Vail MTB Championships

A chip off the ol’ block: Lejarreta wins world junior XC title

Spanish junior Iñaki Lejarreta says, "Of course my uncle (former Teka and ONCE star Marino Lejarreta, the 1982 Vuelta champion and the last man to complete the Tour, Giro and Vuelta in the same year – all in the top ten) is my hero." Well, the way his nephew dominated the junior men’s field, maybe the roles will soon be reversed. But unlike Marino in his famous 1990 mountain stage win in the Tour at Pontarlier, Iñaki knew that there was nobody ahead of him and raised his arms victoriously as he crossed the line more than two minutes ahead of his nearest competitor. At the end of the first

Britain’s Cooke gets another rainbow jersey

Great Britain’s Nicole Cooke, the reigning world junior road champion, added another laurel to her collection in the junior women’s cross-country in Vail on Sunday morning. As in Plouay last October, she finished alone, but this time, she got a little help from the confusion of her breakaway companion on the course’s final turn. From the start, Maja Wloszczowska of Poland, last year’s world junior cross-country champion and the reigning European champion, applied pressure on the long, 700-vertical-foot climb of the Vail Village Loop. Wloszczowska crashed on the technical descent but

Absalon beats Hesjedal, Ferguson scores bronze

The under-23 men’s cross-country category is one that breeds rivalries. It’s this middle ground between junior and elite categories where young riders looking to make a career of it have a lot to prove. Junior achievements spell potential, under-23 achievements spell contracts. Past all-star rivalries have included Cadel Evans versus Miguel Martinez, and today’s top battle seems to be the one between 21-year-old Julien Absalon of France and 20-year-old Ryder Hesjedal of Canada. Both are top World Cup threats — Absalon scored his first win at Durango this year — and both came to the world

American beauty: Dunlap wins at world’s

Alison Dunlap said she started thinking about the 2001 world championships when she hit a tree during the cross-country race at last year’s Olympics in Sydney. On that day, the Colorado Springs, Colorado resident would have to settle for seventh, but she vowed things would be different when the world championships came to her home state. A year later, the 32-year-old made good on that pledge, putting together a stunning last-lap charge to win the cross country on the damp slopes of Vail Mountain. Dunlap entered the final lap of the race in third place, 54 seconds behind race leader Gunn-Rita

Canada’s Green golden in Vail

With the sun setting on the Vail Valley and the 2001 UCI World Mountain Bike Championships in Colorado on Sunday, Canadian Roland Green put the finishing touches on an historic season that saw many firsts for him and for Canada. First Canadian male to win a World Cup, first Canadian male to win the overall World Cup, and now, first to win the world championship. Green, who made it clear all year long that the world championship was the main focus of his season, started the day as one of a handful of favorites. In the end, the man who put up the toughest battle against the Canadian was Dane

Martinez to make it afterall

On Saturday morning, members of the French national team reported that reigning world and Olympic champion Miguel Martinez would be arriving at the venue after all. According to team officials, the diminutive climber would be in Vail by Saturday evening. In other news, the schedule for Saturday morning has been pushed back to allow more training time on the downhill course. The junior women’s downhill, originally scheduled for 10:30 a.m., was pushed back to noon. The elite women will start at 1:10 p.m., followed by the elite men at 2:05 p.m. The schedule for the dual finals remains

Suemasa gets downhill gold for Japan; Cory brings one Down Under

In one of few sporting events happening worldwide only four days after Tuesday’s tragic terrorist attacks, Japan gets to celebrate its first downhill world championship. Eighteen-year-old Mio Suemasa beat the heavily-favored Céline Gros of France by almost two seconds on the difficult American Flyer course at Vail. Suemasa had already thrown down the gauntlet in Thursday’s seeding run by posting the fastest time by 7.33 seconds. She rides for Team GT in Japan and improved on the fifth place she managed at the 2000 world’s in Sierra Nevada, Spain by handling the large rock drops on the

Business as usual for Vouilloz, Chausson

All is back to normal in the world of downhill racing, with the rainbow jerseys draped safely over the shoulders of their rightful owners. Those owners, of course, are French. On a picturesque autumn day in Colorado’s Vail Valley, Anne-Caroline Chausson and Nicolas Vouilloz won the elite world downhill championships during the second day of competition on Saturday. Between them, the two French downhillers now have 18 world downhill championships. For Vouilloz, whose time of 3:35.20 on the 1.43-mile course was more than two seconds faster than his nearest competitor, it was a bit of

It’s the Lopes and Chausson dual once again

In an exciting race in front of a huge crowd on a chilly night under the lights of Vail’s Golden Peak, the two most successful riders in dual history donned the crowns once again. On a course designed by American rider Eric Carter that made for some gripping races, there were some successful passes in some of the pairings, something too often missing on the majority of World Cup dual courses. Chausson and Lopes had been the fastest qualifiers and consequently got to choose their course every run. "Lane choice was definitely key," said Lopes afterwards. "You saw some people pass, but

Chausson, Lopes tops in dual qualifying

After skipping the second half of the World Cup dual season because of nagging injuries, Anne-Caroline Chausson is back. On Thursday the French Volvo-Cannondale rider was fastest in dual qualifying, posting a time of 44.93 on the world championship course in Vail, Colorado. Just a breath behind Chausson was 2001 World Cup dual champion Leigh Donovan (Schwinn), who was .06 seconds behind Chausson. Australia’s Katrina Miller (Jamis) was third, followed by Tai-Lee Muxlow (Dirt Works), Tara Llanes (Yeti-Pearl Izumi) and Sabrina Jonnier (Intense). Only 13 women started on Thursday, meaning the