The 2000 summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia was only the second appearance of mountain biking at the Games. Hardtails still reigned supreme, and even front suspension was occasionally skipped by riders looking for the lightest bikes possible. Travis Brown, the 1999 NORBA National XC champion, went against the mold and brought a completely new prototype full suspension bike from Trek, the Fuel. Trek didn't want to miss a chance to show the Fuel's design to the world, so what would typically have been a raw frame had custom paint and graphics applied in order to make it look more production-ready than it actually was.
Special thanks to The Pros Closet
for the information and original photography.