Posted by Editoress on 06/13/04
NORBA #4 Snowshoe Mountain, West Virginia
Courtesy Andy Lee USA Cycling
Dunlap and Bush Take Two
Both Riders Complete Showshoe Sweep, Schultz Ninth for U23 National Team
The folks at Snowshoe Mountain, W. Va. experienced a case of déja vu as yesterday's victors in the cross country event repeated their winning ways in today's short track race. Alison Dunlap (Colorado Springs, Colo.) and Canadian Olympic hopeful, Geoff Kabush each doubled their tally in the win column over the weekend sweeping both events. The win gave Dunlap an additional 20 UCI points towards her goal of making the U.S. Olympic team. Meanwhile, Kabush showed his form is improving before heading into an important two-week stretch that includes two World Cup events in Canada vital to his country's Olympic selection.
It almost looked as though Dunlap's Luna Chix team would again sweep the top three spots on the podium as they did yesterday, but Kerry Barnholt (Boulder, Colo.) rode an impressive race eventually finishing second in the sprint finish to Dunlap after threatening to take the win herself.
Nicknamed the "Hurricane of Pain" by race announcers, the short track race is a twenty minute all-out effort from start to finish. Early in the women's race, Jimena Florit (ARG) set the pace that resulted in a lead group of eight riders that included, Barnholt, Dunlap, Shonny Vanlandingham (Durango, Colo.) Katerina Hanusova (CZE), Kelli Emmett (Colorado Springs, Colo.), Dara Marks-Marino (Flagstaff, Ariz.), and Willow Koerber (Horseshoe, N.C.). As the eight riders neared the race's halfway mark, an attack by Vanlandingham shook things up a bit as Florit and Emmett were dropped from the lead group. Shortly afterwards, a mechanical for Marks-Marino forced her to abandon the race. Koerber was the next to fall off the pace leaving the Luna Chix trio and Barnholt to battle it out for the remainder of the race.
With two teammates in the mix, Dunlap had a huge tactical advantage and took her turn at an attack. The move resulted in Hanusova being eliminated from contention. Barnholt stayed with Dunlap and pushed the pace herself to discourage any more attacks from teammates Dunlap and Vanlandingham. With Hanusova threatening to regroup with the leaders, Barnholt kept the pace high which caused Vanlandingham to fade leaving Barnholt and Dunlap together for the final two laps. The aggression by Barnholt to shake the others loose cost her the win as a fresher Dunlap easily outsprinted her out of the last corner.
Barnholt's chance to win took a turn for the worse after Marks-Marino abandoned. The former teammates on the now defunct SoBe Headshok team would have worked together against the Luna Chix trio, but Barnholt's ability to place second under those circumstances was just fine with Barnholt. "I'm happy to get second to Alison," she said afterwards. "It was a very tactical race and not having anyone to work with in the break was difficult. I just went hard at the front and tried to keep it spread out at the end. Unfortunately, Dara had a mechanical; otherwise she was going to be my secret teammate up there."
Following the women's race, the men took the stage and took a little longer to formulate a decisive move. The brisk pace at the onset made it difficult for any breaks to become established as attrition was more so the culprit in determining the contenders on the day. Plenty off attacks and attempts to separate from the main bunch eventually resulted in a handful of riders gaining a slight advantage. Kabush, along with fellow Canadian Chris Sheppard, Travis Brown (Durango, Colo.) and Aussies Trent Lowe and Paul Rowney formed a solid lead group with about five minutes remaining in the race.
Behind the five leaders, what remained of the field was strung out indicating an extremely fast pace up front. With four laps to go, Kabush and Sheppard gave it some gas, and rode away from their three breakaway companions. An attack by Kabush with three laps to go proved to be the decisive move after Sheppard couldn't answer.
"This is definitely one of the tougher short track courses on the circuit," Kabush explained following his win. It's very demanding. I rode pretty conservatively the first half of the race and just tried to stay attentive. With five to go, I went hard to stretch things out a bit and Sheppard was the only one that could stay with me."
Race Notes Keeping the theme of déja vu alive, the U.S. National U23 Team again rode to a ninth place finish. After Nick Waite (Davis, W. Va.) rode to his top-ten finish in a career day in yesterday's cross country race, Sam Schultz (Missoula, Mont.) placed ninth in today's short track event. The team recently returned from a trip to Europe where they competed in several races on the road with the USPS espoir team. The riders are now reaping the benefits of the experience after a successful weekend. Next up: Round five of the NORBA National Mountain Bike Series next weekend in Mt. Snow, Vt.
In other action over the weekend, endurance specialist, Chris Etough (Ellicott City, Md.) and Melissa Thomas (Boulder, Colo.) captured wins in the marathon event. Their wins this weekend qualify them for an automatic nomination to the team that will represent the U.S. at the upcoming UCI Marathon World Championships in Bad Goisern, Austria July 9-11.
Finally, in the Super D Downhill event, Josh Misevcis (Catskill, N.Y.) and Allie Rau (Rochester, Mich.) took the respective wins in the men's and women's categories.
1. Geoff Kabush (Can)
2. Chris Sheppard (Can)
3. Paul Rowney (Aus)
4. Travis Brown (USA)
5. Trent Lowe (Aus)
1. Alison Dunlap (USA)
2. Kerry Barnholt (USA)
3. Shonny Vanlandingham (USA)
4. Katerina Hanusova (Cze)
5. Jimena Florit (Arg)
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