Posted by Editoress on 07/26/03
NORBA Sandpoint, Idaho
Jonnier, Kovarik Shine in Intense Competition
Teammates Capture Mountain Cross Event
Intense-Fox teammates, Chris Kovarik (AUS) and Sabrina Jonnier (FRA) won the Mountain Cross event at round four of the NORBA National Championship Mountain Bike Series in Sandpoint, Idaho. Kovarik, who grabbed the top seed in yesterday's qualifying round, dominated today's event consistently using flawless starts to convincingly win each of his heats, while Jonnier capitalized on an early run crash by Katrina Miller (AUS; Jamis) and Fionn Griffiths (GBR; Foes-Azonic) on her way to the win.
In the men's event, Kovarik was up against Greg Minnaar (RSA; Haro-Lee Dungarees), Eric Carter (Temecula, CA; Mongoose-Hyundai), and Mike King (San Diego, CA; Haro-Lee Dungarees). As the gate went down, the race was over as quickly as it started. Kovarik took an early lead at the gun and held off his chasing competitors to the finish. Carter, who has already wrapped up the overall World Cup title, cruised in for a close second ahead of teammates King and Minnaar.
"I had a really good gate start", Kovarik described, "one of my best ever. From there I just gave it 100% and held it to the first corner."
In the women's event, Jonnier bested Miller, Griffiths, and Melissa Buhl (Chandler, AZ; KHS) in the final round for the victory. Approaching the first section of jumps, Miller went down, disrupting the rhythm while Griffiths also crashed and lost her position. Jonnier emerged from the mishap in the best position and easily held off the others for her win.
"It was a good race, but I had a bad qualifier yesterday and therefore had a bad gate position today. I was lucky not to have crashed in the final", Jonnier explained after her win.
Tomorrow is the final day of round four of the NORBA NCMBS at Schweitzer Mountain Resort where the action continues with the short track cross country event and the downhill competition.
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