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March 6/05 10:07 am - NORBA #1: Sydor takes Overall

Posted by Editoress on 03/6/05

NORBA National #1 Boerne and Comfort, Texas
Courtesy USA Cycling

Today was Adam Craig's day. Not only did he win his first ever NORBA National cross-country contest, but he also claimed the overall GC for the weekend. Geoff Kabush may have won the time trial and short track stages, but Craig's cross-country performance earned him the right to stand on the podium's top step. Alison Sydor continued her weekend command over the pro women by winning today's contest as well as the GC.

The final day of this weekend's event was under cloudy skies with morning rain that turned to drizzle by the afternoon. The cross-country race determined the winners of not only the stage race, but also the Iron Grind - which was a match-up between the brave souls that conquered Friday's marathon in addition to the stage race. A weekend of rain and racing made for a deteriorated course.

"The mud had consistencies that varied from peanut butter to chalk mixed with clay," Iron Grind winner Jeremiah Bishop described. "There was definitely some pudding as well."

The men lined up first for three muddy laps of 8.2 miles each and Geoff Kabush led the field out of the start area and up the first climb. As the men came into sight after completing their first lap, it was Kabush at the front, with Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski and Adam Craig chasing. Former Junior World Champion Trent Lowe rode 15 seconds behind making every attempt to catch the leaders. Kabush may have been the favorite to win today, but the way Craig was riding indicated that he would be a strong contender.

Lap two saw Craig leave JHK behind to make contact with Kabush, and the two were battling it out at the front going into the final lap. "I gained contact with Geoff and he didn't drop me," Craig explained after the race. "I race well in the mud. I grew up in Maine racing in this stuff."

By the time the men were expected to come in for the finish, the crowd knew that Craig could very well take the win. The New England native made his decisive move with about a mile and a half remaining in the final lap. Craig explained, "I just kind of rolled past Geoff at the top of a big climb and turned the power on and got a huge gap."

Trent Lowe, who had used lap two to move into third place, continued his efforts and made it past Kabush in the final lap to claim today's silver medal. Kabush hung onto third, and Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski and Liam Killeen (GBR) completed their weekend in fourth and fifth respectively.

The women's race saw the field spread out more quickly, with Sydor taking a commanding lead right away. The ladies came through for their second and final lap with Sue Haywood having a great day in second position, while Katerina Hanusova was sitting in third. Kiara Bisaro and Willow Koerber both took advantage of their experience in the mud and rolled through the start finish together in fourth and fifth positions. Hayood fought hard, but Sydor rides too well in the mud and was able to maintain her position until the race's end. Haywood remained in second, while Willow Koerber moved up into third and Kiara Bisaro moved to fourth. Katerina Hanusova claimed the podium's final spot.

Also awarded this afternoon as the weekend drew to a close was the Iron Grind award which went to the top riders who raced both the stage race and the marathon. Jeremiah Bishop and Gretchen Reeves deservingly took those honors. Bishop had a mechanical during the last lap of today's cross-country and he was passed by Karl Platt, who was the current second-place contestant in the Iron Grind. "I decided I could run it and still pull it off," the Virginia rider commented after receiving his Iron Grind award.

The 2005 Shimano NORBA National Mountain Bike Series continues in McDowell Mountain Park, just northeast of Phoneix, Ariz. March 17-20.

Pro Men XC
1. Adam Craig (USA) Giant Bikes
2. Trent Lowe (Aus) Subaru-Gary Fisher
3. Geoff Kabush (Can) Maxxis
4. Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (USA) Subaru-Gary Fisher
5. Liam Killeen (NZl) Specialized

Pro Women XC
1. Alison Sydor (Can) Rocky Mountain Business Objects
2. Sue Haywood (USA) Trek VW
3. Willow Koerber (USA) Subaru-Gary Fisher,
4. Kiara Bisaro (Can) Gears
5. Katerina Hanusova (Cze) Luna

Men GC
1. Adam Craig (USA) Giant Bikes
2. Trent Lowe (Aus) Subaru-Gary Fisher
3. Geoff Kabush (Can) Maxxis
4. Jeremy Horgan-Kobelskii (USA) Subaru-Gary Fisher
5. Liam Killeen (NZl) Specialized

Women GC
1. Alison Sydor (Can) Rocky Mountain Business Objects
2. Sue Haywood (USA) Trek VW
3. Willow Koerber (USA) Subaru-Gary Fisher
4. Kiara Bisaro (Can) Gears
5. Katerina Hanusova (Cze) Luna


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