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For the week of June 14 through June 20, 2000

Matthes still pedaling for Olympics

Places 16th in World cross-country

Three-time national cross-country champion Ruthie Matthes, who has announced she will retire from professonal mountain bike racing after the 2000 season, is still hoping to qualify for the Summer Olympics.

Ketchum native Matthes said, "The Olympics is the only major race I have not competed in, therefore, making the team and following up with a peak performance at the Games is a priority goal for this season."

Matthes, now a resident of Durango, Colo., has appeared in 14 World Championship races—two on the road, one in cyclo-cross and 11 for mountain bike. Last week she competed at worlds in Spain.

One of three U.S. Elite Women’s Cross-Country Team riders, Matthes, 34, competed in the 2000 World Mountain Bike Championships June 7-11 at Sierra Nevada, Spain.

A member of the Trek Volkswagen team, Matthes could have automatically qualified for Olympics with a top-four finish.

But she’ll have to wait a little longer to learn if she’s going to Sydney, Australia for the Summer Games.

Matthes (2.20:48) placed 16th in the 33.5-kilometer Elite Women’s race, 13:06 behind two-time world champion Marga Fullana of Spain (2.07:42).

That’s pretty much where 1991 world champion Matthes has been at worlds the past few years. In 1999, she was 11th in Sweden. In 1998, Matthes placed 15th in Quebec. In 1997, it was 21st in Switzerland.

Two other Americans who are members of the 2000 Olympic Long Team placed ahead of Matthes, who is a 1984 graduate of The Community School in Sun Valley and a 17-year competitor on the bike racing circuit.

They were current World Cup Series leader Alison Dunlap of Colorado Springs 6th overall, 6:56 back, and Ann Trombley of Golden, Colo. 12th, 11:15 off the winning pace.

The complete American mountain biking team to the 2000 Olympics will be named July 14.

Matthes also competed on the U.S. team that placed seventh in the World Championship Team Relay at Sierra Nevada last Wednesday. Her teammates were Greg Randolph, Walker Ferguson and Jess Swiggers.

She hopes to finish her racing career by competing at the 2001 Cyclo-Cross Worlds.


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