Day 1.5 Travel
Last nights drive netted just under 300 miles as we head towards Louisville to pick Scuba Steve up at the airport. Today's USA Today has an article the is about Chris Eautough and his quest for his 7th win in a row. The link is below along with the article.
Also, Cyclingnews.com will cover the race live with updates and photos starting at 12 noon EST on Saturday October 7th.
Championships are all in a day's work for biker
By Sal Ruibal, USA TODAY
Chris Eatough is the Lance Armstrong of endurance mountain bike racing.
From noon Saturday through noon Sunday, the Baltimore-based Brit will attempt to win a Lance-like seventh consecutive world championship in 24-hour solo racing at the former Olympic mountain-bike course in Conyers, Ga.
Around-the-clock mountain-bike races are modeled on auto racing's 24 Hours of Le Mans and have become one of the fastest-growing genres in the sport. Most events include a Le Mans-style start, with riders running en masse to their bikes.
The races are usually contested by relays of four or more riders, but the solo format took off in 1996 when legendary endurance rider John Stamstad entered himself as a four-man team in the 24 Hours of Canaan (W.Va.).
Stamstad says Eatough is now clearly the best in the business.
"Winning any race is hard," says Stamstad. "Winning 24-hour bike races is extremely hard because there are so many variables, so many things that can go wrong. For Chris to be on top form for one specific day each year — the world championships — is a testament to his preparation and ability. Nobody gets lucky and wins 24-hour worlds, nor does talent alone get you very far. It is a lifetime of hard work and determination that makes the difference."
Eatough, 31, puts in more than 10,000 training miles every year and stretches for an hour every day to release the kinks those miles create.
In the course of the race, he will spend less than fifteen minutes off the bike. He'll burn 14,000 calories and lose 10 pounds.
His Trek/VW team crew will hand him a freshly cleaned and tuned Top Fuel dual-suspension bike for each lap — he'll do about 22 laps of the 11-mile course — and a paper cup of food, usually boiled potatoes or pancake squares with syrup.
After dark, his bikes and helmet will be equipped with high-intensity lighting systems that illuminate the undulating trails.
Eatough says the hardest part of the race is the deep darkness from 3.a.m. to just before sunrise.
"The fatigue and lighting can really play tricks on you," he says. "Sometimes it seems that my vision is on freeze frame: The trail will look the same for a few seconds, then suddenly jump ahead."
He says his toughest race was the 2001 world championships in Idyllwild, Calif. Sickened by air temperatures exceeding 100, he won the race despite a 15-hour stretch of frequent vomiting.
The 24-hour solo races are so demanding he only does two each year. He prefers another quickly expanding form of endurance racing: 100-mile point-to-point events.
"It's more fun to have changing scenery and terrain," he says. "The lap races can be mentally tough."
Eatough is also bringing the niche sport into the limelight. A crew from Gripped Films has been following his progress this season for a documentary titled 24 Solo (the trailer is at 24-solo.com), and Ride424.com is offering live, interactive coverage of the world championships.
Although Eatough is loathe to change his racing routine, there will be a significant absence in his pit crew this year. After serving as a one-man crew for most of his son's career, Mike Eatough will get his turn to race in the concurrent team event as a member of the Harley-Davidson corporate squad.
Posted 10/3/2006 9:30 PM ET
Eatough goes for seventh world championship
In the world of off-road endurance racing, there simply is no counterpart to 31 year old Chris Eatough (Trek/VW). For the last six years, Eatough has been a model of consistency and perseverance as he's pursued the lonely world of 24 hour solo racing. Through extreme heat, cold, rain and even tornado warnings, Eatough has steadfastly pedaled around the clock logging more miles in one 24 hour span than most people log in over a month. His six consecutive world championship titles more than prove his mettle in what is undoubtedly the most difficult form of off-road competition.
In the 24 Hours of Adrenalin World Championships, held from noon October 7 to noon October 8 in Conyers, Georgia (site of the 1996 Olympics mountain-bike cross country race), Eatough will attempt to win his seventh consecutive title.
His face challengers from a growing core of endurance pros including 2005 second-place runner up Ernest Marenchin as well as recently-crowned Australian marathon national champion Craig Gordon.
In the women's event, endurance phenom and 2005 US 24 Hour Solo national champion Monique Sawicki is seemingly over the injuries she suffered in a crash at the marathon in Mont Sainte Anne going up against, among others, 2005 world champion Marg Fedyna, Trek/VW's Susan Haywood, and National MTB Ultra Endurance Series competitor Rebecca Rusch.
Cyclingnews will be covering the 24 Hours of Adrenalin World Solo Championships live starting at noon on Saturday with regular updates and images from the event site.
Chris Eatough by the numbers:
1 - Mechanical suffered in all 24 hour world & national championship races - a flat front tire in 2002.
10 - Pounds of body weight lost in 24 hours on bike.
10 - The most minutes ever spent off the bike in a race.
144 - Hours ridden for six world titles.
1080 - Miles ridden to win in six world titles.
14,000 - Average calories burned in 24 hours on bike.