August 8, 2003 – Leana Gerrard rode to her first mountain cross victory today.Snowmass, Colo. (August 8, 2004) — A large crowd gathered for the afternoon’s final event – the pro men’s and women’s mountain cross finals. Leana Gerrard (Sumner, Wash.) put her stamp on the weekend by taking her very first win in the women’s contest, while Eric Carter (Temecula, Calif.) continued his success and claimed his second consecutive victory this year.
In the women’s race, the final riders left after elimination rounds were Leana Gerrard, Tara Llanes (Los Alamitos, Calif.), Melissa Buhl (Chandler, Ariz.), and Jill Kintner (Murrieta, Calif.).
The technical course claimed the usual favorite, Jill Kintner, in the second turn, leaving the first place distinction up to Gerrard, Llanes, or Buhl. The three stayed shoulder-to-shoulder through the last half of the course. Gerrard took a decisive lead on the home stretch and made the final jump to post her first career mountain cross win.
The consolation round saw Marla Streb (Los Osos, Calif.) make the winning effort for the final spot on the podium, edging out teammate Kathy Pruitt (Lake Almanor, Calif.).
Eric Carter claimed his second consecutive mountain cross win this weekend.In the men’s final, Eric Carter (Temecula, Calif.) lined up against Brian Lopes (Murrieta, Calif.), Rich Houseman (Pasadena, Calif.), and Brian Schmith (Lancaster, Calif.). Carter took a slight lead coming out of the second turn and the group of four stayed together going into the third. When Houseman got tangled up, Carter’s lead increased while Lopes and BrianÂ chased him down.
Carter was followed across the finish line by Lopes and then Schmith. Houseman, who had already secured a podium spot, took it easy the rest of the way down. Mike King (San Diego, Calif.) bested his competitors in the consolation round to claim fifth place.
Action wraps up tomorrow with the short track, downhill, and Super D events. The Shimano Kid’s Race will take place between the men’s and women’s short track races. After tomorrow, NORBA fans and riders will wait three weeks for the Series finals in Durango, Colo, where Series winners will be crowned.