June 20, 2005 (Park City, UT) – Shonny Vanlandingham (Durango Colo.) rode to her second win in as many days and Todd Wells (Durango, Colo.) posted one of the biggest wins of his career Sunday as the third round of the Shimano NORBA National Mountain Bike Series concluded with the short track cross country event at Deer Valley Resort.
Vanlandingham’s win in Saturday’s cross country race – punctuated by a convincing win in today’s short track event – also gave her the overall win which also included Friday’s time trial stage.
Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Boulder, Colo.) clinched a win in the men’s overall classification with a second place finish in the short track race behind Wells. Horgan-Kobelski took an opening stage win in the time trial and placed second in Saturday’s cross country race to set himself up for his first win after suffering a serious crash in April that sidelined him with several broken ribs a fractured sacrum.
Riding for arguably the strongest women’s team on the NORBA circuit, Vanlandingham had the assistance of teammates Alison Dunlap (Colorado Springs, Colo.) and Katerina Hanusova (CZE) throughout most of today’s race as the trio from the Luna team – along with Sue Haywood (Davis, W. Va.) and Dara Marks-Marino (Flagstaff, Ariz.) – established themselves as the contenders in the 20-minute timed event. Dunlap and Marks-Marino later dropped out of contention leaving Vanlandingham and Hanusova with a simple numerical advantage over Haywood. A late-race acceleration from Vanlandingham went unmatched by Haywood as the defending NORBA cross country series champion crossed the line in first place in solo fashion for the second day in a row.
Behind, Hanusova claimed second place and Haywood third, while Dunlap was fourth and Marks-Marino fifth.
Afterwards, Vanlandingham credited the strength of her team for the win. “We didn’t really start with a plan. We haven’t really been doing that because it seems like each one of us can be there on any given day. We just kind of play it out as it comes along. This time Kat and I were able to work together and she was able to bridge up to me and Sue once Sue caught me and it worked out.”
For Wells, a ten-year veteran on the NORBA circuit and 2004 Olympian, his short track win on Sunday was just his second career win at a NORBA National. Wells made an early selection that also included U.S. National Champion Horgan-Kobelski, Ryan Trebon (Corvallis, Ore.) and Canadian National Champion Geoff Kabush.
Wells eventually settled into his rhythm on the front and later too k advantage of a mechanical mishap suffered by one of the pre-race favorites. “For this short track there’s not much drafting, otherwise it’s better to be in front,” said Wells. “The lines all are dusty, if you’re in the back you can’t see anything.”
Kabush fell victim to a flat tire that took him out of contention and left the door wide open for Wells. “Sometimes it slows the field down just enough where people are kind of confused, said Wells of Kabush’s misfortune. “Right when that happened I kind of opened it up a little bit.”
With a solid three-month break in the NORBA National Series since the last stop in March, Wells took on a training regimen that included both road racing and some European world cup events, both of which he feels contributed to his improving form.
“I did a lot of racing on the road and went over to Houffalize (Belgium) and then tried to take a couple of weeks off after. It was kind of rough in the time trial and cross country, but I feel like we have a big block of racing coming up and it’s tough to stay at a such high level all year, so I feel like it’s coming around.”
Behind Wells, Horgan-Kobelski placed second to solidify his already comfortable margin, giving him the overall win and moving him into the overall series lead in the cross country standings ahead of Kabush by a seven point margin, 500-493.
Haywood retained her lead in the overall cross country series standings with a solid third place overall finish on Sunday.
Also on Sunday, downhill riders contested their first NORBA National of the year as Jared Graves (AUS) and Michelle Dumaresq (CAN) descended to wins.
Graves clocked a time of 2 minutes 46.88 seconds to best runner-up Greg Minnaar (RSA) by 0.41 of a second as Australia placed four riders in the top five.
The top American was Chris Van Dine (Salt Lake City, Utah), who posted a time of 2:54.36 to place eighth.
In the women’s downhill, Dumaresq finished in a time of 3:25.50, to beat second-place finisher Bernardita Pizarro Lazo (CHI) by 3.60 seconds.
The top American woman was Lisa Myklak (Boulder, Colo.), who rode a 3:32.5 to place third.
With round three now in the books, the 2005 Shimano NORBA National Mountain Bike Series continues with round four at Schweitzer Mountain Resort near Sandpoint, Idaho July 14-17.
Women’s Short Track
1. Shonny Vanlandingham (Durango, Colo.)
2. Katerina Hanusova (CZE)
3. Sue Haywood (Davis, W. Va.)
4. Alison Dunlap (Colorado Springs, Colo.)
5. Dara Marks-Marino (Flagstaff, Ariz.)
Men’s Short Track
1. Todd Wells (Durango, Colo.)
2. Seamus McGrath (CAN)
3. Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Boulder, Colo.)
4. Adam Craig (Bend, Ore.)
5. Ryan Trebon (Corvallis, Ore.)
Women’s Cross Country Overall General Classification
1. Shonny Vanlandingham
2. Heather Irminger (Boulder, Colo.)
3. Sue Haywood
4. Dara Marks-Marino
5. Katerina Hanusova
Men’s Cross Country Overall General Classification
1. Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski
2. Kaschi Leuchs (NZL)
3. Ryan Trebon
4. Adam Craig
5. Geoff Kabush (CAN)
1. Jared Graves (AUS) 2:46.88
2. Greg Minnaar (RSA) +0.41
3. Chris Kovarik (AUS) +0.80
4. Joel Panozzo (AUS) +2.05
5. Jared Rando (AUS) +5.45
1. Michelle Dumaresq (CAN) 3:25.5
2. Bernardita Pizarro Lazo (CHI) +3.60
3. Lisa Myklak (Boulder, Colo.) +7.10
4. Melissa Miller-Gerkensmey (Avery, Calif.) +18.40
5. Danni Connolly (Truckee, Calif.) +18.70