MTB news & racing round-up for October 4, 2006
Edited by Steve Medcroft and Sue George
Travis Brown Inducted Into Mountain Bike Hall of Fame
By Sue George
Travis Brown wins the 2006 US Marathon
Photo ©: Steve Medcroft
US Olympic mountain biker Travis Brown (Trek/FRS) was among three men
inducted into the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame at a ceremony held during
Interbike on September 28, 2006. He was honored for his career accomplishments
along with Chris King and Bob Gregorio.
"The proudest moments of my career were making the step up to the national
level by winning my first NORBA National event in 1996 and becoming an
Olympian in the 2000 games," Brown said after receiving a welded steel
trophy of a mountain biker on a mountain and a jacket from Gore Bicycle
Wear. Brown also won the NORBA cross-country series and title in 1999.
The 37-year-old Brown, who recently moved back to his hometown of Durango,
Colorado, after fifteen years in Boulder, reflected on his fourteen seasons
racing pro, "When I look back, the memories of the good races overshadow
the tough races, which is interesting because while racing as a professional,
the ratio of really tough races to good races was about 9:1." Although
Brown returned to Durango because his wife landed a job as Executive Director
of the local Trails 2000 organization, Brown finds the location perfect
for his new role in cycling. "Now that I've shifted toward product development
over racing, having a good trail network close by is a huge advantage
to me." Brown tests cross country and all mountain bikes and components
for Trek, Fisher, and Bontrager. He also tests clothing for Descente's
In sixteen years as a professional, Brown raced all but two for the same
team, Trek/VW but at the end of the 2004 season, Brown retired to local
competition with the exception of a few key national events. His "retirement"
didn't slow him down though; he successfully
defended his 2005 national marathon title in July. "I don't travel
as much for racing now," he says. "I'm fortunate that there is a lot of
high quality racing nearby. The pressure on me has shifted to product
development away from race performance. It's made the racing I do more
fun again, like when I first started." Brown says that as long as he stays
motivated to use the races as a testing platform, he'll continue his product
When asked how Brown juggles the added responsibility, he says, "I'm
able to get the same fitness with less training. Having some new responsibilities
is actually complimentary to my training. I spend less time overtrained."
Brown plans to continue racing cyclo-cross with at least two US Gran
Prix of Cyclo-cross races near Boulder this year. He's still undecided
about Nationals in Rhode Island, but he will be testing new cyclo-cross
products at the races he does attend. "Trek is putting more life and energy
behind their cyclocross models this year and is looking to produce something
more high-end for the next few years."
Brown's career spans a period of time in mountain bike history that has
fostered incredible innovation, but his favorite development is tubeless
tires. "I think the ability to run a lot less pressure is significant."
Suspension is his second favorite development although he still regularly
rides rigid forks to keep his handling sharp. "Suspension and rigid forks
have their place. When I spend lots of time on a long-travel fork, it
takes me a few days to get fast again on a cross country bike."
Brown thinks mountain bike technology is still in its infancy and we'll
see plenty more development. In what areas specifically? "We look to boutique
builders in the industry for new ideas," he says. "The quest for lighter
bikes with more travel and suspension with more control will continue.
Everyone is working on suspension that's efficient to pedal, but still
really plush through rough terrain."
The new inductees were voted to membership by a panel of cycling journalists
and current Hall of Fame members. Thirty years ago, Chris King changed
cycling’s approach to components when he founded his component company,
now famous for its high-end headsets and hubs. Coloradoan Bob Gregario
has served as a trusted mechanic for racers like John Tomac and advisor
to manufacturers like Cannondale and Miyata.
Eatough goes for seventh world championship
Photo ©: Bill McCarrick
In the world of off-road endurance racing, there simply is no counterpart
to 31 year old Chris Eatough (Trek/VW). For the last six years, Eatough
has been a model of consistency and perseverance as he's pursued the lonely
world of 24 hour solo racing. Through extreme heat, cold, rain and even
tornado warnings, Eatough has steadfastly pedaled around the clock logging
more miles in one 24 hour span than most people log in over a month. His
six consecutive world championship titles more than prove his mettle in
what is undoubtedly the most difficult form of off-road competition.
In the 24 Hours of Adrenalin World Championships, held from noon October
7 to noon October 8 in Conyers, Georgia (site of the 1996 Olympics mountain-bike
cross country race), Eatough will attempt to win his seventh consecutive
His face challengers from a growing core of endurance pros including
2005 second-place runner up Ernest
Marenchin as well as recently-crowned Australian
marathon national champion Craig Gordon.
In the women's event, endurance phenom and 2005 US 24 Hour Solo national
Sawicki is seemingly over the injuries she suffered in a crash at
the marathon in Mont Sainte Anne going up against, among others, 2005
world champion Marg Fedyna, Trek/VW's Susan Haywood, and National MTB
Ultra Endurance Series competitor Rebecca Rusch.
Cyclingnews will be covering the 24 Hours of Adrenalin World Solo
Championships live starting at noon on Saturday with regular updates and
images from the event site.
Chris Eatough by the numbers:
1 - Mechanical suffered in all 24 hour world & national championship
races - a flat front tire in 2002.
10 - Pounds of body weight lost in 24 hours on bike.
10 - The most minutes ever spent off the bike in a race.
144 - Hours ridden for six world titles.
1080 - Miles ridden to win in six world titles.
14,000 - Average calories burned in 24 hours on bike.
Gilberto Simoni, MTB champion
Gilberto Simoni announced a few weeks ago that he would round off his
2006 season with various MTB races. He said he thought it was a good way
to open up to new horizons and add further motivations to come back again
to road cycling in 2007.
Good move Gibo; after only three MTB races, Gilberto took the Italian
Marathon Championships September 24th. Gibo found himself in a seven-man
lead group from the fourteenth kilometer of the race until he broke away
with with Hubert Pallhuber. Hubert later punctured, leaving Simoni to
roll away for the win.
10th Annual SMBC Mountain Bike Festival
By Sue George
The Shenandoah Mountain Bike Club (SMBC) will host its tenth annual mountain
bike festival near Harrisonburg, Virginia, on October 6-8, 2006. Every
fall, a few hundred mid-Atlantic riders converge for a weekend of riding
and camping in the George Washington National Forest. According to Club
President Thomas Jenkins, "The festival is unique as a grassroots, all-volunteer
event at which attendees not only play together, but also give back to
complete a major trail work project each year."
The festival began in 1997 when club members wanted to host a fun mountain
bike event for those visiting the area during the UCI World Cup Downhill
Race at nearby Massanutten resort. Rides now occur on many of the same
trails featured in the Shenandoah Mountain 100 endurance cross-country
race. This year, special events include a kids' ride held in conjunction
with IMBA's Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day, a full-moon night ride, a
dawn patrol trail run, and a women's skills clinic and adventure ride.
Proceeds from the festival support the non-profit club's efforts to maintain
local trails. The club annually logs over 1000 hours of volunteer trail
work. For more information, see www.shenandoahmountainbikeclub.com.
Purse grows for Wigwam/Ultimax Mountain Bike Challenge
The 2006 edition of the Wigwam/Ultimax Mountain Bike Challenge, hosted
by the Sheboygan FAT KATS (www.fatkats.org) will be held on October 8th
(XC) in Sheboygan, Wisconsin.
For 2006, sponsors have delivered a total cash and merchandise purse
greater than $10,000! The Pro purse will be no less than $3,000 in cash
with Men receiving $1,000 for first place, $500 for second, $250 for third,
$200 for fourth, and $100 for fifth place overall. Regular payouts for
the remaining top 20 are based off of WORS standard payout schedules.
Please reference www.wors.org for payout information. Winners of the Women's
Pro division will receive $500 for first place, $250 for second, $125
for third, $100 for fourth and $75 for fifth. Again, regular payouts for
the remaining top 10 will be based off of Wisconsin Off Road Series (WORS)
standard payout schedules.
Raffle prizes, such as a TREK bike, Oakley glasses and clothing, Chippewa
Falls Water, Wigwam Socks, PCW Cycling gear, Crank Brothers pedals, Bontranger
Equipment, will also be awarded at the event.
Dickies American Worker of the Year contest closes on Saturday
Cycling style - the Park Tool work
is made by Dickies
Photo ©: Park Tool Company
Earlier this year, we reported that Cyclingnews.com diarist Chris
Davidson has been selected as a finalist in the Dickies American Worker
of the Year competition; a contest in which the worker (of five selected
finalists) who receives the most online votes, wins a prize package which
includes a spanking new 4X pickup truck.
Davidson, 36, of Salt Lake City, Utah, is the team mechanic for Ford
Cycling, a US-based women's MTB team. He travels with the team to domestic
events providing full technical and, sometimes, moral support.
In his diary entry following the Sugar
Mountain NORBA stop, Davidson wrote "Some of the nice folks at Dickies
clothing came out to film me working on the Ford Cycling Team bikes on
Friday. I have worn their clothes for a long time now while working on
bikes... it was an interesting day, with spotlights and all."
Online voting in the contest ends this weekend, at 11:59pm on October
7th. If you follow Davidson's diaries online or have met, worked with
or been served by him at the races, vote
for Chris online at www.workeroftheyear.com.
Voters are eligible to win a free trip to Las Vegas, Nevada; presumably
to attend the final awards ceremony at in the City that Never Sleeps.
Race Face re-signs Paul Basogiotta
Race Face Components announced that it signed free-rider Paul Basagoitia
to its pro team through December 2009.
“As one of Paul’s first sponsors in the mountain bike industry, we’ve
had a long association with him and have seen him progress into one of
the sport’s premiere athletes." says Race Face president, Craig Pollack.
"We’re all looking forward to see what the future holds for Paul over
the next few years and are very excited to be there to support him with
a line of gear that has proven to be capable of withstanding his crazy
Race Face originally signed Paul in Aug 2004, right after winning Crankworx
Slopestyle, the first major mountain bike competition he entered, a result
he repeated in 2005. In 2006, Basogiotta won the first Red Bull District
Ride event in Catania, Italy and then proceeded to win the Overall Red
Bull District Ride by finishing second at the Nuremberg, Germany event.
He also placed third at Adidas Slopestyle and third at Monster Park).
Basogiotta has also signed a long-term deal with the Kona Clump Team.
John Kirkaldie (Team Maxxis)
Photo ©: Steve Medcroft
Now that the 2006 World Championships is behind him, Team Maxxis rider
John Kirkcaldie has raced his last race as a professional mountain biker.
Kirkcaldie, a fixture on the podium during six years with Team Maxxis,
revealed his decision in August.
In his final season, Kirkaldie scored a downhill victory in the US Open
and taking the mountain cross title at the Oceania Championships. He’s
also scored podiums in the gravity omnium at Sea Otter and several top-three
spots at NORBA races, including a victory in Super D at NORBA #2 and second
place in dual slalom at NORBA #5.
Kirkaldie won the 2005 New Zealand National Championships in both downhill
and four cross and finished third in the NORBA downhill series overall.
He also took fourth place overall in the downhill in the 2004 NORBA series
and sixth place in downhill at the 2004 UCI World Cup Race in Calgary,
BC (Canada). He was also the 2004 New Zealand National Champion, and took
NORBA championships in 2000 and 2001.
“John's presence will be deeply missed not just by Team Maxxis, but by
his colleagues around the circuit," said Christopher Warrick, bicycle
sponsorship coordinator for Maxxis. "His impact went beyond riding and
is visible through the riders he inspired and lent a helping hand to over
the years. John always gave back much more than he could ever receive
from the sport. We were lucky to have had John as a part of the team and
appreciate his hard work and loyalty. I know that he will be successful
in any direction he chooses to go.”
Kirkcaldie’s plans include a move back to his native New Zealand, where
he hopes to open a construction company and build custom houses. He has
also indicated interest in working as a New Zealand downhill coach.
Sea Otter adds new contests for 2007
The Sea Otter Classic announced that it will expand its list of competitions
for its 2007 edition by including BMX, Adventure Racing and Super D into
In preparation for its first-ever appearance as an Olympic sport in
2008, Sea Otter's BMX event will feature an NBL-style BMX track with "tabletops,"
rollers and one or two rhythm sections. "A traditional track will have
a start that's probably 8-10 feet tall, not too steep and then it can
have any combination of obstacles in the first straightaway," said Randy
Stumpfhauser (GT Bikes), four-time UCI BMX World Champion (cruiser class).
"It could be a roller, a step-up jump or a tabletop. I would say that
a traditional track has a lot more pedaling; power has a lot to do with
it and getting to the first corner is 80 percent of the race."
The Sea Otter Classic is also opening its doors to the multi-sport crowd
with the debut of Adventure Racing, where teams must complete the course
together - no more than 30 yards apart - using nothing more than a map
and compass. The Sea Otter Classic Adventure Race will be made up of four
elements featuring water, mountain bike, foot, and a "special" element
described as a "navigational skills test."
Also debuting in 2007 will be the Super D, which is a hybrid of downhill
and cross-country requiring not only power, but also a finely tuned descending
strategy to win. "Super D is the kind of race you'd have with your riding
buddies - first one down the last epic descent doesn't have to buy the
beer," said two-time national Super D champion, Adam Craig. "It's the
essence of mountain biking in my mind, everyone climbs to descend, is
in shape because of it, knows how to rail because of it - it's the simple
combination and concentration that make it such a good time."
Sea Otter's Super D will be a 14-minute race with a Lemans-style start.
Racers are expected to reach for short-travel, maybe even hard-tail rigs
due to the classic hard-packed, typically dry, fast conditions of mid
Also see the 2006
Sea Otter Classic coverage on Cyclingnews.
Kranked 6 DVD released
The filmmakers who brought us the five-edition Kranked series of mountain-bike
films, Bjorn Enga and Radical Films, released "Progression Kranked 6”
this week. the company says the inspiration for this edition was “to create
the most stunning and progressive mountain bike line... And Ride It.”
Filmed in High Definition with Surround Sound and coming in a two-disc
set with a Soundtrack CD, the film stars Steve Peat, Nathan Rennie, Ben
Boyko, Eric Porter, Ryan Leech, Kirt Voreis, Jamie Goldman, Steve Romaniuk,
Mike Kinrade, James Doerfling and Trent Kidd and was filmed on location
in BC Canada, Utah, Idaho, California, Switzerland and Scotland.
Striking Contrasts; the Gunn-Rita Dahle-Flesjaa diary
They say that no two days are alike, but we have now entered a period
of truly striking contrasts - everything from bike races in Estonia and
classwork at school in Oslo, to spectacular bike rides in the middle of
the noisy and busy city of Beijing. We're enjoying every single exciting
challenge that meets us these days.
Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa
Photo ©: Rob Jones
We've just arrived home again from an action-packed and busy week in
Beijing. A whole lot has been happening since we did the final World Cup
race in Schladming on Saturday, September 9. We had four days at home
in Stavanger, meeting with the whole family one evening, washing countless
machine-loads of dirty clothing, spending a few hours in the office doing
the most important of the paperwork and, as always, spending some time
at necessary meetings. We've also naturally had a few enjoyable evenings
just the two of us, with delicious home-made food and lots of fun with
our two lovely cats.
New places - new challenges
After that, we left for Estonia, a country we haven't visited before.
Our programme here included a marathon race on bike, placed amongst well-known
skiing resorts of Otapaa. We were cordially welcomed by some of the Merida
dealers in Tallinn, Marko and Sven, and had a great cycling experience
together with a good 3000 other enthusiasts on bikes.
Read the entire Gunn-Rita
Dahle-Flesjaa diary here.
One step closer; the Nat Ross diary
Landal Le Mans
Photo ©: Xavier Fane
By October, almost all the elite cyclists in the world have wrapped up
their seasons and shifted into donut-eating vacation mode. Unless you're
a cyclo-cross racer or 24 hour mountain biker that is!
"Typically, I dial in my race calendar in January and February and then
check off the races as they come and go. Over the years, I have stuck
to the calendar as planned and have not added any extra races. This year
was different as I added the 24 Hours of Landahl to my calendar mid-August
which brought me to four 24's in one summer. It is very difficult to balance
racing and recovery from three of these, yet alone four. However, my legs
benefited greatly from all the miles in Race
Across America (RAAM) in June.
There are two big 24 hour races in the fall with hefty purses; one in
Georgia and the other in Moab, Utah. Only one of those is left on my schedule;
my sixth consecutive solo race at the 12th Annual 24 Hours of Moab.
But back to Landal - The race went something like this……..
The run was short and fast and I kinda flailed putting on my CamelBak
in the transition while mounting my Gary Fisher Super Caliber 29. I picked
my way though the group to the front and was quickly joined by my teammate
Cameron Chambers who was racing on a four-man team. Cameron charged the
lines since this course was in his backyard, and I sat on his wheel and
we finished the first lap first and second overall. I had a killer support
group consisting of my girlfriend Janis, a mechanic Colin, and my friend
Brian. Everything went like clockwork for the first fourteen hours. In
fact, I was duking it out with a four-person team for the first placed
team overall. "
Read the entire Nat
Ross diary here.
Trade show time at Interbike; the Chris Davidson diary
"Greetings cyclingnews.com readers,
The badge with the yellow bottom
Photo ©: Chris Davidson
It is that time of year again when the manufacturers of all
that is bicycle converge on Las Vegas to entice the retail world to
buy plenty of the latest toys, so that you will have those vital pieces
of bike lust under glass in your local shop. It seems that a majority
of the attendees of the show are either in the buying or selling category,
but for me and a handful of others, the show represents the best opportunity
all year to get some face time with the people that keep the racing world
afloat. Here is how it went for me:
Living only an hour plane ride from Las Vegas I opted to fly in Wednesday
morning attend the indoor show for two days and fly home on Thursday night.
I can't say that I missed the outdoor show, as in 2003 and 2004 I worked
the outdoor show prepping bikes for demo rides. Two days in a row of eight
hours each, plenty of dust and non-stop work. By the time I got to the
indoor part of the show I was wasted. This year I hit the floor fresh
on Wednesday morning with what looked to be the largest crowd of show
goers yet at Interbike to see the new toys.
First up for me was thanking those sponsors who I worked with at Ford
Cycling this year. It was much nicer to speak to people to just say 'thanks'
rather than asking for more stuff. I have been fortunate this year to
have a great set of people to work with at various companies that have
made my life easier, answered my last minute requests, shipped stuff overnight
to hotels, etc.. It was particularly nice to spend some time with Dan
Weatherford at Squadra (our 2006 clothing supplier), Matt McClendon of
Kenda (our tire sponsor) and Duncan Benning (our inflation sponsor) of
Genuine Innovations just talking about the highs and lows of the season
from my end. "
Read the entire Chris
Davidson diary here.
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2006)