ROUND THREE, NORBA NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES
DEER VALLEY, UTAH
JULY 28-30, 2000
LARSEN COMES BACK IN CROSS-COUNTRY EVENT
Forget the chronological order of the races. Steve Larsen was the big winner of the weekend in Deer Valley, Utah. Still smarting from his failure to make the U.S. Olympic Team, Steve set out in Utah to prove that he really is the top American cross-country racer around today. Larsen went out strong in the long-course XC event and never looked back, taking a decisive win. Earlier he had shaved his head to honor two of his Tour de France heroes, Marco Pantani and Lance Armstrong. Maybe the extra weight was slowing him down. Second this day was Pavel Tcherkassov of Russia, who has the series lead; third was Roland Green; fourth was Travis Brown.
GRIGSON WINS WOMENS CROSS-COUNTRY
Ruthie Matthes was on her way to winning the womens cross-country race when she flatted halfway through the event. That was all Mary Grigson of Australia needed to take over the lead and go on to take the win. Later, Mary told Ruthie that there was no way Ruthie would have lost without flatting. Matthes finished just 19 seconds back at the finish, and she was closing in fast, but time ran out on her effort. Alla Epifanova took third.
SHEPPARD WINS MENS SHORT TRACK
Canadian Chris Sheppard led a Canadian assault on the mens short-track event in Utah, taking the win with a very strong race. Finishing behind him in second was the blond, dreadlocked Seamus McGrath, also of Canada. Third was Ryder Hesjedal.
REDDEN WINS WOMENS SHORT TRACK
Canadian Chrissy Redden had a close battle with Jimena Florit to take the womens short-track race in Utah. Jimena passed Chrissy with two laps to go, when Redden reached down for her water bottle, but Redden was able to come back and take the win. Florit got second, and Mary Grigson took third.
KOVARIK TOPS MENS DOWNHILL FIELD
Australian Chris Kovarik rocketed to stardom last year with back-to-back wins at Mammoth Mountain and Deer Valley last year. Mammoth is still ahead, when the season finals will be held, but Kovarik is on his way now to repeating those wins. He dominated the mens downhill in Utah, winning by a ten second margin over second place finisher, John Kirkaldie of New Zealand. Third place was Australias Nathan Rankin.
STREB TAKES WOMENS DOWNHILL GOLD
Americas Marla Streb won the womens downhill race with another of her standout rides. Blair Lombardis Speed Techniques training is still paying dividends, apparently.Tara Llanes and Cheri Elliott took second and third respectively.
ERIC CARTER TAKES MENS DUAL SLALOM
On a course that was rated as one of the steepest and most challenging dual-slalom courses in the country, Californias Eric Carter says he rode a conservative race to keep from crashing, and that was exactly what he needed to do to beat Frances Cedric Gracia in the finals. Mike King finished third this time.
LEIGH DONOVAN TOPS FIELD IN WOMENS DUAL SLALOM
Leigh Donovan beat Aussie Katrina Miller in the Utahs hot, and hotly contested, womens dual slalom event. Donovan, who has won so many national titles in downhill and dual slalom that even she is probably losing track of them (we stopped keeping track after her sixth one) is back to her peak form again. Third in the event went to Tara Llanes, who is climbing steadily up the ranks in both downhill and dual slalom. Tara may be our next great star in both.