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MTB News & racing round-up for September 14, 2005

Date published:
September 14, 2005, 1:00 BST
  • Keith Bontrager Diary: Your roots are showing

    Jimbo gets everyone to listen up
    Article published:
    September 14, 2005, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Steve Medcroft

    I'm back. Things were fairly quiet after the SSWC (I've included a few last pics from the event). It...

    I'm back.

    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.

  • Fox Racing Shox Float 100RLT

    Article published:
    September 14, 2005, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Steve Medcroft

    from John Stevenson & James Huang's New Arrivals section: The cross-country market seems to have...

    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 zip-ties!/JH

    More info: www.foxracingshox.com
    Price: US$650

    See the entire New Arrivals article here.

  • Mountain Bike Festival on Cape Cod to Donate Proceeds to Victims of Hurricane Katrina

    Article published:
    September 14, 2005, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Steve Medcroft

    The New England Mountain Bike Association has announced that all the proceeds from its annual...

    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 catastrophic storm."

    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 www.nemba.org or call 800-57-NEMBA.

  • Global MTB Racing Roundup

    Article published:
    September 14, 2005, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Steve Medcroft

    Cougar Mountain Classic, USA (NE), September 10-11: Main , XC , 8 hour race , Downhill , Mountain X...

  • Kona 24 Hours Global Championships #2 wrap up

    Article published:
    September 14, 2005, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    By Steve Medcroft Josh Tostada and Jenn O’Conner won the second stop in the three-race Kona 24 Hour...

    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.

  • Canadian mountain biker suspended for EPO

    Article published:
    September 14, 2005, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Steve Medcroft

    Canadian national team mountain bike rider Chris Sheppard has been suspended for two years after...

    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 federal government.

  • Broken back bumps Bishop out of Nats

    Article published:
    September 14, 2005, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Steve Medcroft

    By Steve Medcroft There are more than a handful of racers strong enough to win the Pro men’s Cross...

    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...

  • World Cup Finals wrap up

    A very Scottish World Cup
    Article published:
    September 14, 2005, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Steve Medcroft

    By Steve Medcroft One week after World Championships, the UCI Mountain bike World Cup came to a...

    By Steve Medcroft

    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).

    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."

    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 win.

    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...