Wade Bootes, winner of the Dual race in the 2000 World Championships in Sierra Nevada, Spain, met legendary dual-slalom ace Brian Lopes in the finals of the UCI World Cup in Japan. Treks Nate Tobeckson filled us in on the details:
The two best dual riders of the 2000 season, Wade Bootes and Brian Lopes, met in the finals on July 22, 2000, for the first time since Bootes edged out Lopes in the World Championships. This time, it was before a huge Japanese crowd for the World Cup Dual series and the result came out differently.
The field took to the head-to-head competition under clear skies and hot, humid evening conditions. The well-designed course began with a nearly vertical stall wall, followed by several creative turns and then a huge mogul field of bumps. A tabletop jump then launched the riders. They carved into a hard-banked turn and finished off with a sprint.
Despite a deep bruise and cuts on his arm from a hard crash in practice earlier in the week, Bootes looked strong in the qualifying rounds, where he took second only to Lopes. Wade breezed through the first two rounds before meeting Rich Houseman in the semi-finals when disaster nearly hit him over the head, literally. “He was going to land on me!” exclaimed Bootes. “I was winning and Rich passed me on a jump in the moguls. It was a close call, I had to quickly change lines.”
The stage was set. It would once again be Bootes and Lopes. Lopes won the holeshot but Bootes caught up to him on the stall wall in the first corner. Lopes landed before Bootes and pedaled around him. Lopes experienced some trouble on the moguls, slowed down in the spot Bootes was jumping to, and forced the World Champion to land in a different spot. Bootes reeled him in at the last corner, had to go around the long way to pass him and was edged out by a wheel. “We were flying into the last corner and to the line,” said Bootes. “I felt good, but the crash I took in practice may have taken away a little bit of my aggressiveness. It was a great race, though. I’ll be back next week.” The second place finish puts Bootes in third place overall in the World Cup series. Bootes was riding his new Dual Slalom bike that features a patented drive mechanism that controls the effect of pedaling on the range of suspension. Bootes and Lopes will next race the weekend of July 29-30 at Round 3 of the NORBA series in Park City, Utah.
Aria Japan UCI Dual Results 1st Brian Lopes: USA 2. Wade Bootes: Australia/USA 3. Mike King: USA 4. Rich Houseman: USA
2000 UCI Dual World Cup Overall Ranking 1. Brian Lopes: USA 2. Cedric Gracia: France 3. Wade Bootes: Aus
Women’s Dual Slalom Results 1. Anne-Caroline Chausson: FRA 2. Leigh Donovan: USA 3. Katrina Miller: AUS 4. Tara Llanes: USA
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