August 21, 2005 – The seventh round of the 2005 Shimano NORBA National Mountain Bike Series concluded on Sunday as Canadian Geoff Kabush and the Czech Republic’s Katerina Hanusova moved one step closer to claiming overall titles in the eight-race short track cross country series.
Hanusova rode to a short track win ahead of Sue Haywood (Davis, W. Va.) on Sunday to extend her lead in the overall standings to 53 points with only one event, next weekend’s series finale in Mount Snow, Vt. remaining.
In today’s 20-minute timed event, Hanusova was one of four women who made the final selection along with Haywood, Dara Marks-Marino (Flagstafff, Ariz.) and Saturday’s cross country race winner Shonny Vanlandingham (Durango, Colo.). With two laps remaining of the 3/4-mile course, Hanusova launched an attack that would go unanswered and held off a charging Haywood by five seconds at the line to capture her third NORBA short track victory of the season.
With two additional second-place efforts earlier this year, Hanusova, whose worst short track finish in ’05 was a fourth place, has a total of 1053 points to Haywood’s 1000 after the series standings were calculated.
In the men’s short track, 2004 Canadian Olympic Team member Seamus McGrath (CAN) captured his second-ever career victory on the NORBA circuit to claim the win, but a second-place effort by Kabush extended his overall lead to a seemingly insurmountable 136-point advantage over Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski.
Kabush’s four short track victories on the NORBA circuit and second and third-place finishes are responsible for the commanding lead.
In a similar race to the women’s , a small group established themselves as the contenders as McGrath, Kabush, and fellow Canadian Chris Sheppard joined ’04 U.S. Olympic teammates Horgan-Kobelski and Todd Wells (Durango, Colo.) in a five-man break.
With three laps to go, Sheppard attacked first. But after the group came back together, McGrath made the decisive move, putting fourth an effort that could not be matched by the others.
McGrath sailed across the line just seconds ahead of Kabush while Horgan-Kobelski, Wells and Sheppard completed the podium respectively.
With a win in Saturday’s cross country race, Kabush now holds series leads in both the overall cross country and short track disciplines over Horgan-Kobelski. The 136 points that separate the two in the cross country standings is significant, but the 33-point differential in the short track series is less secure.
In the women’s downhill series, Kathy Pruitt (Lake Almanor, Calif.) slightly extended her slim lead over Chilean Bernardita Pizarro with a victory at Snowshoe Mountain.
Pruitt clocked a time of five minutes, 5.60 seconds over a course that descended 1400 feet in 2 1/4 miles to edge Pizarro by just over five seconds to increase her lead to a mere 19 points over Pizarro in the overall standings.
In the men’s downhill, Mick Hannah (AUS) made it a clean sweep of the three men’s gravity events for Australia after also capturing Friday’s mountain cross and Jared Graves won Saturday’s dual slalom.
Hannah rode a 4:13.94 to beat Graves by just two seconds in Sunday’s downhill, but Graves holds the series lead over Hannah 854-781.
Also on Sunday, Mark Weir (Novato, Calif.) won the men’s super D event while Haywood won the women’s .
The 2005 Shimano NORBA National Mountain Bike Series concludes next weekend as Mount Snow Resort in Vermont hosts the series finale August 25-28.
Men’s Short Track
1. Seamus McGrath (CAN)
2. Geoff Kabush (CAN)
3. Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Boulder, Colo.)
4. Todd Wells (Durango, Colo.)
5. Chris Sheppard (CAN)
Women’s Short Track
1. Katerina Hanusova (CZE)
2. Sue Haywood (Davis, W. Va.)
3. Dara Marks-Marino (Flagstaff, Ariz.)
4. Shonny Vanlandingham (Durango, Colo.)
5. Heather Irmiger (Boulder, Colo.)
1. Mick Hannah (AUS) 4:13.94
2. Jared Graves (AUS) 4:16.37
3. John Kirkcaldie (NZL) 4:18.96
4. Geritt Beytagh (Ashville, N.C.) 4:19.66
5. Andrew Neethling (NZL) 4:20.21
1. Kathy Pruitt (Lake Almanor, Calif.) 5:05.60
2. Bernardita Pizarro (CHI) 5:10.98
3. April Lawyer (Bend, Ore.) 5:28.70
4. Missy Giove (Chesapeake, Va.) 5:30.95
5. Melissa Buhl (Chandler, Ariz.) 5:35.48
Women’s Short Track
1. Katerina Hanusova 1053
2. Sue Haywood 1000
3. Shonny Vanlandingham 978
4. Dara Marks-Marino 972
5. Heather Irmiger 856
Men’s Short Track
1. Geoff Kabush 1063
2. Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski 936
3. Todd Wells 917
4. Seamus McGrath 900
5. Adam Craig 842
1. Kathy Pruitt (Lake Almanor, Calif.) 795
2. Bernardita Pizarro (CHI) 776
3. April Lawyer (Bend, Ore.) 662
4. Lisa Myklak (Boulder, Colo.) 655
5. Danni Connolly (Truckee, Calif.) 641
1. Jared Graves (AUS) 775
2. Joel Panozzo (AUS) 685
3. John Kirkcaldie (NZL) 684
4. Andrew Neethling (NZL) 669
5. Mick Hannah (AUS) 655