The first couple of mountain biking set their sights on a Beijing honeymoon
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The last time Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski competed in the Olympics, as one of just two Americans in the men’s mountain-biking field in Athens, his wife, Heather Irmiger, cheered him on from the sidelines. But if he makes the cut for 2008, Irmiger could be marching alongside him in the opening ceremonies. The SubaruGary Fisher teammates, who wed in October 2005, are vying to become the first married couple to compete in mountain biking at the same Olympics. “It’s exciting to have this chance,” says Horgan-Kobelski, 28. “And with the season we both just had, it’s a very real possibility.” Irmiger, 27, has held up her end of the bargain by quitting her job as a physiology researcher in 2005 to concentrate on racing. She quickly established herself as one of the top women on the national circuit and finished 2006 ranked second in the country. But the Olympics are no sure thing. They’ll have to stay consistent and injury-free in 2007 just to make the short list, then turn in a superlative first half of 2008 to gain final selection. Of course, having each other there for the 220 days a year they’re on the road makes life as traveling pros a bit easier—except when it doesn’t. “We’ve learned a lot,” says Horgan-Kobelski. “Like, on your third 25-hour training week in a row, you can get pretty grumpy. It’s not the time to pick a fight.”
Horgan-Kobelski & IrmigerPARTNERS IN GRIME: Irmiger and Horgan-Kobelski at home in Boulder, Colorado