MTB News & racing round-up for July 21, 2006
Edited by Steve Medcroft
Surprise in Sonoma - US MTB Nats wrap-up
By Steve Medcroft
Ryan Trebon waits for his teammate
to complete a Kona 1-2 podium at Nats
Photo ©: Steve Medcroft
The US National Championships wrapped up last Sunday after more than
a hundred Stars and Stripes jerseys were awarded in dozens of race categories.
The event was highlighted by extreme temperatures (in the upper nineties
most days) and racecourses unusual for the caliber of a national championship.
The downhill course, for example, was a mere two-minutes long and contained
only braking bumps, ruts and five slippery corners to challenge both the
US championship field as well as a NORBA Series group that included former
world champion Greg Minaar (Team G-Cross/Honda).
The cross country track, 7.7 miles of wide-open singletrack, dirt road
and - gasp - pavement, offered only 100 meters of tree-lined shade from
wind and sun per lap. Some racers openly criticized the course but you
can't fault the promoters; Infineon Raceway was never meant to be the
site of a national championship, only a stop on the NORBA circuit. But
record snowfalls in winter left the Mammoth Mountain, California ski resort
(the originally scheduled venue) with a twenty-foot snow base as late
as April and USA Cycling scrambling to relocate the event.
So, given all the facts, the weekend was a success despite its shortcomings
- Infineon proved that they are well equipped to host elite-level mountian-bike
competitions and the crowds that come with them. And despite the grumbling
from competitors, the results of these dusty, wide open and distinctly
un-mountain-bike-like terrains was aggressive and interesting racing and
surprising results in a number of races; mountain-crosser Tara Llanes
took the women's downhill, Barry Wicks won his first-ever NORBA-level
race by taking the men's short rack, Sue Haywood taking two championships
(super D and short track) after failing to reach the upper steps of the
podium in any NORBA's so far this season.
For example (and the biggest surprises of the weekend); the favorites
to win the US National cross-country Championships, four-time champion
Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Subaru/Gary Fisher) and Shonny Vanlandingham (Luna
Chix) went home empty handed as Ryan Trebon (Kona/Les Gets) and Georgia
Gould (Luna Chix) used tempo pacing on the wide-open Sonoma course to
take upset victories.
Trebon made what appeared to be a suicidal attempt to get free in the
men's race. A strong chase group including JHK, Jeremiah Bishop (Trek/VW),
Todd Wells (Hyundai/GT) and Barry Wicks (Trebon's teammate on the Kona/Les
Gets team) worked for four hot laps to pull the six-foot five-inch cyclo-crosser
back. But after two hours, Trebon was still in front. He crossed the line
with an almost relieved look on his face to earn his first elite cross-country
Strong solo tempo riding proved the key strategy in the women's race
as well. The field splintered into a string of individual riders within
fifteen minutes of the start. Heather Irmiger (Subaru/Gary Fisher) pulled
into a solo lead until Gould bridged entering the final lap. In only in
her third professional mountain-bike season, Gould gapped Irmiger for
her first major victory. Her best placing before Friday? Fifth in Deer
Valley July 8
Check out all the results, photos and race reports here:
- Race 1, Thursday, July 13, Marathon
- Race 2, Friday, July 14, U23
- Race 3, Friday, July 14, Cross
- Race 4, Saturday, July 15, Singlespeed
- Race 5, Saturday, July 15, Super
- Race 6, Saturday, July 15, Mountain
- Race 7, Sunday, July 16, Short
- Race 8, Sunday, July 16, Downhill
National Ultra Series #3; Breck 100
By Scott Miles of Warriors Cycling
Winner Josh Tostada
Photo ©: Liam Doren
Colorado Native Josh Tostada (Giant) won the second annual Breckenridge
100 on Saturday finishing a full thirty-five minutes ahead of National
Ultra MTB Series leader Harlan Price (Independent Fabrication).
Being the first western stop on the inaugural National Ultra Series and
the third stop on the Rocky Mountain Ultra Series, the field of about
100 racers was comprised of every caliber of athlete - from elite pro's
to aspiring novice endurance riders; including more non-Coloradoans than
Altitude (such as the high point of the course at 13,426') seemed to
take it's toll on a few but surprisingly the riders from outside of the
state did very well; in fact the top finishers in almost every category
were non Coloradoans.
See the entire race report, results and photos for the Breckenridge
Premont and Kabush repeat at Canadian Nationals
Marie-Hélène Prémont (Rocky Mountain Business-Objects) and Geoff Kabush
(Team Maxxis) repeated as national champions at the Canadian Mountain
Bike Cross-country Championships on Saturday, July 15 at Sun Peaks Resort
in Kamloops BC.
Held at the Sun Peaks Resort north of Kamloops, the circuit proved to
be more demanding than anticipated. The 5.4 kilometre course was similar
to that used in the past, with two major climbs and lots of technical,
rooty descending. Riders had praise for the course, calling it both physically
demanding and technically challenging The women did four laps (plus a
start loop), with Prémont and team mate Alison Sydor moving into the lead
by the end of the start loop.
Marie had stretched her lead to over 20 seconds when she took a wrong
turn, missing a course change. "The course changed a bit after I pre-rode
it the day before, so I didn't realize that I was going the wrong way
at first. But once I got back on course it was okay, I wasn't too worried."
Prémont quickly realized her mistake and rejoined the race in fifth place.
After that initial confusion, Prémont took her predictable place at the
front and gradually rode away to a comfortable three minute winning margin.
Alison Sydor (Rocky Mountain Business Objects) finished second. Kiara
Bisaro (Team RACE.com) finished third.
Geoff Kabush almost lost his iron grip on elite Canadian cross country
racing. He crashed in the first lap, coming down hard on one side and
suffering, as determined later, a grade one concussion. Kabush shook off
the crash and managed to maintain his lead throughout the rest of the
race despite a strong push from both Ricky Federau (Team R.A.C.E.) and
Seamus McGrath (Felt), who came second and third respectively.
For full results from the Canadian
MTB National Championships, click here.
Historic Thirteenth for Irish MTB Champion
By Shane Stokes
Multiple Irish champion Robin Seymour took a thirteenth consecutive national
mountain title in Kilruddery estate last Sunday, further extending what
is a remarkable winning streak. The Endura Voodoo Singletrack/WORC rider
beat closest competitor Niall Davis (IMBRC) by two and a half minutes,
with James McCluskey taking bronze in the cross-country race.
Seymour has also won fourteen cross country titles and has undoubtedly
one of the best championship records in Irish sport.
In the womens race, Tarja Owens added another gold to her own glittering
collection, the WORC rider surviving a fall to finish 45 seconds ahead
of second-placed Beth McCluskey. Owens has now taken the last 12 womens
Gunn-Rita on the road
World and Olympic mountain bike champion Gunn-Rita Dahle is making a
rare foray onto the road, racing in the women's Tour
de Bretagne this week according to Cyclismag.com. "This is
the only race I will do on the road this year," he said. "It allows me
to find rhythm."
Racing for the Japan Businessman team, she placed fourth in stage 1.
Oregon MTB access bill passed by US Congress
On July 19, 2006, the Mount Hood Stewardship and Legacy Act (H.R. 5025),
sponsored by Congressmen Greg Walden (R-OR) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR),
passed unanimously through the House Resources Committee, a significant
step towards congressional approval. The full U.S. House of Representatives
could vote on the bill as early as next week.
For the past three years, Congressmen Walden and Blumenauer have collaborated
with the Oregon Mountain Bike Alliance (ORMBA), the International Mountain
Bicycling Association (IMBA), and numerous other stakeholders on this
Included in the House bill is an approximately $800,000 annual infusion
for trails and recreation in the Mount Hood area, bicycle-friendly boundary
adjustments, terms to convert old roads to singletrack, and a mountain
bike representative on the Mount Hood National Forest Recreational Advisory
Council. The bill also references the importance of recreation to the
A Senate version of the bill will likely be released shortly. One improvement
IMBA and ORMBA are asking from the Senate version is continued access
to the 28-mile Roaring River trail system. IMBA will continue to provide
information as this bill passes through Congress.
Race Face Trans Rockies team contest winners announced
The Race Face contest in which online voting determined the riders on
it's two fully-funded Trans Rockies teams, is now closed. Team Saguenay
captured the majority of votes in round one with 35% of the total votes;
edging out Team Tamarack Race Face (31% of votes) from Idaho. Team Saguenay
is comprised of Chicoutimi, Quebecs Eric Tremblay and Daniel Dube.
In the second round of voting, Team Bad Idea Racing emerged as clear
victors with over 46% of the votes. Their closest competitors, the Mexican
Team Miti Batai, only had 30% of the vote. Rich Dillen and Josh Neely
are single speed fiends from Charlotte, North Carolina and have made the
promise to be the first full team to complete the Trans Rockies riding
with one gear.
Team Saguenay and Team Bad Idea Racing will now receive an all-expense
paid trip to compete in the 2006 Trans Rockies Challenge, an epic 600
kilometres, seven day mountain bike race through the majestic Canadian
Rockies, including more than 12,000 vertical meters of elevation.
A tale of two NORBAs; the Chris Davidson diary
Kelli Emmett (Ford Cycling)
Photo ©: Chris Davidson
Hi Cyclingnews.com readers, back to back race weekends in searing heat
with national champion's jerseys at stake most recently, and I am a little
tired. Two very different places, some very different results and some
cool stuff along the way. The details go like this:
Similarities: It was hot in both Deer Valley and Sonoma, close to 100
degrees Fahrenheit in both places. There was some challenging racing.
Differences: Everything else. Deer Valley was just above 7000 feet in
elevation, Sonoma was about 70 feet. Deer Valley is home to 200+ miles
of killer single track trails, Sonoma is home to the Infineon Raceway.
Deer Valley had some killer trails that unfortunately eroded quickly
over the course of the weekend. By the time the SuperD was done on Friday
the braking bumps going into the 180 turns were developing deep ruts.
It was also really green and overgrown in Utah from all the rain they
have had this year. The plants and trees were in full effect, making the
trail tight and passing difficult.
Sonoma was wide open, very brown and freshly mowed in some spots. Not
really very trail-like, but better than the previous NORBA National here
in 2004. Getting offline was costly, as loose terrain and potential flats
were just inches away on both sides of the course.
Read the entire Chris
Davidson diary here.
The first time is always sweet; the Kristin Danielson diary
Here, there, everywhere is the story of my summertime life. No wonder
my parents always say ‘we can’t keep up with you’, I can barely keep up
My latest traveling saga started in Crested Butte, Colorado. I have always
had a fascination with this appealing mountain town and it was hosting
the 6th annual Wildflower Rush mountain bike race which is a part of the
Mountain States Cup series.
I hadn’t planned on competing due to the fact that Tom
and I had limited time to spend together. Thursday before the race, which
was on Saturday, Tom mentioned maybe I should race. Since I often get
my training advice from Tom, I couldn’t object. I pleaded with Tom to
join me on the short outing but since there are really only two roads
surrounding Crested Butte he had to turn me down. So off I drove; over
Colbank pass, Molas Pass, Red Mountain Pass into the gorgeous ski town
of Crested Butte. The course was perfect for me, long high altitude climbs
through Aspen trees with easy fire road descents. I felt confident after
my pre-ride and was ready for the race.
As the pro women blazed through the wild columbine, lupine and sunflowers
I found myself battling for first with a strong woman. She was much stronger
than me on the first lap and I kept losing sight of her. It always takes
my body a while before my legs start to open up so I felt better on the
second lap and was able to pass my mystery competitor and cross the finish
line in first place. I was SO excited because this was my first victory
as a “professional” racer.
Read the entire Kristin
Danielson diary here.
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2006)