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June 18/02 9:43 am - NORBA #2 Short Track: Gears Racing Report

Posted by Editoress on 06/18/02

NORBA #2 Alpine Valley Resort in W. Troy, Wisconsin
Report courtesy Mathieu Toulouse - Gears Racing

For a bike racer, there are two possible reactions in the face of a competitor's domination. One can in awe of such talent, or one can be utterly demoralized. Well, Roland Green once again proved that he is the dominating force right now in mountain biking by sweeping both events at the second round of the Norba series. Hhmmm...

Saturday's STXC was a "long course" short track, meaning that the loop was a bit longer than what we've had at the last couple of events. That meant that "20 minutes of racing plus 3 laps" was going to be a few more minutes of suffering than usual. I was starting on the second row and had a decent start. Things broke apart pretty quick, partially aided by a crash on the first lap as we went over a wooden covered bridge. Ah the feeling of relief when you hear the metal clattering of bikes smashing the ground BEHIND you.

Made the front group. Ryder, Seamus, Geoff, Bonilla, Horgan-Kobelski and myself. I then looked back and saw Roland on my wheel. I would have asked him if he wanted to go ahead of me, if it hadn't been for the fact that I couldn't talk from the effort. Looks like he didn't need my help anyway as I watched him come around us and attack right off the front. Ryder was in second place at that point and there was a slight hesitation in the pack. Rolly was gone. We rolled around after that, not closing the gap that grew to 40 seconds or so.

So with Paul Rowney and Sheppard coming back on our group it pretty much came to a sprint finish. Ryder, Seamus, Kabush, Rowney, Bonilla, Horgan-Kobelski, myself a quarter wheel ahead of Shep was the finishing order. I was happy with my 8th place, but I have some work to do on sprinting and positioning.

My Gears teammate Ricky Federau posted a solid 17th place in his second STXC ever. Not bad at all.

The womens race was won by Alison Dunlap. Fellow Sanadians Sydor and Redden came in 3rd and 4th, in a sprint finish. My teammates Kiara Bisaro and Trish Sinclair placed 16th and 18th.

But the question remains: what to think of Roland's domination ? In the end I am both impressed and inspired. I have seen how hard the guy works to be this strong and to see him succeed only tells me I need to work harder myself.

Mathieu Toulouse
Gears Racing Team


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