Written by: Fred Dreier
Superbike racer Ben Bostrom has joined the Sho-Air professional mountain bike race team for 2009. The Yamaha pro, who dominated domestic and international motorcycle racing through much of this decade, will race the 2009 Sea Otter Classic and the 24 Hours of Moab for the Southern California-based Sho-Air team in the pro category. He will jump in other mountain bike races as his motorcycle racing schedule allows.
“For years people tried to get me to ride mountain bikes,” Bostrom said. “But I had absolutely zero interest. Then my brother Eric and some friends asked me if I’d race the 24 Hours of Moab with them — I finished that and was hooked! Since then I got a better bike, raced 24 hours solo, started racing cyclocross, which is like racing road bikes on dirt, and now I’ve hooked up with this awesome team.”
Bostrom joins the Sho-Air cross-country squad of Sid Taberlay, Manny Prado and Sam Jurekovic. Also on the Sho-Air cross-country squad is former motocross great Johnny O’Mara.
“It’s great to have another motorcycle champion join the Sho-Air Racing Team,” said Scott Tedro, President of Sho-Air International.
Baby Boom for Dahle Flesjå, Streb
Four-time world cross-country champion Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjå is pregnant with her first child. Dahle Flesjå, who won Olympic gold in Athens in 2004, and her husband and trainer Kenneth Flesjå are expecting the child in early April 2009.
“This happy news was confirmed during a visit to our doctor,” Dahle Flesjå said in a press release. “Considering the fact I’m a good three months pregnant, I’m in pretty good and lively shape.”
Dahle Flesjå endured a rollercoaster season in 2008, which was her first year back after a stomach illness sidelined her for much of 2007. The 26-time World Cup winner (second to Juli Furtado) confirmed her return to top form by winning the third World Cup of the 2008 season in Madrid, Spain. But four months later at the Beijing Olympics Dahle Flesjå was a disappointing DNF.
Dahle Flesjå hopes to return to top-level racing after the pregnancy, and her first race back will be the Gunn-Rita marathon in Italy on June 28.
“We feel very privileged and lucky at the prospect of becoming parents,” Dahle Flesjå said. “We believe this will give us an extra inspiration in our goal of a medal at the London Olympics in 2012.”
American downhill great Marla Streb of the Luna women’s mountain bike team is also expecting a child in April.
Streb, 43, and husband Mark Fitzgerald welcomed daughter Nicoya in 2006. Streb said her second child will likely force her out of pro racing for good, but she will continue with the Luna program in a public relations role.
Aussies to move mountain bike program to Tasmania
Cycling Australia will move its High Performance Mountain Bike Program to the island of Tasmania for the next four years. The move comes with a $400,000 grant from the Tasmanian state government to the program.
“The State Government is committed to supporting the development of Tasmania’s elite athletes, and being chosen to host this elite program in the run-up to the 2012 London Olympics is a great coup for Tasmania,” said Michelle O’Byrne, Tasmania’s Minster for Sports and Recreation.
Australia is one of the world’s premier cycling nations, with top talent on the road, track and BMX track. But of late its cross-country mountain bike riders have suffered in international competition. Sole representatives Dellys Starr and Daniel McConnell finished 26th and 39th, respectively, at the Beijing Olympics.
“We believe the program will produce the next generation of mountain bike athletes, rivaling some of the top Tasmanian mountain bike athletes produced in the past,” said O’Byrne. “The program is further recognition of Tasmania’s emergence as a world-class mountain bike destination, attracting national and international interest from elite and recreational riders, and will help grow the tourism benefits we are already receiving form this activity.”
NUE Series Sets Dates
The National Ultra Endurance Series (NUE), an eight-event series of 100-mile cross-country races, has named its dates for 2009. In 2008 Trek-Volkswagen’s Jeff Schalk and Cheryl Sornson took home top honors. For more information visit www.usamtb100.com
April 25, Cohottua 100, Copperhill, Tennessee
May 30, Mohican 100, Loudonville, Ohio
June 20, Lumberjack 100, Udell, Michigan
July 18, Breckinridge 100, Breckinridge, Colorado
August 1, Wilderness 101, Coburn, Pennsylvania
August 15, Fools Gold 100, Dahlonega, Georgia
September 6, Shenandoah Mountain 100, Harrisonburg, Virginia
September 12, Tahoe-Sierra 100, Soda Springs, CA
Tracy Moseley signs with Trek World Cup team
British downhiller Tracey Moseley will fly the colors of Trek in 2009. The former Kona rider inked a deal to race the 2009 UCI World Cup for the new-for-2009 Trek World Cup team, and will race alongside downhillers Justin Leov and Andrew Neethling and cross-country riders Lukas and Mathias Fluckiger and Liam Killeen.
Killeen and Moseley both hail from Malvern, England.
Moseley won the World Cup overall in 2006 and owns 10 career World Cup wins. She took two victories in 2008. She will race on Trek’s Session 99 downhill bike.
Cannondale Finalizes International Roster
Cannondale will continue to support a World Cup-level cross-country racing program for 2009. The news comes after the end of the Cannondale-Vredestein team, which in 2008 employed Roel Paulissen, Jakob Fuglsang and Kashi Leuchs.
After his victory at the Tour of Denmark road race, Fuglsang left to race on the Saxo Bank ProTour road squad. Paulissen will return to the Cannondale roster for 2009 alongside Swiss rider Martin Gujan and Marco Aurelio Fonana of Spain.
In the United States, Cannondale will continue to outfit its pro-am Sobe-Cannondale squad, which is comprised of several dozen professional and amateur racers.