The International Mountain Bike Association (IMBA) welcomed a mountain biking legend to its honorary board and transferred leadership of the board to another vital member of the bicycling world. At its sixth Biennial World Summit last week, IMBA announced that Ned Overend would join the honorary board and that Rebecca Rusch would chair the board.
The IMBA honorary board of directors is comprised of high-profile public figures and athletes who endorse and publicly support IMBA's mission to create, enhance and preserve great trail experiences. Other members of the board include Hill Abell, Lance Armstrong, John Burke, Stan Day, Juliana Furtado, Levi Leipheimer, Hans Rey, Mike Sinyard, Travis Stork and Dave Wiens.
One of the sport's living legends, Ned Overend, is the owner of one of the best résumés in the fat tire world, including four NORBA National Championships, the NORBA World Championships, the European World Championships and the first-ever UCI World Championships. After "retiring" from full-time mountain biking in the mid-1990s, Overend went on to win two triathlon world championships. Today, "Deadly Nedly" is a vital member of the Specialized R&D team and captains the company's cross country squad.
Rusch will assume the role of chairwoman of the board at the Santa Fe event. Rusch is, among other things, the four-time champion and course record holder of the Leadville Trail 100. In 2009, Rusch won her third straight mountain biking 24-hour Solo World Championship. Rusch also organizes a series of female ride initiatives called the SRAM Gold Rusch Tour, an event that combines race and training clinics at major bike events, female media camps and an all-girls MTB camp in her hometown of Ketchum, Idaho.
"I'm honored to share the company of these great bicycling advocates and legends, and thrilled to take the leadership role of the honorary IMBA board," Rusch said. "We have a lot of things to be proud of in the year just past, and a lot of work to do in the year ahead. I'm excited to get started."