ON THE ROAD IN MY MOBILE MANSION!

ON THE ROAD IN MY MOBILE MANSION!

Mike Cushionbury

Mike Cushionbury

Everyone who rides surely knows at least one self-centered, leg-shavin’ goon who thinks he rides faster than he actually does. Well, I’m the one at Mbaction.com, the one who spends idle time looking up roady-boy results on the internet and hours discussing heart rates and power outputs.
Welcome to all the racing news and gossip you?ll ever want. This page is dedicated to everything racing–results, news, commentary, bikes and related products. I will also be listing a racing calendar and results list that covers some big pro events and a lot of amateur events. This is where you come in. Please send me your local event schedule and I will post as much of it as I can. Also, send me results (especially if a top pro showed up) and maybe even a short report of what happened and I will again try to post as much as I can. Thats it! Now go racing and tell me about it. On with the news…


WORLD CUP CROSS-COUNTRY #1-Napa, CA

Bas Van Dooren and Mary Grigson were the big winners, and any signs of the so-called “mountain bike recession” were virtually non-existent at the Napa World Cup, the opening round of the World Cup cross-country. Environmental concerns resulted in losing last year’s venue, so this time around the site was switched to the hills of a vineyard called Domaine Chandon, famous for its sparkling wines. The tiny town we were in is actually called Yountville and it’s about 10 minutes north of Napa. The course wound around and above the vineyard on freshly cut singletrack (about 60-percent) with some fireroad climbs. The course length was 4 miles with 600 feet of climbing per lap. The top men were cutting sub 20-minute laps with the women at just about 20 minutes. The crowds were thick with people out to see a good bike race and they weren’t disappointed in the least bit. Riders were happy with the course but, as Polo-Sport’s Jimena Florit told me, found it tough to find a good rhythm on the rough, bumpy course.
While some may say that “the man” of Sunday was Be-One’s Bas Van Dooren, it was in fact Gary Fisher himself. The self-proclaimed “founder of all things dirt” was running electric blue hair with a hot pink shirt and black trousers with suspenders. When I caught up to him in the Fisher-SAAB pits, he began explaining why it was imperative that he replace his black and white striped knee socks with bright pink Sugar/SAAB socks for a clean, matching look. After I too donned pink socks in obedient homage, Gary’s female team members proceeded to dominate the pro women’s class, taking three places in the top five, led by winner Mary Grigson from Australia.
WOMEN
From the gun it was GT’s duo of Laurence Leboucher and Alison Dunlap pulling the field through two small parade laps and out to the first climb. By the end of the first lap, Dunlap remained in front, followed by Grigson, Specialized-Subaru’s Marga Fullana and Fisher-SAAB’s Paola Pezzo. Leboucher was leading the chase group that contained Alison Sydor of Volvo-Cannondale.
As the second lap came to a close, the chase group caught on, creating a 10-rider lead group containing the likes of Scott’s Barbara Blatter, Dunlap, Sydor, Pezzo, Fullana (who later DNF’d), Grigson, Fisher-SAAB’s Chrissy Redden, Leboucher and Volkswagen-Trek’s Chantal Daucourt (who later flatted). The key to the finish was the fact that the Fisher team had three riders in this group. Here’s what happened according to winner Grigson. “I was feeling good, so on the third lap, Chrissy blocked and I took off on the climb. Paola blocked as well. My descending gave me the confidence to go harder.” Grigson was out descending the other riders. What started out as a 30-second lead at the top of the climb quickly grew to about 45 seconds by the next lap. Grigson extended her lead to just under two minutes by the finish over Alison Dunlap. Sydor was able to break away from the three-rider group of herself, Pezzo and Redden to take third.
Mary Grigson rode for the Australian national team for a few years and this was her first race on a big team. Quite impressive, no doubt, especially considering the fact that she said she is still only doing base training and hasn’t done much high-intensity riding yet.
1. Mary Grigson (AUS)   Gary Fisher-SAAB
2. Alison Dunlap (USA) GT
3. Alison Sydor (CAN) Volvo-Cannondale
4. Paola Pezzo (ITA) Gary Fisher-SAAB
5. Chrissy Redden (CAN) Gary Fisher-SAAB

MEN
The pro men exited the two parade laps a full minute faster than the women with all 139 starters in a bunch that had all of 45 seconds separating first place from last place. This was the start of a blistering seven laps that would see a few back markers get lapped twice by the leaders. Specialized-Subaru’s Filip Meirhaeghe led the first lap but quickly fell back to 15th and then DNF’d due to an allergic reaction to the dust, a condition his team says he always had, but which never affected him in a race before. This left a leaders group of Be-One’s Bas Van Dooren, Haro-Lee Dungaree’s Michael Rassmussen and Full Dynamix teammates Miguel Martinez and Marco Bui. At the end of the second lap, things were already changing with Martinez leading a group that had Ritchey-Yahoo! rider Thomas Frischknecht, Van Dooren, Rassmussen, Giant’s Christophe Dupouey, and GT’s Roland Green on a full-suspension I-Drive.
Yet again another shake-up on the third lap saw Van Dooren and Martinez break away from the pack with a 45-second lead while Rassmussen and Marcel Heller of the Arrow Swiss Bike team chased just ahead of Green. Five minutes later came Subaru-Specialized’s Bart Brentjens, Frischy, Dupouey and Bui.
The Van Dooren/Martinez duo was the one that stuck. Van Dooren said he let Martinez pull up the hills and on the flats until he showed signs of weakening. After what Bas called a “slow death,” he attacked Martinez with two laps to go and made it stick (even with two crashes by Bas on the descents). Green attempted to drop Heller but couldn’t quite do it, using up too much energy by the finish to hold onto third. Brentjens flatted out of the top five with five of the seven laps done, dropped to 15th, and then returned, putting in faster lap times than the leaders to claim fifth overall.
The hardluck award goes to RLX Polo-Sport’s Carl Swenson of the USA. He was in position for a top-ten placing but a double flat ended his day. This gave the top American honor to Volvo-Cannondale’s Tinker Juarez in a disappointing 35th.
1. Bas Van Dooren (NED) Be-One
2. Miguel Martinez (FRA) Full Dynamix
3. Marcel Heller (SWI) Arrow Swiss
4. Roland Green (CAN) GT
5. Bart Brentjens (NED) Subaru-Specialized

Well, that’s it for Napa, now I’m off to Mazatlan, Mexico, for round number two. This is the first time a World Cup has been to Mexico, so it should be a remarkable event. I’m not sure how I’ll get to Mexico from my nook 80 miles north of Los Angeles. I may drive to Tijuana and then take a bus or, since my wife says I need to spend more time at home, I might just hook the dually up to the mobile mansion and pull the wife, cats, the whole enchilada down there for a little R & R. Gotta get working on that base tan ya know.

 

You might also like