Infineon Raceway officials have announced that the 2006 Infineon Technologies Cougar Mountain Classic will return for a third consecutive year on July 14-16, with the new mid-summer date expected to attract high-level pro and amateur competitors to the event.
The 2005 event benefited from the debut of a world-class downhill course, enhanced cross country and mountain cross circuits and a one-hour broadcast on Fox Sports Net Bay Area in 2005, and according to Steve Page, president and general manager of Infineon Raceway, "Opening up our entire property to upgrade the mountain bike courses made a real difference in the quality of the competition and we've had terrific feedback from both mountain and road cyclists about this year's event. We hope to build a race weekend that is second to none and the new date for 2006 should be another positive step in that direction."
According to organisers, the signature of Infineon Raceway has quickly become the world-class downhill course. It begins nearly 400 feet above the raceway on Cougar Mountain, and features rolling terrain, open, fast sections and challenging man-made jumps, plus a spectacular view of the San Francisco skyline. "This is incredible because you can see the whole course; that is unprecedented," said Marla Streb, two-time national downhill champion. "On top of that, it's pretty difficult; it has a lot of potential to be a world-class course."
The race weekend will also feature endurance road riding, mountain biking and mountain cross, and according to Subway pro team riders Ryan McKenzie and Cameron Hughes, the eight-hour road enduro may become another of the event's features, saying, "I could easily see this developing into a great form of racing, like the 24-hour mountain bike events." Off the track, there will be a vast vendor midway, swap meet, vintage bicycle concours, wine tasting and activities for children, including safety seminars, bounce houses and more.
Check www.cmclassic.com for more information on next year's Cougar Mountain Classic.
Greg Watts Joins Gary Fisher Team
Greg Watts has joined Gary Fisher Bicycles as their marquee men's freeride athlete. The eighteen year old Aptos, California native will compete in dirt jump and slopestyle competitions on Gary Fisher bikes. And he will appear in advertising and promotional materials for the brand. He will also work closely with the company to keep the Gary Fisher product and brand image on the cutting edge.
“I'm really excited to work with Gary Fisher, they are going to give me the chance to travel a lot next year for competitions and video shoots. I've been able to do pretty well so far, even though I just finished school this year. I'm excited to have this opportunity because I know that with more time to ride and compete I can do really well.”
Greg had some standout performances in the last year, including his fourth place finish at the Sea Otter Classic Dirt Jump Contest . “That is where we first became aware of Greg,” says Gary Fisher's Ryan Atkinson. “His energy was impossible to miss. He made way more runs during practice then any of the other pros, and was at the jumps literally all day. Then of course he rocked the contest, he was hard to miss.”
Greg had a major win at the Vancouver Denny's Big Air Jam Session & Invitational, a premier indoor dirt jump contest. At the end of the season Greg won Best Trick at John Cowan's Jump Jam where he landed a Backflip-Tailwhip, the first mountain biker to land this trick in competition.
“Greg was recommended to me by several people that I trust, not the least of who were Andrew Shandro and Hannah Steffens. I was immediately impressed when I first talked to Greg about his plans for next year,” says Atkinson. “I couldn't believe that he was eighteen, he was confident and well spoken, very professional.”
“We got the contract signed a couple of weeks ago and I was able to spend time with him last weekend at Ray's Indoor Mountain Bike Park during their Grand Opening. Greg was a total pro off the bike, and was really fun to watch on the bike. He is really progressive with his tricks and I'm sure that he is going to be one of the sports biggest stars. I was lucky enough to be there while he learned how to do a Barrel Roll, he is amazing.”
Greg has been on his new Gary Fisher GED for just over a week. “I've already done all of my tricks on it. It fits me perfect and is really light.”