This weekend sees the first round of the Mountain Bike World Championships taking place in Madrid. There’s a website dedicated to this years series up on the UCI website.

I think Meirhaeghe is going to be tough to beat again this year which is a good thing if it makes for an exciting series and everyone trying to beat him. I don’t know how but I missed this Bikemagic interview originally – it’s a reasonable read. Following up from a recent post I think his comments on 29ers are interesting:

Q: Do you expect to see more 29in wheel bikes used by World Cup racers, now that they are UCI legal?

A: I am not in favour of 29inch wheels being allowed in racing. First of all it is so difficult for the market to adapt – brakes, forks, everything has to be adapted. I think it is rude they have allowed that, maybe they want to evolve it more like cyclo-cross. Also, the length of race, some people want them shorter. In one or two years it could be just like cyclo-cross – one hour races with cyclo-cross bikes. It’s two completely different sports and it’s a difference in length. One hour is a resistence sport and two hours is an endurance sport, [and it’s a] completely different athlete who does these two things. So I don’t think we should evolve into shorter races or to 29in wheels. They will be allowed from the first of January, I hope they will be disallowed from the second of January. There was a questionnaire to all of the teams and I think 90% of the teams said no and then it was approved. Why have a questionnaire? I cannot understand that.

The fourth version of the penguin series has been released. You can find it at yetisports.

There is a fair chance that John Kerry will be the next President of the United States and if you didn’t know not only is he a rider, he has fairly good taste in bikes, although possibly not cycling apparel. That’s a rather expensive Serotta…

If you only follow one link from todays post, then let it be this one: Jim Strange’s list of potential sponsor replacements for the US Postal Service team is here. Including suggestion #4:

Federal Express. The other mortal enemy of USPS, the kits would be a great improvement over UPS and they could have clever mottos like “When you absolutely, positively have to be there first.” The team would flown around Europe stuffed into boxes on a cargo jet.

Mean while the US Postal team have been keen to show that T-Mobile will not have an easy fight on their hands come the Tour. They have been showing their strength in recent stages of the Tour du Languedoc-Roussillon. Even the current leader of the race, Thor Hushovd, commented: “I asked myself what was going on. Honestly, I was worried. It was as if they wanted to test everybody before the Tour and frankly I think everyone was tested. Even Armstrong took pulls at the front… Incredible.”

Author: Cris Bloomfield

Usually mountain biking in the North.

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