On Aug. 8, elite long-distance cyclists will be in St. Wendel, Germany, the venue for the 2010 UCI Mountain Bike Marathon World Championships.
Both men and women will race over a demanding 66-mile course in a bid to claim the world title. This year USA Cycling will send two men and two women to Germany.
Accepting discretionary nominations to contest the men’s event are Jeremiah Bishop (Harrisonburg, Va./Cannondale Factory Racing) and Burke Swindelhurst (Salt Lake City, Utah/Team Give-Blackbottoms). Bishop, a long-successful American rider, is a former USA Cycling Mountain Bike Marathon National Champion and placed fourth at this year’s event. Swindlehurst finished just behind Bishop in fifth at the recent marathon national championships in Breckenridge, Colorado.
Krista Park (Madison, S.D./Cannondale-incycle.com) qualified automatically for the women’s squad with a third-place finish at this year’s Mountain Bike Marathon National Championships. A discretionary selection, Sonya Looney (Boulder, Colo./Topeak Ergon) will join her in suiting up for the U.S. after winning the Baily Hundo Marathon and placing eighth at the marathon mountain bike national championships.
Last year Pua Sawicki (Team Mata) landed a rare American top-10 finish at Marathon Worlds in Austria. Sawicki came in seventh, just over 17 minutes behind world champion Sabine Spitz of Germany on the 52-mile women’s course. Sawicki’s American teammate, Heather Holmes, came in 25th out of the more than 50 female competitors who tackled a course that featured some 10,000 feet of climbing and descending.
The lone America male, Harlan Price (Independent Fabrication), pulled off an 87th place finish on the men’s 64-mile course, which threw about 12,000 feet of climbing and descending at riders. Roel Paulissen of Belgium won the overall with a time of 4:34:46.
Paulissen’s main rival of the day, Austrian Alban Lakata finished in second place, 52 seconds back. Pre-race favorite Christoph Sauser of Switzerland took the bronze medal, 4:40 behind the leader.