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Mountain Bike Hall of Fame inducting four

After mountain biking, Anne-Caroline Chausson returned to BMX and won an Olympic gold medal.

After mountain biking, Anne-Caroline Chausson returned to BMX and won an Olympic gold medal. (Image credit: Tour of Japan)

The Mountain Bike Hall of Fame (MBHOF) of Crested Butte, Colorado, will induct its newest members in a ceremony next week at the Interbike Trade Show in Nevada. The 2009 inductees are Anne-Caroline Chausson, the Colorado Plateau Mountain Bike Association (COPMOBA), Dave Garoutte and The Larkspur Canyon Gang.

The 31-year-old Chausson won 15 world championships, 14 continental championships and seven World Cup downhill titles. She also won a gold medal in BMX at the Olympic Games. The Frenchwoman started racing as junior, when she won three world titles from 1993 to 1995, then continued her winning ways as a senior for another eight years. For much of her career she battled racers like Missy Giove and Tara Llanes. Since Chausson began racing, the French have consistently produced some of the best elite women downhillers.

COPMOBA is celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2009. The organization partnered with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to develop the 144-mile Kokopelli's Trail, connecting Loma, Colorado and Moab, Utah, and the 142-mile Tabeguache Trail, connecting Grand Junction, and Montrose, Colorado. Both projects served as a model for the BLM in creating a National Mountain Bike Strategy. COPMOBA added the 345-mile Paradox Trail to its lists of accomplishments in 1995, and in total, has worked on over 75 regional trails.

Mountain bike pioneer Garoutte has made contributions to the sport through his work in the industry and mountain bike advocacy. Garoutte grew up in Marin County with some of the sport's earliest mountain bikers. His metal fabrication and machine shop, DKG, worked on fabricating one of the first production mountain bike frames, the Koski Trailmaster. Garoutte played a role in technology development and production for Cunningham, Lawill, Fisher, WTB, Salsa, Fat City, Serotta, Moots, Calfee and Kent Ericksen. On the advocacy side, in 1987, he founded and was the first president of the Bicycle Trails Council of Marin.

The Larkspur Canyon Gang was depicted in the movie Klukerz. According to the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame website, it was a large and "loose-knit group of friends who in 1968, while still in middle school, started pushing bikes up Eldridge Grade to race back down. Self-described adrenalin junkies, they became obsessed with riding down the slopes of Tam." They raced cast-off balloon tire bikes from prior decades,and figured out the hard way what technology worked best - along the way making mountain biking a fun thing to do. Members of the group included Robert Kraft, Kim Kraft, Tom Slivka, Anthony Durbin, John York, Vic Favre, Harry Harris, the Cookson brothers, Keith Rodgers, Tom Tully, Robert Heierle, Kraig Smith, Dave Richards, Ian & Rob Stewart, George Newman, Harvey LaFlamme, Lyle Slocom, Todd Beason, Kenny Fuetsch, and Marc Vendetti.

The 2009 ceremony will be Wednesday, September 23 at 6:00 pm at the Sand's Expo and Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. The MBHOF inducts between three and seven individuals or groups each year since 1988, the initial year when 10 members were selected.

For more information about the inductees, visit www.mtnbikehalloffame.com.