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Big Bear: Brown, Vanlandingham win cross-country

On a dry and dusty Saturday afternoon, Americans Shonny Vanlandingham and Travis Brown each grabbed cross-country wins at NORBA National No. 3 in Big Bear Lake, California. In the women’s race, Vanlandingham broke away from a group of four near the end of the first of two 11-mile laps up and down Snow Summit Resort, then held strong to the finish. Originally the Luna rider had planned to make the trip to Spain for the opening round of the World Cup, but on Monday during a flight from Denver to her home in Durango, Colorado, Vanlandingham got a big scare when the plane’s hydraulics failed and

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By Jason Sumner, VeloNews associate editor

Vanlandingham grabbed her second NORBA XC win.

Vanlandingham grabbed her second NORBA XC win.

Photo: Tom Moran

On a dry and dusty Saturday afternoon, Americans Shonny Vanlandingham and Travis Brown each grabbed cross-country wins at NORBA National No. 3 in Big Bear Lake, California.

In the women’s race, Vanlandingham broke away from a group of four near the end of the first of two 11-mile laps up and down Snow Summit Resort, then held strong to the finish. Originally the Luna rider had planned to make the trip to Spain for the opening round of the World Cup, but on Monday during a flight from Denver to her home in Durango, Colorado, Vanlandingham got a big scare when the plane’s hydraulics failed and the aircraft had to make an emergency landing back in Denver.

Vanlandingham said she was still shaken from the whole incident on Wednesday and opted to drive from Colorado to California instead of flying to Europe.

This was Brown's first national win since 1999.

This was Brown’s first national win since 1999.

Photo: Tom Moran

“I just decided that I’d rather wait and meet up with the team at the next World Cup,” Vanlandingham said, acknowledging that the decision probably ended her slight hope of making the U.S. Olympic team.

Jimena Florit (RLX Ralph Lauren), Gretchen Reeves (Rocky Mountain-Business Objects), Dara-Marks-Marino (Ford Cycling) and Jamie Whitmore-Cardenas (Reebok) completed the women’s top five.

In the men’s race Brown took advantage of Ryan Trebon’s late-race puncture to close down what was left of a 1:30 gap. After passing Trebon (Kona Clarks-Les Gets) on the final descent before the short road run into the finish, Brown had to hold off the tenacious Trent Lowe (Yeti), who came up just two seconds short at the finish.

“It was just a drag race on the road all the way back to the finish,” said Brown (Trek-Volkswagen), who grabbed his first-ever win at Big Bear in his long and successful career.

As for Trebon, he could only lament what almost was his first major mountain-biking win. “I was probably pushing it a little too much,” the 23-year-old admitted. “I cut the sidewall pretty bad. I tried to seal it but it wasn’t happening. I ended up pulling the tire completely off for the final road section ’cause I figured it would be faster that way.”

Trebon ended up fourth, with Lowe in second, Chris Sheppard (Haro-adidas) third and Jay Henry (Specialized) fifth.

Brown’s and Vanlandingham’s wins launched both riders to the top of the overall standings in this three-stage race, which concludes Sunday with short track racing. Brown is 17 seconds up on Lowe, with Sheppard third at 1:55, Trebon fourth at 2:13 and Henry fourth at 2:54.

In the women’s overall, Vanlandingham is 2:14 up on Florit and Reeves, with Dara Marks-Marino (Ford Cycling) fourth at 3:13, and stage 1 winner Heather Irmiger (Tokyo Joe’s) fifth at 5:13.

“It seems like I always race well at Big Bear,” Vanlandingham said. “Lots of sustained climbing, it’s my kind of course.”

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Results

NORBA NATIONAL SERIES NO. 3; BIG BEAR LAKE, CALIFORNIA; MAY 21-23; CROSS-COUNTRY; MEN: 1. Travis Brown, Trek Volkswagen, 29.3 miles in 2:31:10; 2. Trent Lowe (Aus), Yeti, at 0:02; 3. Chris Sheppard (Can), Haro-adidas, at 1:50; 4. Ryan Trebon, Kona Clarks-Les Gets, at 2:30; 5. Jay Henry, Specialized, at 2:44; 6. Jimi Mortenson, Specialized, at 4:51; 7. Doug Swanson, Trek-VW Regional, at 5:11; 8. Eric Jones, Biogen, at 5:12; 9. Carl Swenson, RLX Ralph Lauren, at 5:30; 10. Cesar Grajales (Col), Maxxis, at 6:50


WOMEN: 1. Shonny Vanlandingham, Luna, 22 miles in 2:11:03; 2. Jimena Florit (Arg), RLX Ralph Lauren, at 0:45; 3. Gretchen Reeves, Rocky Mountain-Business Objects, at 1:12; 4. Dara Marks-Marino, Ford Cycling, at 2:06; 5. Jamie Whitmore-Cardenas, Reebok, at 4:56; 6. Heather Irmiger, Tokyo Joes, at 5:18; 7. Katerina Hanusova (Cz), Luna, at 7:03; 8. Jennifer Smith (NZ), West Virginia-Bon Jovi, at 7:12; 9. Willow Koerber, RLX Ralph Lauren, at 8:34; 10. Melissa Thomas, Tokyo Joes, at 9:58