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NORBA National Series #2 - NE
Park City, Utah, USA, July 6-9, 2006
Race 4 - July 8: Cross Country
JHK and Vanlandingham ride away with Deer Valley cross country
By Steve Medcroft
Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Subaru/Gary Fisher) and Shonny Vanlandingham (Luna Chix Women's MTB Team) continue to dominate the US NORBA National Series. The pair won their third NORBA cross-country of the season each in Park City on Saturday.
JHK took his lead from the first lap, dropping 2005 series winner and Canadian National Champion Geoff Kabush (Team Maxxis) and Trek/VW's Jeremiah Bishop by over two minutes to solo home in just over two hours leaving the pair to sprint for second.
Vanlandingham had to work herself free from a hard charging Subaru/Gary Fisher duo of Heather Irmiger and Willow Koerber to escape with a slim 15-second margin for her own win.
Kabush and Bishop battle and JHK cruises away
Men were scheduled to complete four laps of the dusty seven-mile course. Each lap featured three separate 500-feet or more climbing sections. Because of the altitude and the relentless climbing, Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (JHK) says he felt the best tactical advantage would be to move to the front of the race early. "I wanted to get up the hill and into the singletrack first because I knew it was going to be a long, dusty race," he said by phone on Sunday. "I pushed right away and managed to actually stretch out a pretty good gap - about twenty seconds."
Behind him, Ryan Trebon (Kona/Les Gets) made a sprint to bridge and a group which included Kabush, Bishop and Ross Schnell (Trek/VW) pulled themselves together to chase after him. But the damage was already done. "By the time we caught Trebon," Bishop said, "JHK was gone."
"I knew it was going to be a long day out there by myself," JHK said about his early advantage, "but I figured I would make the most of it. Over the next lap and a half I and managed to stretch the gap out and I realized I was having a great day so I put my head down all the way to the finish."
Bishop and Kabush have been spending quite a bit of trail time together in NORBA's this season; battling head-to-head as recently as the Sugar Mountain cross country in North Carolina. The wild card in the chase group was Schnell. "Ross pushed the pace and was riding with serious intention," Bishop said. "Kabush and I were looking at each like 'man, this guy is killing us.' He even dropped us for a minute. It was a cool sign to see him ride so hard but he paid for it later."
The price Schnell paid was to lose contact with Bishop and Kabush, and ultimately fade to tenth by the finish. After that, and with JHK more than two minutes up the trail, the only question left for Kabush and Bishop was who would grab second. "Kabush and I battled the whole race," Bishop said. "He set down a hammering pace with two to go. I stuck with him and then came around on the last lap and got maybe ten seconds."
Bishop said he felt somewhat safe with that ten second gap and "popped out of the last turn and jumped up to speed," without a true sense of urgency. "Then I look over my shoulder and I see Kabush grabbing those big wide bars doing his full on sprint and we lunged for the line."
Kabush nipped Bishop by less than a tire's width.
Vanlandingham puts in a tough day at the office
After every other competition had been run on the cross-country course, Shonny Vanlandingham knew that dust and trail damage would be a disadvantage to riders stuck in traffic. "The course was pretty torn up," Vanlandingham said on Sunday. "There were huge ruts and braking bumps and it was really dry. All the corners were blown out. Which made it a technical race - you had to get used to your wheels sliding around you."
Like JHK, Vanlandingham looked for an early advantage and by being aggressive up the first climb. "I went into the singletrack behind Alison Sydor," she says. "I was able to pass her on the next climb and I had the lead."Unlike JHK though, she wasn't so easily able to shake her competition. "Heather (Irmiger) caught back on and we ride together a little bit."
"On the next climb," Irmiger said, "I really felt like I could win because I was doing the whole bumping-into-Shonny's-tire thing."
Irmiger and Vanlandingham traded the lead. "We stayed together a lot that second lap," Irmiger said. "I was descending pretty well and she was climbing well." Vanlandingham escaped on the third and final lap. "I started to feel my effort form the first lap," Irmiger said. "Shonny had better legs at that point."
Vanlandingham maintained a fifteen second gap through the last lap and finished safely ahead. Subaru/Gary Fisher rider Willow Koerber rode a strong third lap to pressure Irmiger from behind and pull within 30 seconds of Vanlandingham and take third on the day.
Looking forward to Nationals
With US cross-country Nationals just one week away (July 14, Sonoma, CA), the Deer Valley podium may offer us a prediction of what the Championship race might look like. But a sea-level course is such a different challenge from a ski resort venue like Deer Valley and nothing is assured.
JHK is optimistic that the differences won't affect him though. "The last time I raced in Sonoma was a couple of years ago when it was a NORBA and I won so I think it's a course that I can win on again," he said.
The defending National Champion's wife and teammate picked up on up his confidence. "Jeremy was always pigeon-holed as an altitude racer," said Irmiger, who has also been considered primarily a altitude racer herself. "He won Sonoma by three minutes so I'm pretty excited for this week and even though I've not always been strong at sea level, I know that the power work I've done this year means I can do well there too."
Vanlandingham says that even though she has a home base in Durango, Colorado, she feels like a true sea-level racer and isn't worried too much about the advantage the thick air may offer some racers. Vanlandingham is looking for redemption after her performance in the 2005 Championships where, after soloing for the last fifteen minutes of the race, the 2004 and 2005 NORBA National Series champion flatted on the final lap and was passed in the finishing straight by World Cup racer Mary McConneloug.
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by Susan Candee
Pro Men 1 Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (USA) Subaru-Gary Fisher 2.10.53 2 Geoff Kabush (Can) Team Maxxis 2.35 3 Jeremiah Bishop (USA) Trek/VW 2.36 4 Adam Craig (USA) Giant 4.34 5 Ryan Trebon (USA) Kona/Les Gets 4.45 6 Max Plaxton (Can) Rocky Mtn Business Objects 5.45 7 Ricky Federau (Can) Teamrace.Com 6.53 8 Jay Henry (USA) 3D/Hillenbrand Racing 7.44 9 Clinton Avery (Nzl) New Zealand Natl Team 8.16 10 Ross Schnell (USA) Trek/VW 8.33 11 Jeff Hall (USA) Salsa Cycles 9.06 12 Brent Miller (Aus) Santa Cruz/Fox Shox 9.54 13 Sam Schultz (USA) U23 National Team 10.00 14 Jeff Schalk (USA) Trek Vw- East 10.12 15 Brian Smith (USA) Trek/VW 10.17 16 Eric Jones (USA) Raleigh Facotry 10.42 17 Kouhei Yamamoto (Jpn) I-Nac 11.15 18 Nick Martin (USA) Trek/VW 11.28 19 Mathieu Toulouse (Can) Team Maxxis 12.20 20 Alan Obye (USA) Sram 12.46 21 Barry Wicks (USA) Kona/Les Gets 12.51 22 Kris Sneddon (Can) Kona/Lesgets 14.15 23 Thomas Spannring (Aut) Cole Sport 14.16 24 Sam Jurekovic (USA) U23 National Team 14.39 25 Erik Tonkin (USA) Kona/Team S And M 15.35 26 Andy Schultz (USA) Bear Naked/Cannondale 16.02 27 Charles Pendry (USA) Inland - Btd 16.05 28 Evan Plews (USA) Santiam Bicycles 16.25 29 Cody Peterson (USA) 3D Racing/Sram/Lfp&Co 17.09 30 Christian Favata (USA) Overlookmtb/Hutchinson/Spy 17.12 31 Keith Hickerson (USA) Tamarack 17.56 32 Cale Redpath (USA) 3D Racing 18.41 33 Chris Jung (USA) Waltworks/Fuentes Design 18.55 34 Michael Janelle (USA) Tokyo Joes/Go Lite 19.11 35 Dana Weber (USA) Jax Bicycle Center 19.31 36 Leonardo Sandoval (USA) Bicycle John's/Kenda/Mgtec 19.33 37 Aren Timmel (USA) Soul Craft 20.21 38 Patrick Bush (USA) Clif Bar 20.22 39 Kevin Day (USA) Bikers Edge 20.26 40 Colin Cares (USA) U23 National Team 20.35 41 Shinobu Noguchi (Jpn) Trek Japan 21.34 42 Mitchell Peterson (USA) Devo 21.34 43 Brandon Draugelis (USA) Bear Naked/Cannondale 21.54 44 Jimi Mortenson (USA) 3D Racing 22.09 45 Miles Venzara (USA) Team Health FX 22.22 46 Spencer Paxson (USA) Devo 22.30 47 Lance Runyan (USA) Titus Cycles 22.32 48 Travis Woodruff (USA) Litespeed/PCW 22.59 49 Brent Winebarger (USA) Health FX/CWX 22.59 50 Eric Ransom (USA) Tamarack Resort/Intense 24.21 51 Ryan Lynch (USA) James Frames/Ciber 24.42 52 Blake Zumbrunnen (USA) Revolution/Crank Bros 24.43 53 Nat Ross (USA) Subaru-Gary Fisher 25.53 54 Luke Pennington (USA) S And M 26.07 55 Shannon Boffeli (USA) Revolution Mtn Sports/Crank Bros 26.15 56 Lars-Erik Johnson (USA) Sun Valley Road And Dirt 26.49 57 Stephen Iles (USA) Comotion Sports 27.17 58 Christian Ball (USA) Independent Fabrications 29.44 59 Kevin Bradford-Parish (USA) Bicycle Butler/Rocky 30.11 60 Kamden Reedy (USA) Titus Cycles 33.04 61 Austin Carroll (USA) Team Devo 35.28 62 Paul Hanson (USA) 35.50 63 Ryan Artale (USA) Maverick/Full Cycle 36.24 64 Charles Jenkins (USA) Cytomax/KHS 39.19 65 Lucas Livermon (USA) Cycling Spoken Here 41.39 66 Nicholas Stevens (GBr) Fuentes Design/Waltworks 45.00 67 Matt Freeman (USA) Team Redlands/Trek 46.31 Lapped Raita Suzuki (Jpn) Bridgestone Anchor Lapped Keiitchi Tsujiura (Jpn) Bridgestone Anchor DNF Todd Wells (USA) Gt Bikes DNF Brig Brandt (USA) Bend Elite DNF Jason Sager (USA) Hotel San Jose/Cannondale DNF Bart Gillespie (USA) Raliegh Factory Team DNF Mike West (USA) Maverick DNF Rick Wetherald (USA) Tamarack Resort DNF Steve Kinney (USA) Steven K Sports DNF Tim Olson (USA) Trek/VW DNF Matt Kelly (USA) Subaru-Gary Fisher DNF Michael Mccalla (USA) Spinner/Walsworks DNF Adam Snyder (USA) Balance Bar/Devo DNF Walker Ferguson (USA) Scott/Spinner DNF Daniel Corum (USA) Inland/Btd DNF Chanoch Redlich (Isr) Trek/Sram/Rudy DNF Ethan Johnson (USA) Maverick DNF Greg Lewis (USA) Healthfx/Cwc DNS Waylon Smith (GBr) Khs DNS Ariel Lindsley (USA) Maverick DNS Gordon Yanota (USA) Ellsworth Bicycles Pro Women 1 Shonny Vanlandingham (USA) Luna Womens Mtb Team 1.55.08 2 Heather Irmiger (USA) Subaru-Gary Fisher 0.16 3 Willow Koerber (USA) Subaru-Gary Fisher 0.45 4 Jennifer Smith (NZl) Trek/VW 2.38 5 Georgia Gould (USA) Luna Womens Mtb 2.59 6 Jimena Florit (Arg) Luna Womens Mtb 4.08 7 Rosara Joseph (USA) Jazz Apple Cycling Tm 4.29 8 Katerina Nash (Cze) Luna Womens Mtb Team 6.06 9 Kathy Sherwin (USA) Ford Cycling 6.14 10 Dara Marks-Marino (USA) Titus/Kenda 7.51 11 Kristen Danielson (USA) Velo Bella/Kona 9.00 12 Wendy Simms (Can) Velo Bella/Kona 9.48 13 Zephanie Blasi (USA) Kenda/Dtswiss/Gu 10.28 14 Melissa Thomas (USA) Rockymounts 10.52 15 Susan Haywood (USA) Trek/VW 11.16 16 Kelli Emmett (USA) Ford Cycling 12.25 17 Carissa Wilkes (USA) Jazz Apple Cycling 12.36 18 Jamie Whitmore (USA) Felt Racing 13.24 19 Nina Baum (USA) Bear Naked/Cannondale 14.14 20 Shannon Gibson (USA) Crazy Cat/Yetigrassroots 15.21 21 Jenna Zander (USA) Bear Naked/Cannondale 15.22 22 Jennifer Wilson (USA) Titus Grassroots 15.44 23 Sara Bresnick-Zocchi (USA) Ford Cycling 17.23 24 Alice Pennington (USA) Desalvo 17.56 25 Heather Svahn (USA) Content Works 19.03 26 Melanie Meyers (USA) Ford Cycling 19.37 27 Carolyn Popovic (USA) Mtbikechicks.Com/Cannondale 20.30 28 Stacey Scanlan (USA) Tamarack 20.31 29 Sue Abbene (USA) Raleigh Facotry 21.15 30 Nina Mento (USA) Ellsworth/Hammer 21.34 31 Sarah Barber (USA) Tamarack 22.19 32 Laura Anderson (USA) 22.55 33 Theresa Richardson (USA) Bear Naked/Cannondale 23.09 34 Michelle Hyland (USA) Jazz Apple Cycling Tm 23.48 35 Brenda Clapp (NZl) 25.48 36 Kristina Andrus (USA) Dean Bikes 27.03 37 Kathleen Weber (USA) 28.00 38 Christine Misseghers (Can) Mountain Bike City 28.43 39 Noel Weddle (USA) Velo Bella/Kona 28.53 40 Kristi Lewis (USA) Orbea 29.09 41 Susie Fiore (USA) Colavita 29.12 42 Jennifer Hanks (USA) Revolution Mtn Sports 29.13 43 Chrissy Bono (USA) Bicycle Johns Serious Cycling 29.15 44 Heather Baumgartner (USA) Tm Adventure Cycling Aurora Co 29.53 45 Christina Smith (USA) Orthopedic Store.Com 29.58 46 Becca Blay (USA) Bear Naked/Cannondale 30.19 47 Shannon Holden (USA) Velo Bella/Kona 30.28 48 Lauren Koedyk (USA) Jazz Apple Cycling Tm 30.52 49 Christie Pleiss (USA) Tm K&N Performance 30.56 50 D.J. Morisette (USA) Ellsworth/Copper Chase Condos 31.02 51 Caitlyn Tuel (USA) Trek/VW 31.22 52 Kim Passafiume (USA) Velo Bella/ Kona 32.01 53 Paula Burks (USA) Vantaggio/ Specialized 32.14 54 Krista Park (USA) Colavita/Addictive Cycles 32.24 55 Jennifer Tilley (USA) Kona/Velo Bella 32.46 56 Judy Freeman (USA) Bear Naked/Cannondale 35.40 57 Meggan Flaherty (USA) Bicylce Johns/Serious Cycling 35.44 58 Kimberly Flynn (USA) Vantaggio/Specialized 39.31 59 Rebecca Gross (USA) Armed Forces 43.29 60 Sonya Looney (USA) Titus 46.48 DNF Alexandra Robinette (USA) Team Hotel San Jose DNF Alison Sydor (Can) Rocky Mtn Business Objects DNF Chloe Forsman (USA) Tokyo Joes/X-Fusion DNF Sabra Davison (USA) Maxxis/Devo DNF Hilary Wright (USA) Devo DNF Qbigqil Hippley (USA) Maverick DNF Lynn Stott (USA) Tamarack