Cameron Chambers was a surprise winner of the recent US national solo 24 hour mountain bike championships, but with roots deep in cycling and plenty of singlespeed training time behind him, the 23-year-old is no rookie. And his approach to 24-hour racing is considered beyond his years, as Steve Medcroft found.
In solo 24 hour racing, there is an accepted tactic of the elite-level pros where they race at or as close to World Cup cross-country pace in the opening laps, hold their position through the night, then, if necessary, surge in the morning to chase down the leader (or put the nail in the coffin of your competitors if you are the leader). Many people attribute the approach to Tinker Juarez, who came to endurance racing after a long and successful World Cup career and forgot to slow down when he took on longer events.
So in the 2005 24-hours U.S. National Championship race (May 28-29, 2005 in Spokane, Washington), it was no surprise when 24-hours big guns Tinker Juarez, Nat Ross, Chris Eatough screamed around the dusty and hot course from the sound of the air horn.
The 24 hour kid
Behind them on the trail sat Cameron Chambers, a 23-year-old Fisher/Subaru sponsored rider from Great Bend, Kansas. "I don't follow that tactic," Chambers said after the event. "We all have so much fitness and it's obvious that we're all going to use every last ounce of it and no matter where I spend it in that race, it's going to be thin. I don't see the benefit in going that fast right away."
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