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MTB News & racing round-up for September 7, 2005, part 2

Date published:
September 07, 2005, 1:00 BST
  • Gary Fisher Bicycles and Chris Duncan part ways

    Article published:
    September 07, 2005, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Steve Medcroft

    At the end of 2005 Gary Fisher Bicycles will end the two-year sponsorship arrangement with freeride...

    At the end of 2005 Gary Fisher Bicycles will end the two-year sponsorship arrangement with freeride athlete Chris Duncan. The relationship between the two parties has been very productive from both a product and promotional standpoint, but differences in priorities require that the two parties head in separate directions for the future.

    Chris Duncan aims to focus more on his work with Bikeskills.com where he teaches and does outreach programs. Gary Fisher is very supportive of this work but looks to find an athlete that is more focused on competition to help promote their freeride products. Chris has spent many years in competition prior to joining with Gary Fisher, primarily as an X-Games BMX dirt jumper. He looks to reduce the amount of time he spends traveling to events, choosing only select events and competitions to attend.

    "It’s been very fulfilling to work with Fisher,” says Duncan. “During the past two years I've worn many different hats involved in our agreement. My favorite area of work was in product consulting and testing. I look forward to seeing riders enjoy what we have come up with for years to come."

    The relationship is ending on good terms. Gary Fisher plans to use Chris Duncan’s image through the end of the year to promote their freeride products. The company will offer more opportunities to other current Fisher athletes while also intending to hire a high profile athlete to represent the brand in competition.

  • Blind downhiller racer ready for Cougar Mountain Classic

    Article published:
    September 07, 2005, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Steve Medcroft

    Considering all that Bobby McMullen has been through, it’s reassuring to know he has a keen sense of...

    Considering all that Bobby McMullen has been through, it’s reassuring to know he has a keen sense of humor.

    McMullen, a self-described “train wreck,” has encountered just about every obstacle — from blindness to two kidney/pancreas transplants — but that hasn’t stopped him from fully enjoying life.

    The Redding resident will take his zest for life to Infineon Raceway for the Infineon Technologies Cougar Mountain Classic, Sept. 9-11, competing in the Infineon Technologies Mountain Bike Downhill. His goal is to place in the top 10 and earn a berth in the National Off-Road Bicycle Association (NORBA) Championships the following weekend at Mammoth Mountain. It is the Super Bowl of downhill racing for McMullen.

    That’s a tough goal for anyone to achieve, let alone McMullen. He is fully blind in his left eye and 80-percent blind in his right eye. When describing his right eye he says, “It’s like looking through a rolled up piece of paper with Vaseline smeared on the eye hole.”

    McMullen, who is an avid skier, mountain biker and triathlete, has been legally blind since 1993 due to a degenerative eye disease. Moreover, he was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes — the most serious form of the disease — when he was 12 years old. He has also endured two kidney/pancreas transplants as a result of his diabetes.

    To say his life has been a challenge would be an understatement.

    “It was tough when I was told I wouldn’t see again,” said McMullen, a 42-year-old massage therapist whose dream of becoming a lawyer was cut short by his blindness. “I was pretty pissed off and disappointed and it was hard to swallow. When you look at it we are in a sight-oriented society and those of us who are visually impaired face a lot of obstacles.

    “When I got the news I went home and my dad came out to meet me and I cried pretty hard right then. But then it was...

  • Clif Bar and IMBA award 2005 Trail Preservation Grants

    Article published:
    September 07, 2005, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Steve Medcroft

    Clif Bar, a leading producer of energy foods and drinks, and the International Mountain Bicycling...

    Clif Bar, a leading producer of energy foods and drinks, and the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) are pleased to announce the 12 winners of the 2005 Trail Preservation Grants program. The $500 grants will help clubs preserve and enhance trail access, promote environmental education, and inspire conservation.

    "Clif Bar's ongoing relationship with IMBA is an incredibly valuable one. As a company devoted to community service and environmental education, supporting the IMBA Trail Preservation Grants is a no-brainer. We commend IMBA and the grant winners," says Grady O'Shaughnessy, sports marketing manager at Clif Bar.

    Fifty-eight grants totaling $29,000 have been distributed since the IMBA/Clif Bar Trail Preservation Grants program was established in 2001. Previous IMBA/Clif Bar Trail. The 2005 Trail Preservation grant winners are:

      Palm Beach Mountain Bike Association, West Palm Beach, FL - Palm Beach Mountain Bike Association will work with local planners to reinforce the Dyer Park trail, one of the few mountain bike trails in this heavily populated county. The reinforced trail will be better able to resist erosion caused by users, as well as intense South Florida weather.

      Trips For Kids Laurel Highlands, Melcroft, PA - Trips For Kids Laurel Highlands will extend the Indian Creek Valley Bike Trail, a rail trail that connects the communities of Champion and Indian Head. They will also construct a stream crossing for cattle in order to minimize impact on Indian Creek. Extending the trail will provide a safe, comfortable riding opportunity for kids and families.

      Kokopelli Bike Club, Cortez, CO - The Kokopelli Bike Club will continue working on the Boggy Draw Trails Project, a network of trails near Dolores, Colorado. In partnership with the U.S. Forest Service, they will purchase and install signs to help users navigate the 35+ miles of trail safely and...

    • 24 Hours of Moab delivers largest solo cash purse in history of sport

      Article published:
      September 07, 2005, 1:00 BST
      By:
      Steve Medcroft

      The solo category in the 24 Hours of Moab mountain bike race (October 15-16) is offering what...

      The solo category in the 24 Hours of Moab mountain bike race (October 15-16) is offering what organiser Granny Gear productions claims is the largest cash prize in the history of solo 24-hour racing, with $15,000 up for grabs for a field recently increased from 75 to 100 riders thanks to permission from the Bureau of Land Management.

      Ultra-endurance Pro/Solo racers arrive at 24 Hours of Moab to do battle against one of the largest and most elite fields in the world. Many solo racers best more than half the teams. Even more impressive than that, some will log as many as 17 laps, more than 250 miles and 18,700 feet of climbing.

      More than 4,500 mountain bike racers and support crew are expected to take part in teh weekend's racing, which offers a total of $63,000 in cash and prizes and is claimed to be the largest mountain bike race west of the Mississippi.

      For more information see www.grannygear.com.

    • British 24 Hours race promoter makes US debut this weekend

      Article published:
      September 07, 2005, 1:00 BST
      By:
      Steve Medcroft

      Europe’s most renowned 24-hour endurance race promoter, Patrick Adams with ProVelo, has partnered...

      Europe’s most renowned 24-hour endurance race promoter, Patrick Adams with ProVelo, has partnered with Nat Ross of Tough Guy Productions to bring a European standard in endurance mountain bike events to the United States. Bike maker Kona is on board as sponsor of the the first ever 24-hour global mountain bike series. The Kona Global 24 Hour Championships event is the second leg of the three-part Kona 24 Hour Global Championships and will take place September 10-11, 2005 at Snow Mountain Ranch in Granby, Colorado. A $20,000.00 cash purse is up for grabs.

      The event is aimed to replicate the same caliber of European endurance mountain bike races to the United States. The success of Patrick Adam’s signature UK endurance events; Sleepless in the Saddle and Mountain Mayhem have been described as festivals, embodying the active, healthy lifestyle of mountain biking. According to Nat Ross, “Every event Patrick has done in Europe and Australia has been to the highest standard. Cycling abroad is synonymous with culture and lifestyle. This event is intended to bring the same ideal of cycling to the United States. In my belief, this is what the American cycling events have been missing.” This race includes some simple things like: affordable entries, free camping, parking, spectating, and massage for racers. Also, a unique lodging opportunity provides an option besides camping for participants. Colorado is famous worldwide for its singletrack, and this course is going to set a new standard in 24-hour courses, according to Ross.

      By partnering with ProVelo, Tough Guy Productions’ focus for the US portion of Kona Global 24 Hour Championships is to further promote cycling in the states. “The race is geared to be all-inclusive, promoting the lifestyle, joy and culture of cycling to everyone. In this race, amateurs will ride along side some of the biggest professionals in the industry,” says Ross. To emulate the standard of...

    • Chris King offers pink component groups for Breast Cancer awareness

      None more pink
      Article published:
      September 07, 2005, 1:00 BST
      By:
      Steve Medcroft

      For a limited time only (From September 1 - December 23, 2005), pink headsets, hubs, stem caps, tee...

      For a limited time only (From September 1 - December 23, 2005), pink headsets, hubs, stem caps, tee shirts and stickers will be available for purchase from select channels throughout the United States and in some international markets. The Chris King component company will donate a portion of the sale of any pink Pretty and Strong item to King’s local affiliate of the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

      King is also asking its domestic dealers and OEM customers to make similar contributions to their breast cancer charity of choice when they sell a King headset or hubs. Last year, many dealers took a creative approach to this program and built entire bikes around the color pink - raffling them off and donating the proceeds to breast cancer charities.

      The second part of the Chris King program is mobilization of their customers (shop owners, their employees and customers) to skip a bike ride and bring himself or herself or a woman they know in for a mammogram or screening during the month of October. October is breast cancer awareness month; October 21 is National Mammography Day. The company says they want every woman who rides a bicycle to get a breast exam before the end of 2005. They want every guy that rides bicycles to encourage an important woman in their life to get a breast exam before the end of 2005.

      The Chris King Web site (www.chrisking.com) provides links to information about breast cancer, mammography facilities lookups, breast cancer charities and stories from people who took it upon themselves to take a friend for a screening. King's Pretty and Strong program debut in 2004 was far more successful than King anticipated. For 2005 the company has doubled its donation per item amount, doubled the amount of product available, expanded the product offerings, completely rebuilt the promotional website (including a place for people to post their own cancer...

    • Aussie national champ injured in pre-worlds training crash

      Article published:
      September 07, 2005, 1:00 BST
      By:
      Cycling News

      By Steve Medcroft Australian women’s National Mountain Bike Cross Country Champion Emma Colson...

      By Steve Medcroft

      Australian women’s National Mountain Bike Cross Country Champion Emma Colson (Topbike Tours - Giant) says she feels glad to be alive after colliding head-on with a motorcycle on an evening training ride in Livigno, Italy prior to Sunday’s World Championships race.

      Colson was in Livigno as part of the Australian National Team. In an email to CyclingNews, Colson says she was riding at the edge of a narrow road when “(the motorcycle driver) pulled out to overtake a car on the far right side of the road.” Colson says she was “pretty much in the gutter” herself and swerved to avoid the collision. "But he went the same way and I flew over the top of the bars.”

      Colson says she is suffering knee pain and swelling but was spared head injury thanks to her helmet, which is now “all smashed up." Recovering, Colson was using crutches to keep the pressure off her injured leg just three days before the World Championship race. “I think I will start on Sunday,” she added. “Unless it’s very wet and requires a lot of running.”

      Colson did start, and placed sixty-second in the event.

    • Trent Lowe interview: The Lowe down

      Who's a lucky boy then?
      Article published:
      September 07, 2005, 1:00 BST
      By:
      Cycling News

      After a season of highs and lows, young Australian mountain biker Trent Lowe will be riding the road...

      After a season of highs and lows, young Australian mountain biker Trent Lowe will be riding the road in the colours of Discovery Channel for 2006. It's a huge opportunity for Lowe, who has been riding the NORBA series for Subaru-Gary Fisher in 2005, and he knows it. Cyclingnews' Les Clarke checked in with Lowe as he prepared for the MTB World Championships in Livigno, Italy to discuss this big development.

      After a strong showing at the Tour de Georgia and Redlands Bicycle Classic, Lowe was signed to the Discovery Channel team just last week, adding to the growing list of Australian riders plying their trade with Pro Tour teams. A two-year deal to ride on the team of now-retired Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong, rising stars Yaroslav Popovych and Tom Danielson and two-time Giro d'Italia winner Paolo Savoldelli was an opportunity the 21-year-old Victorian "just couldn't resist."

      Riding for the Jittery Joe's squad at Georgia and Redlands, Lowe took the best young rider jersey in the Georgia race, and shortly after this the good folk at Discovery Channel came a knockin'. "They started talking to me after Georgia, and then a bit more after the Tour de France. It all happened pretty quickly. I mean, a year ago, I had no idea this could've happened - it's such a great opportunity," said Lowe.

      And like another ex-mountain biker Ryder Hesjedal before him, Lowe is already in the 'family' so to speak, riding for the Subaru-Gary Fisher MTB squad - Discovery Channel and the Subaru team are partners, sharing commercial links through the Trek corporation. Lowe believes this has, and will, make the transition easier, saying, "I'm not holding back with this, and neither are they. The team I ride for [Subaru-Gray Fisher] is linked to Discovery Channel; what has happened with me is similar to what happened with Ryder last year. It's pretty exciting."

      It seems, therefore, that the road is now where it's at for Lowe, and he...