Friday, October 30, 2009
Should Xterra Rethink Their Bike Courses?
This year's world Xterra female top podium spot went to a roadie, Julie Dibens from England. My Xterra hero, Melanie McQuaid, was third and my other Xterra hero, professional mountain biker Shonny Vanlandingham, was 5th. Mel won the worlds 3 times in the past and this is Shonny's 3rd year of racing and is screaming through the circuit giving the top podium girls a run for their money. She nearly always has the fastest bike split, and Xterra is all about the bike. But, In reading Mel's race report, she slips in comments like "this particular course would not be my first choice to represent the ultimate Xterra style challenge to showcase the off-road athletes." It turns out, the Hawaii bike course was fairly smooth and non-technical this year giving the roadies an advantage. The years that I was racing, I commented several times about that... they really need to put more technical bike courses in these races. This is Xterra! It's about being off-road and challenging. One of the races I used to do, King of the Hill in New Jersey, is no more, but that was a super non-technical course. I'd have to be hard-pressed to call Richmond technical too. Although some argue twisty and tight turns are technical. I don't agree. R.B. Winter is technical. I heard Alabama is technical. Now THAT'S the way a mountain bike course should be in every Xterra. Rocks, climbs, and logs; and a lot of them. Should Xterra rethink their courses? I think so. I'll just bet Mel and Shonny think so too.