Saturday, August 28, 2004

Dirt Roads . . . or Roadie Dirt . . . it's all good

For those who were lucky enough to see the Downers Grove USPro National Championships you probably enjoyed watching Floyd Landis hammer at the front for his team mates Tony Cruz and Robbie Venture . . . almost reminicent of the Col de Floyd at this years tour (except without any hills).

As some of the avid fans know, Floyd started on the dirt as a mountain biker and then switched over to the road. Same is the case with other top roadies like Cadel Evans, Michael Rassemuesen and Miguel Martinez who won the MTB worlds before going roadie. This may seem like a new trend but history shows that John Tomac and Bob Roll to other famous bikers did both the road and the mountains during their careers. Even Lance and Lemond can be spotted on mountain bikes if you look hard enough for the race pics.

So it should be no surprise that his tradition continues with dirt and road being mixed together at the Downers Crit, but the story is slightly unique.

Brenda Lyons picked up a 3rd place finish for Velo Bella team (www.velobella.com) in the womens race at Downers. This was a great result but few realized when she cross the line a winner, she was turning family tradition upside down. Few if any knew as they watched her that her brother is the legendary Todd Lyons, the BMX "WildMan" himself. Who woulda thunk that little sis would be tearing it up on the road after big bro made his name rippin dirt for so many years. Brings new meaning to the Lyon name. Then again Robbie McQwen the TDF sprinting wildman started out BMX as well, so perhaps theirs a correlation here.

I think this is more than a pattern come to think of it. We should all be embracing the varried facets of our sport, give a shout out to the women who are stomping it, and remember that where the pavement ends and the dirt begins, it's still good ridin. If your a roadie I challenge you to throw a leg over a mtb (or bmx bike!), if your a dirt guy go buy some slicks or buy a skin tired bike -- I promise you the variety is a good thing and very fullfilling.

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