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August 9/04 7:54 am - NORBA #7: Short Track


Posted by Editoress on 08/9/04
 

NORBA #7 Snowmass Colorado
Courtesy Team Maxxis

The 7th round of the NORBA series landed in the resort community of Snowmass Colorado, just outside of Aspen. The oh-so typical Colorado summer weather graced us with sun, afternoon showers and warm temperatures.

Saturday morning cross country racing kicked off the weekend with a 3200-foot climb at a base elevation of 8300 feet. The altitude definitely played a part in the outcome of the event with many riders left unable to cope with the thin air and lack of oxygen. The course itself was nontraditional in the sense of new style racing, harkening back to the early days of the sport. The 12-mile loop was half climbing and half descending, almost all of it on single track. Sitting in second place overall in the series standings, Team Maxxis rider, Geoff Kabush needed a solid finish to jump into the hot seat as number 1. At the gun, Kabush jumped to the main group and settled in for the ascent to the top. Hanging with the stronger riders and watching the group dwindle, Kabush stayed patient, waiting to jump with any attacks. At the crucial time, Kabush stood up to accelerate, felt a weird click and hit the turf as his chain broke. As a true blue mountain biker, Geoff pulled out his tool kit and promptly repaired the chain, losing around 4 minutes in the process. The remaining half lap consisted of weeding his way through traffic, picking off riders at every opportunity. With only 1 lap to go, Kabush was in 12th place at around 2 1/2 minutes and chasing hard. The broken and repaired chain hindered his shifting and Kabush was forced to depend on his large chain ring for most of this final lap. Coming into the finishing arena, the first and second placed riders were sprinting for their individual places, both knowing that Kabush was charging hard and leaving every ounce of energy on the course. Ending up a very close 3rd place, Geoff Kabush became the hero of the race and the overall series leader.

Sunday afternoon Short Track racing pitted Geoff Kabush against the group, as he looked for more forward progress in the overall standings and a bit of revenge from his previous days finish. Literally from the gun, Kabush blasted to the front of the race, stringing out the pack and making his fellow competitors suck some dust and work to chase. Holding the lead for the first 10 minutes, Kabush easily dispensed with his fellow leaders with only a single rider able to hold his wheel. These two shared duties for the next 5 minutes until Kabush sensed some acceleration from the chasers and opened a gap that would last the remainder of the race. Coming across the line, Kabush doffed his hat and bowed to the crowd, taking not only the race victory but the overall lead for the series as well.

The NORBA Series wraps up at the end of August in Durango Colorado.

Courtesy USA Cycling

In the women's race, Dunlap launched her attack after only a few laps. Keeping the pace behind her were her Luna Chix teammates Shonny Vanlandingham (Durango, Colo.) and Katerina Hanusova (CZE), who broke off from the rest of the chasers. Kerry Barnholt (Boulder, Colo.), Gretchen Reeves (Boulder, Colo.), Dara Marks-Marino (Flagstaff, Ariz.) and Chrissy Redden dropped the other chasers and fought to bridge the gap. Missing from the lead group and chasers was Jimena Florit (ARG), who was slowly working her way up in the field.

Vanlandingham and Hanusova made contact with Dunlap and formed a strong trio of teammates working together in the front, with a huge gap on the rest of the racers. As the Luna Chix worked together, a determined Florit powered her way into fourth position and rode by herself, intent on catching the Luna Chix.

With two laps to go in the race, the three leaders spread out with Dunlap taking off in the front. Florit attacked and took over Hanusova's third place position. She then moved past Vanlandingham and kept her eye on Dunlap. As the women came through the last turn of the final lap, Florit was only about 10 seconds behind Dunlap, but there was not enough time left to claim the lead position.

Dunlap posted the win, with Florit taking second and Vanlandingham claiming third. Hanusova was fourth and Dara Marks-Marino rolled across in fifth

Men

1. Geoff Kabush (Can) Maxxis
2. Todd Wells (USA) Hyundai-GT
3. Adam Craig (USA) Giant-Pearl Izumi
4. Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (USA) RLX-Polo Sport
5. Carl Decker (USA) Giant-Pearl Izumi

Overall standings
1. Kabush, 881pts
2. Chris Sheppard (Can) Haro-adidas, 778

3. Brown, 764
4. Trent Lowe (Aus), Yeti, 716
5. Andreas Hestler (Can) Rocky Mountain Business Objects, 703

Women

1. Alison Dunlap (USA) Luna Women's MTB
2. Jimena Florit (Arg) RLX Ralph Lauren
3. Shonny Vanlandingham (USA) Luna Women's MTB
4. Katerina Hanusova (Cze) Luna Women's MTB
5. Dara Marks-Marino (USA) Ford Cycling

Overall standings

1. Dunlap, 900pts
2. Vanlandingham, 813
3. Kerry Barnholt, (USA) Subaru-Gary Fisher, 806
4. Hanusova, 800
5. Florit, 797

 


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