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NORBA US national series #7 - NE
Snowshoe, WV, USA, August 18-21, 2005
Race 4 - August 20: Dual slalom
Aussies continue to dominate gravity events
By Steve Medcroft in Snowshoe
Aussies Jared Graves (Yeti) and Katrina Miller (Jamis Bicycles) stood on the NORBA podium for the second time each this weekend by winning brisk Saturday-night Dual Slalom races. Graves came second in Friday's men's Mountain Cross competition. Miller won the women's MX.
Miller's opponent in the final Dual-Slalom bracket, Melissa Buhl (KHS Bicycles) won the first of two final runs but slid out on a course growing slick with dew as the sun set to lose the final to Miller.
In the men's race, Jared Graves beat his own Yeti teammate (Rich Houseman) in the semi finals to advance to the final race. "I felt solid and had good runs but I really just tried to keep my nerves under control because I knew I could do well today."
But the story of the night belonged to Christopher Herndon (Specialized/Cane Creek) who qualified with only the sixteenth fastest time before holding off challengers all through the early brackets to make it into the finale against Graves.
"Chris was riding really strong," Graves said after the finish. "He's been creeping up towards the finals in every race." Graves said he focused on being aggressive in the first run to gain the advantage of being able to sit back and let Herndon push himself to have to make up time in the second run.
Herndon, who lives in Etowah, North Carolina and has competed in every NORBA in 2005 except Brian Head, had never placed better than a tie for ninth in any NORBA event before this weekend. "Last night, I came in fifth in Four Cross because two people crashed so I didn't feel too good about that podium," he said later Saturday evening.
So even though he lost in the finale to Graves, Herndon says he cherishes his Dual Slalom podium. "I really feel like I earned it today," he said.
Herndon was given a Champagne shower on the podium to celebrate his result.
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by Steve Medcroft/Cyclingnews.com
Men 1 Jared Graves (Aus) Yeti Cycles 2 Christopher Herndon (USA) Specialized/Cane Creek 3 Rich Houseman (USA) Yeti Racing 4 John Kirkcaldie (NZl) Team Maxxis 5 Mick Hannah (Aus) Haro Bicycles 6 David Klaassenvanoorscho (USA) Khs Bicycles 7 Luke Strom (Aus) Full Tilt/Citizen 8 Joe Haley (USA) Cane Creek 9 Jared Rando (Aus) Giant/Michelin 10 Andrew Neethling (RSA) Honda Turner 11 Brian Schmith (USA) Mongoose/Hyundai 12 Evan Turpen (USA) Specialized/Fox/Troy Lee Designes 13 Geritt Beytagh (USA) Team Morewood 14 Colin Bailey (USA) Maxxis Tires 15 Chris Van Dine (USA) Go-Ride.Com 16 Chuck Pitts (USA) Oakley 17 Aaron Peters (USA) Mongoose/Hyundai 18 Chris Heath (USA) E13/Smith/Maxxis/Foxshox 19 James Schwanke (USA) Kenda/Utopia/Sdg/Monster Energy/In 20 Tom Oakes (USA) Trailmasters 21 Steve Wentz (USA) Turner/Fox/Michelin/The Fix 22 Tommy Tokarczyk (USA) Jamis Bikes 23 Cole Bangert (USA) Fox Shox/Yeti/Hayes/Maxxis 24 Matt Fisher (USA) Full Tilt/Gt/Oakley/Gamut 25 Trevyn Newpher (USA) Snowshoe/Hopey Dampers 26 Jonathan Canfield (USA) Honda Turner 27 Coakley Jopling (USA) Magura/Monster Energy 28 Juan Ashworth (USA) Maxxis/Kovachi Wheels 29 Josh Misevcis (USA) Cannondale 30 Jason Soukup (USA) Azonic 31 Ross Milan (USA) Yeti 32 Jeff Evans (USA) Khs Women 1 Katrina Miller (Aus) Jamis Bicycles 2 Melissa Buhl (USA) Khs Bicycles 3 Tara Llanes (USA) Giant Pearl Izumi 4 Kathy Pruitt (USA) Luna Womens Mtb Tm 5 Joanna Petterson (RSA) Morewood Bikes 6 Leana Gerrard (USA) Cannondale Mtb Tm 7 April Lawyer (USA) Maxxis/Intense/Oakley