Editor Comment: Please be sure you read all the way to the end of the this story, you find a special detail that does not come out until the very end - Cheers
U2, have announced they are supporting the bid at this year’s championships in Rotorua, New Zealand, in October.
“We have the perfect theme song in ‘One’,“ says lead singer, Bono, down the line from Dublin. “We really love Kiwis and wrote One Tree Hill about a landmark in Auckland as a tribute to one of our favourites, Gregg Carroll.”
The New Zealander was Bono’s personal assistant and good friend, who died in a motorcycle accident in 1986.
“It’ll be great to be back in New Zealand,” says U2 guitarist, The Edge. “The Singlespeed Worlds is a fun event and we like the idea of riders being able to down a beer and take a short cut.”
It might be a bit different if Ireland wins the right to host next year’s event.
“The official beer in Rotorua will be Speight’s Traverse, which we know as a very nice drop, but in Dublin, well, you know, it’s got to be Guinness,” says Bono.
“And if the Singlespeeds Worlds do come to Ireland in 2011, we’ll be renaming the band U1 during the event, to be sure.”
The two main men of the legendary band have been spotted cruising round Dublin on fixed gear bikes as Spring arrives. “Not just a fashion statement – we’re rebooting our youth,” says Bono, with a laugh. “I think we might have finally found what we are looking for. We might even be tempted to get ourselves a bike or two built by the event sponsor in Rotorua – they’re called Kiwibikes, how great is that.”
“Adam and Larry won’t be coming,” says The Edge, “but Bono and I might break out the guitars and do a bit of busking outside the official pub, the Pig and Whistle, if the local Events & Venues guys will give us a license.”
The bidding process for the Singlespeed Worlds is a little different than for other global sporting events.
In 2009 in Durango, Colorado, New Zealand, Italy, Canada and Hungary fought out round 1 – a Karaoke/American Idol contest. “That would have been right up our street,” says Edge.
“Not sure how we would have gone in round 2, though,” adds Bono. “That was a basketball match between New Zealand and the Italians, with the Kiwis winning it all.” The actual bidding process for the 2011 event won’t be revealed till the day. “Who knows what the guys in Rotorua will come up with, but Bono and me and the third Irish rider, Father Ted & Dougal from Craggy Island, will be ready for anything,” says The Edge. “We’re also looking forward to meeting The Shweeb in Rotorua – same first name as me - nice.”
This year’s Singlespeed World Championships will be raced on the Whakarewarewa Forest mountain bike trail network. This is on the southern doorstep of Rotorua in the heartland of New Zealand’s North Island.
Entries opened at midnight on New Year’s Eve (NZT). Exactly three months later, around 700 riders have already entered. 26 countries are represented so far, nine more than the previous highest for a Singlespeed Worlds - in Berlin, in 2004. The limit for New Zealand riders was reached at 9.01PM on March 21 and they are now closed, with a rapidly growing waiting list.
However, there are still places for international riders left, with just under seven months to go.
They’ll line up alongside some of the world’s top cross-country riders and singlespeed legends, like Olympian and US pro rider, Travis Brown, who was Singlespeed World Champion in 1999 and 2002.
Reigning Singlespeed Worlds Women’s and Men’s Champions, Heather Irmiger and Ross Schnell, also from the USA, will be in Rotorua to try and add to their 2009 winner’s tattoos.
Race day is October 23 and will be the finale of the week-long Rotorua Bike Festival.
Irish band U2 threaten to sue organizers of Singlespeed Worlds 2010…
When April Fool’s jokes go bad.
There was a dramatic follow-up today to claims by organizers of this year’s Singlespeed World Mountain Bike Championships that Bono and The Edge from Irish band U2 would be in Rotorua, New Zealand, in October for the event.
“An email arrived this morning from their solicitors in Dublin,” said SSWC10 spokesperson, Graeme Simpson, at a tense and emotional lunchtime media conference at Zippy Central.
“It said they act on behalf of U2 and we should cease and desist using images of them and making ‘outrageous’ claims. It also said they would hold us all personally liable.”
It’s the first time the team has had any legal issues.
“A couple of years ago we put out a release on April 1, saying Lance Armstrong was coming out of retirement to ride in the 2008 New Zealand Singlespeed Champs and he didn’t sue – well, not yet, anyway,” said Simpson. “And last year we had a crack at the UCI and SSWC09 and they didn’t sue. What the hell is it about creative people?”
For SSWC10 event director, Dean Watson, the issue could not have come at a worse time.
“I thought the (expletive-deleted) Irish had a sense of humour, “ said Watson. “I’m supposed to be marrying an Irish woman in a few months, but after this….” he added, his voice trailing off.
“On the other hand,” he continued, perking up. “Singlespeeding is all about giving it to The Man, so I say let U2 and their corporate jackals take their best shot. If someone loses their business, well, so be it - and U2Bikes actually has quite a nice ring about it.
The photos stay up.”
The SSWC10 team refused to answer any more questions and were last seen at the Pig & Whistle pub.
Depending on whether or not the event organizers still have any money left after paying their legal bills, this year’s Singlespeed World Championships will be raced on the magnificent trail network in the Whakarewarewa Forest, on October 23.
Now thats funny - Nice job guys -