The 2019 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships are underway this week at Mont Sainte-Anne, Canada. Rainbow jerseys are on the line. The world's fastest, toughest, and most fearless off-road riders have descended on this resort in Quebec to prove their mettle.
It seemed like a good time to look through our closet of museum clothes to find a few worlds-themed jerseys that have cool stories to tell.
Who is your favorite star of mountain bike world championships? Let us know in the comments below!
2000 / / Myles Rockwell / / Sierra Nevada, Spain
First up, we have Myles Rockwell's world champion's skinsuit from the 2001 season. He won the elite men's downhill championships in 2000 at Sierra Nevada, Spain. Rockwell took the title by .57 seconds ahead of British downhill legend Steve Peat.
Back in 2001, downhill apparel was still very much informed by road cycling design. Rockwell's clothing sponsor Fox actually made this skinsuit, chamois pad and all, which would be unthinkable in 2019. That is in part due to the UCI's ban on skinsuits in downhill competition, which was enacted in 2008. Also, that thin lycra offered essentially no protection for the rider.
1994 / / Missy Giove / / Vail, Colorado
It's hard to do justice to Missy Giove in a short paragraph. In fact, to really appreciate her personality, you might want to watch this video we produced with her for our Bicycle Museum. Suffice to say that the 1994 world downhill champion was arguably the most memorable personality of mountain biking's glory days in the 1990s.
And Giove was damn fast on a bike too. Her win at the Vail, Colorado world championships came a year after she won bronze in the 1993 worlds in France. In 1994, she switched teams to the powerhouse Volvo-Cannondale squad. She didn't wear this jersey at worlds, but when she signed it, the loud and proud Giove was sure to note that she was #1.
2001 / / Travis Brown / / Vail, Colorado
Fast-forward seven years and the Mountain Bike World Championships are back in Vail, Colorado, just days after the September 11 attacks. The most memorable performance of those worlds was surely Alison Dunlap's victory in the women's cross-country.
While we don't have her jersey from that day, we do have Travis Brown's race-worn national team jersey from Vail. He rode to 56th place that day, about 16 minutes behind winner Rolland Green of Canada.
1993 / / Myles Rockwell / / Metabief, France
Team USA jerseys have changed a lot over the years. Next to Brown's traditional American look, Myles Rockwell's 1993 team jersey is nearly unrecognizable. Rockwell's bike sponsor, Yeti got a prominent spot on the front of this wildly patterned jersey, made by the iconic clothing brand Descente.
Rockwell finished third that day in Metabief, France. His U.S. teammate Mike King won the title, becoming the third American to take the rainbow jersey in the first four years that the downhill championships were held. American downhill dominance quickly came to an end, however, with the arrival of French legend Nicolas Vouilloz. Rockwell did manage to win seven years later, breaking "The Alien's" stranglehold. Prior to 2000, the extraterrestrial Vouilloz won five consecutive DH titles.
2014 / / Catharine Pendrel / / Hafjell, Norway
Canadian Catharine Pendrel earned her second world championship title in 2014 in Norway. This capped off a stellar season that saw her ride to second-place in the overall World Cup standings. She wore this rainbow-banded skinsuit the following year, her second stint as world champion after her victory in 2011.