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MTB News and Notes: An ode to the UCI

So finally, a week after the world found out that the Telluride World Cup was cancelled, word came down from the UCI that…the Telluride World Cup has been cancelled. In its brief press release dated May 7, cycling’s world governing body was kind enough to reiterate that fact, remind us of the dates that no longer matter, and then impart these encouraging words. “The UCI regrets this decision and will make the most to ensure however a harmonious development of the 2003 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup.” Hmm…ensure however a harmonious development? Not sure what that’s all about, but wouldn’t it

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Broken Bootes: C-Dale emerges; Mechanics with class

By Jason Sumner, VeloNews Associate Editor

No word from the silver city on the hill

No word from the silver city on the hill

Photo: UCI

So finally, a week after the world found out that the Telluride World Cup was cancelled, word came down from the UCI that…the Telluride World Cup has been cancelled. In its brief press release dated May 7, cycling’s world governing body was kind enough to reiterate that fact, remind us of the dates that no longer matter, and then impart these encouraging words.

“The UCI regrets this decision and will make the most to ensure however a harmonious development of the 2003 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup.”

Hmm…ensure however a harmonious development? Not sure what that’s all about, but wouldn’t it make sense to say something regarding whether or not an alternative venue is being sought? Well I thought so too, but judging by the response to several telephone calls and e-mails put into the UCI, our friends in Switzerland don’t share that opinion. Just further proof — I think — that mountain-bike racing is about as important to the UCI as liberal opinions are to George W.

In related UCI news, USA Cycling’s Eric Moore says he’s still not received a reply to his query about NORBA’s status following the revelation that there will be no prize money for the pros this year.

Moore told me that twice he’s attempted to contact the UCI, but has still gotten “no answer.”

For whatever it’s worth, seems to me that chances are good that the series races will be dropped from E1, which requires prize money, to E2, which according to the mountain-bike race rules on the UCI Web site, does not. The net effect would be the loss of 187 total UCI points per race (from 288 to 101), which has all kinds of negative implications.

The biggest could be when it comes time to decide the number of start positions for next year’s Olympics, which will be determined by each country’s spot in the UCI nation rankings.

Take, for example, the Canadian men. At the close of 2001 (the last time an updated set of nation rankings were released) the men of the Maple Leaf stood fourth, good enough for three starters come Athens. But as we all know, many of those points have come courtesy of Roland Green, Ryder Hesjedal and the rest of the B.C. posse tearing it up on the NORBA series.

Now, if the NCS gets downgraded, all those podium finishes are not going to mean nearly as much. Matter of fact, Green and the gang would do just as well to stay home and race the Canada Cup, which is rated…you guessed it, E2.

This says nothing about the plight of the American men, who may now have to fight even harder just to stay in the top 15 of the nation rankings, garnering two spots to Athens. Or what it will do to all these riders UCI rankings, which are used to determine start grid placement at World Cup races and the world championships.

Maybe all the trade teams should pass a hat around before each race…

Together Again
Got a note from the folks at Commencal Bicycles the other day announcing that they had just reached an agreement with Olivier Bossard and his company, BOS Engineering. “From now on BOS will take care of the development of our frames and suspensions according to these following targets: Anne Caroline’s race bikes and mass production bikes,” the e-mail read.

Photo: Commencal

As you may remember Bossard and Max Commencal worked together from 1993 to 1998, building bikes under the Sunn name that were roundly considered some of the best in the business. Besides Chausson, some guy named Vouilloz won a few races aboard their bikes. At the time Vouilloz had a reputation for precision equipment set-up, and when he left GT to race for Sunn at the end of the 1996 season one of the main reasons for switching to the smaller team was to have full-time access to Bossard who was known for having technically advanced designs and methods of gathering information. The Bossard-driven Sunn team was the first to use a computerized data acquisition system.

Banged up Bootes
Aussie gated-racing specialist Wade Bootes had his 2003 season put on hold last weekend when a crashed out of the keirin at the Australian track championships in Sydney. Bootes had been using track racing to build his fitness during the lead up to the mountain bike season, but instead will be out until the Fort William World Cup with a broken collarbone.

“He’s been in hospital the past couple days having surgery performed on his collarbone,” Trek-VW team manger told VeloNews on Wednesday. “He now has eight new pins in place to keep everything together. The doctor says that the break was nice and clean and that there was no atrophy to the muscle area.”

The accident happened when 2001 world keirin champion Ryan Bayley clipped Bootes’ front wheel, sending him crashing onto the track. To make matters worse, the mishap entangled another rider who came down right on top of Bootes.

Cannondale out of Chapter 11
In a press release issued Monday, Cannondale announced that it had made it through the Chapter 11 bankruptcy process. Now the bicycle business will be incorporated as the Cannondale Bicycle Corporation with Dan Alloway and Scott Montgomery continuing to serve as senior executives.

“We’re extremely happy to have concluded the Chapter 11 process so quickly,” Montgomery said in the release. “We were in Chapter 11 for less than 100 days, but we’ve been a successful part of the bike industry for 32 years. We are back to our roots and it feels good to bring renewed focus to the bicycle business.”

Pegasus, the company that purchased Cannondale, plans few changes to the bicycle business, which according to the release remained profitable throughout the company’s disastrous motorsports efforts.European Cup: Round 1
Bart Brentjens, Laurence Leboucher and Liam Killeen each grabbed wins at the first stop of the European Cup in Kluisbergen, Belgium, on May 4. Brentjens beat out a field that included reigning World Cup champ Filip Meirhaeghe. Killeen, who rides for Subaru-Gary Fisher, won the under-23 race.Mechanics’ class
Lastly this week, the gang down at Colorado Springs asked me to pass this on. Starting June 23 in Boston, USA Cycling will be putting on a series of mechanics clinics, where among other things you’ll learn important skills such as: pit set-up; track, road and mountain bike support; gluing tires; dealing with athletes and staff; wheel changes; and what to expect on the road.The cost for the clinic is $120 for two days. Here’s the full schedule: June 23-24
Boston
July 26-27: Seattle
September 11-12: San Francisco
October 22-23: Austin, Texas
January 9-11: Colorado SpringsFor more information, or to register, contact Alan Sekowski at:
One Olympic Plaza
Colorado Springs, CO 80909
719/866-4770
asekowski@usacycling.org

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