Canadian Cyclist


July 24/05 8:28 am - Snowmass NORBA: Team Maxxis report

Posted by Editoress on 07/24/05

NORBA #5 Snowmass, CO
Team Maxxis report

The resort village of Snowmass Colorado hosted the fifth round of the NORBA Series this past weekend. At an elevation of 8600 feet, Snowmass Village is perched high atop the mountains with a spectacular view of Aspen and the surrounding Rocky Mountains. Along with the stunning views comes the threat of afternoon thunderstorms.

Saturday racing started with a brand new discipline for Team Maxxis - the Super D. The event is a cross-country type of downhill - starting at a high point on the mountain and racing down to the finishing line. After his recent injury on the four-cross course, Team Maxxis rider John Kirkcaldie gave the Super D a good run. Starting in a time trial order, Kirkcaldie posted a hot time that would eventually land him on the podium in fifth place. Rolling his brand new Turner Flux equipped with Fox suspension, JK was immediately hooked on the discipline and plans to contest the remainder of the series.

Cross-county afternoon racing featured a brutally steep climb up to nearly 9500 feet of elevation. Team Maxxis teammates Geoff Kabush and Mathieu Toulouse rolled to the start positioned on the front line. Both riders took it a bit easy at the start, rolling towards the front of the pack but conserving valuable energy. Up the climb and towards the back half of the course, Kabush monitored the front end of the race as Toulouse sat comfortably in the top fifteen. Hitting the line with two laps remaining, Adam Craig (Giant) and Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Subaru-Gary Fisher) led the race after one lap with a slight gap to Kabush, Liam Killeen (Specialized), Roland Green and Ryan Trebon (Kona-Les Gets). Pushing hard at the front, Killeen opened a small gap at the front with only Kabush answering the attack. These two riders pushed the pace as first Green and then Craig fell back, as a hard charging Kashi Leuchs (Bianchi-Agos) made contact with the chasing group. Hitting the line with one lap remaining, the lead duo of Killeen and Kabush held a solid 30-second gap over Leuchs, Trebon and JHK. Midway up the climb, Kabush uncorked a vicious attack and immediately distanced himself from his fellow breakaway companion. Hitting the start-finish line, Kabush threw the bomb to the crowds and took his victory on the day. Leuchs passed a fading Killeen who had experienced a puncture to take second with Trebon, JHK and Killeen rounding out the podium. Maxxis rider Toulouse suffered at the altitude but maintained a solid ride finishing in 18th for the day. A mere 5 minutes after the French-Canadian crossed the line the skies opened and literally poured sheets of water and hail.

NORBA Sunday kicked off with damp conditions but sunny skies. Downhill racing saw a number of tires swaps with riders searching for the best rubber for the application. John Kirkcaldie held the trump card with his special new Prototype Minions fresh off the press. JK whipped up a great finishing time in his qualifying run placing him at sixth spot heading into the afternoon's final. The temperatures continued to increase throughout the morning, drying out the curse and creating impeccable traction. Coming down the pipe, JK sprinted towards the finishing line, taking second place time with only 6 riders left on course. David K (KHS) just pipped JK for fourth with Graves, Warren and Panozzo taking the reverse order for the final podium.

The afternoon's short track racing held the tangible threat of thunderstorms, with all riders rolling to the line with baited breathe and hoping for the best. The technical course made for exciting racing as Peter Wedge (Kona-Les Gets) immediately took the reins at the front of the race with Todd Wells (Hyundai-GT), Liam Killeen (Specialized), Geoff Kabush (Team Maxxis), Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Subaru-Gary Fisher) and Chris Sheppard (Haro) hot on his heals. This elite group led the race for the better part of ten minutes with Wedge and Wells trading leads. Sheppard finally fell off the pace as Wells cranked up the speed and JHK punctured his rear tire forcing his retirement. Kabush sat, waited and watched, biding his time for the ultimate winning attack. With 3 laps remaining, the Series Number 1 plate opened a huge gap to Killeen as the race completely blew itself apart. Teammate Toulouse clawed his way through the pack after a mediocre start, riding in no-mans land at 9th place. With a slight shuffling of the chase group and the connection of the second chase, podium spots were up for grabs with only Kabush and Killeen secure in their 1-2 punch. Kabush crossed the line well clear of his adversaries to claim his 2nd victory of the weekend with Killeen in 2nd, McGrath in third, Wedge in fourth and Wells in fifth. Toulouse pushed the pace all the way to the line finishing in a solid 9th place for the day.


Super D
1. Mike West - Maverick
2. Amon Pease - Intense
3. Barry Wicks - Kona-Les Gets
4. Chris Etough - Trek-VW
5. John Kirkcaldie - Team Maxxis

1. Geoff Kabush - Team Maxxis
2. Kashi Leuchs - Bianchi-Agos
3. Ryan Trebon - Kona-Les Gets
4. Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski - Subaru-Gary Fisher
5. Liam Killeen - Specialized
18. Mathieu Toulouse - Team Maxxis

1. Joel Panozzo - WTB/Fox
2. Cody Warren - Haro
3. Jared Graves - Yeti
4. David Klassenvanoorschott - KHS
5. John Kirkcaldie - Team Maxxis

1. Geoff Kabush - Team Maxxis
2. Liam Killeen - Specialized
3. Seamus McGrath - Haro
4. Peter Wedge - Kona-Les Gets

5. Todd Wells - Hyundai-GT


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