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USA Cycling Mountain Bike National Championships - CN
USA, July 19-22, 2007
Race 14 - Sunday, July 22: Elite Men / Women Downhill Finals,
Bangert steps up, Pruitt finally finds stars and stripes
By Jackson Weber in West Dover, Vermont
The Mount Snow downhill course has had a storied past as one of the more dangerous runs in North America. This was largely due to the infamous rocky section that last year dislocated Greg Minaar's shoulder. Fortunately for riders this year officials chose to forgo the site of so many wrecks in favour of rider safety. Instead, riders were treated to a fast course dotted with sections of mud that were yet to dry up in the day's warm weather. However a section of rebar was discovered on the course, prompting officials to block the entire area off, forcing many riders to change their crucial lines only minutes before the start of the races.
In the men's race Cole Bangert (Morewood/Utopia/Freestyle) had the breakout performance of his career. Bangert had an early seed due to a flat in his qualifying run but scorched down the run in 3.55.93 - one of just two riders to post sub-four minute runs.
"I tried not to think about the track at all on top," explained an excited Bangert. "I just had to tell myself its like a practice run - just take it section by section and hit every section as hard as you can."
Bangert's result is the culmination of years worth a hard training, including time in Australia with downhill expert Mick Hannah. Behind Bangert, Luke Strobel (Maxxis) was the only rider to come close, the second last seeded rider posting a 3.57.81. Dual slalom winner Chris Herndon managed to get himself on the podium again, finishing third overall on the day.
The women's race saw a reversal of yesterday's dual slalom results. Kathy Pruitt (Jamis) edged out top seeded Melissa Buhl (KHS) for the biggest one day win of her career. Haunted from hard crashes in past national championships, Pruitt's victory was pure redemption.
Like Bangert, Pruitt was also seeded low after missing her original start time in the seeding heat. However she came back today with a slightly modified line that proved to be the fastest for the day.
Buhl narrowly missed out on the double, only conceding 1.72 seconds to her long time opponent and friend. "I had a good ride," said Buhl. "Kathy just went fast - I'm proud of her."
Behind Pruitt and Buhl, old age proved its worth as 42 year-olds Marla Streb (Luna) and Dawn Bourque (Rhino Bikes) took third and fourth respectively.
Elite men 1 Cole Bangert (USA) Morewood/Utopia/Freestyle 3.56 2 Luke Strobel (USA) Maxxis 0.02 3 Christopher Herndon (USA) Specialized/Canecreek 0.07 4 Tim Sharp (USA) Yeti/Fox 0.08 5 Geritt Beytagh (USA) Morewood 0.08 6 Cody Warren (USA) C-Dub Racing 0.08 7 Ryan Condrashoff (USA) Wtbsantacruzxfusion 0.10 8 Jason Memmelaar (USA) 0.14 9 Lars Tribus (USA) Iron Horse 0.14 10 Chris Heath (USA) Pedal The Peaks/Ironhorse/Smith 0.14 11 David Camp (USA) 0.15 12 Brad Benedict (USA) 0.15 13 Chris Van Dine (USA) Cannondale "The Cut" 0.21 14 Mike Haderer (USA) Foxshox/Yeti/Easton/Michelin 0.21 15 Scott Papola (USA) Fox Shox/Yeti/Easton 0.22 16 Chris Higgerson (USA) Cnybikes.Com/Smith/Michelin 0.22 17 Coakley Jopling (USA) Morewood/E13 0.25 18 James Stoddard (USA) Elevate Cycles 0.26 19 Heikki Hall (USA) E13/Ironhorse 0.28 20 Josh Misevcis (USA) Bear Naked/Cannondale 0.28 21 John Hauer (USA) X-Fusion/Specialized 0.28 22 Keith Mott (USA) Khs 0.29 23 Jesse Whitsell (USA) Ironhorse 0.31 24 Shawn Wilson (USA) Santa Cruz Syndicate 0.32 25 Zachary Griffith (USA) 0.33 26 Quinton Spaulding (USA) Khs Bicycles 0.34 27 Duncan Riffle (USA) Honda Iron Horse 0.35 28 Hank Cadle (USA) Amp'd Racing 0.37 29 Steve Darcy (USA) Go-Ride.Com/Michelin/Rock Worx 0.38 30 David Flynn (USA) Paulmitchell/Kenda 0.38 31 Chris Boice (USA) Fox Racing Shox/Orbitt Racing 0.41 32 Fred Bassett (USA) Fastfreddyracing 0.44 33 Scott Cooper (USA) Rotec Cycles 0.45 34 Josh Clark (USA) 9.8/Sinister/Titec 0.49 35 Tommy Tokarczyk (USA) Jamis Bikes/Shark Energy Drink 0.54 36 Phil Wheeler (USA) The Fix 0.55 37 Jason Simon (USA) Pedal The Peaks/Iron Horse 0.59 38 Dante Harmony (USA) Brodie/Cactus 1.22 39 Ben Moody (USA) Rhino Bike Works 5.06 40 Scott Fellers (USA) Supercede 5.11 Elite women 1 Kathy Pruitt (USA) Jamis 4.38 2 Melissa Buhl (USA) Khs Bicycles 0.02 3 Marla Streb (USA) Luna Womens Mtb Team 0.10 4 Dawn Bourque (USA) Rhino Bikes 0.16 5 Lisa Myklak (USA) Leelikesbikes.Com/Morewood Bikes 0.21 6 Amelia Colasurdo (USA) Bear Naked/Cannondale 0.32 7 Darian Harvey (USA) Durango Rough Riders/Specialized 0.32 8 Jackie Harmony (USA) Brodie/Bike & Bean 0.33 9 Caroline Jarolimek (USA) The Fix 0.46 10 Karen Eagan (USA) Vitaminwater 0.52 11 Alexis Wruble (USA) Vitamin Water 1.05 12 Hillary Elgert (USA) Reading Racing/City Bikes 1.10 13 Kathi Krause (USA) Arrow Racing 1.34 Semi-pro 1 Nick Vandine (USA) Go-Ride.Co 4.24 2 Kyle Hickey (USA) Bumrut 0.00 3 Leif Lorenzen (USA) 0.00 4 Adam Morse (USA) Sinister/F 0.05 5 Sam Benedict (USA) Art's Cycl 0.05 6 Ken Walter (USA) Maxxismons 0.11 7 Bj Treglia (USA) Ninepointeight 0.14 8 Tim White (USA) Michelin 0.17 9 Jeff Thornton (USA) Nhsafetyan 0.17 10 Conor Rowan (USA) 0.18 11 Brian Price (USA) 9.8Germant 0.18 12 Peter Fougere (USA) Landrys/Vi 0.22 13 Oliver Levick (USA) Drummer Ra 0.23 14 Brian Piper (USA) E13/Ironho 0.25 15 Ryan Cornilsen (USA) Swd/X-Fusi 0.26 16 Willem Cooper (USA) Voncooper 0.26 17 Paul Adams (USA) Fast Fredd 0.27 18 Jack Williams (USA) Drummer Ra 0.29 19 Sean Richins (USA) Go-Ride/Bt 0.33 20 Samuel Sayen (USA) Ironhorse/ 0.34 21 David Haas (USA) Vitamin Wa 0.39 22 Mike Kulp (USA) Cycle Craf 0.39 23 Marc Sullivan (USA) Elevate Cy 1.05 24 Michael Mullen (USA) Elevate Cy 1.07 25 Stephen Cavalear (USA) Hmbp 1.13 26 Gavin Vaughan (USA) 2.10 27 Michael Thomas (USA) Sei/Michel 3.33 DNF Michael Carron (USA) DNF Nate Riffle (USA) Hondaironh DNF Nathan Wierwille (USA) Pedal The DNF Chris Scannell (USA) Crankfire. DNF Sebastian Boyington (USA) Bustedspok