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Adventure chick

click to enlarge SEAN CAYTON

Last week in France, Colorado Springs-based mountain biking champion Alison Dunlap was unrecognizable at the finish line of the World Cup finals race -- her face was completely covered with mud. The night before, a huge electrical storm lit up the mountain valley of Les Gets, near Chamonix, and rains drenched the World Cup course. Just a week before, torrential downpours in Austria and injuries had caused the former world champion to drop out of the World Championship race.

That made it especially sweet when Alison Dunlap's 2002 racing regimen ended at Les Gets with the first World Cup title for an American woman since 1995.

Dunlap started cycling competitively when she was a student at Colorado College, but found her true passion when she met her future husband Greg Frozley, a professional mountain biker, and switched from road racing to mountain bike racing. Since then, she's competed in two Olympics, won a World Championship and now, a World Cup title.

Currently, Dunlap is relaxing at her home in the Springs. She will resume her training regimen in late October in anticipation of the 2003 racing season and, ultimately, the 2004 Olympics in Athens. In the meantime, she and husband Greg, partnering with Western Spirit Mountain Bike Adventures in Moab, Utah, are entering into a new venture -- mountain biking camps for women in the red rock center of the fat tire universe, due to kick off next spring.

Besides being coached by the world's best woman mountain biker, what will participants get from Dunlap's camps?

"What I hope women will get is to learn in a noncompetitive environment," said Dunlap, adding that the "group dynamics are always different when there are men and women" on the mountain biking course.

"I think the camps will foster an atmosphere where women can learn to love the sport the way I do."

-- story by Kathryn Eastburn

photo by Sean Cayton

To learn more about Alison Dunlap's mountain biking camps for women, visit

www.adventurechix.com. To learn about Dunlap's career as a champion mountain bike racer, see

www.alisondunlap.com.

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