Bike porn! Heather Irmiger wins mountain bike gold at 2011 Pan American Games

IRMIGERGOLD.jpg
Photo: John Ruger/USA Cycling
Heather Irmiger, this time with clothes on, winning gold at the 2011 Pan American Games.
We recently noticed an uptick in traffic to our December 2010 post about the 2011 Cyclepassion calendar, featuring Boulder's Heather Irmiger wearing considerably less than she'd typically wear on her way to winning back-to-back-to-back mountain-bike championships. Why the sudden surge of new interest? Irmiger won Women's Cross Country Mountain Bike gold in Tapalpa, Mexico on Saturday, opening day of the 2011 Guadalajara XVI Juegos Panamericanos.

Via HeatherIrmiger.com: "The town of Tapalpa was a wonderful setting for the Pan American Games mountain bike competition," says Irmiger. "I absolutely loved that the first bit of the course wound through the technical cobbled streets and shouting supporters. The course suited me well, with a longer climb that took us to the top of a forested plateau. It was on this climb that I took the lead on the first lap. I was very motivated to earn Team USA a medal and to win this event, which I had been looking forward to since receiving the honor of being selected to the team."

So naturally, after Irmiger's win, cycling fans spent the rest of the weekend Googling to see if they could find her naked.

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Cyclepassion.com
Heather Irmiger, Cyclepassion's Miss September 2011.
It used to be a crass reality that female action-sports stars like Irmiger had to back up their on-bike antics with the occasional near-nude calendar or magazine spread in order to stay marketable for their sponsors -- showing some ass and kicking ass, as it were -- and action sports bloggers felt minor pangs of feminist guilt while exploiting the nude news and lascivious links for pageviews. Then ESPN Magazine's annual Body Issue came along and leveled the playing field, proving that we love to see all of our favorite buff athletes in the buff, female or male.(Gretchen Bleiler, a snowboarder from Aspen, is one of four cover alternates for the 2011 Body Issue, wearing only a modestly-placed K2 snowboard, as is Hope Solo, goalie for the U.S. Soccer women's national team, but so are NBA Rookie of the Year and Los Angeles Clippers star Blake Griffin and 2011 National League batting champion José Reyes of the New York Mets). Now everybody has to get naked to stay marketable for their sponsors! And so... what the heck.

We tried to find some new nudes to post for the occasion of Irmiger's victory, but it turns out that she won't be returning for the Cyclepassion 2012 calendar, which is available now and features Liz Hatch, Veronica Adreasson, Katherine O'Shea, Maja Wloszczowska, Hanna Klein, Marion Rousse, and Pauline Ferrand-Prevot. Perhaps Irmiger's holding out for the 2012 Body Issue?

Here's a risqué shot of Maja Wloszczowska, Ms. March, instead.

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