MTB News & racing round-up for November 23, 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
Marla Streb's Costa Rican Paradise
By Steve Medcroft
Photo: © Beth Seliga
The four-hundred or so competitors in last week's La
Ruta de los Conquistadores weren't the only top-level mountain bikers
in Costa Rica. Former U.S. National Champion and self-proclaimed downhill
Streb was spotted at the La Ruta sidelines. She was in Cost a Rica
to scout locations for a planned mountain-bike vacation park.
"We got the idea last year while I was racing La Ruta,"
Streb said by email Tuesday afternoon. "It's so beautiful and there's
something special about riding through the jungle with all the exotic
animals and plants. There are plenty of dirt (mud) roads to ride. Unlike
hiking, you can really get into the deep forest on a bike."
Streb says she and husband Marc Fitzgerald are planning to turn a parcel
of forest and turn it into a mountain-bike destination. "Instead
of a touring company, that takes the riders from point to point, we plan
a lodge and private trail system in a hub and spoke format. We'll
have private singletrack with some north shore style stunts in the rainforest.
From the lodge location, there (will be) miles and miles of challenging
dirt (& mud) roads and ocean views and easy beach access. The 4X4's
get stuck all the time. It will be all-inclusive pricing that will include
new model year high end full suspension XC bikes and pro mechanic support.
Jungle night rides. Healthy and organic food, as well as the other kind
...fried. Daily laundry, bike wash, and body massage. Horses,
surf and boogie boards, etc. I'll also conduct skills clinics and lead
some rides but we want it to be self-directed; you can ride all day, or
sleep on the beach all day. Accommodations will be in private jungle cabins,
solar powered, as green as possible. Boutique in scale accommodating up
to 20 guests for 3 to 5-day visits."
Streb says the park would cater to tourists from "the North American
and European market. The idea is that we'll be open for riding during
the winter season when most places are closed back home. We'd like to
attract riders of all types from beginner to serious. Women and couples
too. Anyone interested in adventure travel and eco-touring."
Streb and Fitzgerald have been working on the business plan for some
time and have both settled on the general area for the park and put together
some personal financing. "After we conclude the purchase of the property,
I'll consider taking on some limited partners to acquire more land but
right now we're looking at forming a non-profit to operate the park. I've
also spoken with IMBA and they're really interested in using our park
as a model for trail building for the rest of Costa Rica's national park
system. We're also building a web site for marketing and sales."
Besides the land and forests, the park would take advantage of Costa
Rica's human resources as well. "Part of the plan is to employ the
local population and help out the local economy by using the forest's
natural resources in a sustainable and ecological way. The trails and
will be built (by locals) under IMBA (and my) supervision."
Streb says she hopes to have the park open for the 2006 winter season.
Stay tuned to Cyclingnews for more information as it becomes available.
24 Hour MTB Nationals move to Wisconsin
After three years in Spokane, Wash., the 2006 USA Cycling 24 Hour National
Mountain Bike Championships will move to Nine Mile County Forest, located
five miles west of Wausau, Wis. Slated for July 29-30, the “24-9” or “24
Hours of 9 Mile” presents a mix of single and double-track events.
Nine Mile County Forest has hosted the race for seven years, though 2006
will be the first year the 24 Hours of 9 Mile has held the national championship
distinction. “The 24-9 is the largest 24-Hour race in the Midwest,” “said
Kevin Eccles, event director. “We're excited to be hosting the national
championships in Wisconsin and expect it to be a great event.”
Riders will compete for championship jerseys in the junior four-person
18 and under, master four-person 30+, men's solo open, women's solo open,
male open four-person and female open four-person categories. In addition
to these categories, riders will also have the opportunity to compete
in additional non-championship categories. Look for these categories and
additional information to be listed on their Web site at www.24-9.com
Kirt Voreis with team-mates
Kirt Vories re-signs with Santa Cruz
Kirt Voreis has re-signed with the Santa Cruz Syndicate and will be the
mastermind behind the Santa Cruz Syndicate Allride Tour. Voreis has had
previous success with his Allride tour and will resume the tour under
the banner of Santa Cruz Bicycles and the Syndicate. He will take his
talents for racing, dirt and street comps, and filming and combine his
competition travels with a demo program, as he travels the nation promoting
the Santa Cruz brand.
Voreis says, “I want to continue to progress Santa Cruz Bicycles through
as many avenues as I can. My goals are to generate more interest in mountain
bikes as well as continue to progress the sport and develop products.
Besides that, with Peaty, Rennie, Goldman, Waddell and Hendershot, it's
going to be fun kicking everyone's butt this year!”
Voreis will travel with a fleet of Santa Cruz bicycles taking the bikes
to Santa Cruz dealers around the nation. Santa Cruz's finest lineup will
be loaded with Syndicate sponsored product such as the most up to date
Sram/Rock Shox products on the market. Taking the bikes to the people
and getting them out to ride on choice equipment will be a focus of the
“Having Voreis out in the trenches promoting the brand is invaluable
to us at Santa Cruz Bicycles. Voreis is an amazing bike rider and personality
in the sport. From filming to racing, dirt and street, and now the Santa
Cruz Syndicate Allride demo program, Voreis will be covering a lot of
ground for us. Were pleased to have him back onboard.” says Rob Roskopp,
owner of Santa Cruz Bicycles.
Look for Voreis and the Santa Cruz Syndicate Allride Tour at a location
near you in 2006!
Atherton awarded Young Sportswoman
Britain's 17-year-old junior world downhill champion Rachel Atherton
has won the Sunday Times Young Sportswoman of the Year award in a gala
ceremony held at Old Billingsgate Market in London on Thursday, November
17. The awards honour outstanding achievement at every level of women's
Atherton was up against nominees from mainstream sports such as football,
cricket and netball, and was surprised to win. After accepting the award
from Lord Sebastian Coe, who is not only a multi Olympic medalist but
also Chairman of the 2012 London Olympic Games, Rachel gave an impromptu
After the ceremony, Atherton said, "I was honestly in shock. This is
a real surprise. I honestly had no idea that I would win. It is a real
honour to be nominated against other such impressive sports women, such
high profile sports, so I'm really happy for the sport that we got noticed
this way. They showed footage of me racing in Fort William and then Lord
Coe commented how different I looked all dressed up for the awards and
not in my race kit! He was really interested in the sport and asked me
lots of questions."
Full suspension for the big guy
By Steve Medcroft
Barry Wicks' Kona The King
Photo ©: Steve Medcroft
What's tall and fast and orange all over? No, this isn't one of those
jokes you find in the Big Book of Gags for Seven Year Olds, but
it is a trick question; one that has two answers. Because depending on
what race you're watching, the answer could be Ryan Trebon or Barry Wicks,
Kona's basketball team-sized pro mountain bike and cyclocross racers.
In cyclocross, the first orange alien you usually see is Trebon. After
winning the U.S. Gran Prix of Cyclocross last year, he has come into the
2005/06 season in strong form, winning several times already and planning
to head to Europe in December to take on the World Cup field. In 2005
NORBA mountain bike races, you were more likely to see Wicks though; especially
since Trebon spent the last half of the season rehabilitating a wrist
he broke on a crash during the International Tour de 'Toona..
These two riders present an interesting challenge for Kona engineers,
one that any tall cyclist knows well; traditional bikes are not designed
around riders well over six feet tall.
Read the entire Barry
Wicks Kona The King pro bike review here.
Rockwell rages on: An interview with Myles Rockwell
Photo ©: Red Bull
Red Bull's Road Rage event, held over the weekend of November 5-6, was
a chance for mountain bikers and road riders to compete in order to see
who could descend the fastest. The weekend's big winner was former downhill
world champ Myles Rockwell, who won the time trial and pack race to take
home $6000. But wouldn't that be small fry for a former world champ? Cyclingnews'
Les Clarke finds out that being a retired downhill mountain biker
isn't all about glamour, girls and maybe the odd bit of coaching.
After winning the world championship crown in 2000, Rockwell retired
from professional downhill riding in 2002, with injuries during 2001 taking
away his motivation to perform at the highest level. "When you're not
healthy, it just doesn't feel very good; you just want to get better and
I was kind of at the end, mentally, when I won world's in 2000."
here for the full interview.
Patently innovative: a look at the state of MTB suspension
Are design restrictions limiting the spread and development of suspended
mountain bikes? James Huang looks at the major players, their designs
and the way new entrants are innovating their way round existing patents.
Hardtails may not be dead, but I sure wouldn't consider the category
to be terribly healthy as full suspension definitely ruled the mountain
bike scene at this year's Interbike. True, hardtails are still lighter,
simpler, and often just faster in certain situations, but for most of
us, full-suspension is the way to go as it offers drastically improved
control and traction, more comfort, and the ability to simply do things
that just weren't possible before (or you didn't have to skills to do…).
Much as front suspension revolutionized the sport back in the early 90s,
rear suspension technology is changing the face of the mountain bike industry
and there's clearly no turning back from here. In response to consumer
demand, bike manufacturers have had to drastically revamp their off-road
lineups to reflect this change in the marketplace.
The big players
Currently, rear suspension is dominated by just a handful of major designs,
each of which has proven itself to work well in a variety of applications.
These include the simple single-pivot as used by Cannondale and Foes;
the related "faux bar" designs (as they do not incorporate a pivot in
front of the rear axle and, hence, behave like single-pivot designs) such
as from Kona; true four-bar linkages such as Specialized's FSR and Ellsworth's
ICT; complex Virtual Pivot Point (VPP) systems as used on Santa Cruz's
Blur and Intense's Spider XVP; and a few other less-common designs such
as Maverick's Monolink system. All of these suspension geometries, save
for most of the single-pivot and faux bar designs, are thoroughly patented,
and the patent holders fiercely defend them. And rightly so as lots of
money goes into the development of each of these systems and they're no
reason whatsoever to give away that intellectual property for free.
Read part one of James
Huangs' MTB suspension feature here.
Aussie XC national series #2 wrap-up
Adelaide's Chris Jongewaard was determined to claim first place in the
National Series cross country round today in Nannup, Western Australia.
The 26 year old now holds the lead position for the Commonwealth Games
selection race in three weeks' time in Melbourne. "I had to get out in
front," admitted Jongewaard.
"It went well for the first lap then I had a bit of trouble getting started,"
he said, adding, "Second lap was good and I just hung onto it until the
"The course definitely challenged me. I'm not too much of a climber,"
he said. "During practice I didn't think there was too much climbing but
obviously when you race it it's different."
for the full report & results.
Aussie Downhill series #2 wrap-up
Perth’s Sam Hill dominated the second round of the National Series Downhill
Sunday in Nannup, Western Australia. The world silver medallist won by
a clear margin of 2.17.25 and also took out the fastest run of the day.
Hill, who helped to design the course was happy with how the course stood
up to racing. “We did three runs today so the course didn’t change too
much throughout the day,” he said.
for the full report & results.
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