Road Pros vs Mtb Pros


New Member
Jan 24, 2002
I attended my first MTB pro race on Sat and Sun and I was HUGELY impressed!

All the team vehicles were in an area open to the public. I saw pros walking casually through the crowds (Gracia, Lopes, Peat, Minnaar, Giove, Chausson etc). They're also really approachable and friendly. I saw Chausson warming up at the start so I took a photo - when she saw me lining up the shot she looked up and smiled at the camera - I said good luck and we chatted for a few minutes. Really cool!

Road racing could learn a lot from MTB races - the road pros are hidden away behind security and you're lucky if you get a glimpse of anyone.

I recommend MTB races highly - even if you're a roadie like me!
Unfortunate, this road pro thing. I just wonder why this happens. I've met quite a few pros, but they usually just mumble something, turn around and walk away. The exception is Ronel van Wyk. She really tries to be nice and friendly. Maybe the roadies should go and get some tips from the MB guys.
I believe it's a mindset. I also agree with ewep re. RvW. I once started a race in the same group as she was in and must say that, altho she raced seriously, she was all smiles and chatter. She's a nice person.
MTB racing - sounds like fun!
I am going on the assumption that MTB racing is newer than road racing. So, there is one thing. There hasn't been enough time for pros to get conceited, distant, and rich.

I have also found this MTB phenomenom with Tri pros, too. Triathlete pros are so approachable. But, the sport is very new, too. The tri races I have been too have an area for the winners circle blocked off (i.e. where the pros sit). But, it is usually a small tent with a few very uncomfortable chairs. They soon pop out and mix in with the crowd so much that it is hard to find them. I was sitting at the finish line watching a tri race end, once. I saw all the pros gathering for their winning interveiws and such. Then, they walked out right passed me and joined their friends and families. I sat down on a curb and began talking to my friend. Next thing I knew, I heard this foreign accent over my shoulder. I turned around, and there..sitting right next to me was the 6 year veteran winner of the race, pro triathlete Alec Rukosuev. I didn't talk to him. I guess I was too nervous. I looked around and saw one of the age groupers talking to Karen Holloway. Everyone was so laid back. It was really cool.

I have noticed a certain snobbery with road biking in general, though. Maybe it is just where I live. But, usually when there is a large ride, there are several groups of rich snobs all decked out who snort at you and look down on you...until you pass them. :)
Like trying to compare Formula 1 drivers against rally drivers. Higher stakes means a lot more money, bigger sponsors, more security, more press, less accessibilty.
Eldron gives a BIG thumbs down to Robbie Hunter!

Saw him at the start at one of the stages of the TdF - about 45 minutes before the start - he was rolling up and down the road behind the barriers at like 10kph - two of his team mates were chatting about 10m away.

3 times he rolled past and three times I called out to him - there was no way he could not have heard me - he was only 2m away.

Either he was stressed up to his eye balls (he didn't look it) or he was ignoring his fans - poor form considering Brad Mcgee, Stuart O'Grady and David Millar stopped to say HI and they're not even South African!

Interesting story. Must be fun to watch in person. Riding does give you a very cool mentality.