By Dave McElwaine
After a long, gruelling spring season including many World Cups and culminating in the World Championships, several top cross country racers are opting to take a break from competition to rest up. Some will be re-charging before the second half of the season including the World Marathon Championships, various national championships, more World Cups and assorted national series events, while others will be resting before a final run-up in form for the Olympic Games in August in Beijing, China.
For example, three Americans who are virtually assured spots on the 2008 US Olympic Team, US National Champion Mary McConneloug (Kenda/Seven), Todd Wells (GT/Pacific Bikes), and Adam Craig (Giant), will sit out the Deer Valley fourth round of the US National Mountain Bike Series (NMBS) this weekend from June 27-29 in Utah.
As for racing this weekend, Craig left the door open slightly, saying, "I won't be there (Deer Valley) unless (team-mate) Carl (Decker) guilts me into getting onto another airplane." Also grabbing some deserved downtime will be Trek/VW team-mates Lea Davison and Sue Haywood. Having a break-out season, Davison put in a career best performance at the World Championship by cracking the top 20 and finishing 19th.
On the other hand, with the popularity of endurance racing on the rise, other mountain biking stars will be returning to racing action by heading to the BC Bike Race in British Columbia, Canada, from June 28 to July 4. These include three Kona team-mates, Barry Wicks, Kris Sneddon, and Wendy Simms; Kelli Emmett (Giant), Sue Butler (Mona Vie) who currently leads the NMBS Super D competition, Max Plaxton (Rocky Mountain), and defending BC Bike Race champions Jeff Schalk and Chris Eatough.