I wasn't the only thing running hot this week, blew out the start capacitor, back up and running in an hour.
Sam Schultz and Me at Pan American Championships Ecuador 2004
It was interesting to see some of what they are saying today about Sam Schultz winning mtn bike Championships. I did a lot of racing with Sam back in 2005-2007 when I was doing a lot of the national level mtn bike racing. We roomed together in Ecuador at Pan American Championships for a week so I spent a fair amount of time with him although he was younger so I graduated to elite while he still raced U23 one or two more years. It is great he has finally made his way to the top of the sport, he's been keeping at it and finally beat out those 3-4 guys that have been winning the races for the last 10 year. In my opinion Sam is probably one of the last to benefit from a strong mtn program in the early 2000s. He was the last of the US Devo team and just squeaked into the Gary Fischer program as all those big teams downsized mostly because he was the best of all the young guys that were out there. I can't think of anyone who has joined a big program or scored a pro team contract since Sam and it's taken about 5 years now for him to come to the front of the sport since then. I guess what I am saying is, if anyone was goign to take down one of those guys it was going to be him because he has had the support and talent to do it year after year. If you think about it, until Sam won this race, it has bascially been the same 3-5 US names at the top of American mtn biking since early 2000 - JHK, Craig, Bishop,Wells, and Trebon. It will be interesting the next few years to see how these programs go when these guys retire - right now there is not much support for young guys to grow in the sport to get better but it's great Sam has utilized his opportunity and progressed to this level because there haven't been many since him to have that chance. Hopefully that changes.
Pan American Championships Banos, Ecuador, roomed with Sam Schultz for a bunch of days - he was fast then too
World Championships 2004 France - who is left racing from this picture?
Alan Obeye, Sam Schultz, Nick Waite, Tristan, John Devine, Nick Ranno, Rasta