Mountain: Page 390

Mountain Bike Racing

Maribor downhill: Kovarik by a hair, Chausson by a mile

The Tissot-UCI Mountain Bike World Cup wrapped up a four-week European spring tour Sunday, as Maribor, Slovenia hosted round two of the Downhill and 4X series. After the rain and mud of Scotland's downhill last week, riders were looking forward to the typically sunny weather of this scenic country north of Italy. But with sporadic rains keeping mechanics scrambling to choose correct tires and bolt-on fenders for the downhill finals, many got a bit more than they bargained for. Chris Kovarik (Intense) got the most, winning his second race in a row — right after Anne-Caroline Chausson

King, Chausson take Maribor four-cross

Under darkness of night and illuminated by the bright lights of this World Cup slope, American Mike King (Haro-Lee Dungarees) won round 2 of the new 4x World Cup series in Maribor, Slovenia. King’s win, his major victory since 1996, showed that he still has the goods when it comes to head-to-head racing. On the women’s side, Anne-Caroline Chausson (Volvo-Cannondale) captured her second win in as many weeks. Beating perennial favorite Brian Lopes (Fox-GT), King used his years of BMX, downhill and dual racing experience to take the lead away from the world champion in turn one, then hold it

Kovarik, Moseley take Fort William downhill

It’s been a long time since the French haven’t owned at least one of the World Cup downhill leader’s jerseys, but that’s just what happened in Scotland Sunday after a pair of Commonwealth riders stormed away with wins at round one in Fort William. Aussie Chris Kovarik and Great Britain’s Tracy Moseley are now on top of the series standings, after each took dramatic victories on the steep slopes of the Nevis Range Ski Resort. For Kovarik it was his second straight World Cup win. The Intense rider closed the 2001 season on top of the podium at the finals in Mont-Ste-Anne. "I’ve managed to

Four-cross debuts with a bang

The names may have been the same and the riders still had their usual course complaints, but when Saturday’s racing at World Cup No. 1 in Fort William, Scotland was done, the debut of four-cross had to be considered a big success. The day’s biggest winner was Volvo-Cannondale, which swept the top of the podium after French riders Anne-Caroline Chausson and Cédric Gracia took wins on the short course near the base area of the Nevis Range Ski Resort. But the huge gathering of fans (3500 tickets were sold) also fared well, getting to watch an hour of exciting back-and-forth racing that included

World Cup downhill season set go in Scotland

After two weekends of cross-country racing it’s the downhillers turn, as stop No. 1 of their World Cup season is set to kick off Saturday outside Fort William, in the Scottish Highlands. The venue is the Nevis Range Ski Area, a remote resort 2.5 hours north of Glasgow. When the rain stops — which hasn’t happened much in the last two days — it’s one of the most beautiful places you’ll ever see, with huge panoramic views that recall Braveheart, the Mel Gibson movie that was filmed near here. The area is dominated by the formidable shadow of Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in the United Kingdom

Same old story: Fullana wins again

She may not be the world champion, but right now there’s little doubt who the best female cross country rider in the world is. For the fifth time in her last six tries, Spain’s Marga Fullana took victory in a World Cup, this time beating Great Britain’s Caroline Alexander by 40 seconds to take round two of the 2002 series in Houfallize, Belgium on Sunday. Fullana (Orbea) turned her four laps around the 7.7km course in 1:46:20. After Alexander (Great Britain National) came Annabella Stropparo (Be One) in third at :48, then Alison Dunlap (Luna) at 1:21 and Barbara Blatter (Specialized) at

Sauser takes Houffalize cross country

It wasn’t the finish the cycling mad Belgian fans were hoping for, but with two riders in the top three it wasn’t a bad day either. The man spoiling the party at World Cup cross country No. 2 in Houffalize was Christoph Sauser, who bested home-country heroes Roel Paulissen and Filip Meirhaeghe in the 38.5km race on Sunday. After spending four laps dueling with a powerful lead group that also included the likes of Roland Green and Bart Brentjens, Sauser (Volvo-Cannondale) and Paulissen ( broke away together, building a gap that hovered around 15 seconds. From there

Huge field readies for Houffalize cross country

Two thirds of the way from Liège to Bastogne, just off the E25 highway in southeastern Belgium, mountain bike racing’s own classic is set go on Sunday in Houffalize. It’s stop No. 2 of the five-race cross country World Cup circuit, with the women kicking off racing at 10:30 a.m., followed by the men in the afternoon at 1:30. This is the fourth year in a row and 12th time in 13 years that mountain biking’s premier circuit has come to this picturesque village tucked into the lush green of the Ardennes. Saturday saw the amateurs tackle the 7.7 kilometer course that’s become slicker and slicker

Juarez, Busching win 24-hour championship

Mountain-bike hall of famer Tinker Juarez, twice an Olympian andthree-time NORBA National XC Champion, has yet another stars and stripesjersey to add to the collection.Between noon Saturday, May 18 and noon Sunday, May 19, the Cannondalerider successfully defended his 2001 title as the 24 Hours of AdrenalinNORBA National Champion at the Laguna Seca Raceway in Monterey, California."It's nice to win these days," Juarez, the overwhelming crowd favorite,told VeloNews. "It means so much more to me to win, because thewins are so much harder to come by. Today was the first time I've beenable to race

Fullana full on in Madrid

Marga Fullana did it again, winning mountain biking’s 2002 World Cup openerin front of a raucous home crowd in Madrid´s Casa de Campo park onSunday.Some of Fullana´s biggest victories have come in her native Spain,including her World Cup win at El Escorial a few years ago and her secondworld title at Sierra Nevada in 2000."The Spanish fans really helped me today late in the race. They reallyencouraged me to keep pushing," Fullana said, winning in 2 hours, 31 seconds.Under bright sunny skies, Fullana attacked early, opened a 40-secondgap after the first of five laps and held the lead to the