Posted by Editor on 06/15/03
Pan Am Mountain Bike Championships - Colombia
Canadian women finished 1-2 in the cross-country, with Alison Sydor winning the gold and Kiara Bisaro the silver. The men's cross-country is on today.
Norba National Downhill #2 - Snowshoe, West Virginia
Snowshoe, WV (June 14, 2003) Closing out the second round of the NORBA National Championship Mountain Bike Series in Snowshoe, WV this weekend was the downhill event, which featured top talent from around the world in a show of mental fortitude and old-fashioned courage.
Billed as one of the most challenging downhill courses on the NORBA circuit by many of the competitors, the run down Snowshoe Mountain featured the infamous "Wild Zone" a section of the course sporting an extreme drop off immediately followed by a series of technical turns through deep rock piles, one of the many difficult parts of the descent.
Chris Kovarik (AUS; Intense-Fox) blasted down the mountain with the day's fastest time in 4 minutes 32 seconds, four seconds ahead of his closest challenger, second place finisher Greg Minnaar, who also notched a podium in the Mountain Cross event yesterday. Rounding out the top five spots were John Waddel (AUS; ITS-Santa Cruz) at 4:39, Joel Panozzo (AUS; WTB Santa Cruz) at 4:42, and Julian Poomans (Pasadena, CA; Foes-Azonic) at 4:44.
The women's event saw a pair of Luna Chix riders visit the podium as Marla Streb (Los Osos, CA) and Kathy Pruitt (Lake Almonar, CA) took home first and fifth respectively. Streb clocked a winning time of 5:33, five seconds better than silver medallist, Lisa Sher (Chumba Wumba). Completing the podium was Fionn Griffiths (GBR; Foes-Azonic) in the third position with a time of 5:50, and Missy Giove (Pasadena, CA; Foes-Azonic) who claimed fourth at 5:52.
During the practice session early this morning, riders negotiated the slick and muddy trail in preparation for the final. When the rains came, however, it actually made the course a little more manageable as the water helped to wash of the rocks, allowing for a bit more traction and an easier final run.
I gave it 100% today, Kovarik remarked. "I didn't make any mistakes, I thought the rain was going to make it harder but the rain washed the mud off the roots and some of the rocks and it was a little more grippier" The previous two times I've raced here I didn't do well, This weekend I was determined to finish on a good note and everything came together for me, so I'm pretty happy with that."
Women's victor, Streb, agreed with Kovarik, "The rain helped. It cleaned the tires. My strategy was just to roll and not go into my threshold. It's like a survival thing just trying to get to the bottom", she said in reference to the course.
Update to Short Track - Geoff Kabush (Kona) was second to Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (RLX Polo Sport) and Seamus McGrath (Haro Lee Dungarees) fifth in the mens' race, with Melanie McQuaid (Ford Outfitters) fifth in the women's.
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