World Solo Championship Newsletter

WSC Newsletter: #10
October, 2010

 In this Issue

- WSC News

- Rusch and Juarez win in brutal conditions

- 10 places to ride in NSW

- Spotlight Racer Brett Bellchambers

- Learning a few lessons
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Santa Cruz Syndicate's Mark Hendershot commented:

 "It was a brutal race, over 100 degrees. Four of the top ten guys were pulled off the course by medics"

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twenty4 sports inc. is the largest producer of 24 hour mountain bike events in the world under the brand of 24 Hours of Adrenalin and the World Solo 24 Hour Championships. Dating back to 1994 the 24 Hours of Adrenalin brand has hosted well over one hundred 24 hour events. 
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If you have completed a previous qualifying event or you think you have enough race experience to get an entry spot into the WSC you can contact us by clicking here to get further details.

Welcome to our tenth newsletter we hope you are enjoying them to date. This being the 10th such newsletter means we have only two newsletters left as we ramp up to the 12th World Solo 24 Hour MTB Championships.

The whY Factor...

Team CanadaLast newsletter I talked about the "X" factor, the unknown, how Chris Eatough showed up in 2000 and won his first WSC. How Craig Gordon did the very same to Chris in 2006, however another letter whY has rarely been spoken about. In 1994 when first starting 24 Hours of Adrenalin, the young Eddy Hunt, just 17 years of age approached me asking to ride the event solo. One could easily have asked the same question of Eddy that was asked of Maurice Garin the first winner of the Tour de France, or Sir Edmond Hillary after summiting Mount Everest. Why? Why would anyone want to race for 24 hours, that's 1,440 minutes, a full day and a lot can happen in a full day.
I could also ask myself the very same thing as a race promoter. Why put on races? Why start up the World Solo Championships? Why continue after 12 years? These are all good questions and at the end of the day we each need some very compelling answers. I know for me a great deal has to do with emotions... dreaming and building something that no one else is doing, then seeing the results of that vision
What is that drives you in your actions today as you head towards the 2010 WSC?
Doing the somewhat impossible?
Whatever it is, you have my respect, yet another reason for me to keep doing what I do.

Stuart Dorland
twenty4 sports inc.

WSC History - 2007
Rusch and Juarez win in brutal conditions

By Sue George, with assistance from Stuart Dorland

TinkerTinker Juarez and Rebecca Rusch won the 24 Hours of Adrenaline World Solo Championship in Monterey, California, this weekend. Juarez rode with Kelly Magelky for 21 hours and then attacked him for the win. Nat Ross, Ernesto Marenchin, and Mark Hendershot took third through fifth spots. Last year's second place Rusch, on the other hand, won by a larger margin of two laps in the women's race. Lynda Wallenfels and Sally Marchand Collins finished second and third.

Twice a bridesmaid, Tinker Juarez scorched the field to take home his first title. Kelly Magelky (BMC / Sports Garage) of Colorado led the entire race until lap 18 when Tinker blazed a 1:02 lap.

Temperatures at the start hovered around 100 degrees, well above seasonal temperatures for the Monterey Bay area. While many riders found the 13.74-mile course and 2,500 feet of climbing per lap challenging (especially in the exposed heat) both Magelky and Juarez appeared to be less affected. They rode away from the field after lap one. Overall third place finisher Nat Ross (Gary Fisher) lost 14 minutes within the first three laps alone.

Santa Cruz Syndicate's Hendershot commented on the challenging conditions. "It was a brutal race, over 100 degrees. Four of the top ten guys were pulled off the course by medics."

A record number of Australians traveled across the pond, with John Waddell (Santa Cruz bikes) taking a sixth place. Both John Claxton (Giant - 18th) and Australian 24 Hour Champion Andrew Bell (Kona - 19th) found the temperatures in the oven too hot. Top British rider Ian Leitch (Independent Fabrication) improved on his 16th place finish in 2006 with an impressive eighth place finish. Top Canadian Leighton Poidevin (Bike Café) rounded out the top ten.

On the women's side, Specialized rider Rebecca Rush moved up one place from 2006 and finished well ahead of second place Lynda Wallenfels of Colorado. Rush is an accomplish world class adventure racer who placed second to Pau Sawicki at this year's USA Cycling 24 Hour Mountain Bike Nationals, and she was determined to finish atop the standings this year.

Sawiciki (Ergon) lost 25 minutes during lap two and three. According to her husband, the disappointed rider was pulled after only five laps; her doctors had diagnosed her with a viral infection. Although she was initially in the lead, she soon found her vision blurring (which caused a crash) and she broke out in a cold sweat despite the 100 degree temperatures.

Other top hopefuls also succumbed to the heat, including Australian National 24 Hour Champion Kim McCormack and Louise Kobin (Sho-Air).

With US$20,000 in Prize money both Juarez and Rusch took home checks for US$3,750 each. Juarez rode 261 miles (421 km) and 47,500 feet of climbing while Rusch rode 220 miles (354 km) with 40,000 feet of climbing.

Both defending champions, Craig Gordon and Sue Haywood, and last year's runner-up Chris Eatough were absent from the event. The latter two chose to compete at the Shenandoah Mountain 100, the National Ultra Endurance Series final, in Virginia.

Joel Donney (under 25 rider), Jeff Toohey (30 - 34 age group rider), Mark Jeffery (40-44 age group) and defending 45 - 49 age group rider winner; Craig Peacock took home age group titles.

In the singlespeed category, Matt Chaney (17 laps) and Pete Basinger (17 laps) battled the deepest field in years. Chaney was crowned the ss category winner and took home a custom frame from category sponsor Spot Bikes of Colorado.

2007 marked the first ever Three-Person Open Team Title for the event. Kenda X-Fusion Titus riders Brent Miller (Australia), Zephanie Blasi (Sparks, NV USA) and James Meadley (Bolder, CO USA) took home the top spot and a check for US$3,000. Intense Cycles - Don's Bikes finished second with 21 laps and third place went to Saris Cycling Group with 18 laps.

If you have a good story to tell, please email it to:


Ten places to ride in NSW

CORCOk so you've come to Canberra for worlds, possibly bringing your bike a heck of a long way, paying a bit of excess baggage, and enduring a long flight. May as well make the most of it. Canberra's got several great mountain bike areas as listed on the website.

The following is a list of ten great places to ride in NSW for those wanting to go a bit further abroad.

1)    Wingello and Penrose State Forests - about two hours from Canberra and a bit over one hour from Sydney, these State Forests offer some great single track, as well as long firetrail sections for a good cardio hit out.

2)    Nowra - hit for trails like Butterfly, Coondoo, Superbowl, and Cabbage tree lane - fantastic flowing singletrack on the edge of gorgeous Jervis bay. Located two and a half hours from Canberra and the same from Sydney, these trails offer some great fun, in an outdoor playground.

3)    Port Macquarie - home of Jason English, the current 24Hrs of Adrenalin World Champion, Port has masses of State Forest, with a mix of both mapped and unmapped singletrack. Three great playgrounds of Jolly Nose, Bago, and Telegraph Point, all with only fairly small rises for those trying to get their legs back post October 10.

4)    Ourimbah - not far north of Sydney, just off the Pacific Highway lies an absolute treat for those after techy single track. With trails like Jurassic Park, Demtel Hill and 5 ways to finish, this is a great stop off if you're heading north. Check out Hilly sections involved!

5)    Wagga - west of Canberra, Pomingalarna Park has become a dedicated mountain bike park. With trails designed to take advantage of the local terrain, and much work put in by the local club, the tracks both there and close to town are a blast. has maps available.

6)    Far South Coast NSW - Bermagui has a great track that whilst recently logged, is again open for business. The highlight of many a far south coast holiday, the result of a lot of sweat and tears by the local club is a flowing track, that's a lot of fun. for more info and to check track is open! For those wanting to stop a bit further north or combine it with more riding, Narooma and Bodalla state forests are filled with logging trails, single track, moto track and single trail - enough to get more than lost, with much of it unmapped. Riding from Narooma to Cobargo is a great way to stretch the legs and lungs, but be sure to carry plenty of water.

7)    Wisemans Ferry - part old convict road, part firetrail, lots of fun, whilst lacking in single track this history filled area offers a great day out, with the Old North Road, St Albans loop, and Western Commission track.

8)    Coffs Harbour - with tracks with names such as Cows With Guns, these well groomed trails offer something for beginner through to advanced. Riding through rainforested areas, creek lines, and eucalyptus forest, Coffs has a great selection - and also some huge hills. One to hit up once the legs have recovered.

9)    Blue Mountains - Mt York Trail, Andersons, The Oaks, Yellomundee Regional Park all offer a range of riding. Andersons and The Oaks are great for once your legs have recovered, however are fire trail rides. Yellomundee is the home of WSMTB club and has great opportunities for all level of rider (and recovery). Mt York offers some great techy riding and convict trail areas, combined with big ascents and screaming descents.

10)    Northern Beaches of Sydney - Manly Dam, Kuringai Chase National Park, St Ives Wildflower Garden, and Red Hill all offer a great range of riding from the moon rock like landscapes of Red Hill, to the fun firetrails the National Park leading to great scenic lookouts, or the dedicated Manly Dam loop with its great sandstone sections and views over the local beaches, this is a great area for those wanting to combine riding with sightseeing the big city. Check out for trail status and mappage.

11)    (just cause). Sutherland - Menai and the Royal National Park both offer a great range of riding. A lot of work has been going into the Royal National Park to make it a place the locals love to ride, but stick to designated riding trails only to ensure it continues to be rider accessible. Menai offers great views along the Georges river, and some great techy track and punishing climbs.

As always when riding, carry plenty of water (don't count on there being any available on or at tracks or trailheads), beware of snakes, and stick to trails that are designated for vehicles or bikes rather than walkers to ensure ongoing access.

Road directions from Sydney Airport to Canberra

Airport to CanberraRuss has put together a four page photo/text route description for all the out of towner's showing the best way to get in to Canberra from the airport.

The route description is spread across four links, go to each link and print them off before you get on the plane.

While you are looking at Russ's image collection, take a look around and see what else he has put up there, in particular some shots of the course and what kind of terrain and course features you can expect.

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Spotlight Racer
Brett Bellchambers

Brett is one of THOSE guys. The guys that make me shake my head and think "that's gotta be hard on a single speed" while at the same time making me wonder if I will ever give it a go. Maybe while we are in Australia, Brett can convince my wife I NEED a single speed? Till then here's what Brett had to say during the interview...

1)   Tell us a little about yourself, Brett.

I'm a 37 year old male, father of 2 beautiful kids with a Norwegian wife. I guess like most people I've ridden bikes all my life for all parts of my life, not just racing. I rode to school as a kid, I ride to work now, I rode my bike around various parts of the world with a good mate of mine for 12 months (and met my wife :)). I started racing MTB in my early 20's, I raced road for a few years in my mid 20's, then I had a few years getting my life settled and ended back riding MTB happily, but this time in circles for long periods of time. Oh and I REALLY enjoy single speeding!
2)   How many 24hr Solos have you done?

So far I've started and finished all 5 of the 24hr Solos I've done since my first one in Oct 2008.
3)   What was it that got you into your first 24hr Solo?

I've always wanted to have a go at a 24hr solo race, initially it was just to see if I could ride for that long and still be happy, but due to living too far away from a close 24hr solo option it never happened. Then I moved to Canberra, which has 2-3 24hr races a year, it was suddenly an option, plus I picked up some support from the local bike shop and it's been full on ever since.
4)   Why do you do 24hr Solos now?

It's now my only chance to ride for a long long time and not feel guilty about my family life. Plus I seem to be getting better at knowing what's going on food and drink wise and with my body after every 24hr I do, so it's kind of getting enjoyable. I also like the feeling of time being lost, that whole feeling of having ridden day/night/day but not really remembering it all, let alone in the proper order.
5)   What are your thoughts about the 2010 WSC this year?

I had planned to try and travel to the WSCs this year, so when they announced is was going to be in my home country and then my home town, I couldn't believe it. It will be difficult to build up for it for me because it feels like heading to the Scott 24hr like the last two years, but I'm sure the sheer size of the Solo Pit lane will bring it home when I see it. Somehow lining up with 400 other solos is just going to be silly, or just loads of great fun.
6)   How many hours a week do you train?

I'm not so big on the word training, but I do have a solid commute to work 5 days a week and I ride with the "Dads Ride" on a Thursday night and a Sunday morning. So added all together, about 16hrs a week of riding on average.
7)   What's the biggest thing you've learned about 24hr racing?

If you're singing songs then you're having fun, not all the songs you get stuck in your head may be fun, but if you're singing them out loud to yourself then you must be having a good time. It's all about the good times isn't it?
8)   What's your favorite food in the pit?

Either soggy weetabix and honey, or creamed rice and honey.
9)   What do you think is your strongest advantage in a 24?

On a single speed you always climb the climb at the same speed every lap, there's no opportunity to ride a lower gear slowly, I think this makes up for my less than impressive descending skills.
10)  What is your next race?

The next race is the Sydney 12hr on the 7th August, then it's the OZ Single Speed Champs in Canberra on the 11/12th of September.
11)  Anything else you want to add?

A big thanks to Mal and the crew at Mal Adjusted - Bicycle Emporium, without their help I wouldn't have started my first 24hr Solo, and then I wouldn't be here writing this now. And a big thanks to every Ozzie 24hr solo rider that traveled to the other side of the world to race at previous WSC events and dug deep so that it could be here this year. And another one to CORC and all their volunteer helpers (Russ Baker included) for putting their hands up and running it here, in Canberra, this year.

Going Down Under
Learning a few lessons

Shaun CanmoreJust over a week ago I was on the start line of the Canmore 24hrs of Adrenalin Solo event. Things felt pretty good on the line, my family was there and I knew quite a few of the racers, the guys from Team Canada were all upbeat and it was a sunny day in the mountains. Does it get any better?

The race didn't turn out as I expected it to and I learned some lessons along the way.

Lesson # 1 - I don't think you ever stop learning in 24hr Solos.

A few hours in and the heat and pace were starting to wear me down a bit, my wife Doreen who has always run my pit was telling me I wasn't taking on enough calories or fluids. I knew it, and as the laps went by I would tell myself to drink more and take on more calories, it just wasn't happening. My body wasn't interested in good advice, but I wasn't worried because I've done double-digit 24's, so it's no big deal... right? Wrong.

Lesson # 2 - Why are you there?

I toed the line in Canmore confident in my fitness and experience. But perhaps I didn't take the race seriously enough. Maybe I forgot how hard it can be to race competitively for 24hrs. I know it's hard... but I think I failed to make it REALLY hard.

Maybe I thought I would do ok just because I've done ok in other races. Not the best logic on race day. I shouldn't have been making some of the mental mistakes I made, I know better and I can now see that by looking back at this race with a fresh set of eyes. I should have had a better idea of why I was on that line.

Lesson # 3 - Excuses aren't enough to make up for poor choices.

After 18.5hrs of racing I was done. Doreen told me I wasn't done and I would regret it, she was right.

I have a few reasons why I stopped and even though they made sense at the time I doesn't feel like the right decision now. I'm glad I get to taste this bitter pill for the next few weeks as I begin riding again in preparation for Australia. This particular lesson made me shake my head, it was the biggest lesson of all.

With Canmore fading away it's now time to start focusing on the administration of getting the family, including Keegan's favorite stuffed bunny, on to a plane and halfway around the world. Our boys are excited to see kangaroos and koala bears and they are starting to make up a list of things we should do. The list isn't very long yet but here's some key items - Evan wants me to do some boxing with a kangaroo, Keegan wants to see me sneak up on a kangaroo, I want to race my bike for at least 24hrs. I'm pretty sure at least one of those things will get done.

That's all for now, see you in three weeks...


World Solo Championships

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