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NORBA US national series #5 - E2

Schweitzer Resort, Idaho, USA, July 16-17, 2005

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Race 3 - July 16: Four-cross

Graves takes his first NORBA four-cross win

Llanes snatches win in last-second tangle

Schweitzer Mountain saw the second round of the season-long mountain cross series as gravity riders took to a vastly improved - albeit wet - course from a year ago.

After pre-race favorite and series leader Jill Kintner (Seattle, Wash.) crashed out in Friday's qualifying session, the women's race was wide open as several competitors looked to infringe upon her absence.

The top-four seeds from Friday's qualifying round all made it through to the final four to set up a shoulder-to-shoulder final run that would be decided in the final corner. Top-seeded Melissa Buhl (Chandler, Ariz.), former world champion Katrina Miller (AUS), current U.S. national champion Tara Llanes (Los Alamitos, Calif.) and current Canadian national champion Michelle Dumaresq made for a star-studded finale that would be decided by a final-corner crash.

Miller led out of the gate and throughout the entire race, but as the finish line drew nearer, Llanes made her move and the two tangled in the last corner. Miller went down as Llanes held on for the win ahead of Buhl and Dumaresq.

With two second-place finishes to her credit, Buhl now holds the series lead in the women's mountain cross standings after two rounds.

In the men's mountain cross final, 19-year-old Cody Warren (Alpine, Calif.) looked to hold on to his series lead amongst a deep field of gravity riders. The fourth-seeded Warren made it through to the finals along with reigning world champion and sixth-seeded Eric Carter (Temecula, Calif.), second-seeded Jared Graves (AUS) and the surprisingly 17th-seeded Greg Minnaar (RSA).

Graves led from start to finish to claim the win, and a late race move by Warren that ended in a crash relegated him to fourth.

Graves' victory, along with his third place finish in round one, puts him just ahead of Warren in the overall standings after two rounds.

Results

Women
 
1 Tara Llanes (USA) Giant Pearl Izumi                           
2 Melissa Buhl (USA) Khs Bicycles                               
3 Michelle Dumaresq (Can) Santa Cruz/Nsmb.Com                   
4 Katrina Miller (Aus) Jamis Bicycles                           
5 Kathy Pruitt (USA) Luna Womens Mtb Tm                         
6 Leana Gerrard (USA) Cannondale Mtb Tm                         
7 Joanna Petterson (RSA) Morewood Bikes                         
8 Katie Holden (USA) Turner/Sombrio/Smith                       
 
Pro Men
 
1 Jared Graves (Aus) Yeti Cycles                                
2 Eric Carter (USA)                                             
3 Greg Minnaar (RSA) G-Cross Honda                              
4 Cody Warren (USA) Haro-Adidas                                 
5 Brian Schmith (USA)                                           
6 Mick Hannah (Aus) Haro-Adidas                                 
7 Kyle Strait (USA)                                             
8 Sean McClendon (USA) Aventcycles/Bombshell/Smith              
9 Rich Houseman (USA) Yeti Racing                               
10 Christopher Herndon (USA) Specialized/Cane Creek             
11 Luke Strom (Aus) Full Tilt/Citizen                           
12 Geritt Beytagh (USA) Team Morewood                           
13 John Kirkcaldie (NZl) Team Maxxis N                          
14 Dave Ziegman (USA) Big Crank Racing                          
15 Duncan Riffle (USA) Yeti Racing                              
16 Tommy Tokarczyk (USA) Jamis Bikes                            
17 Bryn Atkinson (Aus) Gt/Hyundai                               
18 Ross Milan (USA) Yeti                                        
19 Garrick Anderson (USA) Fox/Maxxis/Bombshell/Answer/Spy       
20 Darrell Young (USA) Arrow Racing                             
21 Andrew Neethling (RSA) West Honda Turner                     
22 Jeff Evans (USA) Khs                                         
23 Lars Sternberg (USA) Fluidride                               
24 Evan Turpen (USA) Specialized/Fox/Troy Lee Designes          
25 James Schwanke (USA) Kenda/Utopia/Sdg                        
26 Daniel Umland (USA)                                          
27 Des Curry (NZl) Odi Southridge                               
28 Steve Wentz (USA) Turner/Fox/Michelin/The Fix                
29 Cole Bangert (USA) Fox Shox/Yeti/Hayes/Maxxis                
30 Taylor Sage (USA) 2 Six Crue                                 
31 Matt Fisher (USA) Rpm/Yeti/Jansport                          
32 Chris Heath (USA) E13/Smith/Maxxis/Foxshox