at NORBA
With the season's end approaching, there was a fair bit of new stuff
in the pits at the final round of the NORBA series at Mt Snow this weekend.
Here's a quick look at some of it.
Travis Brown's Trek 69er proto
Travis Brown's 69er
Trek pro Travis Brown wheeled out this extremely unusual singlespeed
with different sized wheels at Mt Snow.
Brown says he really likes the handling characteristics of mountain bikes
with 700C (aka 29in) wheels, as well as the superior ability of the bigger
wheels to roll over obstacles. But he prefers 26in wheels for their light
weight and quicker acceleration. To get the best of both worlds, then,
here's the 69er, with a 26in rear wheel and a 29in up front.
There's more - See the entire In
the Pits at NORBA report here.
Top Pro Cyclists make time for Juniors at screening of ‘Pro’
Movie screening benefits the NorCal High School Mountain Bike League
August 29th, 2005 (Berkeley, CA) – This week top professional cyclists
are in town preparing for America's toughest bike race, the Barclays Global
Investors Grand Prix in San Francisco this coming Sunday. The start list
includes Tour de France stars George Hincapie, Ivan Basso, and Freddie
Rodriguez. Meanwhile, a handful of pro racers are going out of their way
to support local junior bicycle racers at an exclusive screening of the
feature film called 'PRO,' which documents the 2004 Wachovia US Pro Championship
race and benefits the NorCal High School Mountain Bike League.
Pro athletes Freddie Rodriguez (Davitamin-Lotto), Michael Sayers (HealthNet-Maxxis),
and Erik Saunders (Mcguire-Langdale) will be greeting fans and signing
autographs prior to this epic cycling film by Jamie Paolinetti.
'PRO' is showing on Saturday, September 3rd, 7:00 PM at Wheeler Hall
on the UC Berkeley Campus. Director Jamie Paolinetti will introduce the
film and answer audience questions. Tickets are just $10 and kids 15 and
under admitted free. More info at www.norcalmtb.org or call (510) 325-6502.
Advanced ticket purchase is recommended. Parking available at Milvia and
The Nor Cal High School Mountain Bike League is a non-profit organization
open to students from both public and private schools. The league provides
coaching and camaraderie to help students achieve both competitive and
non-competitive cross-country mountain biking goals in a safe and enjoyable
manner. The next season of events begins with a Coaches Training Conference
in December, beginner riding camps in February, and the six-race series
commencing in March. For more information and/or to organize an informational
meeting in your town visit www.norcalmtb.org.
Wildside MTB opens registration for 2006
Wildside, the four-day, seven-stage mix of mountain bike endurance racing
and recreational tour based on Tasmania, celebrates its fifth birthday
in 2006. Over $25,000 of product will be given away to the 300-rider field
during the event. The cash prize pool includes $1,000 to the overall winners
and a ‘Dash for Cash’ event.
During the four days of Wildside, riders covers 140km of competition
and 60km of cruising on some of the best tracks from the mountains to
the sea through one of the most diverse, wild, and spectacular landscapes
in Australia – Tasmania’s west coast. The event starts near Cradle Mountain
on January 28th, 2006 and finishes in Strahan (two of Tasmania’s adventure
and tourism icons) on the 31st.
Run under the MTBA banner, the event is sponsored by bike-related companies
such as SRAM, Pearl Izumi, Oakley, Mountain Designs, Polar, Rock Shox,
Budget, Apis Consulting, Southern Cross TV, Events Tasmania and Honey
Stinger. New to the event will be Specialized, Subaru (Neil Buckby Motors)
and Freestyle FX – a signs and graphic company. For more information and
to enter the event, check out www.wildsidemtb.com.
Rockwheelers get permission to build MTB tracks
A proposal for Townsville’s (North Queensland, Australia) first purpose
built mountain bike course on Mt Stuart has received conditional support
from City Hall. The go ahead allows planning to proceed for the downhill
cross-country trail on a section of council road reserve on the Mt Stuart
The proposal has been put forward by the Townsville Rockwheelers Mountain
Bike Club, which has developed a detailed management plan for track design,
construction, maintenance, and risk management.
Deputy Mayor Cr Ann Bunnell said the council’s Community Development
Services staff assisted the bike club in establishing a Trailcare Committee
and a Sustainable Trails Network for the city. “The council is supportive
of the proposal, but it is important that the every effort is made to
limit any impacts the track may have on the local environment and the
club is receptive to what we are saying,” Cr Bunnell said.
“Council staff have been providing club officials assistance on a range
of issues including the establishment of a committee for the sustainable
and proper management of the trail and other trails like it in the city,”
The council’s support requires the bike club to meet a range of conditions
- undertaking a flora and fauna survey along the proposed track with
support of council;
- meet any Legal and Risk Management requirements;
- provide adequate public liability insurance;
- enter into an agreement with council to manage and maintain the trail
in an environmentally sustainable way.
AUstralian MTB governing body MTBA congratulated the Rockwheelers for
their persistence and patience approach in putting forward the plan and
the Townsville City Council for their forward and pro-active thinking
about sustainable MTB activity in the city.
A complete 24-hour race on one battery?
NiteRider Technical Lighting Systems releases the MOAB
Lighting specialist NiteRider says it now has stock of its new MOAB Lighting
System, named not for the legendary riding area, but after after the battery
pack that gives it an almost-unprecendented run time. The system is built
around the Mother Of All Batteries, a new 18-ounce, 7.2Ah Lithium-Ion
pack. The Moab HID+LED system has a runtime of up to 12 hours utilizing
its three brightness levels, while the integrated LEDs will burn for 720
hours on a full charge.
24-hour endurance racers can now ride solo from dusk until dawn on one
battery, potentially meaning faster race times as transitions and therefore
lap times get faster without the need to change or charge batteries. Even
with a slightly greater total system cost, riders will be able to save
money by not needing to invest in multiple batteries and charging systems.
The Moab system also boasts a charge time of just 4.5 hours, if it is
ever fully drained, new gold-plated connectors for long lasting performance
and to aid in the systems versatility both a helmet and handlebar mount
More information: www.niterider.com
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2005)