MTB News & racing round-up for September 14, 2005
Edited by Steve Medcroft
Welcome to our regular round-up of what's happening in the dirt. Feel
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World Cup Finals wrap up
By Steve Medcroft
A very Scottish World Cup
Photo ©: Rob Jones
One week after World Championships, the UCI Mountain bike World Cup came
to a close in Fort William, Scotland. It was both an anti-climactic (most
series titles had already been clinched on points weeks earlier) and an
exciting weekend (featuring the first-ever Norwegian Four Cross win and
a double British downhill victory).
Photo ©: Rob Jones
Gunn-Rita Dahle (Multivan Merida) had long-since sewn up the women’s
Cross Country series - just as she had sewn up every possible championship
she could get her hands on this year – and left yet another battle for
second (in the race and in the series) between Sabine Spitz (Specialized)
and Marie-Helene Premont (Rocky Mountain Business Objects).
But Premont dropped out of the race (suffering food poisoning from a
bad batch of seafood eaten the night before) after Spitz set a blistering
early pace. Only eventual winner Dahle could keep up with Spitz. Dahle
says she struggled mentally to focus on the race. "I was in as bad a way
as the others,” she said afterwards. “We were all worn out after Livigno.
I spent the week in between focusing on resting and recovering, and then
I said to myself 'This is the last day, you have to go hard'. Once I was
riding I had a good day, I felt like I was flying."
Ralph Naef (Multivan Merida)
Photo ©: Rob Jones
Christoph Sauser (Siemens Cannondale) started the men’s race with a lock
on the overall title but received a much tougher test from his competitors
than his female counterpart. World champion Julien Absalon (Bianchi Agos),
Jose Hermida (Multivan Merida), Freddie Kessiakoff (Siemens Cannondale)
and Ralph Naef (Multivan Merida), were all looking for the individual
Kessiakoff was the early aggressor but Sauser and Naef managed to get
off the front alone before the last lap. Naef attacked on the last downhill
to hold off Sauser for his first World Cup victory. “This is the biggest
(win) of my life," he said after the race.
Two British racers won the finals men’s and women’s downhill. The first
win went to Tracy Moseley who qualified with the fastest time on Saturday
and was slotted last down the hill in Sunday’s finals. Austrian rider
Angelika Hohenwarter set an early benchmark of 5:46.10, but then Emma
Guy (Great Britain) then Kathy Pruitt (Luna Chix) shipped away at the
clock. Then Junior World Champion Rachel Atherton (Great Britain) came
through over a second and a half faster than the best time so far. Second-best
qualifier and world Cup points winner Sabrina Jonnier (France) couldn’t
beat Atherton’s time so all that was left was Moseley’s run. Despite crashing,
Moseley broke the five minute barrier for the win.
Photo ©: Rob Jones
Steve Peat (Orange) took the second Fort William World Cup win for Great
Britain in the men’s race. In front of a crowd of an estimated ten-thousand
fans, Peat ran the 2.46 kilometer course in 4:11:44 pushing World Cup
Championship winner Greg Minnaar (G-Cross Honda) and Nathan Rennie (Australia)
into second and third respectively.
The four Cross competition was settled on what riders called a tight
and short course. With gate position essential and shoulder-to-shoulder
turns, recently crowned World Champion Jill Kintner (USA) was the alpha
rider in eight-rider women’s field and won the event to take the World
In men’s Four Cross, American Brian Lopes (GT Hyundai) had already wrapped
up the series title and summed up the general mood of the weekend by saying
"It was a little bit anticlimactic after winning last week (at World Championships)
and having the title decided, but I still wanted to do good here." But
Lopes lost in the final when a mid-corner clash with Guido Tschugg (Ger)
left an opening for Leiv Nordmark (Norway) to take the first ever Norwegian
Final World Cup champions:
Cross Country Men - Christoph Sauser (Siemens Cannondale)
Cross Country Women – Gunn-Rita Dahle (Multivan-Merida)
Four Cross Men – Brian Lopes (GT Hyundai)
Four Cross Women – Jill Kintner (Yeti)
Downhill Men – Greg Minnaar (Team G-Cross Honda)
Downhill Women – Sabrina Jonnier (France)
Full race reults, reports and photos:
1 - September 10: Women cross-country
2 - September 10: Men cross-country
3 - September 10: Women four-cross
4 - September 10: Men four-cross
5 - September 11: Women downhill
6 - September 11: Men downhill
Broken back bumps Bishop out of Nats
By Steve Medcroft
There are more than a handful of racers strong enough to win the Pro
men’s Cross Country at this weekend’s U.S. National Mountain Bike Championships
in Mammoth Mountain, California. Defending champion, Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski
(Subaru – Gary Fisher) is in peak form after recently placing second in
the overall NORBA National Series. Adam Craig (Giant) comes into the race
saying he feels like he’s flying on the bike after winning the Mount Snow
NORBA XC, finishing as the highest-place American at World Championships
and placing well at the World Cup finals in Scotland. Todd Wells (GT Hyundai)
is always a threat. Barry Wicks (Kona – Les Gets) just won the Cougar
Mountain Classic Cross Country race at Infineon Speedway in California.
Former Junior World Champion Walker Ferguson is back on form after spending
time sorting out his goals.
But with all that talent on the start line, one potential winner will
have to sit on the sidelines; Jeremiah Bishop (Trek/VW) injured his lower
back in a pre-race run at Mount Snow just before the NORBA Nationals finals
and has been restricted from racing.
“I was pre riding with Nick Waite and (East Coast Trek factory team rider)
David Duvall. There was a spot on the course with a tree in the middle
and I went over the bars at top speed trying to avoid it.”
Bishop says he initially believed he did no worse than bruise his back
so he lined up for the next day’s NORBA finals Cross Country race. “I
didn’t feel great so I made a deal with Jon (Posner, Trek team manager)
that if I wasn’t in the top twenty after the second lap, I’d pull out.”
Struggling, he DNF’d and rested his back. His next race would have been
the Livigno World Championships. “On Sunday, before heading to Worlds,
I figured I should make sure everything was okay so I had my back x-rayed.
They said I had broken bones and I was like 'are you kidding?’"
They weren’t; the diagnosis was that Bishop had fractured the bony spines
on the outside of his three lower-most vertebrae. Luckily, there was no
damage to the underlying spinal column but Bishop has been ordered to
avoid any stress to the area; which essentially means he’s out of racing
for the time being. “I have to wear a protective wrap,” he says. “It looks
like a weight-lifter’s belt. I can ride my bike to rehab but I can’t train
for a couple more weeks.”
Bishop says he was “bummed about not being able to do Nationals but I
accepted that as a reality when the injury made itself fully apparent.”
Although he’ll miss the race, Bishop says he’ll still be in Mammoth. “I'll
be there to support my team and help Trek with a product launch”
After that, his attention will shift back to racing. “I’m definitely
going to do some cyclocross now,” he said. “We have good races coming
up on the East Coast and it will help me focus on building towards next
season and to get back in the swing of things.”
Canadian mountain biker suspended for EPO
Chris Sheppard (Haro)
Photo ©: Colin Meagher
Canadian national team mountain bike rider Chris Sheppard has been suspended
for two years after testing positive for the use of recombinant erythropoietin
(rEPO) in an out-of-competition test.
Sheppard was tested at his home in Kamloops, BC, on May 29, 2005; the
presence of rEPO in his A-sample was communicated to the Canadian Centre
for Ethics in Sport on June 15, and confirmed in his B-sample on July
4, according to an announcement from Canadian Cycling.
In addition to being prevented from racing for two years, the ban means
Sheppard is permanently ineligible to receive funding from the Canadian
Kona 24 Hours Global Championships #2 wrap up
By Steve Medcroft
Josh Tostada and Jenn O’Conner won the second stop in the three-race
Kona 24 Hour Global Championships this weekend’s at Snow Mountain Ranch
in Granby, Colorado. O’Conner, who traveled from the United Kingdom to
defend the title she earned in 2004, held off former 24 hours of Adrenalin
World Champion Christina Begy for the win. Local Breckenridge rider Josh
Tostada took out the men’s race; and his share of the $19,000 cash purse.
At stake was more than a cash prize though; the Colorado event was designated
as the series championship for 2005 (each year, a different race in the
three-race series gets the honor of crowing the global champion).
With a field of 284 riders, promoters Tough Guy Productions (TGP) and
ProVelo considered the first-time event a success. “We had 284 riders
for a first time event,” said Patrick Adams, ProVelo founder. “We feel
we can build on this substantially over the next three years creating
what we hope will be the premier endurance race in America.”
TGP is a Breckenridge-based ski video production company headed by Gary
Fisher-Subaru endurance pro Nat Ross. ProVelo’s Adams hosts endurance
events in the U.K., such as his Mountain Mayhem race, which are known
for things like low (by market-standards) entry fees, free camping, parking,
spectating, and massage for racers.
See results from the Kona
24-Hour Global Championships here.
Global MTB Racing Roundup
- Cougar Mountain Classic, USA (NE), September 10-11: Main,
hour race, Downhill,
- Kona 24-Hour Global Championships #2, USA (NE), September 11-12:
- N-Zo Sydney 12-Hour, Aus (NE), September 10: Full
results & report
- Minnesota series #9, USA (NE), September 1: Results, report
- Flight Centre Peppers Hidden Vale Epic, Aus (NE), September
4: Full results, report
Mountain Bike Festival on Cape Cod to Donate Proceeds to Victims of
The New England Mountain Bike Association has announced that all the
proceeds from its annual mountain bike festival in Sandwich, Massachusetts
on September 18th will be donated to the American Red Cross to benefit
the victims of Hurricane Katrina. The festival is the culmination of the
season-long Harpoon-Topeak MTB Adventure ride series, featuring one-day
mountain bike charity rides on marked loops around New England that enable
cyclists to support various causes.
"Our hearts go out to all the victims and the families devastated by
Katrina," says NEMBA's executive director, Philip Keyes. "It behooves
all of us to do what we can to help, and since 2500 of the victims will
be staying at nearby Camp Edwards at Otis Air Force Base, it's especially
important to take action now. We hope mountain bikers from around New
England will come show their solidarity to support those affected by this
The festival will feature mountain bike rides for all ages and abilities,
a bicycle vendor area and bicycle swap, swimming, and food. NEMBA encourages
attendees to collect as many donations from friends, family, and colleagues
as possible; pledge forms are available online.
For more information and directions, or to download a pledge form, visit
or call 800-57-NEMBA.
Fox Racing Shox Float 100RLT
from John Stevenson & James Huang's New Arrivals section:
The cross-country market seems to have settled on a sweet spot of about
100mm for fork travel these days, with maybe 20mm either way of wiggle
room for short races on smooth courses or endures on rough trails. The
air-sprung Float 100RLT is Fox's lightest model at a shade over 1600g.
As with the rest of Fox's cross-country line, the Float features an ultra-rigid
chassis with 32mm diameter stanchion tubes and cast magnesium lower legs.
The advanced damping system includes a manual lockout with adjustable
blowoff threshold and rebound damping. Our disc-specific test model also
includes a nifty new integrated brake housing guide; woo-hoo, no more
More info: www.foxracingshox.com
See the entire New
Arrivals article here.
Keith Bontrager Diary: Your roots are showing
Jimbo gets everyone to listen up
Photo ©: Singlespeed Fellowship
Things were fairly quiet after the SSWC (I've included a few last pics
from the event). It had been pretty hectic in the month before that so
it was time to chill a bit anyway.
I took a small tour of Amish PA. on the way from State College to Pittsburgh.
It was an interesting drive. These folks live a very stark, rural existence.
I stopped off for some baked goods, very tasty bread and pies. Of course,
just driving through is not a good way to get into the details, so that
will have to be left for the next opportunity.
Here is some Amish humour for you:
A Yoder got on a bus, sat next to a gentleman. After some time the gentleman
complained, "I'm stiff from bowling." The reply - "I'm Yoder from Middlebury."
You get the idea.
This is, scarily enough, going back to my roots, in an indirect way.
The first Bontrager (Johann Martin) arrived in Philly in the late 1700s.
He was Amish. The clan spread west from there and many ended up scattered
around PA. I am apparently the spawn of a black sheep though, so there
was never a connection to the real deal for me.
Read the entire Keith
Bontrager Diary here.
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2005)