ROSS SCHNELL

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ROSS SCHNELL
SCHNELL
ROSS SCHNELL
2013
SCHNELL
ROSS SCHNELL
ROSS SCHNELL
N
ow in my 13th year as a professional racer, I count my blessings each and every day for the opportunities I’m presented.
Not only have I been fortunate enough to travel the world exploring new places, but I’ve been able to share my experiences and
perspectives with the people I come in contact with along the way.
Together, these real-world adventures combined with a
healthy dose of competition and industry networking have given
me a great deal of personal satisfaction, success and achievement
in life. Within that personal satisfaction I find balance in my life,
starting with my incredible family—my wife and 1yr old daughter—who support me every step of the way. They help me maintain a healthy perspective on what I do and keep me grounded; I
feel that’s something others can identify with.
Along the way I’ve been lucky enough to work with and
support incredibly loyal companies in and outside of the bike
industry. These cooperative partnerships have not only helped me
achieve my goals as an athlete, but have allowed me to give back
within the context of product development and brand marketing. I believe that these partnerships are extremely positive and
beneficial on both sides of the equation.
The diversity of my racing schedule and media projects
is substantial. I compete in every format of mountain biking—
cross-country, Enduro and Downhill racing—which provides worldwide exposure to partners and sponsoring company’s products and
apparel to be seen in a wide variety of places and events. Each and
every partnership I work with benefits from the cross promotion of
others. This is why I’ve had such great media coverage and success
around the world. These relationships generate positive and lasting
impressions throughout a broad demographic which lasts long into
the future.
In addition to the ongoing media coverage and relationships that I continually work to develop, I actively engage a fan
base in social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and
maintain a website that features highlights of my racing career.
• All-Mountain World Champion
• Singlespeed World Champion
• Super D National Championship Series
Overall Champ
• National Short Track Race Winner
• Collegiate National Champion Cross
Country
• Collegiate National Champion Dual
Slalom
• Colorado State Champion Cross Country
• 7x BMX State Champion
• European Enduro Stage winner
• Member US National Team
• Trestle All-Mountain Enduro Champion
• Numerous ‘Big Mountain Enduro’ Stage
and Overall wins
• Moab ‘Wasatch’ Enduro Champion
In March 2013, Red Bull Media
House released the long-anticipated “Buffalo Soldiers” project
which follows Swiss rider René
Wildhaber and Ross Schnell as
they trace the trails of the Buffalo Soldiers.
The Buffalo Soldiers are considered the original mountain
bikers, adapting rugged skinnytired bikes for off-road use in US
army training exercises in 1890.
From camp f ires to rugged, old
school (no suspension!) riding,
René and Ross quickly gain
respect for what the Buffalo Soldiers were able to accomplish,
and what they had to endure.
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91
ROSS SCHNELL
LIVES UP TO HIS NAME
STRONG MONSTER-CROSS
7
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MOUNTAIN BIKE: COVER, JULY 2010
HAVING FUN GOING FAST
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Luckily, that roar has not followed Schnell to the Holy Cross trail, in the
Lunch Loops area of Grand Junction, Colorado. On this warm Thursday
afternoon all is quiet—the way Schnell likes it. He grew up in Grand
Junction and prefers Lunch Loops to the more famous trails of the
Kokopelli or Book Cliffs areas to the west. He loves Grand Junction. This
is not a universal sentiment. But to those who’ve questioned the area’s
grandiosity after buzzing by on I-70 or U.S. 50, scoping tree-deprived
moonscapes and big-box retailers, it should be noted that Grand Junction gets its name from the confluence of the Colorado and Gunnison
rivers, and is home to a growing network of quality trails.
Schnell fires up Junction’s mellow desert inclines (at least compared to
the lung-searingly steep San Juan Mountains a few dozen miles southeast) in a single fast-muscle twitch. Then, at the bottom of Holy Cross,
he pulls a deer-like trials move to pop atop a seven-foot boulder and
promptly hurls himself off.
It’s easy to see how Grand Junction’s trails made Schnell an elite
rider. But perhaps the confluence, the Grand Junction itself, forged
him as well. Schnell joins rivers of influence—BMX prodigy, leanmuscle climber, large-onioned downhiller—into the mythical figure
of mountain bike lore: The All-Around Badass.
“Ross is a Dave Wiens type,” says Troy Rarick, owner of Fruita’s Over
the Edge (OTE) bike shop, where Schnell worked in the early 2000s. “He’s
just a natural on the bicycle. The amazing thing about his riding style is
he’s not remotely single-faceted. He can do trials, DH, dual-slalom, BMX
or cross-country. He’s the first collegiate racer to podium at every single
event. That’s real indicative of Ross as a racer. He’s comfortable in every
situation, a mutant.”
Suddenly, Schnell has been credited with saving competitive mountain biking. Suddenly, big-name sponsors like Trek, SRAM and Crank
Brothers are falling all over him. He recently returned from Oakley’s
headquarters, where he signed a coveted contract with the company.
But with each new sponsor, each new contract, expectations rise.
That’s especially troubling for someone like Schnell, who never really wanted anything except to ride his bike. “I’m specializing in being
non-specialized,” he says. “Which is kind of stressful. I’m expected to
be good at everything.”
if you’ve ever wondered what a fake boob feels like, head
to Schnell’s place on a block full of modest ranch houses in central
Grand Junction. Sitting there on the coffee table is a pliable silicone
bra-stuffer. “Girls will come over, look at it, and say, ‘ewww’,” Schnell
laughs, “but by the end of the evening they’re squeezing it, too.”
While the fake boob’s providence is a mystery, one suspects the
long train of medical influence in Schnell’s friends and family. He
earned a degree in radiology and worked at a hospital in Glenwood
Springs, Colorado. He dates a physician’s assistant, Cathryn Haskins,
from Montrose. His sister works as an ultrasound technician. And his
parents own Mesa Orthopedic, which, among other things, makes
orthotics for shoes. “Their small business…is basically my motiva-
laSt year at
Brian HeaD
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SeCret? DoWning
a WenDy’S SuperSize BaConator,
WitH SiX juiCy
StripS of BaCon,
anD a CHoColate
froSty tHe nigHt
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Horror.
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DeSpite CruSHing tHe Competition at DoWnieville, DeSpite tHe
neW SponSorS, roSS SCHnell
ContinueS to Do tHingS
HiS oWn Way By roB Story
pHotograpHy By anne keller
relaX: raD roSS HaS it all unDer Control
continued from page 086
team, calls him “a terrific human being who’s not caught up in himself. When it’s time to
focus, he does. When it’s time to relax, he does.”
For Schnell, relaxing often means getting a little goofy. Hamilton remembers him
showing up for an OTE group ride bent on tweaking “guys in Lycra body condoms festooned with [Italian road] names they couldn’t pronounce.” For his part, Schnell sported
Bermuda shorts, an ancient Styrofoam Bell helmet and old Oakley Pilot sunglasses.
“When the beginner ride began, Ross took off and the Lycra guys were shocked,”
Hamilton recalls. “They insisted he try the advanced group, and Ross said, ‘No hablo
ingles!’ The Lycra guys were totally befuddled. Ross did that to put competitive impulses in perspective.”
though previously known as “rad ross” (he even had the nickname tattooed across the back of the leathers he wore at BMX races), it wasn’t until
Downieville last year that Schnell emerged as a mountain bike sensation, a cult hero at
the very least. Sure, he had earned a spot on the Trek/VW cross-country team, and he
had a handful of top-10 finishes at national cross-country and Super-D races. But after
the 2008 Downieville Classic, blog posts suddenly began appearing with headlines
like: “Why Ross Schnell is Cool.”
Why is Ross Schnell cool? Last summer in Downieville, he started in the mid-40s
the Holy Cross trail was built on Wingate Sandstone,
i’ll never Be tHe guy WHo riDeS a
roaD Bike for SiX HourS a Day anD
DrinkS Water anD
eatS vegetaBleS.
i Wanna live life.
Jurassic stream channels and sizeable deposits of testosterone. Just before dropping into the trail, Ross Schnell, astride a gleaming new Trek Remedy with orange
wheels, peers back over his shoulder and warns, “Hard moves ahead, with off-camber ledges and corkscrews. Lotsa back and forth.” He alludes to sudden transitions
and hefty drops. “Racers on hardtails with skinny tires do not have fun here!”
Schnell—a 6-foot, 160-pound whippet of a 29-year-old whose dark features,
ubiquitous five o’clock shadow and easy grin evoke a love-child of Johnny Knoxville and Adrian Grenier—then leans over his bars, stomps on a pedal and shoots
down the trail, smearing a parabola over a salmon-colored slab of rock, narrowly
mountain Bike raCing SHoulD Be fun.
it SHoulDn’t Be a grim, SeriouS tHing.
i mean, you are riDing arounD in a CirCle on a Bike.
Wearing tigHtS. HoW SeriouS Can you Be?
avoiding a petrified stump.
Schnell is suddenly mountain biking’s “It” racer. The buzz began quietly when
he co-founded the race team at Mesa State University and proceeded to win
the 2001 cross-country collegiate national title, and then won the 2003 award for
dual-slalom. In 2006, he followed up by winning the NORBA Super D title. Those
were nice moments for Schnell, but hardly the stuff of legends. Then, last year, he
not only won the Downieville Downhill, but also the event’s 29-mile cross-country
race—setting new course records in both. The buzz had grown into a roar. >
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tion for not owning a business,” Schnell says. “They work ungodly
amounts of hours, like 80 a week. Not good.”
Still, his parents’ union produced three hyper-athletic kids. Schnell’s baby brother is an upper-echelon rock climber, and he and his
sister Rana competed for a dual-slalom Division 1 title on the same
day in 2003. “I watched her win the national title as I climbed into the
gate,” he says. “I was psyched, then I told myself to pull it together. I
was lucky enough to take the title, too.”
Luck really has little to do with Schnell’s career, though. Consider selffulfilling prophecies, for one: The word schnell means fast in German.
Plus, he’s been doing this for a long time. He grew up a BMX rat and
his life revolved around 20-inch wheels, races and checkered Vans.
Everything was neon then, and he was a huge fan of the movie Rad—
the BMX cult classic from 1986 that features Ray Walston (Mr. Hand
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from Fast Times at Ridgemont High) riding around flipping the bird and
a young star named Cru Jones who blows off his SATs to race his bike.
Says Schnell, “I so wanted to be Cru Jones.”
Schnell caught Troy Rarick’s eye in 1994, during the World Cup in
Vail. “I saw him on the news,” Rarick says, “this young local teenager
taking third in the juniors there. I called his dad and asked if Ross
had a sponsor. His dad said no, and I offered to sponsor him at Over
the Edge. He did a bit of everything for us over the years: wrenching,
retail, you name it. Ross has been and is a great person to know. Still
goes on staff trips with us, still drinks beer in the hot tub.”
Though interrupted somewhat by that radiology degree and brief
hospital job, Schnell remains a fixture/legend at OTE. Skip Hamilton, a
shop regular and the coach of Specialized’s inaugural mountain bike
continued on page 116
in the 29-mile, point-to-point cross-country race.
He traveled there with few expectations and even
fewer practice runs. Despite crashing, he won the
race. The next day, again facing three-time defending champ Jason Moeschler and local legend Mark Weir, Californians both, the kid from
Colorado who’d never even been to Downieville
won the event’s renowned 17-mile-long downhill.
Amazingly, he set course records in each race.
“I had no idea how serious people are about
that race. Winning gave me instant credibility. My
career blew up after that,” Schnell says.
Even his hometown newspaper, The Daily Sentinel, which normally concerns itself
with Halliburton’s local drilling, crowned him the “new king” of mountain biking. The
Sentinel identified him as a Fruita resident in the story and a Grand Junctioner (correct)
in the photo caption, but still….
Perhaps more importantly, winning Downieville, in an odd sort of way, justified
Schnell’s existence as a professional mountain biker. Throughout his career he has
avoided road-oriented training regimens and shown a healthy disdain for monstrously
competitive and freakishly fit cross-country racers. Instead, Schnell thrives on his own
irreverence. This is a guy, after all, who believes that “beer is the best recovery drink.”
“In Downieville,” Schnell notes, “you have to pedal up fast and then race downhill…on a real bike. On the same bike. So it pays to be a hack at both cross-country
and downhill. The pseudo roadies who normally win XC races will never show up at
Downieville. I don’t know if Downieville is the future of racing, but that’s what mountain
biking is. It’s the best race I’ve ever done.”
Undeniably a throwback, Schnell seems of an era when XC courses were rugged and
support was minimal. If he had an idol from mountain biking’s boom, it was John Tomac—
a rider who could turn around in a phone booth, flow downhill like water, and still leave
opponents gasping with pulmonary edema on long, rocky climbs.
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relaX:raD
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HaSititall
all unDer
unDerControl
Control
relaX:
In the sport’s early days, there were no
race teams and no national race series.
Now the sport’s governing body is struggling to re-establish a national crosscountry series after the existing model
crumbled last season. And with the demise of the powerhouse Trek/VW team
after umpteen years, Schnell is now Trek’s
lone domestic cross-country competitor.
He races commando—alone, old-school,
independent.
“Rad Ross” is also “Retro Ross.” At the
Snowmass NORBA Nationals in 2006, Schnell showed up with a roadie cap under
his helmet. He wore white terrycloth short
shorts. Sporting a mullet and handlebar
moustache as well, he looked eerily like
a young Tom Ritchey. “I heard there was
a moustache-growing contest [affiliated
with the race],” Schnell says. “Luckily, I can
grow one pretty fast. And I thought, ‘Hey,
this can be complemented with a mullet
and short shorts.’ So I did. Then shaved everything off after the race.”
to be a true mountain biker,
must one necessarily dislike road biking?
It’s an undying question. But Schnell is beloved for his candor regarding skinny tires.
Trek provides him free road bikes, so he
owns a couple. Yet, one day in his garage,
he points at one and sniffs, “I’m allergic to
curly bars, man. I can’t do ’em. Road bikes
put you in the worst position possible; I
wouldn’t wish it on anyone. I’ll never be the
guy who rides a road bike for six hours a
day and drinks water and eats vegetables.
I wanna live life.”
He holds similar contempt for roadieinfluenced mountain bike races. Like, for
instance, the season-opening, sponsorbooth-infested, commercial-as-Christmas
biggie in Northern California. “Sea Otter,”
Schnell says, “is cool if you’re into rain
and poison oak. More like Sea Slaughter.
I don’t think it’s a mountain bike race if
you can win it on a hardtail. A pro roadie
who’s never mountain biked could win
that thing.”
Schnell doesn’t talk about cadence
or lactic-acid threshold. He talks about
“moves.” To him, the maneuvers required
to negotiate tough, technical trails are
crucial to the sport. “I talk about ‘moves’
all the time,” he says. “Moves are what
mountain biking is all about. When I go
out for a bike ride I get more satisfaction
from cleaning the local ‘Widowmaker’
than I do comparing best times up the local road climb.”
Thanks to the moves he made at Dow–
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nieville, and to his emerging reputation
as an all-around badass, his sponsors are
“backing the idea of me doing fun events
with products real people buy,” he says. That
includes the mass-start Megavalanche races in Europe, as well as the Downieville-influenced Super-D races in Ashland, Oregon.
He’ll still race cross-country, but aims to hit
the killer venues in Colorado, while avoiding
the flat-and-wide courses elsewhere (don’t
even mention the word “Fontana” to him.)
Schnell concedes he may have to get
more intense if he wants to compete on
the World Cup stage. But not just yet. For
one, his metabolism remains that of a teenager’s. He goes to bed at 11 and wakes up
two hours later to chow cereal. “Last night I
took down a family-size bag of Doritos…at
one in the morning,” he admits. He’s been
known to fill his CamelBak with Coke. (He
likes bubbles. And resents Cytomax for
lacking them.)
The irreverence is real. Not long ago,
Schnell rode Utah’s 113-mile White Rim
trail in a single day powered by an economy-size package of Reese’s Peanut Butter
Cups because it was just after Halloween
and the candy was cheap. Last year at
Brian Head, the last stop on the NMBS
circuit, he won the short track, and almost
won the XC race—some of the best results
in his life. His secret? Downing a Wendy’s
super-size Baconator, with six juicy strips
of bacon, and a chocolate Frosty the night
before the XC event, while his Type-A
teammate at the time, Jeremiah Bishop,
watched in horror.
“So far in my career, I’ve found zero correlation between eating well and going
fast,” Schnell says.
That career has lasted more than a
decade, and has taken more than a few
unusual turns. Even Schnell seems to
struggle when asked to define his role in
the sport. “At best, I’m mediocre at every
single thing. Which somehow stacks me
higher than guys who are good at one
thing only. My general goal is to mountain
bike for the soul of the sport. I’m not the
most competitive guy out there. I love the
lifestyle and love what I’m doing, to ride
and travel to good places. If that means
getting beat by a guy who rides 30 hours a
week, that’s fine. The day I don’t have fun
is the day I’ll be done racing.”
So what does being an all-around
mountain biking badass mean to Schnell?
It means having a good time. “Mountain
bike racing should be fun. It shouldn’t be a
grim, serious thing. I mean, you are riding
around in a circle on a bike. Wearing tights.
How serious can you be?”
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opposed to a whole team,” Schnell said.
He credits the Downieville Classic for his shift away from
pure cross-country racing. “Doing that race was a serendipitous
discovery on my end. I had no idea what I was in for when I
For Schnell, the faster the better when it comes to bikes.
He also lives up to his high-speed name when he’s riding
motorcycles and driving 100 mph go-carts.
by Marty Caivano
Ross Schnell, a Grand Junction-based racer, is cleaning
up in every kind of mountain bike racing.
If you never took German as a foreign language, you
might not know the significance of Ross Schnell’s last name.
It means “fast.”
And so far, he’s not having any trouble living up
to his name.
Based in Grand Junction, Colo., the racer has made a name
for himself by being fast not only at cross-country racing, but
also at Super D, dual slalom and downhill.
Some of “Rad” Ross’ recent career highlights include a fifthplace ranking in the 2008 U.S. National Mountain Bike XC
Series, first-place and record holder at the 2008 All-Mountain
World Championships in Downieville, Calif., and second-place
in the 2008 U.S. National Championships in Super D.
In college, he raced “super casually” for the Mesa State
cycling team, winning national titles in cross-country (2001),
dual slalom (2003) and the omnium (2003). In addition, he
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was a seven-time BMX Colorado State Champion in his youth.
“I specialize in not being specialized,” Schnell said.
And it’s turned out to be a boon from a sponsorship
standpoint. After Trek/Volkswagen ended their partnership with
him, Schnell’s main source of income dissolved. But because of
his exposure in many disciplines, other companies stepped in
to fill the void.
“I have my own gig this year, which includes Trek, Oakley,
Crank Brothers and SRAM,” Schnell said. “This year my
support level has gone through the roof. I know that most
sponsors are tightening their belts, but from my point of view,
it’s better than ever.”
Specifically, Crank Brothers supports him as their marquee
wheelman.
“My skill set kind of runs the gamut. This way, sponsors
can support one rider who races a lot of different stuff as
Like his music performances,
Schnell doesn’t go for formal bike training.
Anne Keller
Anne Keller
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went there, but it definitely transformed my career,” he said.
Since then he’s followed the lure of gravity to more and
more all-mountain style events and now has his focus on
the bigger Super D races, Megavalanche races (a downhill
marathon-style event) and European enduro downhill races.
“These events represent an absolute paradigm shift in
mountain bike racing,” Schnell said. “These are real mountain
bike races for real mountain bikers. People want to ride bikes
that are fun—with five to six inches of travel—and enjoy being
rewarded with events that test both fitness and skill.”
It’s not that he’s turned his back on traditional crosscountry, but he sees the writing on the wall.
“I’m still a fan of cross-country racing,” he said. “But all the
people in the industry are telling me it’s not that advantageous
to promote a cross-country racer, because no one buys crosscountry bikes anymore.”
Schnell himself could attest to that. For several seasons, he
swore to himself that he would follow the monk-like training
plans that make many cross-country racers successful. But
frequently, he would find himself doing epic mountain bike
rides on his six-inch Trek Remedy instead.
“Before Brian Head last year I spent a month on my
Remedy, doing long trail rides, with no structure, no intervals,”
Schnell said. “I won the Brian Head short track and almost
won the cross-country.” He came in second behind Jeremy
Horgan-Kobelski.
He feels that the trend toward all-mountain bikes is well
established at this point: “As far as racing formats, that’s new,
but people have been buying five- and six-inch travel bikes
for years. And now the technology is really catching up with
that trend.”
At 28 years old, Schnell has plenty of time to capitalize on
the changing nature of mountain bike racing. And at the same
time, he’s making sure life has variety.
“I’ll never be the quintessential bike racer who does
nothing but train and put their feet up all day,” Schnell said.
Like his cross-country/Super D cohort Adam Craig, who
“cross-trains” by kayaking and rally car driving, Schnell devotes
whole days to riding motorcycles and driving shifter Karts,
go-carts that reach speeds of 100-plus mph.
“I like having fun. That’s where I thrive,” Schnell said.
“When I pretend to get serious, I don’t tend to go as fast as
when I just have fun.”
Hence, he’s hatched a plan to buy his own Kart to keep
at the track.
“Doing this stuff has definitely held me back from a crosscountry standpoint,” he said. “But I’d rather have fun in life and
have a good balance than give it all away to be the best.”
Craig, who is Schnell’s close friend as well as competitor,
puts it this way: “He has that ability to focus that comes with
any successful athlete. But he’s also able to be relaxed and
mellow when it’s important. He’s definitely okay with drinking
more beer than the typical cross-country rider.”
But even Craig, widely recognized as one of the best bike
handlers on the circuit, wants to make one thing clear.
“I think Ross is the best mountain biker in the country
at being smooth and stylish on the trails,” Craig said.
“Pretty much everyone should try to get a chance to ride
behind that guy.”
R O S S S C H N E L L | PR INT
Rad Ross: Enduro Racing Explained
7/26/12 9:57 AM
DECLINE:
July 2011
Published on Bicycling Magazine (http://www.mountainbike.com)
MTB Racing
Rad Ross: Enduro Racing Explained
The ever-versatile Ross Schnell unravels the new race format, and offers tips to get you started.
Brian Fiske
Created 2012-07-24 11:41
Rad Ross: Enduro Racing Explained
Photo by Enduro racing allows Ross Schnell to take advantage of his versatile skills. (Photo: Caleb Smith)
Rad Ross: Enduro Racing Explained
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7/26/12 9:57 AM
The Expert: Thirty-two-year-old “Rad” Ross Schnell (Trek) paid his dues as an XC racer, but
since winning the Downieville Classic in 2008, he’s focused on enduro racing—an exciting
format that requires fitness, technical ability and downhill skill. The events are a perfect Page 1 of 4
http://www.mountainbike.com/print/66629
match for Schnell’s versatility (he’s also the 2009 Singlespeed World Champion). Luckily for
Schnell, there are now enough races to support dedicated enduro racers. Just check out his
summer schedule: After completing the B.C. Bike Race, he traveled to France for the Alpe
D’Huez Megavalanche. “It’s probably the most competitive enduro event in the world,” he says
of the mass-start downhill. From there, Schnell heads home to Colorado for the Trestle AllMountain Enduro, an event he promotes. We caught up with Schnell between races for the lowdown on the format, and to seek his best advice for aspiring enduro racers.
Defining Enduro. According to Schnell, enduro races take many forms. Some are long Super-D
races, like the Downieville Classic or the Megavalanche. Others, like France’s Trans-Provence,
include multiple timed downhill stages that are held over a single day, or over multiple days
and are linked by non-timed climbs. “They’re basically pedally downhill races where fitness is
just as important as technical skill,” Schnell says.
Are They for You? If you like to go fast, hard ride and have fun, then enduro racing is right up
your alley. “They’re not about who can climb the fastest or who is the best descender,”
Schnell says.” Enduro races are equal parts fitness and skill. The courses range from moderate
to technical, and sprinkle in sections of pedaling to keep you honest. In a perfect world, the
type of rider best suited would be an XC rider who has the skills of a downhiller, or vice
versa.”
Recommended Gear: Enduro races are gaining popularity because you don’t need a special
cross-country or downhill bike. In fact, most of us already have the ideal ride—a trail bike with
four to six inches of travel and a dropper seatpost. Depending on the course, you may want to
add beefier tires. “I would say the seatpost is a must-have,” Schnell says. “It’s not only faster
to descend with your seat down, it’s also safer while descending at speed. I probably flick the
remote of my [RockShox] Reverb seatpost as often as I shift gears,” Schnell says.
7/26/12 9:57 AM
France's Trans-Provence treats riders to seven days of mind-blowing
timed descents. (Photo: Sven Martin)
What to Carry: This is common sense—carry only what you need. But that will vary depending
on the race. A single-course format with finishes in a common area? You can probably get by
without carrying much. But if there are long distances between stages? Bring a pack with tools,
and carry plenty of water and food. “I always plan on having more than I need,” Schnell says.
“It’s better to be prepared and not use it than caught out and not be able to finish the race.”
Training Tips: “I’ve done events where you’re out for 6 hours, racing through different timed
stages,” Schnell explains. “It’s difficult to finish strong when you don’t have enough energy to
get down the mountain.” In other words, fitness goes a long way in enduro racing. “Some guys
ride on the road for fitness and then jump on the chairlift for DH runs on the big bike to train,”
Schnell says. “That’s not very practical for most riders but the idea is there. You need to get in
shape by doing long rides, and still work on your technical descending.”
Fuel Wisely: Take nutrition advice from the Schnell with a grain of salt—he has an unhealthy
addiction to Wendy’s burgers, after all. But Schnell suggests consuming more calories in the
week leading up to the race—you want your muscles to be topped off for race day. “I treat
Radthese
Ross: Enduro
Racingjust
Explained
7/26/12
9:57 AM
races
like a cross-country race,” Schell says of enduro eating. “And I try to eat
a big
dinner the night before, and breakfast the day of, and stay well hydrated in the days leading
up to the event.” Whether you choose to load up with a 970-calorie Baconator is up to you.
http://www.mountainbike.com/print/66629
Source URL: http://www.mountainbike.com/mountainbikecom/skills/rad-ross-enduro-racing-explained
Links:
[1] http://video.bicycling.com/video/SRAM-X0-Schnell
[2] http://bicycling.com/blogs/mbword/2010/10/21/singlespeed-world-championships-this-weekend/
[3] http://www.bicycling.com/adventure-guide/bicycling-adventure-guide-downieville-california
Page 3 of 4
R O S S S C H N E L L | PR INT
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W.E.S. SHUTTLE COMPANY
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Arguably the most well rounded mountain
biker in America, “Rad Ross” Schnell
is at the forefront of the all-mountain
racing revolution. Just don’t tell him that.
By Fred Dreier
DARTER
The Whole Enchilada, considered by many, to be one of the most scenic and challenging rides in the world,
starts atop the La Sal Mountains at 11,600ft and drops nearly 8,000 vertical feet in 32 miles. Starting up
high amidst the aspen trees and creek crossings,
riders descend through multiple eco-systems on
�lowing singletrack and ledgy terrain and �inish along
the Porcupine Rim trail overlooking Castle Valley.
Whole Enchilada Shuttle Company operates
daily and services legendary trail networks
and rides such as The Whole Enchilada, Mag 7,
Porcupine Rim and of course, Slickrock Trail. Vans
depart daily from Uranium Bicycles at 284 North
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BALET
n intimidating rock field greets riders at the mouth of the popular Horsethief
trail on the southeastern edge of Fruita, Colorado. The descent isn’t long, but its
drops and loose sand make it a proving ground for local mountain bikers. Clean
Horsethief and you’re guaranteed some hefty bragging rights.
“Rad” Ross Schnell has cleaned it on a rigid singlespeed.
Across the valley on the outskirts of Schnell’s hometown of Grand Junction, there’s
another tricky make-or-break section on a trail called the Lemon Squeezer. The
singletrack swoops down and then cuts abruptly up into a two-foot ledge.
“We call that ‘The Squeeze,’ and you pretty much have to bunny hop up it because you
have no speed,” Schnell said, analyzing the move. “I could be wrong, but I’m pretty sure
The word “Rad” became a permanent title in Ross Schnell’s name during his BMX glory
days back in the 1980s and early 90s. Schnell won the Colorado state championships
seven times with the “Rad Ross” moniker stitched across the seat of his racing pants.
The handling skills from BMX followed Schnell to mountain biking in high school.
He chalked up regional cross-country victories in the junior ranks and turned pro at 19.
Schnell had a great engine, but the Grand Valley’s plethora of rocky singletrack provided
the stage for his bike handling skills to shine.
“It’s some of the most technical trail network I’ve ever seen. It really requires you to be
a complete mountain biker,” Schnell said. “You’ll be out there riding and there’s some
50-year-old woman cleaning moves that my NORBA buddies wouldn’t ever attempt.”
At Mesa State University, Schnell raced on and off road. In 2001 he won the collegiate
cross-country title. At the collegiate championships in 2003, he won the short track and
mountain cross, and finished third in the downhill and second in the cross-country,
easily earning the omnium title.
Schnell finished his degree and worked as an X-ray tech at Valley View hospital,
training after work and racing on the weekends for the regional Tokyo Joe’s team.
His success in Colorado cross-country events won him a spot on the Trek-Volkswagen
regional squad, and after turning heads with a podium finish at the Deer Valley, Utah
round of the 2006 National Mountain Bike Series, Schnell earned a ticket onto the TrekVolkswagen factory team.
Schnell struggled to find his niche in the conventional pro events. He gobbled up
Super D wins, but the event lacked publicity. For laughs, Schnell often toed the line of
BRAD KAMINSKI
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short track races clad in a neon retro skinsuit and oldschool helmets. Still, he lacked the huge engine needed
for World Cup racing, and only on his best days could he
ride at the front of an NMBS cross-country.
“Doing World Cups was a totally different animal, a
totally different scene, and I knew right away it wasn’t
for me. That lifestyle is too extreme,” Schnell said. “If I
wanted to be a robot then I would try to be a World Cup
racer. That’s not me.”
At the beginning of the 2008 season, Schnell’s boss,
Trek’s mountain bike brand manager Michael Browne,
set a new objective on the table: Downieville.
“Winning that race was his only responsibility for the
year,” Browne said. “We knew we had an awesome bike
and an awesome rider who could win it. And that race has
a reputation for being what mountain biking is all about.”
At Downieville, riders must complete two races — a
lung-searing, 29-mile cross-country race and a 17-mile,
5,000-foot downhill — on the same bike.
Weir, a seven-time winner of the downhill, has
transformed Downieville into his own personal
Olympics. His teammate Moeschler, a construction
worker from nearby Nevada City, has won the overall
three times. In the weeks leading up to the race, Weir
has annually promoted the event by publicly razzing his
competition.
Last year was no different — Mountain Bike magazine
ran a feature story that pitted Weir against German
downhill legend Jurgen Beneke. The article made no
mention of Schnell.
Schnell didn’t disappoint his sponsors. In the crosscountry, he set a new course record by three minutes,
beating Moeschler by 2:37, with Weir in third. He then
smoked the field in the downhill to set a new overall
course record of 2:41:33.
“It was awesome. It gave me instant credibility,” Schnell
said. “Gravity guys are coming up to me and saying ‘nice
race’ and cross-country guys like me too.”
I’m the only guy to legitimately ride that.”
Schnell might disagree, but skills like this, mixed with cross-country speed, make
him arguably the best all-around mountain bike racer in America. He can mash gears
with the continent’s top cross-country racers, bang elbows in a mountain cross event
and shoot over rock drops on a downhill course. He can jump, bunny hop and pull
stunts that draw comparisons to trials legend Hans Rey.
And at 28, Schnell is the latest American to champion the rapidly emerging allmountain brand of racing. All-mountain events such as Super D and enduro downhill
test aerobic ability as well as precision and courage. The industry has responded to the
surge with lightweight and plush five- and six-inch travel bikes. Schnell’s blend of worldclass lungs, legs and handling skills set him apart.
“He’s a frickin’ fast dude — he’s super consistent and he knows how to ride a bike,”
said Mark Weir, a pioneer of all-mountain riding. “You have to have a perfect run to
beat him.”
Weir would know. The Californian is still America’s highest profile all-mountain
racer, thanks in no small part to his flamboyant racing style, his famous handlebar
moustache, a penchant for marketing himself and his renowned smack talking. For the
last 10 years Weir has sat atop America’s throne of all-mountain talent.
That was until Schnell came along. Last year Schnell marched into the Downieville
Classic, the unofficial all-mountain world championships, as a true dark horse. He went
head-to-head with the continent’s best all-around riders — Weir, Brian Lopes, Jason
Moeschler and Chris Sheppard, to name a few — and dusted everyone.
The Downieville win saved Schnell’s career. At a time when other pro riders have
fallen victim to the slumped economy, Schnell is the flavor of the month. His list of
big-name sponsors for 2009 includes Oakley, crankbrothers and Trek, among others.
But despite the new sponsors, the flashy new gear and the new label “All Mountain
World Champion,” Schnell maintains a hard line on humility. While other heavy hitters
like to turn on the smack talk, Schnell prefers to let his legs make the point.
“Ross is funny — he’s the guy who is always acting like he doesn’t take it too seriously.
He’s the guy who wins and then doesn’t know why,” said Corey Collier, a longtime
friend and top-level road racer. “He takes it seriously. He’s on it. I think the attitude
helps take the edge off.”
The attitude just might help him rise to the top. With sponsorship comes expectations,
and Schnell’s sponsors want success in major mass-start European events, such as the
MegaAvalanche and Trophy of Nations events.
“It’s true, I have the versatility to race downhill or short track, maybe even a road
race,” Schnell says. “But it’s just by accident that I somehow became really marketable.
If you think about it I’m just a guy who is mediocre at everything.”
Schnell became something of a mountain bike folk hero
in the months after his Downieville win. He didn’t just
win, he utterly schooled Weir, Lopes and the other big
boys. The attention thrust him into the limelight, but
Schnell was typically modest.
“I didn’t take credit for being in the forefront of allmountain racing, I was lucky,” he said. “I was just some
hack cross-country rider who was in the right place at the
right time.”
But the momentum couldn’t have come at a better
time. In December, Schnell learned Trek-Volkswagen
was disbanding. He planned to return to working at the
hospital while racing for fun.
But offers came in. First from Oakley, then
crankbrothers, SRAM and Trek. After a few months of
inking contracts, Schnell found himself financially better
off than he was in the Trek-VW days. Schnell credits all of
this to his Downieville result.
“It redefined my career. You find this niche, and once
you get to that level people follow you,” Schnell said.
“Take Mark Weir. He could not win another race as long
as he lives, but he’ll still be in every magazine ad because
he elevated himself to the level of god.”
Schnell doesn’t foresee himself attaining godlike
status anytime soon, but if his 2009 racing calendar
proves successful, he just might. In addition to allmountain events at Colorado’s Mountain States Cup and
the Sea Otter Classic, Schnell is heading to Europe to
take on the mass-start MegaAvalanche races alongside
Lopes and Weir.
And then there’s Downieville. As the reigning champ,
Schnell comes in with a load of pressure and expectations
on his shoulders, especially with cross-country honchos
Adam Craig and Ryan Trebon expected to show up.
“Winning [Downieville] gets harder because of the
competition within yourself,” Weir said. “If you win it
once you don’t want to look like a loser and blow it the
next year.”
But Schnell believes he has the skills and attitude to
defend. After all, the less pressure he puts on himself, the
less compelled he feels to win. And that’s just the kind of
mentality that has helped Ross Schnell into his current
situation.
“I’ve been really lucky so far, but at some point this
train is gonna stop and I’m going to have to get off. That’s
bike racing,” Schnell said. “But if all falls away tomorrow,
I have no stress. When I say ‘to hell with it,’ that’s when
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things seem to work out.”
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tech and training TRAINING
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Guilt-Free
Off-Season
Plan not to plan
levels to get back to normal before undertaking the preparation for another year.
“Fitness doesn’t continue on a straight level of trajectory,” said Dirk Friel, chief marketing officer of Training Peaks, coach to some
of the top pros and Joe Friel’s son. Taking
time off enables you to have a more productive foundation and base miles phase in order to have an even better peak the following
year, he said.
At the end of the season, national crosscountry and marathon champion Heather
Irmiger (Subaru-Gary Fisher) looks forward
to hitting the road with her husband on their
motorcycles. “It’s amazing how wearing the
season is on you physically,” Irmiger said. “It’s
nice to take a break and to be a normal person
every once in a while.”
So how long should the off-season be? It’s
different for everyone. “I tell athletes two to six
weeks — generally that’s the range that works
best,” the elder Friel said. “If you’re fried you
may need six weeks; if you’re feeling fine, then
two weeks.” The truth of the matter is that if
you are purely a recreation cyclist and only
spend a few hours of the week on the saddle,
you probably don’t need a break.
The Professional off-season
by Robbie Stout
O
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NE OF THE BEST PARTS OF čĆěĎēČċĚēčĔććĎĊĘĎĘęčĊďĔĞĆēĉ
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119
120
Are you feeling tired after a long season in
the saddle? If so, maybe it’s time for a welldeserved break. But will taking a break undo
all of that training and racing you’ve done this
year? In the short term, maybe. But in the long
haul you’ll be doing yourself a big favor.
What is the “off-season?” To Joe Friel, author of numerous training books including
“The Cyclist’s Training Bible,” the off-season
isn’t anything at all — it’s the opposite of
something. “It shouldn’t be a science,” Friel
said. “As soon as you try to define it, it takes
away from the purpose.” The off-season is a
point during the year when you stop following
a plan and simply enjoy life and good health.
“If an athlete has been focused on training
and racing throughout the year, the purpose
of a break is basically to recharge their batteries before they can get going again for the next
season,” Friel said. “It doesn’t mean you have to
mancavesross schnell
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get off the bike entirely — just have fun.” Some
road racers do an occasional cyclocross race for
the pure fun of it, which is a good way to take a
mental break from structured training.
Cross-country mountain biker and winner
of the 2009 world single-speed championship,
Ross Schnell (Trek-SRAM-crankbrothers),
is a multifaceted athlete who enjoys everything from fi xing cars to alpine skiing. “The
off-season is about just having fun and doing
other activities possibly sharpens your mind
in some form or another,” Schnell said.
On a physical level, you may not need time
off at all. “As far as hard physiology goes (muscles and tendons) the only issue there is if the
athlete has had nagging injuries,” Friel said.
If you’ve chosen to ride through nagging injuries throughout the year, the “offy” is the time
to let those irritated injuries mend.
On a chemical and hormonal level, taking
WHAT BIKE?
Ross Schnell plays
soccer, skis, fixes cars
and hunts during the
off-season.
time off will be helpful, especially if you’ve
had an intense year of racing and training.
Hard training often leads to increased production of cortisol, which has been linked to
suppressed testosterone levels, which inhibit
your ability to recover quickly and can actually
lead to weight gain. Another known problem is
fatigue of the adrenal glands, which is linked
to high levels of physical and emotional stress,
often from heavy training and racing, and results in a decrease in production of dozens of
different hormones. Taking time off may allow
your adrenal glands and cortisol and hormone
»
mancavesross schnell
Intro by Drew Rohde;
Photos by Devon Balet
118
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SPORTS
SPORTS
NCAA EXPANDING MARCH MADNESS, BUT ONLY TO 68 TEAMS, PAGE 5B
‘Coolest
race’
FORMER HIGH SCHOOL TEAMMATES TIED FOR LEAD AT CWA, 2D; RED WINGS, PENGUINS BATTLE IN PIVOTAL GAME 5, 4D
75¢
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Your community newspaper since 1893
RIDING WITH ROSS
ALSO INSIDE:
PRESIDENT OBAMA
ADVOCATES LONGER
SCHOOL DAYS, LONGER
SCHOOL YEARS FOR
AMERICAN KIDS 6A
GJ PROFESSIONAL MOUNTAIN BIKER TRAVELS WORLD, HIKES UP GLACIERS,
WINS SINGLESPEED WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS IN DURANGO SPORTS 1B
sound barrier
GJ pro mountain biker wins Singlespeed World Championships
By ALLEN GEMAEHLICH
[email protected]
through this season.
“It was a feather in my cap
after a very frustrating season,”
he said. “It basically salvaged my
season and then some. It couldn’t
have come at a better time.”
Schnell started the season
with a hip fracture in a French
Enduro mountain bike race
in May in Metabief, France.
That kept him off his bike for a
couple of months.
He took third place in the
Downieville (Calif.) Classic
downhill when he returned, but
broke a hand in his next French
Enduro race in Vars, France.
“Those things were very frustrating and definitely held me
back, but maybe were a blessing
in disguise,” Schnell said. “I was
probably fresher than a lot of
guys out there (at the Singlespeed
World Championships). If I can
get my butt in shape, I’m fresh
and motivated toward the end.
That works to my advantage.”
Schnell, whose first race of
the 2010 season is an invitationonly event at the end of January
in Nepal, said he had second
thoughts about competing in
the World Championship after a
film shoot in Switzerland a few
days prior to the event.
Schnell and seven-time Mega-
we were crazy. The pucker factor was high.
“It was amazing the grip we
had. Your mind doesn’t believe
you have that much control.
Hiking up was absolutely
terrifying. There was nothing where we could get seriously hurt. The consequences
weren’t catastrophic, but that
doesn’t mean I wasn’t absolutely terrified.”
He returned home Wednesday night, adjusted his Trek Top
Fuel bike Thursday afternoon
and headed to Durango.
“I was thoroughly jet-lagged
and thought I was pretty out
of shape,” Schnell said. “When
you’re filming a movie, you
don’t really ride or train much.
It’s a lot of dinking around.
“I got sick (in Switzerland
from the cold). I was exhausted.
I thought I might as well go to the
(Durango) race. ... I signed up.”
Schnell said he was one of an
estimated 2,000 competitors in
the World Championship.
The race started on Main
Street in Durango with a police
escort and continued up the road
to the Fort Lewis College campus, then onto a dirt road along
Raider Ridge into Horse Gulch.
“It was a very physical race,”
Schnell said. “It was one of
the harder ones I’ve ever done
because of the amount of climb-
Country music to hear from black female vocalist
COURTESY OF ROSS SCHNELL
ROSS SCHNELL GOT A TATTOO
with a ‘champion’ banner after
winning the Singlespeed World
Championship.
valanche champion Rene Wildhaber were selected to ride down
glaciers with studded tires for a
film produced by Ionate Films.
A trailer is scheduled to be released in January, with the hourlong film out later in 2010.
“That was terrifying,” Schnell
said. “This guy that invited me
said we’re going to ride down a
glacier. I’m thinking 100 meters
of a nice, mellow slope. We’re
hiking up this glacier in our
bike shoes. We have axes to chip
out foot holes. There are mountaineer people looking at us like
Crash sends 3 to hospital; driver walks from scene
By LE ROY STANDISH
[email protected]
THE INTERSECTION AT 14TH STREET and Main Street is taped off
Sunday evening as Grand Junction police investigate a two-vehicle
accident that sent three people to the hospital. One driver is
suspected of walking away from the scene, leaving one passenger
pinned inside his Buick sedan.
three people in the Buick had
been watching the Denver
Broncos defeat the Oakland
Raiders at the Veterans of
Foreign Wars Post 1247, on
the corner of 14th Street and
Classifieds ..................................5B
Ute Avenue, shortly before the
crash.
“They had two pitchers
of beer among the three of
them,” said Roger McGuire,
post commander.
Death Notice..............................7A
CHRISTOPHER
The Daily Sentinel
Subscriptions:
800-332-5833 TOMLINSON/
Vol. 116
8 A.M.
5 P.M. ON 2A
Movies........................................5A
of the Week..................6A
Main line:
313 Schnell is the
World-class
mountainNOON
biker “Rad” Ross
Schnell ofComics/Horoscopes.................8A
Fruita angles off one
of many sharpStudent
rocks
Monday along
the970-242-5050
TabeguacheNo.Trail.
2009 world single-speed champion. He also won numerous national titles on the bike while he was a student at Mesa State College.
Denver Water crosses divide
to tap its next chief executive
By DENNIS WEBB
tive director of the state Depart-
ited Barry with having worked
Fast Eddy’s
bar shuttered
By PAUL SHOCKLEY
[email protected]
Doors were locked Monday at a nearly decade-old
The Fruita Monument High
School girls tennis team is in
position to make history this
season.
The Wildcats defeated Grand
Junction 5-2 in a Southwestern
League dual Thursday at Grand
Junction High School to put
themselves in position to win a
rare Southwestern League title.
“This is historic for us,”
Fruita coach Clint Davis said.
“This will be our first league
championship since 1990 or ’91.
We still have to beat Cortez,
Durango and Central (next
week) so we don’t want to overlook anybody, but this is humongous. It’s hard to imagine
two more evenly matched teams
with a total of four matches go
the opposite way this time.”
Fruita Monument (7-0, 2-0
SWL) won two matches it lost
See WILDCATS, page 4B ➤
Big weekend
COURTESY OF SAM PERIDY
Series with Highlands
important for various reasons
RIDING A BIKE HAS BEEN A PART OF ROSS SCHNELL’S life for as long as he can remember. The Fruita Monument High School graduate raced BMX bikes
as a kid and was recently in Metabief, France, for a French-Enduro Mountain Bike Cup race. Schnell didn’t let a broken hip keep him from nishing the race.
GJ native Schnell
venturing into new
territories on a bike
By PATTI ARNOLD
[email protected]
By ALLEN GEMAEHLICH
RInternational men
of mystery
County
sells
land parcel
on 30 Road
[email protected]
CHRISTOPHER TOMLINSON/The Daily Sentinel
DEAN HUMPHREY/
TheISDaily
MARTY ROVER
ONESentinel
OF eight seniors who will be
BOW TIES: The world-class archers competing in thehonored
Big Sky
pour
a Senior Day.
thisOpen
weekend
during
oss Schnell finds himself in the unusual situation of looking for something to do.
lot of money into their high-tech, compound bows.
That’s usually not a problem for him.
The Grand Junction native has become a
popular and successful mountain bike racer, but
sustained an avulsion fracture in his left femur
in a French-Enduro Mountain Bike Cup race
two weeks ago in Metabief, France.
Although the hip injury didn’t require surgery, it does require four
to six weeks of healing time.
“It is very frustrating,” Schnell said. “I seem to have injuries more
By DAVE BUCHANAN
than most guys. It’s definitely in the heart of the season. This is what
[email protected]
I’ve worked for all year. It’s hard to come to grips with not competing.”
Schnell was traveling at a high speed, probably close to 30 mph,
On a Saturday morning as seen anything like it.”
when he slipped on some wet grass.
calm as the previous night was
The three nifty 50s were regisHe still finished fourth in the stage despite racing with the fracstormy, you could have knocked tered by Benton Christensen of
tured hip.
over
Jerry
Brabec
with
a
feather.
Pocatello, Idaho; Rob Morgan,
“I was probably two-thirds of the way down the run,” Schnell said.
“We had three perfect scores Billings, Mont., and Dick Smith
“It was after the hard stuff.
last night
“I got back on the bike
and
sprinted on adrenaline.
raced threein Korea.
By DAVE
BUCHANAN
Grimwood met Cousins
at an in the clay pigeon of Colorado Springs.
takes to be that good.
nextISeptember
shoot,”
Because Morgan and Smith
more runs with it. [email protected]
thought it was a muscle injury, like
a deep
the said
two Brabec to an equally
“But there always are people earlier tournament and
“Yeah,
my frequent fliers miles
surprised
visitor.
both
are competing in the probruise.”
are doing all right,” Grimwood playing poker who really aren’t became good friends.
Many
who witnessed fessional division, the two had a
The injury Arrows
happened
May
still tried to
race
theanext
fly
and22,soand
dohe
archers,
“He’s a real good guy
andpeople
a
said
with
laugh. “I’ve spent a lot good enough and shouldn’t be
theCousins,
blustery weather that swept shoot-off, which Smith won.
morning before
decidingifthe
injury
be worse
particularly
you
live could
in Liverterrific shooter,” said
playing.”
of than
timehe
in originally
the air recently.”
over the Grand Valley for the
There were plenty of feaththought. pool, England, and compete in
having
The two Englishmen share who isn’t too bad himself,
Grimwood has been shooting
Friday opening round of the Big ers available, although most of
When heGrand
did go to
a local hospital, he told nurses
take
a closer
Junction.
forto15
years
and turned profes- the driving when it comes to been on the U.S. national team
Sky Open archery tournament at them are artificial and used as
look at the injury
.
British
archers Liam Grim- sional 18 months ago. He’s been motoring around America and since 1998.
the DoubleTree Hotel had openly fletching for the high-priced
arDAVE BUCHANAN/
The Daily Sentinel
Schnell, 29,
was22,
given
forearm crutch
and told
no activity
for four
wood,
of aLiverpool
and Chris
Cousins is making
sure the
ranked
as high
as seventh in the Bell took the shift Thursday from
questioned whether
rows flying
at the Olympic-style
to six weeksBell
so the
could heal.24,
At first
was standings.
a tough pill to
offracture
Birmingham,
are that
CHRISanyone
BELL,could
OF BIRMINGHAM,
ENGLAND,
and Liam Grimwood of
two Brits get more than a tour of
Denver to Grand Junction.
world
keep an arrow heading straight targets employed in the Big Sky
swallow, butgiving
he’s getting
more comfortable
with using
theon
crutch.
The hand, has no
this year’s
Big Sky Open
“It was magnificent, I’ve never archery tournaments.
Bell,
the other
international avor to this year’s Big Sky Open
in the storm. Liverpool, are giving an
competition.
pain of inactivity
is another
matter.
The Dailyat
Sentinel
archery
tournament
some inter- desire to become a professional seen anything like that,” GRETEL
“We were
his house fishing
Grim-DAUGHERTY/
“I never thought it would hapSome of the most accurate ar“I got past
that (embarrassing
stage),” Schnell said.
“I got
through
national
flair.
two weeks
ago,”
Grimwood. archery tournament. The tournament concludes today with the nal
said.
archer
and
instead makes
his wood
ROSS SCHNELL
IS REHABBING
HIS BROKEN HIP in Grand
Junction
andsaid pen
in that wind
butofthose
guys competition beginning at 8:30 a.m.
round
individual
Grimwood is no stranger to money the old-fashioned way
“It was pretty good, too.”
is having a toughBell
timelaughed.
not being allowed to ride a bike.
did it,” said Brabec. “I’ve never
See OPEN, page 5D ➤
RIDE,
page 5Dfor it➤online.
U.S. archery tournaments. This See
Grimwood shot a respectable
“How would you know?” he
— he
gambles
weekend is his fifth trip to the
580 (out of a possible 600) in a new experience for me but so nothing like winning a new tour“I’m a professional poker asked. “You were sleeping.”
U.S. this year and he’ll stay for player,” he says, putting on his
He and Grimwood are being Saturday’s first round and said he far I think it’s a good idea.”
nament on your birthday.
next week’s tournament in Yank- best, umm, poker face. “I’m not ushered around by Dave Cousins was pleased with his results.
“Yeah, that would be great,”
Other than a bit of internationton, S.D., before flying home to the caliber of shooter Liam is, of Standish, Maine, one of the
“I really like this format, it’s al rivalry, Grimwood has even said Grimwood. “But if it doesn’t
compete in the English team tri- although I like it well enough. I nation’s top archers and two-time very different from what I usu- more incentive to do well. Today happen, I’ll still have a great
als for the World Championships don’t spend the time practicing it winner of the Big Sky Open. ally shoot,” Grimwood said. “It’s is his 22nd birthday and there’s time.”
SPORTS
Cousins leads competitive field
after first round at Big Sky Open
Pair of Brits add some intrigue to Big Sky Open
RIDE: Not riding has been hard on Schnell
➤ Continued from page 1D
That’s why he decided to try the FrenchEnduro Mountain Bike Cup Series along the
France-Switzerland border in the Swiss Alps.
Schnell was planning to compete in the
unique time-trial event for the first time, but
was injured in the fourth of 10 races in the
opening round.
“Going in I was more excited than I’ve
been in a long time,” Schnell said. “I feel like
I’m a liaison bringing this back to the states.”
Although he’ll miss the next event because
of the injury, he hopes to return by the end
of July.
With Schnell’s new ventures has come
more notoriety.
He signed a two-year contract with Trek
Bicycle Corporation, Oakley, SRAM and
Crankbrothers, giving him enough sponsorship money to make a living racing, a rarity
in mountain biking. SRAM and Crankbrothers manufacture bike components.
Schnell has been featured recently in several magazines, including Mountain Flyer, Velo
News, this month’s edition of Mountain Bike
Action and will be featured in the upcoming
issue of Bike Magazine.
“The media stuff has gone crazy this year,”
Schnell said. “I’m not sure why. I think people
are embracing new racing.
“I was eating dinner a while back in
Glenwood Springs and a waitress comes to
me with a photo of me and asks me for my
autograph. Hopefully, this is not my 15 minutes of fame.
“I could care less about getting press, but it
enables me to get sponsors, which ultimately
allows me to ride.”
Commercial development
may include day care center
the airport OK. I got rides on the golf cart
and got to get on the plane first. I’m somewhat enjoying the benefits. On the train in
Milan, I had a tray of food, climbing some
stairs when I spilled my drink. A kid jumped
up and helped me.”
Although Schnell admits to enjoying the
benefits of being waited on, it’s harder not
being able to ride a bike.
It’s something he’s done his entire life.
Schnell grew up racing BMX events before
graduating in 1998 from Fruita Monument
High School. He won two national collegiate
mountain biking titles while getting a degree
in radiology at Mesa State College.
Last year, he won the prestigious
Downieville Classic — known as the top
event for all-around mountain biking — in
his first attempt.
He won the 29-mile cross-country race and
the 17-mile downhill race, setting course records in both and beating three-time defending champ Jason Moeschler.
Schnell won his first mountain bike
national title last year at Brian Head, Utah,
and finished fifth in the National Mountain
Bike Series rankings, but he was looking to
venture into new territory this year.
“The sport needs the next thing,” Schnell
said. “I’ll always be a cross country guy at
heart, but I was going to do a bunch of different events. I was doing the full spectrum of
racing.”
By MIKE WIGGINS
[email protected]
��
Mesa County commissioners
�������������
unanimously agreed Monday
COURTESY OF SAM PERIDY
to sell a chunk of county land in
ROSS SCHNELL IS GETTING PLENTY OF MEDIA
attention, which the racer is ne with since it helps
Pear Park for development after
him get sponsors. Schnell’s sponsorships with Trek,
Oakley, SRAM and Crankbrothers allow him to
county staff members worked
�����������
make a living�����
mountain biking.
through concerns about a drop
�� still waiting for someone to shoot a perfect score of 600
in the saleOPEN:
priceLocal
and aarchery
host oftournament
����
��������������
contract contingencies.
How hard is it to make a perfect Saturday’s competition included
tournament founders Jerry and about 10 points down from where
lot of good shooters out here.”
➤ Continued from page 1D
finished his I would like,” said Brabec, who 600? Difficult enough that in the Gary Cowart (Cedar City, Utah)
Cousins, who won the Big�����
Sky Margaret Brabec,
��������������
The county
will sell theOpen
5.33in 2001 and 2002, has plenty first round with 547 points to has dominated this class for the 29 years of the Big Sky Open, no in the men’s Bowhunter Freestyle
rows belonged to Dave Cousins of
(561) and Rhonda Calhoun (Early,
Limited past three years and has won one has had a perfect two days.
of competition. Reo Wilde, of Po- lead the men’s Freestyle
Standish,
Maine,
who
managed
��������
acre property
at 492 30 Road to
The top score was registered Texas) in the women’s Freestyle
Cousins a division. Brabec is one of the few titles five of the past eight years.
a first-round total of 590, only 10 catello, Idaho, and like�������
Unlimited (508).
“It took me about three targets in 2006 when Tim Gillingham of
two-time Big Sky champion (2003, competitive archers who hasn’t
points
off
a
perfect
600.
Littleton-based
Oman EnterThe final round of individual
made the move to a mechanized to get settled in but I think I can Orem, Utah, shot 1,179 over two
“I managed to shoot pretty 2007), was six points back at 584.
competition continues at 8:30
days.
pick
up
some
points
tomorrow,”
trigger
release.
Local favorite Randy Brabec
well,” said Cousins. “I’m pleased
prises LLC
for
$536,580.
TheJunction, son of ��������������������������������
with my
shooting,
but there are of Grand
Other first-round leaders after morning.
“I’m not real satisfied, I’m he said.
the
closing date is July 29.
The county purchased the Oman Enterprises for the same
land, which was originally 5.88 $536,580 price.
acres in size, for more than
Commissioner Craig Meis at
$200,000 in 2001 as part of a the time indicated the county
reconstruction of 30 Road that may ask the city to rezone the
created an underpass under land to a zone district that
the Union Pacific Railroad would be more attractive to
tracks.
commercial developers.
The tract is on the east side
He also expressed concern
of 30 Road, south of the Inter- that the county was offering
state 70 Business Loop and the the land for more than $300,000
railroad tracks and north of E below the $850,000 listed price.
Road.
Mascarenas said
������
Advice.........................................8A
GRETEL DAUGHERTY/The Daily Sentinel
He said the three men were
regulars at his bar.
One of the men had even
purchased the Buick that was
involved in the accident from a
friend of one of the bartenders,
McGuire said.
McGuire and other patrons
said the trio did not appear intoxicated when they left, allegedly heading to another bar, The
Snowflake, 539 Colorado Ave.
Most residents in the quiet
neighborhood where the accident occurred were indoors at
the time of the crash.
The sound of the collision, which occurred around
5:14 p.m., brought many outdoors in a hurry.
One resident, Rodger, who did
not want his last name printed,
saw the driver of the Buick walk
away.
“He just got out,” Rodger said.
“He was disoriented and he just
kind of slipped off.”
As the man walked off to the
west, Rodger ran inside, grabbed
a camera and snapped a fuzzy
picture of the man’s back. He
gave the photo to police.
DEAN HUMPHREY/The Daily Sentinel
FRUITA MONUMENT’S JANINE KIRTLAND returns a shot Thursday during
her 6-1, 6-3 victory at No. 1 singles. Fruita topped Grand Junction 5-2.
������
COMPLETE
FORECAST
By ALLEN GEMAEHLICH
[email protected]
������
85˚
Wildcats close
in on SWL title
tires in Switzerland for a lm by
said the experience
was terrifying,
but his will power helped him control his bike.
Dozens of Grand Valley have to stop subsidizing any of
I
79˚
CHRISTOPHER TOMLINSON/The Daily Sentinel
GRAND JUNCTION’S ROSS SCHNELL IS HOPING to win one of two races this weekend at the Rabbit Valley
Rally. Schnell, who won the inaugural time trial and cross country race, didn’t compete last year and isn’t sure
See RACE, page 4B ➤ if he will enter both races this weekend.
[email protected]
Ionate
Films. Schnell
RGrand
OCK HOPPER
Junction
58˚
tain States Cup cross-country
season points title last year, is
one of nearly 30 professional
racers expected to compete in
the Rabbit Valley Rally. There
are divisions for juniors and
adults, men and women of all
abilities.
Henry placed second in the
time trial and the cross-country
race last year and was third in
the time trial and fourth in the
cross-country race in 2008.
Grand Junction’s Ross
Schnell is competing in the
cross-country race and possibly the time trial. He won the
inaugural Rabbit Valley Rally
time trial and cross-country
race in 2008, but didn’t compete
last year.
“A repeat win would be nice
but I’m definitely not expecting to duplicate that this year,”
Schnell said in an e-mail. “It’s
always nice to race locally and
COURTESY OF ROSS SCHNELL
ROSS SCHNELL WAS SELECTED TOByRIDE
glaciers with studded
MIKEdown
WIGGINS
LOCAL NEWS
The driver of a Buick sedan
that ran a stop sign and caused
an accident at 14th and Main
streets late Sunday afternoon
took off on foot before police
arrived, leaving his two passengers trapped in the wreckage,
according to the Grand Junction Police Department.
The back seat passenger eventually managed to climb out of
the car and was sitting on the
curb when firefighters from the
Grand Junction Fire Department arrived.
The person in the front
passenger seat was pinned.
Firefighters had to cut the roof
and peel it back in order to free
him.
Both were taken to St. Mary’s
Hospital. Their conditions were
not immediately available.
A driver of a Honda Civic,
which ran head-on into the passenger side of the Buick, was
also taken to St. Mary’s, police
said.
According to witnesses, the
RABBIT VALLEY RALLY
What: USA Cycling Mountain
States Cup mountain bike race
event
When: 10 a.m. Saturday &
Sunday
Where: Rabbit Valley trail head
What’s at stake: USA
Cycling Mountain Bike National
Championships qualier
There is a $5 per rider per event
user fee. This includes season pass
holders.
Some families could end up
homeless without financial aid
families who rely on federal its clients’ rents this year. But
ing it
had. Theretowas
a onethe hike-a-bike
that’s onlysection,
becausemoved
the Housing
assistance
help
payor their
two-mile
hike-a-bike,
super- find
into the
top fivespent
through
the
Authority
all $284,000
in
rent could
potentially
steep,
straight-up (section).
technical
section
and
took the
reserve
funds,
received
another
themselves
homelessIt is
unless
pretty
in a mounlead about
the halfway
$175,000
in HUD point.
stop-gap fundtheuncommon
Grand Junction
Housing
tain Authority
bike race. receives a boost inSchnell
finished
four
minutes
ing and
hasn’t
issued
any new
“Itfunding
had probably
one of the aheadvouchers
of the second-place
rider
since last September.
next year.
most technical ridgeline single and close to 10 minutes ahead
A decline this year in subsiKole said the authority is subtracks with exposure I’ve seen of last year’s champion. The U.S.
dies from the U.S. Department sidizing rent for 868 households,
in a long time. Earlier in the cross country champion, Jeremy
of Housing and Urban Devel- 42 less than it should be able to
week a guy fell off the edge and Horgan-Kobelski, took fifth.
opment’s
rental-assistance assist. Not only is the authority
really messed himself up.
“I didn’t have any choice but to
program
haseverything.”
prevented the
not reaching
as many
in
“The
course had
just charge
it,” Schnell
said.families
“It
Housing
Authority
from
issuing
need,
but it’s
also having
Schnell said he estimated he seems like when
you’re
leading,to shed
newplace
vouchers
it should
households
through
attrition.
was any
in 30th
whenand
he forced
hit you
ride pretty
hard.”
to drain its reserve funds, even
That means if a family no lonas its waiting list for housing ger needs assistance, Kole can’t
balloons to an all-time high.
give that voucher to someone
A recent report from the on the waiting list, which now
Center on Budget and Policy exceeds 1,800 people.
Priorities, a research institute
“The names go on (the list),
that works on public programs but they don’t come off,” Kole
that affect low- and moderate- said.
income citizens, indicated an esShe said HUD has told the
timated 400 agencies across the Housing Authority that rentalGRETEL DAUGHERTY/The Daily Sentinel
country will be forced this year assistance funding will increase
HOPE CARLTON, right, creative director for Wired Records, adjusts singer Leslie Christian’s hair during a photo session for an album cover last
to reduce or eliminate rental during the 2010 federal fiscal
week at John Spencer’s farm west of Fruita. Wired Records is owned by Page Tucker of Grand Junction.
assistance for a significant num- year, which begins Thursday.
ber of the 500,000 low-income If that doesn’t happen for some
families they serve.
reason, Kole said the Housing
By GARY HARMON
can run an end-around on the
lesliechristianmusic.
Earlier this summer, the Gar- Authority would be forced to
[email protected]
It won’t be long, said Page traditional music business, all
field County Housing Authority slice subsidies to families or reTucker, a Grand Junction en- to the benefit of artists and
notified 76 households it would move them from the program.
f Barack Obama can be trepreneur, before country mu- music consumers.
have to cut them loose because
The Housing Authority is facthe first black president sic fans will be able to download
The vehicle for that experiof a funding reduction. The Gar- ing a $35,000 deficit this month,
of the United States, Leslie Leslie Christian’s first album at ment is Christian, who wakes
field County Housing Author- paying landlords who accept
Christian reasons, then www.gettingwired.com.
up “every morning with Big
ity later received the $340,000 vouchers $410,000 while receivit’s about time a black woman
If Christian has chosen a and Rich,” as she sings in “My
it needed from a set-aside fund ing $375,000 from HUD. If that
hits the top of the country mu- difficult hurdle, so has Tucker, Life is a Country Song.”
intended to help in times of fi- continues in 2010, it could be
sic charts.
That’s just the beginning.
who says he wants to do nothnancial hardship after U.S. Sen. faced with revoking 75 vouchAnd she’s the singer to do it.
Christian comes by her couning less than reform the music
Michael Bennet, D-Colo., and ers.
Just ask her.
try roots honestly.
business.
U.S. Rep John Salazar, D-Colo.,
“It’s always a balancing act to
Christian is, after all, the
“I could milk a cow before
By “leveraging technology,”
urged HUD to free up money.
manage the voucher program
songwriter
and
vocalist as he likes to describe the way I could recite my ABCs,” she
Grand Junction Housing under HUD funding,” Kole said.
who performs “My Life is a he sees music getting from
Authority Executive Director “It will be just even more preCountry Song,” which can be the artist’s microphone to the
See BARRIER, page 5A ➤ Jody Kole said the agency won’t carious next year.”
played at www.facebook.com/ listener’s ear, Tucker said he
entrepreneur
plans to make
singer a star
By ALLEN GEMAEHLICH
[email protected]
J
ay Henry has never won
the Rabbit Valley Rally,
but it’s his favorite race
of the season.
The 35-year-old Avon professional mountain bike racer
is one of several expected to
compete Saturday and Sunday
in the Mountain States Cup
third annual Rabbit Valley
Rally in Rabbit Valley near the
Utah border.
“We mostly race in the ski
areas,” Henry said. “To have
a wide-open technical desert
course is awesome. It’s the coolest race of the year.
“You never know where your
fitness is going to be. It’s one of
my favorite places to ride.”
The rally, a qualifying race
for the USA Cycling Mountain
Bike Championships, will
consist of a 3-mile time trial
race beginning with the men’s
age 15-18 Category 2-3 division
at 10 a.m. on Saturday with a
cross-country race at 8 a.m. on
Sunday. The pros race at 1 p.m.
on Saturday at 12:15 p.m. on
Sunday.
The pros and Category 1
racers will compete in a 31-mile
cross-country race mostly along
Kokopelli’s Trail, Westwater
Mesa Trail and Western Rim
Trail.
Category 2 racers will compete on an 18-mile course that
includes the Western Rim Trail.
Others will compete on a 10- to
12-mile loop.
Henry, who won the Moun-
Housing
funds short
for renters
Around
E Ross Schnell
G THwith
KINworld
BREAthe
Ross Schnell’s mountain biking season started off rough,
but finished better than even he
could have imagined.
Schnell, 29, was persistent
in overcoming two injuries
and finished the 2009 season by
winning the 24-mile Singlespeed
World Championship a week
ago in Durango. He celebrated
by getting an unplanned tattoo.
“It was a big surprise,”
Schnell said. “It was a huge accomplishment. I didn’t plan on
getting a tattoo.”
In what has become a tradition, the men’s and women’s
Singlespeed world champions
get tattoos — a ‘champion’ banner with an intricate design
surrounding it acknowledging
the accomplishment.
“It was pretty nerve-racking.
I didn’t plan on winning it and
haven’t even given a thought
to where I’d put a tattoo on my
body,” Schnell said.
“I saw this dude that was fully
tattooed and he said don’t put it
anywhere your mom could see
it, your boss or your preacher.”
He opted for the tattoo on his
chest.
Schnell has come to appreciate the meaning of the tattoo,
especially after what he’s been
Rabbit Valley Rally a popular
event for mountain bikers
It’s not your typical home weekend.
 Tonight is Bus Bergman Night
at Suplizio Field, when the Mavericks will honor the man thought
of as the father of Maverick baseball, wearing cream “throwback”
uniforms with maroon trim.
The jerseys have MESA in
block letters across the chest and
BUS on the left sleeve. The loosefitting pants are gathered at the
knee, old-school style.
The Bergman family will be
recognized, and the longtime
coach’s wife, Elinor, will throw
out the first pitch. The Mavs have
been wearing “Bus” stickers on
their helmets the past couple of
weeks.
 Tonight is also Little League
Family Night/Record Attendance
night, with young baseball players
ringing the field before the game.
The Mavericks are hoping to reclaim the biggest crowd in NCAA
Division II, currently held by rival
CSU-Pueblo (3,863, set in 2005).
 It’s also Senior Weekend, with
eight players honored Sunday:
catcher/first baseman Marty Rover, second baseman Kevin Becker,
shortstop Austin Buck and pitchers Chris Shea, Scott Bachman,
T.J. Stastny, Jack Amidei and
Derek Riley.
CHRISTOPHER TOMLINSON/The Daily Sentinel
KEVIN BECKER, ANOTHER SENIOR, was pressing
See BIG, page 4B ➤ early on this season, but has started playing better.
Speed_84-89:Layout 1
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1:56 PM
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R O S S S C H N E L L | PR INT
ROSS SCHNELL
DOWNIEVILLE ALL-MOUNTAIN
WORLD CHAMPION
“Whether you’re a recreational rider or seasoned professional, finding ways to improve your speed and skillset is
huge. While this topic is a broad one, things like body position, cornering technique and vision come to mind immediately. Among these, vision is a major factor that’s often
overlooked in riding faster and more efficiently. Next time
you see an action shot of Steve Peat or Sam Hill, notice how
far down the trail their eyes are fixed. It’s all about risk
assessment. The faster your brain can assess the obstacles
ahead of you, the faster you’ll ride. It’s amazing how quickly
and efficiently your brain works when you allow it to. Your
mind subconsciously picks up on and recognizes rocks,
roots and other obstacles directly in front of you, even
before you realize it. The next time you session your local
singletrack, work on training your mind to look farther
down the trail and let your brain do the rest. Oftentimes,
becoming a faster descender involves taking it down a notch
at first. Mastering certain techniques while riding slower
will pay off in the long run and allow you to open it up and
ride faster than ever before.” ❑
Photo by Sam Peridy
MOUNTAIN BIKE ACTION: FEBRUARY 2009
MOUNTAIN BIKE ACTION: JULY 2010
MOUNTAIN BIKE ACTION: JUNE 2009
July 2010 / MOUNTAIN BIKE ACTION
89
reportaje
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Texto: Red Bull Content
70
Noelia Nava
Margot Adaptación:
Pool Fotos: © Cristophe
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MOUNTAIN BIKE
SPAIN
R O S S S C H N E L L | EUR O PE A N P R E SS
REPORTAJE
El pasado y el futuro del mountain bike
Tras esta experiencia, el equipo de los Buffalo Soldiers abandonó Colorado y viajó hacia Utah para
echar un vistazo al futuro del mountain bike en el Red Bull Rampage, todo un salto temporal tras
haber investigado su pasado. Wildhaber había planeado entrevistar a los participantes, aunque
prefirió coger una pala y ayudar a preparar el terreno y los saltos en los que llevarían a cabo sus
impresionantes acrobacias.
La visita fue especial para Wildhaber, porque unos cuantos años atrás fue invitado a participar en
el Rampage. “Si me hubiera unido entonces…”, explica, “pero sin perder el ritmo…”, añade: “Mira
dónde estoy ahora, creo que escogí el camino correcto”, sostiene. Durante sus años de juventud
solía practicar saltos y otras acrobacias, pero más tarde optó por la competición y el descenso.
“Siempre me he sentido más corredor que otra cosa”, comenta.
Wildhaber habló con gente como el canadiense Brandon Semenuk, una celebridad del Freeride.
MOUNTAIN BIKE
SPAIN
(cont.)
“Cuando hablé con él y lo vi en acción, me di cuenta de que existe un vínculo entre los Buffalo
reportaje
Soldiers y el Rampage”, apunta Wildhaber. “Al final todo es atreverse, no dejar pasar la oportunidad.
Esa sensación, ese cosquilleo en el estómago, es el mismo en ambas experiencias”.
Con esta reflexión, el biker René Wildhaber finalizó su viaje, no sin dejar de pensar en futuras aventuras.
“¿Qué tal montar en una de esas primeras bicis de los setenta? Puede resultar interesante”.
U
na pista crucial surgió de Hans Rey,
un hombre con una gran reputación
en el mundo del ciclismo, un mito de
nuestro deporte, durante un vuelo
a las islas de Cabo Verde, donde Wildhaber y él
iban a participar en una carrera, con muchas
horas por delante para conversar. “Hans sabe
muchas cosas sobre este deporte: curiosidades, figuras, nombres… Lo que sea”, admite
Wildhaber. Rey le explicó que el ejército de
Estados Unidos había intentado usar la bicicleta para fines militares allá por el año 1896.
Wildhaber, que fue biker en el ejército (esta
unidad era la última que quedaba en el mundo
y desapareció en el año 2003), quedó impresionado con esta historia y empezó a investigarla
por su cuenta.
ESOS SOLDADOS COMO BÚFALOS
La principal de sus investigaciones es el Proyecto Buffalo Soldiers, que llevó a Wildhaber a
viajar a Estados Unidos el pasado otoño, junto
a un equipo de rodaje. El nombre del proyecto
se refiere a la compañía del Ejército de Estados
Unidos cuyos miembros fueron los primeros
en usar la bicicleta por caminos abruptos. Por
aquel entonces, las unidades militares eran
separadas por razas, y los Buffalo Soldiers
recibieron el nombre de los civiles que, al ver
a los chicos con su pelo rizado y espeso, les
asemejaban a los búfalos.
“Su teniente, un hombre llamado James Moss,
era un biker fantástico. Pidió permiso a sus
superiores para usar la bici con fines militares.
Se puede decir que casi obligó a sus compañeros a que se unieran a él”, explica Wildhaber.
añade.
Se sintió reconfortado cuando pudo cambiar
A pesar de que estas viejas bicis están a años
la ropa vieja por su habitual equipamiento de
luz de la tecnología que ofrecen las monturas de hoy en día, Wildhaber y Schnell se lo
ciclista y su bicicleta actual. Junto a Schnell,
tomó muchos de los caminos para bicicleta de
pasaron en grande montando en ellas. “Montar
en bicis antiguas también resultó divertido”,
Colorado, como Grand Junction y Fruita. Los de
Grand Junction impresionaron sobremanera a
comenta Wildhaber. “No importa lo mucho que
Wildhaber. “Esos caminos eran desafiantes por
René Wildhaber
tiemble o se desvíe la bici, porque aún se trata
de ciclismo. No necesitas una bici de alta gama
un lado y perfectamente asimilados al paisaje
por el otro.” En Fruita, los caminos que más
para correr más que un viandante. Experimen-
disfrutó Wildhaber fueron los de la orilla del
René Wildhaber
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tamos el concepto más básico de ciclismo”,
rreno y en esa época no existían ni las marchas
ni los frenos.
Montar a caballo no
es tan cansado como
montar en bici, pero
prefiero moverme a ser
un pasajero
76
72
vías de tren ya que eran más firmes que el te-
Mi meta era llegar
a descubrir más sobre
los inicios del ciclismo,
empezando por mis
propias raíces
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REPORTAJE
73
11/2/13 23:38:25
Al habla con… René Wildhaber
¿Qué fue lo más impresionante del viaje de los Buffalo Soldiers?
Me impresionó la calidad de los caminos que encontré, con la proliferación de
nuestro deporte en Estados Unidos. Hay muchísimos bikers. En Suiza, a menudo
rodamos por caminos usados en el senderismo para montar en bici. En Estados
Unidos es distinto: hay caminos construidos especialmente para bikers. Lo que
también me sorprendió fue que mucha gente coge el coche para ir a montar en bici.
reportaje
¿Cuál fue el reto más importante al que te enfrentaste durante tu viaje?
Probablemente la diferencia de altitud de 2.000 metros en el circuito “Whole
Enchilada”. Me detuve dos veces a observar el paisaje.
También visitaste el Red Bull Rampage. ¿Qué tendencias encontraste? ¿Qué
depara el futuro del ciclismo?
Vi dos tendencias: una es que los saltos no han evolucionado demasiado en los
últimos cuatro años. Pero las acrobacias son cada vez más ambiciosas. Tengo
curiosidad por saber cuándo podremos disfrutar de un doble backflip. La segunda
tendencia es sobre el número de bikers: cada vez hay más y más. Los circuitos serán
más salvajes en el futuro, y se construirán más caminos. El ciclismo necesitará mucho
más espacio. Durante mi viaje he visto que esa tendencia empieza a despuntar.
Durante tu experiencia conociste a mucha gente interesante. ¿Hubo algún
encuentro que te impresionara especialmente?
Sí. Conocí a un cowboy en el rancho Fisher Valley que me impresionó. Era muy
silencioso y metódico realizando su trabajo, me recordó a mi padre: trabaja cada día,
no se para a pensar si es divertido o no, simplemente se dedica a hacer su trabajo.
Por decisión propia, inició un viaje hacia las
montañas suizas, donde en casa de su tío
empezó a filmar las primeras escenas vestido
con un viejo uniforme militar de un pariente,
fin, se pudo en contacto con el biker americano
Ross Schnell, que comparte como sponsor a
Trek, y con quien Wildhaber había compartido
otros proyectos antes. Además de ser el biker
y montando una bicicleta del ejército suizo
construida en 1903.
con el bigote más estrambótico del planeta,
Schnell, un ex profesional del XC, es todo un
“Mi meta era llegar a descubrir más sobre los
inicios del ciclismo, empezando por mis propias
raíces”, comenta Wildhaber. Quería reconstruir
los logros que alcanzaron los soldados que
formaban parte de la 25ª Infantería Ciclista. Al
mismo tiempo, quería unir esos inicios con el
descubridor de caminos en Estados Unidos y
un verdadero apasionado del Enduro.
presente, recorriendo los famosos caminos de
Utah y Colorado en su bicicleta actual. Con ese
bicicletas originales eran difíciles de conseguir,
Wildhaber usó ropas históricas del ejército
suizo, dado que también servían. “No se trataba solo de la autenticidad, sino de hacernos
una idea de cómo se hacía antiguamente”,
apunta Wildhaber. De todos modos, tampoco se habrían podido recrear los trayectos
originales que hicieron los Buffalo Soldiers, ya
Allá en las regiones alpinas, los dos confiaron
principalmente en sus bicis actuales. Más abajo, donde los caminos eran más llanos, usaron
que muchos de esos caminos se encuentran
actualmente dentro de los límites de parques
nacionales.
Wildhaber y Schnell no tardaron en descubrir
que las bicicletas antiguas distaban mucho
las bicis antiguas. Dado que los uniformes y
de ser perfectas para usar en caminos de
UNA rECrEACiÓN FiDEDiGNA
René y Ross pasaron
unas cuantas noches
durmiendo al raso como
habían hecho cien años
atrás los Buffalo Soldiers
gravilla. Los tornillos del manillar se aflojaron,
y hubo varios problemas con los neumáticos
que Wildhaber no había previsto. “El terreno en
Utah y Colorado es único y con una consistencia bastante lodosa. A la que se humedece se
vuelve pegajoso y es imposible seguir pedaleando, mientras que en Suiza podemos seguir
montando aunque llueva”.
COMO POr NUESTrAS
VÍAS VErDES
Por suerte, no llovió cuando los dos aventureros pasaron unas cuantas noches durmiendo
al raso como habían hecho cien años atrás los
Buffalo Soldiers. Los dos retro bikers alcanzaron la más cercana realidad de principios del
siglo XX cuando durante un tramo transitaron
por una vieja vía de tren. Les sorprendió para
bien, y seguramente los Buffalo Soldiers pensaron lo mismo, porque solían desplazarse por
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SPAIN
(cont.)
Buffalo
reportaje
Keď sa dve Kolesá
prvýKrát
dotKli hliny
ľúčový smer, akým sa uberať, mu naznačil starý priateľ Hans Rey, človek
s obrovskou reputáciou v bikovom svete, počas letu na ostrovy Cabo Verde.
Obaja boli na štartovacej listine tamojších enduro pretekov a počas dlhého letu mali dostatok času prebrať Reného ambície. „Hans
toho vie o našom športe strašne veľa. Pamätá si fakty, čísla, mená – hocičo. Je ako pojazdná encyklopédia,“ hovorí René. Namiesto pozerania starého filmu, ktorý nezarobil dostatok peňazí v kine, a tak ho dali aspoň do lietadiel, Hans rozprával Renému o tom, ako sa
kedysi v roku 1896 pohrávala americká armáda s myšlienkou použiť bicykle na vojenské účely. Renému, ktorý bol sám kedysi armádnym cyklistom (posledný oddiel na svete rozpustili v roku 2003) viac nebolo treba a začal sa v histórii hrabať hlbšie. Výsledkom nocí prebdených nad starými archívmi je jeho projekt Buffalo Soldiers, ktorý Reného spolu s filmárskym štábom priviedol
na jeseň minulého roka do USA. Reného najnovšie dobrodružstvo dostalo názov podľa
družiny americkej armády, ktorej členovia
prvýkrát vyskúšali zobrať bicykle do terénu.
Vtedajšie oddiely boli vždy rasovo rozčlenené
a Buffalo Soldiers dostali svoje meno od civilistov, ktorým ich husté čierne kučeravé vlasy pripomínali srsť bizónov – teda po anglicky buffalos. „Ich poručík, muž menom James
Moss, bol vynikajúcim bikerom. A preto požiadal svojich nadriadených, či by nemohol
skúsiť použiť bicykle na vojenské účely. Svojich vojakov potom viac-menej nasilu donútil
pripojiť sa k nemu“, zistil počas svojho pátrania René. Preňho však bolo rozhodnutie podniknúť výpravu dobrovoľné. O to viac, že sa
prostredníctvom nej vrátil aj k vlastným koreňom. Prvé scény do dokumentu začal natáčať v rodnom Švajčiarsku, v kopcoch Flums.
V dome svojho strýka našiel nejaké staré artefakty a po známych kopcoch sa povozil v dobovej uniforme a na švajčiarskom armádnom
bicykli z roku 1903.
soldIERs
René Wildhaberovi, svetovému mountainbikovému esu, nedala táto otázka
spávať už niekoľko rokov: „Kam vlastne siahajú naozajstné začiatky
mountainbikingu?“ Po rozume mu vôbec nebehali kalifornskí hippies zo
sedemdesiatych rokov – vtedy sa šport len stal populárnym. Na mysli mal
skôr časy, keď bol aj samotný bicykel relatívne novým vynálezom.
río Colorado. Como punto álgido del recorrido,
se atrevió con el circuito llamado “The Whole
Enchilada”, cerca de Moab, en Utah. El camino
empieza a una altitud de 3.200 metros por encima del nivel del mar y tiene una bajada de 50
kilómetros, con una vertical de 2.000 metros
hacia el desierto.
UN DESCENSO EXTENUANTE
Wildhaber se había propuesto completar el
recorrido en tres horas, una minucia comparado con lo que tardaban los Buffalo Soldiers.
“Les llevaba un día entero realizar la mitad del
recorrido”, apunta el biker suizo. Equipado con
cámaras GoPro, Wildhaber empezó el descenso en busca de los más espectaculares saltos.
Las diferencias de temperatura supusieron un
gran reto. En la cima, el camino estaba cubierto de nieve, y al final del trayecto, el calor del
desierto era sofocante. “Este circuito te pone
a prueba. Tienes que mantenerte muy alerta
para no caerte”, explica Wildhaber. Por supuesto, logró finalizar el recorrido.
Este no era el único sueño que Wildhaber per-
seguía y logró cumplirlo siguiendo los pasos
de los Buffalo Soldiers. También visitó a Dee
Taylor, un ganadero de sexta generación. 120
años atrás, los antepasados de Taylor fueron las primeras personas de raza blanca en
asentarse aquí. Ahora, Taylor deja que el biker
helvético cambie el sillín de su bici por una
silla de montar. Wildhaber, hijo de un granjero, disfrutó de la experiencia de controlar al
ganado. Aun así, al cabo de un rato empezó
a echar de menos su bici. “Montar a caballo
no es tan cansado como montar en bici, pero
prefiero moverme a ser un pasajero”, asegura
Wildhaber.
V KožI VojaKoV
Viac na
www.biker.sk
Videá z projektu Buffalo Soldiers hľadajte na stránke Biker.
sk alebo zadajte do prehliadača
adresu bit.ly/BuffSoldiers.
80
MountainBikEr.es
Bufalo.indd 80
MountainBikEr.es
11/2/13 17:22:09 Bufalo.indd 81
35
K
rené Wildhaber
„Mojím cieľom bolo zistiť viac o úplnom prapočiatku bikingu, no začal som od vlastných
koreňov,“ hovorí René. Chcel zrekonštruovať úspechy dávno nebohých vojakov, ktorí boli neskôr združení v 25th Infantry Bicycle Corps – cyklistickej pechote. Súčasne si zaumienil preklenúť viac ako sto rokov vývoja
odjazdením najznámejších trás v tých istých
štátoch Utah a Colorado aj na svojom modernom biku. Na to si na pomoc prizval ďalšieho skvelého bikera, Američana Rossa Schnella, s ktorým majú spoločného nielen hlavného sponzora, firmu Trek, ale aj niekoľkonásobnú účasť na spoločných projektoch v minulosti. V niekoľko tisícmetrových výškach sa
spoliehali najmä na svoje biky zo súčasnosti.
Keď sa začalo percento klesania trochu znižovať a púšť bola čoraz bližšie, presadli na starodávne kúsky. Pôvodné uniformy a bicykle
bolo veľmi ťažko zohnať, a tak René bez váhania zaobstaral starodávne švajčiarske uniformy, ktoré boli takmer na nerozoznanie. „Ne-
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11/2/13 17:22:20
BIKER MAGAZINE
SLOWAKEI
36 BIKER×02×2013
šlo nám ani tak o autenticitu, skôr o ten pocit,
aké to asi muselo byť jazdiť stovky kilometrov cez púšť pred viac ako sto rokmi,“ ozrejmil svoj zámer René. Pokiaľ by chceli zrekonštruovať všetko do posledného detailu, nepodarilo by sa im to, ani čo sa týka trás. Mnoho z pôvodných ciest je dnes súčasťou národných parkov, kde je pohyb po dvoch kolesách
zakázaný.
PRVotná myšlIEnKa
Netrvalo dlho a René s Rossom sa na vlastnej
koži presvedčili, že starodávne bicykle mali
na šotolinových cestách od dokonalosti ďaleko. Skrutky na kľukách sa čoskoro povolili a povypadávali a zdalo sa, že nikto nerátal
ani s množstvom defektov. „Zem je tu v Utahu
a Colorade celkom unikátna a veľmi rýchlo sa
mení v blato. Hneď ako trochu zvlhne, začne
sa strašne lepiť a absolútne sa na nej nedá
pokračovať. Doma vo Švajčiarsku zas môžeme jazdiť aj počas lejaku.“ Počas niekoľkých
nocí, ktoré dvaja dobrodruhovia strávili vonku pod stanom presne ako Buffalo Soldiers,
našťastie nepršalo. Dva retro biky sa najbližšie ich dávnej realite priblížili pri jazde priamo po železničnej trati. Priečne položené drevené trámy nimi pekne otriasli, rovnako ako
kedysi otriasli vojakmi, ktorí ich často nasledovali kvôli ich plynulejšiemu klesaniu z kopca. Ten sa hodil najmä vzhľadom na to, že vtedajšie bicykle nemali ani viacero rýchlostí,
ani poriadne brzdy... Napriek tomu, že starodávne bicykle majú od komfortu a efektivity
dnešných bikov pekne ďaleko, René s Rossom
si na nich parádne užili. „Aj na týchto prehistorických kúskoch sme sa zabavili,“ smial sa
René. „Nech už vás vydrkotajú ako chcú, stále je to bikovanie. Na to, aby ste boli rýchlejší ako chodec, nepotrebujete najnovší a najdrahší bike. A to je predsa základná myšlienka stojaca za vznikom bicykla, ktorú sme si
vyskúšali na vlastnej koži,“ dodáva.
BIKER×02×2013
sPäť do PRítomnostI
Napriek tomu, že možnosť vcítiť sa do kože
niekoho, kto púšte brázdil na prelome 19. a 20.
storočia, je tak unikátna, môcť prezliecť sa zo
staručkých uniforiem z hrubých látok do moderných dresov a kraťasov bolo vždy na nezaplatenie. Spolu s Rossom si vyskúšali mnohé traily v populárnych bikerských lokalitách v Colorade, akými sú napríklad Grand
Junction či Fruita. Tie v Grand Junction, známe tiež pod menom Lunch Loops, urobili na
Reného, ktorý je zvyknutý na krásy európ-
pásma až do vyprahnutej púšte v údolí. René
si dal za cieľ zdolať Enchiladu pod tri hodiny a s úškrnom porovnal svoje zámery s tými
Buffalo Soldiers: „Im trvalo prejsť aspoň polovicu tej vzdialenosti celý deň...“ Vybavený
hneď niekoľkými kamerami GoPro odštartoval a čoskoro pochopil, prečo je Enchilada jedným z najlegendárnejších trailov sveta. Jeho
začiatok bol pokrytý snehom, no cieľ v horúčave púšte. „Enchilada vám dá naozaj zabrať.
Celý čas musíte byť v strehu, aby vás nepotrestala“, vraví René. Napriek tomu, že mnohí
>>
Enchilada vám dá naozaj zabrať.
Celý čas musíte byť v strehu, aby vás nepotrestala
skych Álp, obrovský dojem. „Tie traily boli na
jednej strane celkom ťažké a na druhej skvele zapadali do scenérie.“ Vo Fruite si zas najviac užili na trailoch pozdĺž rieky Colorado.
Highlightom celého tripu bola legendárna The
Whole Enchilada nad mestečkom Moab v Utahu. Tento trail začína vo výške 3 200 metrov
nad morom a počas 50 kilometrov a 2 000 výškových metrov vás znesie z vysokohorského
amatérski bikeri cez tie najťažšie miesta bike
často tlačia, René ich zvládol všetky na pedáloch. Koniec-koncov, od amatéra má už dlhé
roky pekne ďaleko. Zdolanie Enchilady však
nebolo jediným snom, ktorý si prišiel Švajčiar splniť do zeme neobmedzených možností. Navštívil tiež Dee Taylor, farmárku dobytka
z Colorada, ktorej predkovia sa tu usadili pred
približne 120 rokmi ako jedni z prvých belo-
chov v oblasti. Dee dovolila švajčiarskemu bikerovi, ktorý je sám
synom farmára, presedlať zo sedla
bicykla na sedlo koňa a vyskúšať si
pozháňať obrovské čriedy dobytka.
Po chvíli mu však začal znovu chýbať bike. „Jazdenie na koni síce nie
je tak fyzicky náročné, ako na biku,
no ja som radšej v pohybe, ako len
pasažierom.“
Kam ďalEj?
Po malej prestávke sa celá posádka projektu Buffalo Soldiers presunula do Utahu, aby si tentoraz namiesto minulosti mountainbikingu pozrela jeho budúcnosť na najvyššej freeridovej súťaži Red Bull
Rampage. René mal pôvodne urobiť zopár rozhovorov s jazdcami, no namiesto toho sa okamžite chytil lopaty a pomáhal im vyšejpovať čo najkreatívnejšie lajny
dolu zo zvrásneného kopca. Táto
zastávka znamenala pre Reného
veľa. Pred pár rokmi bol sám jedným z pozvaných jazdcov na Rampage. „Možno, keby som sa vtedy
zúčastnil...“ polemizuje a okamžite
dodáva: „Možno by som dnes nebol tam, kde som.“ V mladosti sa
tiež rád oddával stavaniu masívnych road gapov s inými podobne
šialenými kaskadérmi, no neskôr
sa rozhodol pre pretekársku kariéru. „Vždy som bol viac pretekár,
ako šoumen,“ hovorí. Zopár interview však stihol urobiť aj popri stavaní, medzi nimi aj jedno s jednou z najväčších hviezd súčasného freeridingu, Kanaďanom Brandonom Semenukom. „Keď som sa
s ním rozprával a potom sledoval
súťažné jazdy, uvedomil som si, že
aj medzi Buffalo Soldiers a Rampage je istá spojitosť,“ spomína René.
„Obe sú o tom skúsiť niečo po prvý
raz, zariskovať. Ten pocit, ktorý
máte v žalúdku, je úplne rovnaký.“
S tým ukončil novopečený bikový
historik René svoj trip po Amerike.
Určite však nehodlá zaspať na vavrínoch a už v lietadle späť do Švajčiarska rozmýšľal o tom, čo podnikne najbližšie. „Čo tak zajazdiť si
na tých prvých naozajstných mountainbikoch zo sedemdesiatych
rokov? To by bolo niečo!“
37
R O S S S C H N E L L | EUR O PE A N P R E SS
BIKE MAGAZINE
GERMANY
fotostory
fotostory
Wild im
Westen
Rauchende Reifen, statt rauchende Colts:
René Wildhaber und Kumpel Ross Schnell wechselten auf
ihrem Geschichts-Trip zwischen Stahlross und Fully.
Gary Fisher hat das Mountainbike erfunden, doch der erste
Geländeradler war er nicht. Freerider René Wildhaber reiste auf den
Spuren der wahren Bike-Pioniere ein Jahrhundert in der Zeit zurück.
A
der vorteil
von bikes
gegenüber
Pferden? bikes
Wiehern nicht.
Und sie haben nie
hUnger.
Text: Henri Lesewitz Fotos: Christophe Margot
Als die Rücktrittbremse durchgegart den Dienst verweigerte, geriet das Nervenköstüm von René
Wildhaber kurz ins Wanken. Dass ein angeblich unzerstörbares Schweizer Militärfahrrad wegen
ein paar Spitzkehren havariert, war eine gleichsam interessante wie erschreckende Erkenntnis.
Denn, wenn es die Karre nicht mal vom Flumser Berg bis runter ins Tal schaffte, wie sollte sie
dann eine Abenteuer-Tour durch Amerikas wilden Westen überstehen? Denn das war der Plan:
ein Trip auf den Spuren der Fahrrad-Soldaten namens „Buffalo Soldiers“, den weltersten Geländeradlern überhaupt – damals, um 1890. Wildhaber kennt sich aus mit den Tücken gravitationsunterstützter Fortbewegung. Er gehört zu den Stars der Freeride-Szene. Doch der Gedanke
an die geplanten Etappen mit historisch korrektem Material ließ ihn plötzlich nervös werden.
„Während meines Grundwehrdienstes bei einem Schweizer Fahrrad-Regiment banden wir bergab
manchmal Steinplatten an die Rahmen. Als Schleppanker. Für den Fall, dass die Bremsen versagen“, schmunzelt Wildhaber, der sich nach dem Schrecken aber wieder Mut zufächelte: „Na ja,
in Amerika sind die Berge zum Glück nicht ganz so hoch wie in der Schweiz.“
Wochen nach der Probefahrt steht Wildhaber nun neben seinem amerikanischen Bike-Kumpel
Ross Schnell am Fuße der Rocky Mountains im US-Bundesstaat Colorado. Beide tragen alte
Militär-Uniformen. Doch irgendwie sehen sie mit ihren sackförmigen Baumwollmänteln und den
Filzhüten aus wie Förster. Die federwegprallen Fullys haben die beiden im Fahrzeug der Film-Crew
8 BIKE 05-13
05-13 BIKE 9
fotostory
In der Geisterstadt Animas Forks lebten
einst 4000 Minenarbeiter. Der perfekte Ort
für knisternde Abenteurer-Romantik.
„Diese Buffalo Soldiers sind für mich die wahren
Biker“, keucht Ross Schnell, sichtlich froh über
die Reparaturpause. Die Krempe seines Filzhuts
ist vollgesogen mit Schweiß.
Wenn es um die Pionierzeit des Geländeradelns
geht, dann fallen stets die Namen von Gary
Fisher, Joe Breeze und Co. Was im Grunde
genommen auch richtig ist. Schließlich besteht nicht der geringste Zweifel daran, dass
der Mountainbike-Sport seine Wurzeln in der
Clunker-Szene von Marin County hat. Dennoch
wurde schon Jahrzehnte zuvor in einer Art
durch die Prärie geradelt, die dem heutigen
12 BIKE 05-13
gelassen. Wildhaber und Schnell sitzen auf plumpen, ungefederten Militärfahrrädern, die sie in
Denver für ein paar hundert Dollar erstanden haben. Der Trip von Silverton ins 400 Kilometer
entfernte Moab soll mit einer puren, authentischen Retro-Bike-Etappe beginnen. Die Gleise der
historischen Bahnstrecke zwischen Silverton und Durango scheinen dafür ideal geeignet.
„Die Buffalo Soldiers sind damals oft in den geschotterten Gleisbetten gefahren, weil die normalen
Wege durch Regen meist zu schlammig waren“, weiß Wildhaber aus dem Buch „Iron Riders“,
das er zur Vorbereitung des Projekts im Internet aufgetrieben hat.
„Heiliger!“, stöhnt er, als sein Stahlfahrrad Minuten später über die Schwellen bockt, wie ein
störrischer Presslufthammer. Es rumpelt, es holpert. Dann fällt Wildhaber die Kurbel vom Bike.
05-13 BIKE 13
fotostory
fotostory
steinPlatten als schlePPanker?
Wildhaber Wird nervös.
René Wildhaber bei der Generalprobe am heimischen Flumser Berg.
Das alte Militärrad offenbarte dabei eine gewisse Bremsschwäche.
die
alten
Wild West
bikes Prüfen
bandscheiben
Und Psyche.
Die Trails rund um Grand Junction waren zu verlockend, um mit den bleischweren
Militärrädern drüberzubocken (o.). Ebenfalls Pflicht: eine Fahrt mit der Westernbahn.
Touren-Biken nicht ganz unähnlich ist. Wildhaber war erstaunt, als ihm Freeride-Pionier Hans
Rey während eines gemeinsamen Fluges von den Buffalo Soldiers erzählte. Die Indianer damals
bezeichneten die Fahrrad-Kavallerie der Unionsarmee als „Büffelsoldaten“, wegen den gekräuselten Haarprachten der zumeist afroamerikanischen Truppenmitglieder. Die Einheiten konnten
75 Kilometer am Tag zurücklegen und waren billiger als die Reiter-Kavallerie, da unabhängig von
Pferdefutter. Die Büffelsoldaten wurden von den Weißen rassistisch unterdrückt. Reggae-Held Bob
Marley setzte ihnen in den Achtzigern mit dem Lied „Buffalo Soldier“ ein musikalisches Denkmal.
„Ich wollte unbedingt wissen, wie sich das damals angefühlt hat“, erklärt Wildhaber die Grundidee
des Abenteuers. Ein Jahr dauerte die Planung. Wildhaber begeisterte noch Kumpel Ross Schnell
sowie zwei Kameraleute für den Trip. Das Abenteuer ist auch ein Filmprojekt.
Das Fahren mit den alten Stahl-Bikes prüft Bandscheiben und Psyche. Die Herzen pumpen am
Anschlag, doch die Laune bleibt stabil. „Letztlich ist der Unterschied zu den heutigen Mountainbikes gar nicht so groß“, resümiert Wildhaber beim Zwischenstopp in der verlassenen
Minenstadt Animas Forks: „Das Gefühl von Angst und Anstrengung ist immer noch dasselbe.“
Schnell nickt zustimmend. „Ja, an der Grundidee hat sich in hundert Jahren offenbar nicht das
Geringste geändert.“ Weiter geht die wilde Fahrt. Zunächst nach Durango, den Austragungsort
der ersten Mountainbike-WM. Dann rüber nach Grand Junction inmitten des Backofens Grand
14 BIKE 05-13
10 BIKE 05-13
05-13 BIKE 11
Gelände-Passagen wie die in Fruita (o.) meisterten die Buffalo Soldiers schon vor über
einhundert Jahren. Das Buch „Iron Riders“ lieferte Wildhaber die Idee für das Abenteuer.
Valley, wo sich Wildhaber und Schnell ihrer Uniformen entledigen, um verwöhnt von Funktionskleidung und Vollfederung auf sagenhaften Trails dem Sonnenuntergang entgegenzucruisen.
Der Lagerfeuerversuch am Abend endet allerdings fast mit einer Explosion. In einem Anfall
von Heißhunger wirft Ross Schnell die zu erhitzende Konservendose kurzerhand ungeöffnet
ins Lagerfeuer, was der Büchse wegen des heftig ansteigenden Innendrucks beinahe die Eigenschaften von TNT verleiht. Wildhaber rettet das Abendessen in letzter Sekunde. Am nächsten
Tag geht es mittenrein in das kantige Felsmassiv La Sal Mountains. Eine Cowboy-Ranch wird
besucht und natürlich das Örtchen Fruita. Dann folgt der finale Höhepunkt. Der tagfüllende
Super-Trail „The Whole Enchilada“, der – es ist kaum zu glauben – direkt im sagenumwobenen
Mountainbike-Mekka Moab endet. Es ist natürlich kein Zufall, dass Wildhaber pünktlich zum
Beginn des weltgrößten Freeride-Spektakels Rampage dort eintrifft, das an diesem Wochenende
in der Nähe ausgetragen wird. Die Fahrer katapultieren sich über gigantische Klippen und Schanzen, während sie die sehr, sehr langen Flugphasen zur Darbietung akrobatischer Kunststücke
nutzen. Es ist ein bisschen so, wie mit einem Stahlrad vom Flumser Berg zu fahren. Bei den
Teufelsritten garen die Nervenkostüme so mancher Fahrer durch. Die Bremsen jedoch, die halten.
16 BIKE 05-13
Buffalo Soldiers Ende des 19. Jahrhunderts begann
die Armee der amerikanischen Nordstaaten damit, FahrradKompanien aufzustellen. Sie waren Teil der Buffalo Soldiers,
die sich vor allem aus Rekruten afroamerikanischer Herkunft
zusammensetzten. Wegen ihrer meist lockigen Haarpracht
wurden sie von den Indianern „Büffelsoldaten“ genannt.
Die Fahrrad-Kompanien waren ein Versuch, abseits
der Straßen und unabhängig von Pferden mobil zu sein.
René Wildhaber Der Schweizer René Wildhaber
gilt als erfolgreichster Freeride-Rennfahrer, er hat unzählige
Downhill-Marathons gewonnen. Wildhaber, der früher eine
zeitlang mit Schlafsack in der Natur lebte, interessiert
sich für Geschichte. Als er vor zwei Jahren von den
Buffalo Soldiers hörte, begann er sofort mit der Planung
des Abenteuer-Trips. Freeride-Kumpel Ross Schnell wurde
Wildhabers Reisebegleiter.
Der Trip Durango in Colorado ist ein Bike-Mekka,
Moab in Utah ist ein Bike-Mekka. Dazwischen liegt eine Wüste.
400 Kilometer durch Traumlandschaften. Die perfekte Route.
Das Material Der Trip war ein Mix aus Retro-Radeln
und modernem Biken. Die Suche nach den benötigten
Oldtimern führte Wildhaber zu einem Antik-Händler nach
Denver, wo er original Schweizer Militärfahrräder fand.
Der Film Das Abenteuer gibt es auch als Film. Die vier
aufwändig gefilmten und geschnittenen Episoden finden
Sie auf tv.bike-magazin.de.
»ZUM VIDEO
Webcode auf www.bike-magazin.de
eingeben, oder den QR-Code mit dem
Handy einscannen.
WEBCODE #14925
R O S S S C H N E L L | EUR O PE A N P R E SS
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WORLD ITALY
R O S S S C H N E L L | EUR O PE A N P R E SS
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R O S S S C H N E L L | european press
FOTOREPORT
René Wildhaber ist bekannt dafür,
einen deutlich weiteren Horizont als
die Singletrails und Freeride-Strecken
der Alpen zu haben. Zwar hat sich der
Trail-Profi die Passion für MountainbikeRouten zum Beruf gemacht und tingelt
unterdessen als Freerider und Fotoshooting-Fahrer durch die halbe Welt. Er
hat aber nie vergessen, welch reizvolle
Gebiete sein Heimatland bietet. Gerade
für Mountainbiker. Und das wissen auch
seine Freunde wie der Amerikaner Ross
Schnell. Er wolle in die Schweiz kommen, aber René müsse ihm einen Trip
zusammenstellen. Von niemand anderem wolle er sich die Alpen zeigen lassen. «I just follow this man», kommentiert Schnell seine Wahl.
Und Wildhaber wäre nicht er selber,
würde er nicht die aussergewöhnlichste Rundtour aller Zeiten zusammenstellen. Zur Hilfe nimmt er die Vereinten
Nationen, welche mit der Unesco die
schönsten und eindrucksvollsten Gebiete der Welt definiert und schützt. 936
Welterben gibt es heute, elf davon in der
Schweiz. Es gibt hierzulande zwar keine chinesische Mauer, kein Taj Mahal,
ebenso kein Grand Canyon wie auch
keine Viktoriafälle und schon gar kein
Great Barrier Reef. Aber wir können
zweifelsfrei mit den Grossen mithalten, das ist für Wildhaber nach seinen
unzähligen Trips durch alle Gebirge der
Welt klar.
FOTOREPORT
René Wildhaber ist Freeride-Profi. Und gelegentlich Reiseführer. Für seinen Freund Ross Schnell hat er einen Biketrip
zu den Schweizer Unesco-Welterben zusammengestellt.
TOUR DE SUISSE ZU DEN
UNESCO-WELTERBEN
www.ride.ch
30
FOTOREPORT
FOTOREPORT
nen. Unterdessen ist auch Katja Rupf
dazugestossen. Sie ist Wildhabers persönliches Gravity Girl und steht in den
Abfahrten den beiden Herren um Nichts
nach. Und erstmals ist Schnell richtig
beeindruckt. «Dieser Ort haut mich um.
Hier sieht es aus wie auf einem Filmset», kommentiert er die Kulisse. Über
gletschergeschliffene Felsen fahren sie
so nah wie möglich an die Eisformationen. «Alpine Slickrocks», kommentiert
Schnell die Routen in Anspielung auf die
legendären Felsentrails in Moab.
Vom Wallis wechselt das Trio in die
Südschweiz nach Bellinzona. Die drei
imposanten Burgen der Kleinstadt ha-
28
www.ride.ch
ANZEIGE
TRAIL WORKS
(1/2)
29
ÜBERNACHTET WIRD WEITERHIN IM ZELT ODER IN SPARTANISCHEN
SCHUTZHÜTTEN, DIE HEISSEN QUELLEN DIENEN ALS DUSCHE UND DER GRILL
WIRD ZU UNSEREM WICHTIGSTEN KÜCHENGERÄT.
Als Schnell in der Schweiz landet,
ist die Route klar. Die Stadt La Chauxde-Fonds, die Weinbaugebiete des Genfersees, die Gletscherwelt des Aletschgebiets, die Burgen Bellinzonas und
schliesslich die Tektonikarena Sardona
stehen auf dem Programm. Ein Biketrip,
wie man ihn noch nie gesehen hat. Eine
Kulturshow auf dem Mountainbike.
Unbekannte Westschweiz
«Einige Orte meines Trips kenne selbst
ich noch nicht», gesteht Wildhaber ein.
Dazu zählt La Chaux-de-Fonds. Auf die
exklusive Unesco-Liste hat es das JuraStädtchen wegen seinem Grundriss geschafft. Nachdem der Ort im Jahr 1794
vollständig abgebrannt ist, entschied
man sich beim Aufbau für ein streng
rechtwinkliges Strassennetz – in Europa
einzigartig. Die Ausrichtung der Häuser
wurde so ausgelegt, dass die unzähligen
Uhrmacher damals das Tageslicht optimal einsetzen konnten. Licht war damals noch eine knappe Ressource.
Eine rechtwinklige Stadt als attraktive Bike-Destination? Wildhaber und
Schnell stürzen sich Treppen runter
und drehen im Manual um die rechten
Winkel der Stadt. «A strange vibe here»,
meint Schnell am Abend, der sich von
den Staaten eigentlich rechtwinklige
Strassennetze gewohnt ist. Aber dass
man eine Stadt für eine Branche nach
dem Lichteinfall ausrichtet, das ist mehr
als aussergewöhnlich.
Die zweite Etappe der aussergewöhnlichen Tour de Suisse ist in amerikanischen Dimensionen bloss einen
Katzensprung entfernt. Das Gebiet am
nördlichen Ufer des Genfersees hat es
in das Unesco-Zertifikat geschafft als
eine der grössten Weinbauregionen der
Welt. Hier kommen Wildhaber und sein
Gast nun auch auf dem Bike auf ihre
Kosten. Die verwinkelten Wege durch
die Terrassen bieten besten Trail-Spass
vor einer fantastischen Kulisse. Weit unten liegt der tiefblaue Genfersee, dahinter ragen die Gletscherformationen des
Mont-Blanc-Massivs in den Himmel. Mit
mehr Zeit und guten Beziehungen zu
den Weinbauern wären hier exzellente Weinbau-Trails zu finden. Doch Zeit
bleibt keine, fünf Tage für die Wildhabersche Tour de Suisse ist schon knapp
genug.
Alpine Slickrocks
Neuer Tag, neues Welterbe. Für einmal
ist dieses auch gleich eine der besten
Bike-Destinationen der Schweiz. Das
Aletschgebiet mit dem dahinterliegenden Dreigestirn von Eiger, Mönch und
Jungfrau und dem grössten Gletscher
Europas ist die Basis für erstklassige
Biketrails, wo Wildhaber und Schnell
ihre Fertigkeiten erstmals ausleben kön-
34
www.ride.ch
ben es ins Unesco-Portfolio geschafft.
Im Mittelalter war Bellinzona heiss umkämpft wegen seiner strategischen Lage.
Im 15. Jahrhundert riegelten die Herzöge von Mailand das ganze Tal mit einer
Mauer ab und richteten die drei Burgen
auf. Die uralten Treppen und Karrenwege dienen Wildhaber, Schnell und Rupf
als Biketrails. Dieses Mal zur Abwechslung in der Dunkelheit der Nacht mit
Halogenscheinwerfern. Am Tag wären
zu viele Spaziergänger unterwegs.
Etappe fünf steht an. In weniger als
zwei Stunden sind die drei Kulturbiker
zurück in der Deutschschweiz und laden
ihre Bikes in die kleine Gondel auf den
Cassonsgrat in Flims. «Seid ihr sicher,
dass ihr mit den Bikes da hoch wollt»,
fragt der Bahnangestellte, der sich nicht
vorstellen kann, da oben auch nur einen einzigen Meter fahrbaren Trail zu
finden. Er hat keine Ahnung, wer seine drei Passagiere sind. Die Wege sind
steil, verblockt, ausgesetzt und eng – ein
Heidenspass für das Trio. Das Welterbe ist erst weit oben sichtbar: Vor ein
paar Millionen Jahren haben sich hier
Kontinentalplatten in Megaslowmotion
in die Höhe gedrückt und die imposanten Gesteinsschichten zum Vorschein
gebracht. Für Geologen ist die Region
einmalig, und sie hat es als Tektontik-
Arena Sardona in die Welterbe-Liste der
Unesco geschafft hat.
Eine Frage des Reiseführers
Geschätze 700 Trailkurven später sind
die drei zurück in Flims. Fünf Tage, fünf
Welterbe und ein einmalige Bike-Erlebnis. Luzern, Zermatt, St. Moritz, die
Sightseeing-Klassiker der Schweiz sind
gut und recht. Doch mit dem Mountainbike und etwas Phantasie hat das Land
mehr zu bieten. Dazu braucht es bloss
einen guten Reiseführer. Wie zum Beispiel René Wildhaber.
Text und Foto: Jérémie Reuiller
ANZE
THÖM
TRAIL SU
(1/2
RIDe magazine
switzerland
32
31
33
¡
h
Fa quasi paura
il ghiacciaio Aletsch:
intorno ci sono l’Eiger,
il Monch e la Jungfrau.
R
di STEFAN MICHEL
philes
Margot/Red Bull Photo
Fotografie di Christophe
48
ené vorrebbe visitare
alcune zone in Svizzera, i
siti protetti dall’Unesco,
patrimonio dell’umanità».
Ross Schnell ha fatto
subito i bagagli ed è
volato giù dal Colorado, l’uomo di Grand
Junction ha un’innata curiosità e voglia di
conoscere e sperimentare che già si
percepiscono dal suo viso, con quel paio di
baffoni alla Wyatt Earp (lo ricordate? era sulla
copertina di MBW di agosto 2011) che
giustamente i suoi connazionali definiscono
“handlebar”, a manubrio... Il fatto che Ross
non abbia battuto ciglio e sia partito
immediatamente ha molto a che fare con
René Wildhaber, suo ospite: entrambi sono
testimonial di Trek e in passato hanno
lavorato insieme, hanno stili di guida molto
simili (veloci sia in salita che in discesa) e tutti
e due provano la stessa emozione nello
scoprire nuove cose come nell’eseguire la
discesa perfetta su un tracciato difficile.
Tutto è pronto per un bike tour che porterà i
due rider a visitare alcuni dei siti patrimonio
dell’umanità che si trovano in Svizzera: ma
FOTOSTORIE
GLI 11 SITI
PATRIMONIO
DELL’UMANITÀ
IN SVIZZERA
54
¡
1 - IL CONVENTO BENEDETTINO
DI SAN GIOVANNI A MÜSTAIR
2 - L’ABBAZIA DI SAN GALLO
3 - IL CENTRO STORICO DI BERNA
4 - I TRE CASTELLI
E FORTIFICAZIONI DI BELLINZONA
5 - LE ALPI SVIZZERE
JUNGFRAU-ALETSCH
6 - MONTE SAN GIORGIO
7 - I VIGNETI DI LAVAUX
8 - LA LINEA FERROVIARIA
RETICA DI ALBULA E BERNINA
9 - L’ARENA TETTONICA SARDONA
10 -LA CHAUX-DE-FONDS E LE LOCLE
11 - LE PALAFITTE PREISTORICHE
ATTORNO ALLE ALPI
Tappa per la notte a Fiesch, dopo la giornata a
quota 2000. E ci si muove verso il sito Unesco
più meridionale della Svizzera, Bellinzona, con le
sue palme e le tre fortezze collegate fra loro.
«Prima di oggi avevo visto i castelli solo
dall’autostrada e dai sentieri qui intorno»,
afferma René Wildhaber. La storia delle
fortezze di Bellinzona dimostra chiaramente
che un luogo strategico porta vantaggi ma
anche svantaggi: Bellinzona poteva controllare
le strade del Gottardo, del San Bernardino e di
I PROTAGONISTI
altri passi e imporre un
pedaggio, la gabella
dell’epoca, ma la città
fu attaccata, assediata
e conquistata infinite
volte. Eserciti da sud,
poi da nord, poi di
nuovo da sud. Nel
quindicesimo secolo
divenne parte del
ducato di Milano e si
iniziò la costruzione di una muraglia di
difesa che andava da una parte all’altra
della valle, una strategia che ancora oggi
ispira qualche nazione...
Il più alto dei tre è il Castello Sasso
Corbaro, come gli altri è costruito a picco
su una roccia. Mentre all’interno era pieno
di gente che cenava con il prosecco, Katja,
Ross e René scoprivano il divertimento
all’esterno delle mura: «Non avrei mai
pensato di pedalare sulle slick rock, una
volta arrivato quaggiù», si meravigliava
Ross, che a Moab era di casa. Era
mezzanotte passata che i tre facevano
ritorno in città attraverso le antiche scale,
ma solo perché le luci sui manubri e sui
caschi erano diventate troppo fioche
e i tre rider non riuscivano a vedere dove
mettere le ruote. E gli altri due castelli?
A piedi, la mattina dopo. E a seguire rotta
verso nord attraverso il San Bernardino:
senza gabelle da pagare, stavolta.
49
Lo svizzero RENÉ WILDHABER (in arrampicata e nel ritratto)
è una vecchia conoscenza del mountain biking internazionale, ha
corso nelle competizioni DH ad altissimo livello (intorno al
passaggio del millennio) e si dedica da qualche tempo con
soddisfazione alle Megavalanche. È sponsorizzato da Red Bull e
da Trek, azienda che fornisce le bici anche al trentenne
coloradiano ROSS SCHNELL, campione del mondo di single
speed 2008 e 2009, appassionato di mountain bike a tutto
campo (dal cross country al freeride). Insieme a loro ha pedalato
in alcuni siti anche KATJA RUPF, fidanzata di Wildhaber, che
insieme a Steffi Marth, Solveig Lindgren e Jess Stone fa parte
del team Trek Gravity Girls, un gruppo di “grrls” bravissime
ad andare veloci che organizza anche bike camp specifici per
le ragazze. www.renewildhaber.ch
www.rossschnell.com
www.trek-gravitygirls.com
57
L’ ARENA TETTONICA
SARDONA
Due ore dopo erano pronti per un altro sito,
sopra a Flims. «Ma siete proprio sicuri?», ha
domandato l’addetto alla funivia prima di far
salire le bici. È difficile che
qualcuno porti con sé le
denominata “sovrascorrimento delle
biciclette, e neanche il
Alpi Glaronesi”: alcune decine di milioni
paesaggio intorno è
di anni fa le placche tettoniche hanno
particolarmente invitante
iniziato a muoversi una dentro l’altra,
per chi fa mountain biking: i
con le rocce più antiche che si sono
sentieri sono molto ripidi,
sovrapposte a quelle più giovani, una
pieni zeppi di tornantini
linea visibilissima da chilometri di
strettissimi, esposti nel
distanza. Da bambino René Wildhaber
vuoto e in alcuni punti c’è
trovò proprio qui un granchio e una
spazio solo per mettere una
lumaca di mare fossili, oggi sente quasi
ruota. Insomma, si diverte
l’odore di casa: «In linea d’aria sono venti
solo chi ha manico e sa
chilometri, bisogna passare tre valli».
impugnare bene le
Una strana coperta di neve dona alla
manopole. Dall’alto del
montagna la sembianza di una
Flimserstein li osserva uno
magnifica zebra, con le bianche striature
stambecco, la figura che
che si spandono dappertutto. Il sentiero
appare sullo stemma
si snoda sui versanti e attraversa i nevai,
ufficiale del cantone dei
l’unica maniera di rimanere in sella è di
Grigioni. In cima trovano
mollare la bici a ruota libera fino a che le
quello che era stato il
ruote non riprendono il grip, Ross
giardino di infanzia di René,
Schnell digita mentalmente il suo
la particolarissima
prossimo Tweet: «Mai seguire questo
formazione rocciosa
Bici & cultura
FOTOSTORIE
¡
cosa ci vanno a fare in bici nella cittadina di
La Chaux-de-Fonds o ai castelli di Bellinzona?
In ogni caso, la biblioteca dell’abbazia
di San Gallo ha fornito ai due una piacevole
anteprima. Per chi non ne fosse a
conoscenza, la lista dei siti e monumenti
patrimonio dell’umanità protetti dalla Unesco
ne comprende al momento 936, oltre 700 dei
quali creati dall’uomo, dalla Grande Muraglia
al Taj Mahal, da Venezia al palazzo di
Versailles, mentre il resto è composto da
luoghi naturali, come la Grande Barriera
australiana o le cascate Vittoria. In Svizzera ci
sono undici siti Unesco e René Wildhaber ha
programmato di visitarne cinque insieme a
Ross Schnell.
h
Ettari ed ettari
di magnifici
vigneti coltivati
con cura a Lavaux,
sul versante
esposto a sud del
lago di Ginevra.
50
ghiaccio». Ross è basito, «Incredibile,
sembra un set cinematografico»,
afferma, lui che viene proprio dai luoghi
della nostra infanzia cinematografica,
con le formazioni di roccia che si elevano
dagli altipiani tipiche dei film western.
Insieme a loro c’è Katja Rupf, la
girlfriend di René, che fa parte del team
Trek Gravity Girls. Si pedala prima nelle
vicinanze dei crepacci e poi
sull’incredibile serie di sentieri che si
snoda lungo la valle che scende
dall’Eggishorn, così divertenti che ci si
dimentica della fatica e del dolore alle
braccia.
LE FORTIFICAZIONI
DI BELLINZONA
56
MOUNTAIN BIKE WORLD
ITALY
Le imponenti mura
che proteggono
Bellinzona si
prestano bene a una
notturna...
Bici & cultura
«
Non si può immaginare cosa sia un vero
paesaggio di vigneti se non si visitano quelli
di Lavaux, sul lago di Ginevra, esposti a sud.
Chilometri e chilometri di filari coltivati a
terrazza, creati centinaia di anni orsono per le
uve da vino, ancora oggi una delle zone a
vigna più estese al mondo. Il sole, il panorama
delle Alpi e il lago blu profondo in basso sono
stati i compagni di René e Ross, che durante
le discese si sono concessi qualche grappolo
d’uva: i sentieri migliori sono sopra le vigne,
pieni di curve, ma anche in mezzo ai filari ci si
diverte. Il sole scende veloce e c’è l’invito a
cena (e a dormire) a
casa di Christophe,
nel Vallese:
LE ALPI SVIZZERE
purtroppo non c’è
JUNGFRAU-ALETSCH
abbastanza tempo
Il giorno seguente era in programma la
per apprezzare la
visita in una zona fantastica con un
sua collezione di
fantastico terreno dove far scorrere le
libri e di foto, la
mattina seguente ci ruote delle bici. È il sito che comprende
l’Eiger, il Monch e la Jungfrau, insieme
si dovrà svegliare
ad altre vette, tutte che si protendono
presto per
sul ghiacciaio Aletsch, il più esteso delle
proseguire il
Alpi anche se negli ultimi 100 anni la sua
viaggio.
massa è diminuita del 30 per cento. «Il
rifugio è qui sopra - spiega René -, un
tempo era proprio sul ghiacciaio ma
adesso bisogna fare un dislivello di 100
metri in discesa per scendere e toccare il
h
53
Bici & cultura
FOTOSTORIE
¡
Nelle foto si vede
benissimo il
particolare fenomeno
geologico
denominato
“sovrascorrimento
delle Alpi Glaronesi”.
I VIGNETI DI LAVAUX
Poiché l’attività principale era quella
dell’orologeria, nel disegno della nuova
planimetria si pianificò di lasciare molto
spazio tra una fila di palazzi e l’altra in modo
da fare arrivare la luce del sole in tutti i
laboratori e nella stessa quantità. E anche per
facilitare la rimozione della neve, visto che la
cittadina si trova sopra i 1000 metri di quota,
nelle montagne dello Jura.
fotografiche, Christophe
Un altro motivo della scelta di La Chaux-deMargot, che però nulla
Fonds come luogo da visitare è perché è
poteva per modificare lo
dov’è nato colui che avrebbe accompagnato
spettrale start del viaggio:
René e Ross con uno zaino pieno di macchine
in città faceva freddo e umido, era
giorno di festa ma non c’era nessuno
per le strade. Meglio per i due rider,
che hanno affrontato in sella varie
scalinate e provato con il grip delle
loro gomme le curve ad angolo retto
delle strade. «Strana sensazione» le
parole di Ross. «Sono tutti dentro a
lavorare», tentò di rispondere René,
prima di rendersi conto che gli
abitanti tutto potevano fare quel
giorno eccetto che lavorare.
Comunque nel pomeriggio era uscito
un po’ di sole e il giorno seguente
era tutto normale, con la gente per le
strade come al solito. Una visita a un
laboratorio segnava la prima tappa
del loro giro.
52
h
FOTOSTORIE
Due famosi
rider hanno
messo insieme
la voglia
di conoscere
con la loro
esperienza
in sella: hanno
visitato in bici
cinque
siti svizzeri
patrimonio
dell’umanità
Unesco.
Bici & cultura
FOTOSTORIE
¡
Bici & cultura
FOTOSTORIE
¡
Bici & cultura
R O S S S C H N E L L | EUR O PE A N P R E SS
58
LA CHAUXDE-FONDS
«Di alcuni non ne so
nulla, oppure li ho visti
solo da distante»,
confessa René, che di
nascita è proprio
svizzero. La cosa non
sorprende soprattutto
per La Chaux-deFonds, conosciuta dagli
Svizzeri di lingua
tedesca perché nelle
loro aule scolastiche si
impara proprio lo spelling del nome di
questa antica cittadina di orologiai. È lo
schema delle strade la sua particolarità
assolutamente unica, una griglia
perfettamente rettangolare creata per la
costruzione della nuova città dopo
l’incendio che la distrusse nel 1794.
51
qui». Wildhaber, ovvio. Piedi zuppi
per tutti, alla fine del pomeriggio
non si contano i tornanti che
hanno fatto, le tre grandi
montagne sono lì sopra e le prime
forme di urbanizzazione
appaiono 1000 metri più in TOUR DE SUISSE
Siamo alla fine, i nostri chiudono
basso sotto forma di un
il loro Tour de Suisse davanti a una serie
elaborato sentiero che
di piatti tipici mentre ricordano
porta a Flims, il Runca
le strade ad angolo retto di La ChauxTrail, sette chilometri e
de-Fonds, le linee curve dei vigneti
mezzo con un dislivello di
di Lavaux, il ghiacciaio dell’Aletsch,
750 metri.
le fortificazioni di Bellinzona dalle quali
si sentiva quasi il profumo
h
del Mediterraneo e l’arena tettonica
Nella foto in alto
Wildhaber e Schnell
Sardona dove il mare ha creato le Alpi.
in azione sulle
I luoghi sono magnifici, i sentieri
scalinate della città
indimenticabili, è facile prendere
di La Chaux-de-Fonds,
informazioni e ripercorrere le tracce
caratterizzata da una
di René Wildhaber e Ross Schnell.
pianta ortogonale
Cultura e mountain bike insieme,
fra le varie strade.
cosa ne dite? __.
R O S S S C H N E L L | EUR O PE A N P R E SS
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De la inmensidad de los Alpes al clima
mediterráneo
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64
Qué magnífica coincidencia supone que ciertos
lugares declarados Patrimonio de la Humanidad de
Suiza se puedan visitar en bicicleta. Ross Schnell,
René Wildhaber y Katja Ruft han partido en un tour
turístico para descubrir algunos de ellos.
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más voluminoso de Europa
a pesar de que casi un
tercio de su masa se ha
derretido durante los
últimos 100 años“
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MountainBIKER 69
R O S S S C H N E L L | EUR O PE A N P R E SS
date of publication
R O S S S C H N E L L | EUR O PE A N P R E SS
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6
Ross Schnell W
Ross Schnell may not be the first name that
springs into people’s minds when they think of the
stars of mountain biking in the 2000s. Names like
Peat, Absalon, Sauser, Hill and Atherton are more
likely to be bandied about. ‘Rad Ross’? Who the
hell is that guy? Well, more and more observers,
fans and people in the know are starting to sit up
and take notice of the man known as “Rad Ross”.
BIKER
SLOVAKIA
Words by Brett Kennedy
hen I first met Ross, he
was just another face in an
internet café, in Nelson, NZ.
The only thing that set him
apart was that he was carrying a helmet. That’s why my
mate K-man started talking
to him. K-man loves a chat,
and Ross didn’t seem too
perturbed by the banter with
the strange Aussie. It was
only after we’d invited him for a beer and started
to load his bike into the car that I spotted the
name on the top tube. “Is that you?” “Yeah.”
I only recognised the name, not the face.
Must’ve read it on a website, or a magazine, in
Norba XC results or something, but didn’t really
know much else. We drank, chatted, and drank
that night, and for an elite athlete, he sure knew
how to let his hair down. It was his off-season
after all, but there was no “I’m a pro and I’ll live
like one” mentality from him. Just an average guy
who loved riding bikes. Better than most.
Schnell cut his teeth on 20-inch wheels, where
his nickname was first coined, a throwback from
the seminal 80’s movie of the same name. “The
nickname came from the BMX glory days. I had
“Rad Ross” embroidered across the seat of my
pants, that’s just what we did back then. Seemed
a pretty reasonable moniker for a BMX racer back
then.”
Growing up in Grand Junction, Colorado, Ross
continued to race BMX and later mountain bikes
right through his college days, before biting the
bullet and doing what every graduate is decreed
by society to do; get a real job. He put his degree
in Radiology to good use, working for a couple of
years in a hospital before getting back on the bike
and giving racing another crack. When you’ve got
riding mates like Adam Craig egging you on, what
else are you gonna do? Schnell rode a season as
a privateer, “working his ass off” which rewarded
him with a call-up to the Trek-VW team as a fully
supported XC Pro.
3
F
R
E
E
W
H
E
E
L
3
His burgeoning XC career didn’t go exactly to
plan, and an injury put him out for the best part
of 07, when he had, as he describes it, the best
shape of his life. “I was riding really well and had
some really shit luck. I was at the front of a US
National Short Track race and the guy beside me
went down and brought me with him. Super random injury, I tore my Posterior Cruciate Ligament.
Basically I dislocated my knee. It was weird, I
got right back up and started to jump on the bike
again but my lower leg felt all floppy. Being on
injured reserve when you’re riding well is really
hard on the morale. You look at all of the hard
work you put into getting to that point and its all
for nought.”
As it turned out, the time spent on the sideline
was a blessing in disguise, and helped Ross
spawn a new career direction; all-rounder. In
2008 Trek sent him “as an afterthought” to the
Stunning alpine trails…just another day in the life of Rad Ross
FREEWHEEL
australia
6
R O S S S C H N E L L | EUR O PE A N P R E SS
AUSTRALIAN MOUNTAIN BIKE: 2011
R O S S S C H N E L L | EUR O PE A N P R E SS
AUSSIE MAGAZINE: AUGUST 2010
MOUNTAIN FLYER: SEPTEMBER 2010
R O S S S C H N E L L | european press
photo and film trip with
Ionate Films: September 2009
“Vast” Film released May 2010
http://www.ionatefilms.com/
R O S S S C H N E L L | european press
spoke magazine
new Zealand
R O S S S C H N E L L | european press
BIKER MAGAZINE
SLOVENIA
RIDE
SWITZERLAND
R O S S S C H N E L L | EUR O PE A N P R E SS
E l M unde D e L a MT B (Spa in)
BIKE MAGAZINE
GERMANY
EL MUNDE DE LA MTB
SPAIN
TREK MTB CATALOG: 2010
TREK MTB CATALOG: 2012
ADVERTISING
giro catalog: 2011
R O S S S C H N E L L | advertisin g
OAKLEY CATALOG: 2010
QBP CATALOG: 2011
SRAM INTERBIKE DISPLAY: 2012
R O S S S C H N E L L | AD VER T I SI N G
GIRO
GENUINE INNOVATIONS
VARIOUS CAMPAIGNS, TREK: 2012
OVER THE EDGE SPORTS
R O S S S C H N E L L | AD VER T I SI N G
R O S S S C H N E L L | PR O MO T I O N A L
RAD ROSS’
$30,000
Pro Purse
ANGEL FIRE/TAOS: JUNE 15 & 16
Photo by Devon Balet
CRESTED BUTTE: June 29 & 30
KEYSTONE: July 6 & 7
DURANGO: Aug 31 & Sept 1
MOAB: Sept 28 & 29
2013 schedule is subject to change
Morning
Remedy Blend
W W W. B I G M O U N TA I N E N D U R O . C O M
Design by Nicholas B. Ontiveros - 2headedkid.com
R O S S S C H N E L L | VID EO S & W E B A R T I C L E S
VIDEOS
VitalMTB
http://www.vitalmtb.com/photos/features/2011-Trestle-All-Mountain-Enduro-at-Winter-Park,2690/Slideshow,0/bturman,109?utm_
source=facebook.com
Pinkbike Crankworx interview
http://www.pinkbike.com/video/153438/
Trek MTB 2012 Gravity Product Launch w/decline magazine
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tY3gjmTjGiA
Megavalanche 2011 Alpe d’Huez (at 5:42)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TikSOd8X3Ws
SRAM : X0 : Schnell
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dkHBnodjBwM
WEB ARTICLES
http://www.pinkbike.com/news/trestle-park-all-mountain-endurorace-2011.html?trk=rss
http://velonews.competitor.com/2009/03/bikes-tech/zack-vestal-takes-alook-at-rad-ross-schnells-2009-trek-remedy_89606
http://www.bikeradar.com/news/article/winter-park-resorts-2011-trestleall-mountain-enduro-31340/
http://www.crankbrothers.com/index.php
http://www.bikeradar.com/news/article/schnell-emmett-win-first-trestle-allmountain-enduro-31423
http://www.mtb-forum.it/in-mtb-nel-wild-west-fra-grizzly-e-cercatori-doro/
http://www.mtb-forum.it/in-mtb-nel-wild-west-fra-grizzly-e-cercatori-doroparte-2/
http://www.bikeradar.com/news/article/pro-bike-ross-schnells-2012-trekslash-31448/#.TlUjAOGDUxQ.facebook
http://athletes.crankbrothers.com/riders/ross-schnell/
http://www.crankbrothers.com/showfeaturearchive.php?featureId=161&p_
read_feature=y
http://blogs.bikemag.com/news/interview-ross-schnell-speaks/
http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?p=2213205
http://www.giantloopmoto.com/pages/sponsored-riders
http://www.mountainflyermagazine.com/view.php/trestle-2.html
http://www.bikerumor.com/2010/01/28/single-speed-world-champ-rossschnell-uses-betterride-training/
http://www.bikemag.com/news/trestle-all-mountain-enduro-recap-andphoto-gallery/#075e01acb6
http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/trek_life/news/article/1021/2008/07/14/
trekvws_schnell_wins_all_mountain_world_championship_aboard_remedy/
http://www.bikemag.com/news/mark-weirs-take-on-the-trestle-all-mountain-enduro/
http://bikemag.com/gallery/downieville-classic-09/
http://www.bikemag.com/news/holiday-guift-guide-guest-rad-ross-schnell/
http://www.pinkbike.com/news/ashland-ross-bike.html
http://www.cyclingnews.com/features/pro-bike-ross-schnells-ashlandsuper-d-trek-remedy
http://www.bikerumor.com/2010/01/28/single-speed-world-champ-rossschnell-uses-betterride-training/ (Bikerumor random hit)
http://www.pinkbike.com/news/2010CWXEnduro.html?trk=rss
http://www.ionatefilms.com/
http://www.mountainflyer.com/news.cfm?itemid=287
http://www.bikeradar.com/news/article/interview-rad-ross-schnell-theburger-king-25377
http://www.cyclingnews.com/editions/mtb-news-and-racing-round-upmarch-21-2010
http://reviews.mtbr.com/blog/ross-schnell-and-betterride-net-with-genehamilton/
http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_pwwi/is_200807/ai_n27918818/
http://bicycling.com/blogs/newflavors/2008/07/21/2009-gear-debuts-atdownieville/
http://bicycling.com/blogs/mbword/2009/09/30/irmiger-schnell-win-singlespeed-world-championship-taberlay-and-park-win-xc-series-at-us-cup-unification-series/
http://gallery.mtbr.com/showphoto.php/photo/200901/si/outdoor
http://www.nsmb.com/2551-downieville-2008-report
http://www.spokemagazine.com/tag/ross-schnell/
http://velonews.competitor.com/2009/09/news/heather-irmiger-and-rossschnell-win-at-the-sswc-in-durango-and-get-the-tats-to-prove-it_98039
http://www.spokemagazine.com/author/brett/
http://velonews.competitor.com/2008/07/mountain/rad-ross-schnell-crushes-downieville_80214
http://www.pinkbike.com/photo/4216870/
http://www.sswc10nz.com/news_detail.php?id=22
http://trekmountain.typepad.com/king/2009/06/how-ross-schnell-brokehis-hip.html
http://www.pinkbike.com/news/Trek-Bikes-Volkswagen-Team-2007.html
http://velonews.competitor.com/2009/06/news/rad-ross-schnell-breaks-hipin-france_92718
http://www.endurotribe.com/2010/03/le-remedy-9-9-de-ross-schnell/
http://singletrack.competitor.com/2009/09/race/its-beer-thirty-in-durangoschnell-irmiger-get-tats_3584
http://www.endurotribe.com/2010/04/du-beau-monde-a-metabief/
CONTACT | ROSS SCHNELL
970-640-1 3 0 4
r ossschne [email protected] y a h o o. c om
www.r osssc h n e ll. c om

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