MTB News & racing round-up for July 21, 2005
Edited by Steve Medcroft
Welcome to our regular round-up of what's happening in the dirt. Feel
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Taberlay tangles with bear on training ride
By Steve Medcroft
Sid Taberlay, sans bear at the
Willingen World Cup
Photo ©: Rob Jones
"I'm generally good, except my backside is a little raw," is all
Australian Olympian and former Cross Country National Champion Sid Taberlay
(Specialized) can say three days after a bizarre training accident at
the Schweitzer Mountain, Idaho NORBA cross country race. Taberlay collided
with a full-grown wild bear while riding his road bike around the resort's
"I headed down the hill from the tech site on my road bike early Friday
morning (July 15)," he explains. "I was moving pretty quick, trying to
get my legs warmed up. About a mile down the hill, around a right hand
corner, there was a bear running across the road from left to right.
"I was moving too quick to make it past him on the outside, so I tightened
my line and hit the brakes." The bear, he says, was so focused on crossing
the road to a spot directly in Taberlay's trajectory, it never even slowed
to acknowledge the speeding rider.
"The bear went straight through me," he added. "I went over his back.
My bike went flying over my head. I'm not exactly sure how I landed; it
all happened so fast. I smashed my helmet, lost a lot of skin on my backside
and a little on my back and left elbow."
Taberlay says the bear didn't make a sound during the encounter and all
the rider could hope as he scrambled to his feet was that the bear hadn't
decided to come back and confront him.
"I got up and the bear was gone."
As for the exact type of bear Taberlay hit, there are two candidates;
although both the American Black Bear and the Brown Bear (also known as
the Grizzly) look similar. In fact, the only real difference between the
two is that Grizzlies have humped shoulders and slightly shaggier fur.
Could Taberlay tell what kind of bear he stumbled across? "No way," he
says "It all happened too fast. All I know is that on four paws, it was
about the height of my bike."
Taberlay says he hopes the run-in was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
"I've never seen a bear before. I never want to see one again. I'm from
Tasmania; the worst things we ever have to worry about there are snakes."
And that's the way he likes it.
The Australian recovered from his crash enough by Saturday's cross country
race to place 10th, seven minutes off the winner. From Schweitzer, Taberlay
heads to the Aspen, Colorado NORBA and then home for three weeks before
returning to the States to finish off the NORBA series.
Internet giveaways not just for Tour fans
By Steve Medcroft
When Rufus Staffordshire researched all the associated cycling
giveaways related to the Tour de France, he came up with an impressive
list of swag; more than a million U.S. dollars worth. Which is great for
roadies but what about the knobby-tired world? Don't we deserve similar
One Google search later and the answer is yes: Canadian clothing and
equipment manufacturer Race Face has a quirky promotion running called
Win the Crap on My Desk.
"It really is just crap in my office - and I use crap I a loving way,"
said Race Face marketing manager Marshall Rutman, the brainchild of the
promotion. "It's all actually very cool stuff," he added. Stuff like the
crank set Steve Peat used in the 2004 World Championships, for example.
"The idea for the giveaway came from looking at the stuff piling up in
my office. Rather than give them to industry insiders, we realized that
the average mountain biker would love to get their hands on it all."
Rutman had been with the company four years when he put together the
first contest and has run giveaways for a little more than a year now.
Each giveaway begins with a animated Flash cartoon launched on the Race
Face Web site. "We thought it would be sort of funny to put up the animation.
We have an in house graphics designer who breathers life into the episodes.
I write a script, do the voice, hand him an MP3 and he takes it from there."
Web site visitors watch the video and are given instruction on how to
enter that episode's contest. "We ask for something: an answer to a question
or for someone to send us an email - it varies every episode." The winner
is either picked from the entries or the prize is given to the first person
who answers that episode's question correctly.
An example: "In the last Crap on My Desk," Rutman says, "we asked people
to guess Steve Peat's favorite type of sandwich to win his World Cup DH-winning
Diabolus cranks. We received hundreds of guesses with the most popular
being the barley sandwich." But this wasn't a trick question and Andrew
Dye from Sheffield, UK was the first person to correctly guess that Steve's
favorite snack food was the bacon and egg sandwich.
New episodes appear irregularly. "When work gets a little slow, we find
some time to come up with something new," Rutman says. "Whenever the crap
"The next giveaway is an amazing, one-off custom bike barbeque that one
of the competitors in our Ultimate Free Ride competition made for us.
He's a gas fitter in Tennessee and sent us this little barbeque that mounts
into a head tube. And it works; it's ridiculous. It's too good to not
do anything with."
The next episode should appear on the Race Face Web site "in a month
or two," says Rutman.
Schweitzer Mountain NORBA wrap up
By Steve Medcroft
It was a weekend of excitement and surprises in Sandpoint, Idaho at
the Schweitzer Mountain NORBA National Series race.
Following last year's dry, hot and dusty competition, racers were surprised
to suffer hailstorms and thunderous rain showers at this year's event.
Jill Kintner crashed in the four-cross preliminaries and missed the rest
of the weekend. Overtaking a hard-charging Adam Craig, Liam Killeen (Specialized)
upset the men's cross country field to win his first NORBA series race.
A South African other than Greg Minaar (Team G-Cross Honda) won the downhill
event (Minaar stumbled on his final run to fall second by one-tenth of
a second to countryman Andrew Neethling (Turner - Honda). As mentioned
above, Australian Olympian Sid Taberlay (Specialized) collided with a
bear during a training ride.
Only Shonny Vanlandingham's (Luna Chix) win in the women's cross country
race defied the weekend's pattern of unexpectedness. The win, Vanlandingham's
second in a row in the NORBA series, shows that the Luna Chix racer hasn't
lost a step in form after winning the series in 2004.
The NORBA series moves next in Aspen Colorado's Snowmass Village Resort
July 22 - 24.
Schweitzer Mountain reports, full results & photos
1 - July 16: Super D
2 - July 16: Cross country
3 - July 16: Four-cross
4 - July 17: Marathon
5 - July 17: Downhill
6 - July 17: Short track cross-country
IMBA testifies in U.S. Congress on California wilderness bill
By Steve Medcroft
The International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) was asked to
provide testimony July 14th before the U.S. Congress regarding the Northern
California Coastal Wild Heritage Wilderness Act (S.128/H.R. 233); a bill
that threatens to ban mountain biking from 180 miles of singletrack on
IMBA representative Jim Hasenauer, 56, of Woodland Hills, Calif., a Professor
of Communications Studies at California State University at Northridge
and former IMBA president, spoke before the U.S. House Subcommittee on
Forest and Forest Health.
"The committee was considering three bills," said Hasenauer about the
meeting. "We were concerned with HR 233, which designates a Wilderness
area in California." The designation limits the use of 300,000 acres of
land prime for mountain biking. "Under the designation, there can be no
roads, no structures, no motorized vehicles, no timber; not even chainsaws
for trail work."
The protection is mean to preserve land in its most primitive state.
So why does IMBA not support the bill? "We would love to support the bill
but we can't," Hasenauer explains. "The way it stands, 180 miles of trails
that would be closed to bicycles. Closed because bicycles are currently
included in the list of activities banned from protected wilderness."
"Mountain bikes weren't specifically banned by the original Wilderness
Act of 1964," he says. "We were affected by legislation in 1984. At the
time, mountain biking was relatively new. The (Specialized) Stumpjumper
was only four years old. Nobody knew who we were, whether we would be
IMBA hopes that its invitation to lobby the bill will result in changes
before the bill becomes law. "We're hoping the current bill gets changed
to protect some of the land with mechanisms that allow biking. Or grandfather
bicycling in. Either way, we want to tell the story that mountain bikers
are conservationist and believe that we can ride in a way where we don't
IMBA's impact on the bill won't be immediately known. "It's not like
they listen to what you say, crack the gavel and vote - it will be a couple
of years before the bill takes its final shape," says Hasenauer. "Until
then, we'll keep working with other activities like letter writing and
Inaugural Breckenridge 100
By Steve Medcroft
The inaugural Breckenridge
100 was won by Colorado local riders Josh Tostada (Breckenridge, Colo.)
and Rebecca Hodgetts (Dillon, Colo.).
In the women's race Hodgetts, who is originally from New Zealand, said
"That was the stupidest race I've ever done," after more than eleven hours
of extremely tough racing. "I wasn't sure where I was going (at times),"
Tostada, a former winner of the endurance mountain biking classic Montezuma's
Revenge, was able to hold off Subaru/Gary Fisher factory team rider Nat
Ross in the men's race and agrees with Hodgetts' assessment of the race
as tough. "I could barely breathe and my feet were really hurting. It
was just surviving."
"It was a really, hard, hard race," Nat Ross said from his home after
the event. "We rode on the Colorado Trail, started in town at 9,600 feet
and immediately climbed to 12,400. By 6:45 in the morning, we were at
Organizers designed a clover-leaf course of three loops and didn't provide
technical support stations other than at the base of the loops."
"The whole course was up and down," said Ross. "We were above the tree-line
probably twenty percent of the time and the course rolled so much you
couldn't really race it - you just had to settle into your own riding
style and do your own thing."
As an endurance racer with a long history in 100-mile events, Ross says
the Breckenridge 100 was a success. "For its first year, it had a great
turnout. They had a relay option which made it an attainable race for
more people than just the ultra-endurance racers."
Tostada won the men's race in 9 hours, 13 minutes and 19 seconds. Ross,
who used the racing as training leading up to next week's Aspen, Colo.
NORBA Marathon race, came in forty-five minutes later.
Hodgetts, with a time of 11 hours, 44 minutes, beat former World Solo
24-Hours of Adrenilin World Champion Christina Begy by just six minutes.
By Steve Medcroft
The Addidas Bike Trans Alps Challenge is underway in the German Alps
this week. The UCI-accredited endurance stage race pits unsupported teams
of two racers who must ride together (and stay within two minutes of each
other through all race checkpoints) over eight stages for more than six
hundred kilometers of trails and over 15 thousand meters of climbing.
Among the 524 teams, participants include former Olympic Champion Bart
Brentjens (Netherlands, racing with Austrian Martin Kraler in the men's
division) and Alison Sydor (Rocky Mountain Business Objects, racing in
the mixed division with Elite mountain bike pro and fellow Canadian Andreas
The first stage was held Saturday, July 16; a 111 kilometer ride from
Mittenwald to Mayrhofen, Germany which offered more than two thousand
meters of climbing to warm the race up.
In the fifth stage (Sexten - St.Vigil, July 20), the South American Banano
de Costa Rica team attacked the men's race and held an early seven minute
advantage all the way to the finish. The effort wasn't enough to take
over the race lead from Carsten Bresser and Karl Platt (Rocky Mountain
In the women's category, Esther Süss and Anna Enocsson (Ghost Int. Racing
Team) extended their stage-race lead to 1 hour, 36 minutes over Gretchen
Reeves and Lesley Tomlinson (Rocky Mountain Business Objects).
Ghost International Racing Team's husband and wife team Jörg and Anna
Scheiderbauer won the fifth stage in the mixed competition and retain
a twenty-five minute lead in the series over Hestler and Sydor.
The 2005 Trans Alps Challenge ends Saturday, July 23. The remaining stages
in this year's race are St.Vigil to Alleghe, Alleghe to Belluno and Belluno
British Downhill and Marathon National Championships
Steve Peat and Rachel Atherton took the top honours at the National downhill
championships at Bringewood. On a swelteringly hot day, beneath clear
skies, the competitors had to tackle a tight, technical and very dry course,
with deep dust gathering on the lower sections and making the going unexpectedly
In the inaugural Marathon National Championships, Caroline Jackson &
Nick Craig defied the hot competition as well as the fierce heat, and
rode into history, claiming the first National Marathon Championship Jersey's.
She's back! Paola Pezzo wins Italian MTB Championship
Tim Maloney, European Editor
12 years after her last Italian cross country mountain bike title, Paola
Pezzo rode to her third career maglia tricolore in Sarentino, just north
of Bolzano. Riding for U.C. Saccarelli, her victory was the 39th career
win for La Pezzo. The 35 year-old mountain biker, who will be 36 on August
1st, must have the 2008 Olympics in Beijing on her mind already. It could
be Pezzo's fourth participation in the Olympics should she be selected
for the squadra azzura. Local lass Eva Lechner (Colnago Arreghini) was
the winner in the Italian Women's U23 Cross Country title. Marco Bui took
the Italian Men's Elite Cross Country title in Sarentino for Full Dynamix,
beating runner-up Martino Fruet by 1'08" to pick up the title.
Across the Alps in Bourg-d'Oisans, France, Julien Absalon has won the
French Elite Cross Country championships for the fourth straight year.
The 25 year old Bianchi-Agos rider, who was Olympic and World MTB champ
last year cruised home 0'40 ahead of Lapierre's Jean-Christophe Peraud.
Scott-Les Deux Alpes's riders François Bailly Maître and Séverine Hansen
respectively took the U23 and Elite Women's Championships in Bourg-d'Oisans.
Polish National Championships
Tomasz Piechal, Polish Olympic Foundation
Magda Sadlecka (Lotto) won the Polish Women's National Mountain Bike
Championships Championships Sunday in Olsztyn near Czestochowa. Lotto
teammates Maja Wloszczowska (2004 national champion) and Ania Szafraniec
placed second and third respectively.
Pre-race favorite Marek Galinski (PSB-Atlas-Orbea) won the men's championship
although not without a challenge from Lotto rider Dariusz Batek.
Full report &
Jeep KOM gets ready for round two
Mountain Biking's big-money, made-for-T.V. event, the $100,000-plus Jeep
King of the Mountain series, is heading for its second stop July 23 at
Grand Rapids, Michigan's Pando Ski Area. Brian Lopes and Jill Kintner,
both Americans, won the first round in San Louis Obispo, Calif.
The three-year-old Jeep King of the Mountain series features the world's
top male and female mountain bike racers competing head-to-head to capture
the King of the Mountain title for their country, as well as a cash payout
that tops $100,000 and the keys to a 2006 Jeep Commander. Racers compete
on a Y-shaped course where racers begin on separate prongs of the Super-D-style
Y then come together for the final section down to the finish.
Each event in the Jeep King of the Mountain Series events will be broadcast
to a national television audience. Two one-hour specials will be nationally
syndicated during the June, July and August time period. The finals will
air on CBS Sports on October 9, 2005.
The season will conclude with the grand finale at Jack Frost Mountain
in The Pocono Mountains, Pa., on August 14.
Sydney gets Mountain Cross Park
Sydney's newest professionally-built mountain cross (aka four-cross)
park is to be constructed at Sydney Olympic Park, the site of arguably
the most successful Olympic Games ever, according to Bicycling Australia
All the environmental hurdles have been addressed and all the applications
made. Start of construction is likely to commence in early August and
is expected to take about 6 weeks and will include landscaping the area.
The first major event will be the first round of the national 2005/2006
MTNX series which will be held in conjunction with the Bicycling Australia
Bike Show, 21 - 23 October at Olympic Park. Details of the Bike Show are
available at www.bicyclingaustralia.com.au.
SE Queensland Cross Country Mountain Bike Championships
Over 150 cross country mountain bike riders are expected to ride in the
South East Queensland Mountain Bike Championships on Sunday 24th July
at Karingal Scout Camp, Mt Cotton. Racing starts at 8.30am.
US team for Marathon Worlds
USA Cycling has announced the final team that will compete at the 2005
UCI Mountain Bike Marathon World Championships in Lillehammer, Norway
on August 20. Three men and two women will represent the United States
in the 68-mile off-road race later this summer.
For the men, Jay Henry (Avon, Colo.), Michael Janelle (Avon, Colo.) and
Cameron Brenneman (Mission Viejo, Calif.) will compete, while Gretchen
Reeves (Boulder, Colo.) and Melissa Thomas (Boulder, Colo.) comprise the
Henry earned an automatic nomination as the winner of the NORBA National
Mountain Bike Series marathon at Schweitzer Mountain Resort, Idaho on
July 16. Janelle and Brenneman were discretionary selections. Reeves and
Thomas were also discretionary selections.
Other riders who met the automatic selection criteria but declined their
spots are Chris Eatough, Adam Craig, Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski, Todd Wells,
Monique Sawicki, Mary McConneloug, Kelli Emmett, Willow Koerber, and Sue
US team for Trials Worlds
USA Cycling has announced the athletes who earned automatic nominations
to the 2005 UCI Trials World Championships in Livigno, Italy Aug. 30-Sept.
4, 2005. They are:
Junior 20in: Ryan Cecil (Ashville, N.C.), Ian Poor (Bowling Green, Ohio).
Elite 20in: Brian Yezierski (Middletown, Conn.).
Junior 26in: Cameron Kowall (Gates Mills, Ohio), Edward Gildea (Westfield,
Elite 26in:Jeremy VanSchoonhoven (Williams, Ore.).
Australian Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day: October 2, 2005
Mountain Bike Australia (MTBA) has designated October 2nd as "Take a
Kid Mountain Biking Day". As in most of the rest of the Western world
kids in Australia are suffering from inactivity.
The number of overweight and obese Australian children and adolescents
has doubled in the last 15 years. It is estimated that between 20 and
25 percent of children and adolescents are now overweight or obese. More
concerning is that being overweight and obese are major risk factors for
chronic diseases including diabetes, heart attack, stroke and some cancers.
"Mountain biking is an activity that can help reverse the trend
toward childhood obesity," says Tony Scott, president of MTBA. "Mountain
biking is a great physical activity and the perfect way for adults and
children to enjoy the outdoors and get some exercise together."
He added, "Mountain biking builds self-confidence and offers kids and
adults an adrenaline-packed adventure while giving them an effective,
low-impact workout. It's a great way to spend a day focusing on positive,
fun outdoor experiences for children, while teaching valuable lessons
about living a healthy lifestyle, personal responsibility and environmental
The promotion of the "Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day" will be funded
by MTBA and we will be helping all our clubs Australia wide have special
events on the 2nd October specifically aimed at kids. If clubs already
have events scheduled for this day MTBA will help them fit in special
activities for kids so that they can experience the joy of mountain biking.
Organisations other than MTBA affiliated clubs are encouraged to contact
MTBA if you have an event on that date or if you provide specific MTB
activities for kids. Let MTBA help promote what you are doing to help
stem the tide of childhood obesity.
Clubs and other organisations that will be participating in this special
day will be listed on the MTBA
website closer to the day, so make sure you pencil in the date: 2nd
October 2005 and drop by again to check out the special activities in
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2005)