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NORBA National Series #3 - NE

Mount Snow, VT, USA, June 17-June 18, 2006

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Race 3 - June 17: Dual Slalom

Llanes and Houseman take Dual Slalom

By Wendy Booher in Mount Snow

Chris DelBosco
Photo ©: Mike Pinewski
(Click for larger image)

Just before the start of her second round in today’s dual slalom finals, Tara Llanes (Giant) suffered a an injury to her hand when it got smashed during the truck ride back uphill.

“The driver was about to take off for the second round and there’s a grate that joins up to the back of the cab of the truck and my hand was in it when he took off,” explained Llanes. “It just completely smashed my hand - like it’s throbbing right now, it just hurts.”

Llanes added that she was able to turn the pain into a little extra motivation to earn her the win despite some difficulty finding a rhythm earlier this week.

“The first day I was struggling a little bit because I think I was riding a bit too tense,” said Llanes. “I just remembered to loosen up and have fun because on real slick turns like that, with some rocks that have some mud on that you just kind of have to let the bike do what it wants to do and when I started to do that, I had more fun riding.”

Llanes took command early on by winning rounds by more than a bike-length. So far this season she has strung together successive third-place finishes but with today’s victory, she hopes to sustain a winning streak as she heads into next weekend’s World Cup event.

Rich Houseman (Yeti/Fox) showed off his specialty in dual slalom by sewing up a tidy win in the pro men’s dual slalom today. A ten-year veteran of dual slalom, Houseman exposed a little “old skool” appreciation for the discipline.

“They could put it on a grass hill and I would like it with no jumps because I think gated racing shows riders’ ability to ride,” said Houseman. “This course was definitely challenging, it had some flat sections, some fast sections and I just thought it was a good course.”

Houseman, who measures above six feet tall and tips the scale at 220 lbs., looks forward to tomorrow’s downhill event, which favors a guy like him.

“I’ve been here a bunch of years and the course is usually pretty much the same, lot of grass, lot of hidden rocks, a lot of holes. It tears up a lot of rims but it’s a good course for me because there’s not a lot of pedaling, it’s a lot of coasting – I weigh 220 lbs. so I coast pretty fast.”


For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by Mike Pinewski


Pro Men:
1. Rich Houseman (Yeti/Fox)
2. Andrew Neethling (Mongoose) 
3. Amiel Cavalier (Giant/Sram/Rockshox/Smith) 
4. Jared Rando (Giant/Michelin
Pro Women: 

1. Tara Llanes (Giant)
2. Melissa Buhl (KHS Bicycles)
3. Lisa Myklak (Morewood Bikes USA)
4. Kathy Pruitt (Jamis)