Home Cyclingnews TV   News  Tech   Features   Road   MTB   BMX   Cyclo-cross   Track    Photos    Fitness    Letters   Search   Forum  

Recently on Cyclingnews.com


Mt Hood Classic
Photo ©: Swift

 MTB index page for all MTB content

NORBA series finals - NE

Mt Snow, Vermont, USA, August 27-28, 2005

2004 results     Schedule     Preview 

Schedule

  • Race 1 - August 27: Super D
  • Race 2 - August 27: Cross-country
  • Race 3 - August 27: Dual Slalom
  • Race 4 - August 28: Downhill
  • Race 5 - August 28: Short Track cross-country

A friendly last hurrah before world's

By Steve Medcroft

There should be a reasonably light atmosphere at the NORBA National Series Finals in Mount Snow, Vermont this weekend (Aug 25-28). The end-of-season event quite often ends in free flowing industry, sponsor and racer parties and since many of the individual series are mathematically wrapped up (Jared Graves (Yeti), for example, leads the men's Downhill competition by one hundred points and only needs to make the final run to win the series) competition is usually a little friendlier.

But two things might temper the fun for some racers. First, the mountain bike World Championships is only one week away in Livigno, Italy. Mount Snow will be a last chance for many racers to put in a quality effort before hopping on a plane Monday morning for World Championship racing that starts as early as Wednesday.

The second group of people who might be a little tenser than others are the members of the nail-biters club. 2004 Cross-Country series winner Shonny Vanlandingham (Luna Chix) leads the women's Cross-Country series and has won five of the six races she's finished this year. But a DNF in the first race of the season means Vanlandingham has a zero in her collection of points. That zero will become her drop under series rules (lowest score is dropped and the finals cannot be the drop) which means she must finish to repeat as series winner.

Geoff Kabush (Team Maxxis) leads the men's Short-Track series by 127 points but his margin is slim in Cross-Country. His nemesis, Jeremy Horgan-Kobleski (Subaru - Gary Fisher), is only thirty-three points back after you factor in the one-race drop. Which means Kabush needs to be cautious and finish with JHK safely in sight. So although JHK has won every national championship available to a male American Cross-Country racer since his career started, he's fallen second to a Canadian in the NORBA series too many times to be comfortable (Ryder Hesjedal in 2003 and Kabush in 2004). There is nothing stopping him from being destructively aggressive and should make Saturday's Cross-Country interesting to watch.

The women's downhill competition is even closer. Kathy Pruitt (Luna Chix), who is looking to repeat her 2004 series win, sits only nineteen points ahead of Chilean Berdardita Pizarro Lazo.

Despite all the drama though, there will be plenty of celebration. Specifically, the career of former World Champion and U.S. National Champion Alison Dunlap (Luna Chix), who announced her retirement at the beginning of the season and says Mount Snow will be her last-ever NORBA, will be the subject of many a toast.

Check back all weekend for race reports, results and photos.