June 23/00 6:11 am - Mount Snow Men's XC Story
Posted by Editor on 06/23/00
Christoph Sauser (Volvo-Cannondale) may have won the men's cross-country in today's Chevy Truck NCS race at Mount Snow, Vermont, but the big winners could be Kirk Molday (Trek-Volkswagen), who finished second, and Tinker Juarez (Volvo-Cannondale), who took fifth. The two top Americans put themselves back into Olympic team contention with their stellar performances.
Sauser dropped the rest of the field within the first half lap of the men's 6 lap race, and was never seriously challenged from that point. "I reacted to the early attacks by Pavel (Tcherkassov, Gary Fisher-Saab), and nobody followed me. I just rode my own pace." Sauser's own pace was enough to put him as much as 2 minutes ahead of the constantly changing lineup of chasers, before Molday pulled him back to 1:15 at the end.
After the first lap it was Tcherkassov and Cadel Evans (Volvo-Cannondale), followed by Roland Green (Team GT). Then Juarez displaced Tcherkassov, and Molday slid past Green. Evans dropped out on the third lap with a broken chain, leaving Juarez in sole position of second. But, Molday was closing in, and would catch Tcherkassov on the 4th lap, and Juarez a lap later, to move into second with a lap to go. Juarez faded in the 5th lap, and dropped to 4th, and then to 5th at the end as Kiwi Kashi Leuchs (Volvo-Cannondale) powered by his team mate on the last lap.
"It was a crazy final lap", said Seamus McGrath. "Roland attacked, then Kashi went with him. I couldn't go with them, but gapped Gullickson on the climb, and then caught Rollie on the downhill, when he crashed, I think."
Molday won the Series' opener at Big Bear, before performing disasterously at the Worlds (dropping out). "I have only raced about 5 times this year, so I'm still not descending as well as I should. I started a little slow, but that doesn't worry me - I know that I've got to race the way I race, and not worry about others. This result gives me a lot of confidence for Mont Ste Anne next week."
- Sauser won on a full suspension Cannondale Jeykll, the first big FS win for Cannondale. On the other hand, women's winner Chrissy Redden (Gary Fisher-Saab), who has been riding a Sugar FS bike for much of the season chose not to for this race.
- Paola Pezzo (Gary Fisher-Saab) was in attendance, but not racing. Instead, she was wandering around in the crowd, wearing a one piece leopard skin outfit. Pezzo flew in last night for Saab sponsor obligations, including a photo shoot for New Yorker magazine. She will race the short track tomorrow ("for fun"), and then fly back to Italy. Her whole program is centered on the Olympics, and she will not be doing any of the World Cups that are coming up.