While there’s no in-person Mountain Bike Hall of Fame (MBHOF) induction ceremony this year due to coronavirus, this year’s list of honorees is certainly impressive!
From the MBHOF:
Frenchman Julien Absalon, the Cross-Country Phenom who dominated the game from 2004 to 2014 – during which, he prevailed over two decades of sweeping technological changes. Absalon earned two Olympic gold medals, five World Championship golds, seven overall World Cup victories, five European Cup titles and was French National Champion 13 times.
From the US, inventor Stan Koziatek, the godfather of mountain bike tubeless tire systems, invented a latex-based liquid sealant that bears his name, a simple method to make conventional rims air tight and followed with rim profiles that stabilized tubeless tires. Stan linked all those technologies and altered the history of our sport.
Tym Manley and Steve Behr
Tym Manley and Steve Behr, co-founders of Mountain Biking UK, a magazine that rose to prominence as the voice of an emerging sport for British enthusiasts. The influence that innovators and athletes from the UK have had upon our sport cannot be ignored, and it was MBUK that rallied the country’s mountain bike community together to eventually become a global force to be reckoned with.
Dafydd Davis, a Welsh outdoorsman and trail runner who fell in love with mountain biking and later became a renowned trail builder. Davis realized early on that trails were the sport’s most important physical and financial assets, so he masterminded a nationwide strategy for dedicated MTB trail networks linked to tourism – a model program which opened trail centers across the world.
The Hall of Fame also awards a posthumous induction for Jason McRoy, a self-sponsored British downhill racer who flew the Union Jack in international competition against factory teams. McRoy’s fierce riding style inspired a generation of gravity racers from the UK – many of whom have become legends in their own right.
The class of 2020 will be honored in person next year along with the class of 2021 at the Marin Museum of Bicycling in California.
In other news, the MBHOF announced changes to the selection process for future nominees. The group will continue to accept nominations, generally in February of each year. However, the public will no longer vote to determine the inductees; instead, a selection committee — composed of industry experts, athletes, and journalists — will make the final selections. The change is meant to ensure lesser-known, but equally if not more deserving individuals, get appropriate recognition. Looking at the results from past online votes suggests that many online voters simply chose names they had heard of before.
Congrats to the class of 2020!