‘Cross nats in OBRA-dominated Oregon? Disc brakes becoming UCI legal? And a Rhino happy without mud? You certainly can’t believe everything you hear, and we usually don’t without confirmation. But we’re suckers for juicy ‘cross gossip and found three unconfirmed rumors we overheard last weekend in Portland that might be of particular interest to you. But of course, what do we know? Please make up your own mind before trusting our ‘cross news scoop.

’09 Nats in Oregon? At the final award ceremony at the USGP’s Portland Cup last weekend, Portland Cup (and Cross Crusade) promoter Brad Ross announced to the crowd that, “Next year the U.S. National Cyclocross Championships is sounding very much like it’s gonna potentially be in this state.” Needless to say, the crowd went wild, despite the disclaimer-filled language. Still, with a bid from Bend, OR submitted, does Ross have the inside scoop? Inquiries to USA Cycling about next year’s national championships were not immediately returned, but the chances of a Northwest nats is high, as another bid was submitted from eastern Washington.

UCI to legalize disc brakes? Two European-based industry insiders said that the UCI has already approved disc-brakes for next year and is just studying equipment safety to ensure forks and frames can handle the extra stress from the brakes. However, the UCI’s Christel Pichonnaz denies that this decision has been made, but did tell Cyclocross Magazine that they are currently considering reversing the modern brake ban. If it happens, will we see a disc-brake equipped racer cruise to a muddy win in Bend next year? We doubt it. But at least one major ‘cross bike manufacturer is bringing back disc-brake tabs.

Dugast Rhino - Dugast's Most Versatile Tire?  photo by CXM

Dugast Rhino - Dugast's most versatile tire?

Rhino – Dugast’s Best All Conditions Tire? While conventional wisdom and major cycling media (including CXM) label the Dugast Rhino as a specialized mud tire, a source from Europe told us that Dugast’s own tests have shown that the Rhino’s aggressive but nearly continuous center tread Rhino tread rolls faster than their “universal” Typhoon tire on hard surfaces. If true, this might make the Rhino the most versatile tire Dugast offers. Maybe BikeSnobNYC can rest easy and finally make the switch to tubies? (See our Issue 4 for BSNYC’s comments on tubulars). Dugast could not be reached for confirmation, but if you’re lucky enough be deciding between Typhoons and Rhinos for this weekend’s national championships, pick the animal over the storm.