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NORBA National Championships - CN

Mammoth Mountain, California, USA , September 23-26, 2004

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Race 7 - Sunday, September 26: Downhill

Streb, Del Bosco post fastest times in Pro Downhill

Inaugural USA Cycling Mountain Bike National Championships in the books

By USA Cycling

The USA Cycling Mountain Bike National Championships are officially in the books, and it is now off-season for mountain bikers in the U.S. Pro downhill closed out the afternoon and the gravity podiums had a different look yet again as Marla Streb (Los Osos, Calif.) and Chris Del Bosco (Vail, Colo.) posted the fastest times in the pro downhill contest to become the 2004 national champions.

The 1.7 mile pro course started at 10,425 feet in elevation and dropped to 8,913 feet, with the famous tabletop coffin jumps highlighting the course for spectators.

Marla Streb took command of the downhill course this afternoon, and smoked her nearest threat by 17 seconds. After posting a 6:03.36, the Luna Chix rider waited for the final three women to ride down the homestretch. Not one of them however could best her descent. Lisa Sher (Capistrano Beach, Calif.) posted the second fastest time to take the silver medal, while Melissa Buhl (Chandler, Ariz.) earned the bronze. Streb's teammate and 2004 NORBA National downhill Series winner Kathy Pruitt (Lake Almanor, Calif.) rode the course in the fourth fastest time, while Danni Connolly (Truckee, Calif.) took fifth place.

In the men's contest, as the strongest riders began their descents, David Klassenvano (Riverside, Calif.) held on to the time to beat for a while. Then, Chris Del Bosco emerged from the woods with a solid sprint down the finishing shoot to post a 5:13. Taking over the hot seat by 10 seconds, it was obvious as he powered down the homestretch that he had given this ride 100%.

Del Bosco, who was the top American at the NORBA finals in Durango last month, had to await the arrival of 12 other riders before he could begin his celebration. Duncan Riffle (Santa Barbara, Calif.) came closest to matching Del Bosco's time with a 5:16, but ended up with the silver medal. Eric Carter (Temecula, Calif.) had some trouble at the top of the mountain, taking him out of contention. Rich Houseman (Pasadena, Calif.) became the only man left that could take the victory away from Del Bosco, but with a 5:17 - he wasn't fast enough.


1 Chris Del Bosco
2 Duncan Riffle
3 Henry O'Donnell
4 Rich Houseman
5 Curtis Keene
1 Marla Streb
2 Lisa Sher
3 Melissa Buhl
4 Kathy Pruitt
5 Danni Connolly

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