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Mountain Biking - World Cup Tour

The World Cup Mountain Biking tour is making stops in 11 spectacular locations around the planet in 2001. Along the way there's plenty of big air, nasty terrain and lots of sick wipe-outs.

The Stops
Riders take on all kinds of slopes from the Alps of Switzerland and Austria to the Coast Mountains of British Columbia. There's no friendly pavement here. It's all rock, dirt, steep hills and cliff drops.

The Styles

  • Downhill - Riders are timed individually as they fly at extremely high speeds down a course which includes jumps, gaps and sharp turns. This event is a big test of bike handling and courage. The downhill is the coolest event to watch and always has the most spectacular wipe-outs. You're guaranteed to see some sort of bone get broken. At the event at Grouse Mountain, Canada - I saw Shaums March fly through the air and snap his leg after missing a landing. It was awesome.
  • Dual - This is kinda like the boarder cross of mountain biking. Two riders race against each other down a short course filled with bumps, jumps and berms (banked corners.) Each race takes less than 30 seconds so the key to winning is landing jumps smoothly and taking the corners tight.
  • X-Country - X-Country may not be as flashy as the downhill or the dual but it's the one that takes the most endurance. A X-Country course is around 25 miles (40 kms) long and will feature extremely steep inclines and fast rolling single tracks.

    The Toughness
    Mountain bike riders are as tough as the rock faces they fly off of. They're nothing like these wussy, doped-up, "I'll cry if I scrape my leg," road racers you see at the Tour de France. These guys take big risks and punishment. At the Grouse Mountain race, Fabiel Barel of France needed 24 stiches to close a wound in his calf after being gouged by a course-marking pole during training. Two days later he took first in the finals. That same weekend, Roland Green, of Canada, busted a tire during the x-country finals. He managed to fix the flat with lighting quickness and still finish second. They don't get paid like the millionaires in basketball or football but they definitely deserve it.

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