World 24-hour solo mountain bike champion Craig Gordon, who dramatically shattered Chris Eatough’s six-race winning streak at last year’s 24 Hours of Adrenaline World Solo Mountain Bike Championships, says he won’t be back to defend his title this year.
The problem, Gordon told BikeRadar, is that the necessary support for the race, scheduled for September 1 & 2, 2007 at the Laguna Seca Raceway, Monterey California, materialized too late for him to properly plan and prepare.
Last year, Gordon’s planning and preparation for his self-funded tilt at the title lasted a whole year. This time round, the necessary support has come together too late for a rider of Gordon’s ambition.
“If I had a support crew like Eatough’s I could take it to another level,” Gordon said, comparing his 2006 rival’s fleet of spare bikes and large back-up team to his own two-man show of rider and all-round Mr Fix-it Hamish Elliot. Gordon from Wollongong, New South Wales in Australia, shot to fame when he won the 2006 24-hour world’s – and put himself in hospital as a result.
It’s obvious that next time he lines up at the 24-hour world’s, Gordon would rather not end up on dialysis for two days.
Instead. Gordon, who recently won the Australian marathon championships, is considering the world marathon championships in Belgium. “That’s a lot more fun than a 24-hour race,” he said. “Twenty-four-hour racing is brutal; a four-hour race is a walk in the park.”
In fact, you get the impression that while Gordon enjoys the sheer challenge of 24-hour racing, he has more fun at the more sensible 100km-or-so marathon distance. He won the Australian championships by almost ten minutes on July 1 and when he spoke to BikeRadar he was in Queensland for Sunday July 15’s Noosa Enduro.
But Gordon will be back in the 24-hour scene at least once this year, for the Mont 24-hour in Canberra, Australia on October 27-28. That’s the second of two 24-hour races down under in October, two weeks after the Scott 24-Hour. While Gordon reckons he could do both, he’s chosen the Mont to show support for equipment sponsor SRAM, one of the race’s major backers.