I’ve been feeling nostalgic lately. I’ve been checking out tons of BMX racing photos, articles and bikes from when I was a teenager. I was just as obsessed with early bmx bikes and racing as I am now with XC mtb. Go figure. So all this nostalgia about old bmx also morphed into nostalgia for old mtb xc racing and bikes. I have a 2nd gen Answer Manitou fork sitting on my desk. The first commercial model that were released after Doug Bradbury turned them over to Answer productrs – a motocross brand at the time (whatever became of Answer?). So it got me looking into finishing my 1991 hardtail Curtlo that I’ve been working on. I’m trying to get it back to what it was like in the early 90’s. I rode this same frame for a full decade before moving on to another steel Curtlo frame.
Thirty years seems like a nice round number. I went back to see who won the medals at the world champs in 1994. How many names would still be familiar? How many, if any, are still involved in the scene? Which countries dominated? All great questions I say to myself.
A few names stand out. Bart Brentjens got 3rd, we all know he not only is still involved, but still races. Tinker brought home silver. But look at the Juniors! Cadel Evans, future tour de france winner managed 2nd! That’s pretty cool. Miguel Martinez, the gold medal winner? His son is now the newest hotshot on the road racing scene. MM was actually a successful road rider before coming to MTB if I recall.
For the women, Alison Sydor was hot all throughout the mid 90’s. She won a lot of huge races. One of my all time favorites from the era, Susan DeMattei got silver. So a full North American sweep in the women field.
Just a great time in XC racing. The US was on its way down right about now, and the Euros were already taking over. So it’s kind of cool to see the US finally stepping it up again 30 full years later.