By Jason Sumner, VeloNews Associate Editor
Roland Green probably won’t ever forget his back-to-back World Cup flats that likely cost him a pair of cross-country wins, but after the weekend he’s had at Mammoth Mountain in California, the pain has certainly been eased.
A day after winning the cross country at NORBA NCS No. 4, Green added to his haul by running away with Saturday’s short track. It’s the second time this year the Canadian Trek-Volkswagen rider has doubled up at an NCS stop, a feat he also accomplished at NORBA No. 2 in Snowshoe, West Virginia.
In the women’s race Alison Dunlap was fastest in a hard-fought affair, beating out Jimena Florit (RLX Polo Sport) for her second short track win of the season.
Green’s win was as dominating as you’ll ever see. After hanging in the lead group through the first four laps of the 20-minutes, plus three laps race, the 26-year-old simply floated away. By the end of fifth lap he had an eight-second gap over Bart Brentjens (Giant) and a host of chasers. A lap later the gap was 14 seconds, then it was 19, and then it became clear the only race left was the one for second place.
“Nobody had the legs to go with Roland today,” said Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (RLX Polo Sport).
At race’s end Green’s advantage had ballooned to more than half a minute, a lifetime in such a short race. “This weekend makes up for a lot of the tough times,” Green said.
Behind Green a group of about 15 were jockeying back and forth, knowing a sprint would decide the rest of the podium places. Early in the last lap, Seamus McGrath looked to have a bead on second place, holding the chase-group lead down the final stretch of dirt. But on the quick descent back onto pavement Brentjens slipped past, along with Horgan-Kobelski and Pavel Cherkasov (Subaru-Gary Fisher). Brentjens easily won the sprint for second. Horgan-Kobelski took third, with Cherkasov and McGrath rounding out the podium.
“That was good racing,” Brentjens said. “I just got to the front at the right time.”
In the overall standings Green’s win moved him into first place, overtaking countryman Ryder Hesjedal (Subaru-Gary Fisher) who led the race early, but crashed out and was taken to the hospital with an ankle injury. Word from the Gary Fisher team was that Hesjedal’s injury wasn’t serious.
Dunlap’s win wasn’t quite as easy. The GT rider spent most of the race in a group of 10 that included Subaru-Gary Fisher riders, Mary Grigson and Chrissy Redden, plus Florit, Ruthie Matthes (Trek-Volkswagen), Susan Haywood (Trek-Volkswagen/West Virginia), Gina Hall (Zeal Optics), Shonny Vanlandingham (SoBe-HeadShok), Rhonda Quick (Jane Cosmetics), and Audrey Augustin (Zeal Optics). They had pulled well away from the field by the sixth lap, and would account for all of the top 10 placings.
The first move came on the 10th lap when Dunlap, Augustin, Florit and Matthes cracked open a small gap. That move stuck and those four stayed away for the rest of the race. Then on the final trip, Dunlap took off. Matthes tried to bridge but couldn’t make the leap, and by the time they reached the final backstretch the race was over.
Dunlap crossed the line about five seconds ahead of Florit, while Matthes, Augustin and a late-charging Vanlandingham claimed the other podium spots.
“Two years ago I messed up the finish and slipped out on that last downhill,” Dunlap recalled. “Not today though.”
In the overall standings Florit remained on track to win her second straight short track crown, as she expanded her lead over Haywood who ended up seventh at Mammoth.
CHEVY TRUCKS NORBA NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES, Mammoth Mountain, CA. July 20-22.; Short track; Men; 1. Roland Green (Can), Trek-Volkswagen; 2. Bart Brentjens (Nl), Giant; 3. Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski, RLX Polo Sport; 4. Pavel Cherkasov (Rus), Subaru-Gary Fisher; 5. Seamus McGrath (Can), Haro-Lee Dungarees; 6. Andreas Hestler (Can), Rocky Mountain; 7. Jose Adrian Bonilla (CR), Café Costa Rica; 8. Paul Rowney (Aus), Yeti Pearl-Izumi; 9. Chris Sheppard (Can), Haro-Lee Dungarees; 10. Jimi Killen, Schwinn; Others; 12. Geoff Kabush (Can), Kona-Ford Focus; 13. Todd Wells, Hildenbrand; 14. Marc Gullickson, Mongoose-Hyundai; 15. Peter Wedge (Can), Kona-Ford Focus; 16. Carl Swenson, RLX Polo Sport; 18. Walker Ferguson, Subaru-Gary Fisher; 24. Travis Brown, Trek-Volkswagen; 40. Bart Bowen, Kona-Ford Focus; Women; 1. Alison Dunlap, GT; 2. Jimena Florit (Arg), RLX Polo Sport; 3. Ruthie Matthes, Trek-Volkswagen; 4. Audrey Augustin, Zeal Optics; 5. Shonny Vanlandingham, SoBe-HeadShok; 6. Rhonda Quick, Jane Cosmetics; 7. Susan Haywood, Trek-Volkswagen/West Virginia; 8. Gina Hall, Zeal Optics; 9. Chrissy Redden (Can), Subaru-Gary Fisher; 10. Mary Grigson (Aus), Subaru-Gary Fisher; Others; 20. Lesley Tomlinson (Can), Rocky Mountain; 27. Amber Ramos, Easton; 38. Rachel Lloyd, SunRace-Santa Cruz; NORBA NCS OVERALL STANDINGS; (through 4 of 5 events); (lowest score has been dropped); Men; 1. Green, 574 points; 2. Hesjedal, 544; 3. Horgan-Kobelski, 504; 4. Cherkasov, 502; 5. Bonilla, 476; 6. C. Swenson, 450; 7. McGrath, 446; 8. Rowney, 442; 9. Sheppard, 438; 10. Hestler, 436; Women; 1. Florit, 572 points; 2. Haywood, 516; 3. Redden, 510; 4. Vandlandingham, 464; 5. Grigson, 462; 6. Matthes, 454; 7. Lloyd, 434; 8. D’Aluisio, 428; 9. McConneloug, 424; 10. Hall, 400