March 28, 2006 (Big Bear Lake, CA) – Kris Sneddon, the winner of the first 2006 National Mountain Bike Series (NMBS) Marathon race in Fountain Hills, AZ on March 24, traces his sharp early season form to an unlikely source – training with road riding ace Levi Leipheimer.
“For two months before the Tour of California I was hiding out in Santa Rosa training with Levi,” confesses Sneddon. “That guy trains really hard.”
This certainly paid off for 24-year old Kris Sneddon of Team Kona/Les Gets, who would usually be training around his home in soggy British Columbia, as he won the men’s pro Marathon race by nearly four minutes in a time of 3 hours, 37 minutes, 11 seconds.
It still wasn’t easy as Sneddon claims to have felt the desert heat which climbed to over 85 degrees during the race. “There was a lot of single track and it was constantly rolling out there. Not really any big climbs, but it never felt like you weren’t tired. I also got super sunburned,” said Sneddon.
Rounding out the pro men’s top five were Troy Messeghers of Blairmore, AB in a time of 3:41:06, Travis Brown of Boulder, CO (Team Trek/VW) in a time of 3:43:07, Jay Henry of Avon, CO (Team Ford/Specialized) in a time of 3:44:12, and Ian Stanford of Winona, MN (Team Nature Valley) in a time of 3:50:19.
The first stop on the 2006 National Mountain Bike Series saw ninety-two riders toe the starting line – the largest field to date in an NMBS Marathon race.
“The atmosphere was awesome, everyone was relaxed and helping each other out. I didn’t have a feeder but some guy named Mike said ‘I’ll help you out!’ The whole event was just like that,” said Sneddon.
With the record-breaking field, the NOVA Desert Classic, built on a long tradition of winter/spring mountain bike racing in Arizona, continues its trend of being an extremely popular early season race for pro riders.
The women’s pro field saw Jenny Smith of Gunnison, CO (Team Trek/VW) take the top spot on the podium with a time of 4 hours, 22 minutes, 35 seconds. Like Sneddon, she also felt the heat.
“It was really hot! The course was very good, and I felt strong and comfortable until the last half of the last lap when I started cramping. The race was demanding because it was mainly single track. I just had to rise to the challenge,” said first time Marathon racer, Jenny Smith.
Smith, a native of New Zealand, has a background that includes extensive Xterra triathlon and cross-country mountain bike racing.
Rounding out the women’s top five were Kylia Malenkovich of St. Cloud, MN in a time of 4:29:40, Kate Aardal of Elkford, CAN in a time of 4:32:57, Jennifer Wilson of El Paso, TX (Team Titus/Clif) in a time of 4:35:14, and Kristy Lanier-Mantz of Marlinton, WV (Team Dirtbean) in a time of 4:47:55.
The National Mountain Bike Series continues on May 5-7, at Southridge Park in Fontana, CA with downhill, cross country, short track, mountain cross, and Super D races that will count towards NMBS points.
2006 National Mountain Bike Series Schedule:
– May 5-7: Southridge Park, Fontana, CA…XC/ST/DH/MTX/SD Media Contact: Tom Spiegel, (909) 866-4565, firstname.lastname@example.org
– Jun 10-11: Sugar Mountain Resort, Banner Elk, NC…XC/ST/DH/DS/SD Media Contact: Kim Jochl,, (828) 898-4521 x262, email@example.com
– Jun 17-18: Mount Snow Resort, West Dover, VT…XC/ST/DH/DS/SD/MTX Media Contact: Doug Daniels, (802) 464-1100 x4675, firstname.lastname@example.org
– Jul 8-9: Deer Valley Resort, Park City, UT…XC/ST/DH/SD/DS/MA
Media Contact: Tom Spiegel, (909) 866-4565, email@example.com
– Jul 15-16: Infineon Raceway, Sonoma, CA…MTX/XC/DH
Media Contact: Jeffery Frost, (435) 884-3515, firstname.lastname@example.org
– Aug 5-6: Brian Head Resort, Brian Head, UT…DS/XC/DH/ST/SD/MA Media Contact: Tom Spiegel, (909) 866-4565, email@example.com
– Aug 12-13: Snowmass Resort, Aspen, CO…DS/XC/DH/ST/SD Media Contact: Allison Johnson, (970) 309-5485, firstname.lastname@example.org
About The National Mountain Bike Series
The National Mountain Bike Series (NMBS) identifies the most consistently brilliant Mountain Bike competitors in North America. The series is owned and sanctioned by USA Cycling, the national governing body for the sport of cycling in the United States. The NMBS is licensed and managed as a separate entity by a consortium comprising of Team Big Bear, Inc. and Blue Wolf Events, LLC. It is the highest ranked Mountain Bike racing series in the United States. For more information please email email@example.com or visit www.norbanationals.com.