Events

Kirkcaldie, Jonnier take Snowshoe downhill

John Kirkcaldie (Maxxis) finally broke through "a lot of second places" to snag his first career NORBA downhill win on a rocky, rooted, but dry Snowshoe Mountain course. Meanwhile, French dominance continued on the women’s circuit, as Sabrina Jonnier (Intense) won her second consecutive NORBA race in the wake of Anne-Caroline Chausson’s first round win. After qualifying fourth, New Zealander Kircaldie finally broke Chris Kovarik’s (Intense) stranglehold on the downhill series posting a time of 4:02:39 over the 2.25-mile, 1400-vertical foot course. Kovarik suffered a flat tire in the bottom

By Ryan Newill, VeloNews Correspondent

John Kirkcaldie (Maxxis) finally broke through “a lot of second places” to snag his first career NORBA downhill win on a rocky, rooted, but dry Snowshoe Mountain course. Meanwhile, French dominance continued on the women’s circuit, as Sabrina Jonnier (Intense) won her second consecutive NORBA race in the wake of Anne-Caroline Chausson’s first round win.

After qualifying fourth, New Zealander Kircaldie finally broke Chris Kovarik’s (Intense) stranglehold on the downhill series posting a time of 4:02:39 over the 2.25-mile, 1400-vertical foot course. Kovarik suffered a flat tire in the bottom half of the course, putting an end to his four-race winning streak, ultimately finishing in 33rd position. Also shut down by a rear flat was Shaums March (Red Bull-Chumba Wumba), who qualified third and looked promising early in the run.

“It was just the wrong tire,” said March. “It was on my spare bike, and it was just too lightweight. I needed something heavier out here.”

Last-place qualifier John Waddell (SunRace-Santa Cruz) took early the lead, with a 4:13 in the finals. But as the first rider Waddell’s time in the hot seat was more than ceremonial as his mark held up through 26 riders, until the arrival of Myles Rockwell (Giant), who posted a 4:06 to knock off Waddell. Nathan Rennie (Yeti-Pearl Izumi) briefly kept the seat warm with a 4:05:97 until Dustin Adams knocked over a second off Rennie’s time and set the stage for the top qualifiers.

The crowd moaned as Kovarik came into view, staying under control while driving his front rim into the West Virginia dirt. Newcomer Jared Graves quickly distracted them from the fall of the champion though, putting in a clean and mechanical-free run to bump Adams by 10/100 of a second, a time which would ultimately net him the third spot on the podium.

“This is only my third downhill over here,” said Graves, who arrived from Australia in May to contest the series. “It’s a real confidence booster.”

Graves is the latest addition to a talented Australian presence on the downhill circuit that also includes fourth place finisher Jared Rando (Foes-Azonic), who posted a time of 4:04:36.

Kirkcaldie laid everything on the line to bump Graves from his seat, where he would wait for top qualifiers March, Cédric Gracia (Volvo-Cannondale) and Mick Hannah (Haro-Lee Dungarees).

“I was coming into the rock garden hot and just not even touching the brakes,” Kirkcaldie said, praising the course as “probably the best in the American series.”

Ultimately, March and Hannah would pose no threat, but Gracia came within a blink of the win even though he was focusing on next weekend’s World Cup in Canada.

“I didn’t even wear a skinsuit. I just went freeride today,” shrugged Gracia. “I just went as fast as I could at the top, just for fun, and I started to make some mistakes.”

Even with some mistakes, Gracia surrendered just 28/100 of a second to Kirkcaldie to take his second second place on the weekend. Graves held on for third, followed by Adams and Rando.

Jonnier got her troubles out of the way early in the day, crashing in her qualifying run, but still recovering to post the fastest qualifying run and earn the right to start last in the finals.

Tara Llanes (Yeti-Pearl Izumi), who flatted in qualifying, set the early mark at an even five minutes, but the numbers began to drop quickly when the top qualifiers began to drop. Vanessa Quinn (Intense), Lisa Sher (Chumba Wumba) and Fionn Griffiths (Ancillotti-UK) all posted times in the 4:49 range.

Fourth-place qualifier Marla Streb (Luna) put an end to the 4:49 club, burning down the course to a 4:45:26 mark. When third place qualifier April Lawyer (Maxxis) also put up a 4:49, Streb’s time was looking solid, but with Tracy Moseley and Jonnier yet to come, anything could happen, and it did.

Moseley dumped Streb from the leader’s throne to the tune of six seconds, only to be unseated herself after only a minute, as Jonnier again put in the best run with an astonishing 4:33:86.

“It’s the bike,” said Jonnier of her Intense ride. “It was great up there. Of course, I hope it’s a little bit me.”

Results

NORBA NO. 3; SNOWSHOE MOUNTAIN, WEST VIRGINIA; JUNE 21-23; DOWNHILL; MEN; 1. JOHN KIRKCALDIE (NZ), MAXXIS, 04:02.4;
2. CEDRIC GRACIA (FRA), VOLVO, 04:02.7;
3. JARED GRAVES (AUS), MAD CATS O, 04:03.8;
4. DUSTIN ADAMS (CAN), GIANT BICY, 04:03.9;
5. JARED RANDO (AUS), FOES/AZONI, 04:04.4;
6. MICK HANNAH (AUS), HARO LEE D, 04:04.9;
7. NATHAN RENNIE (AUS), YETI/PEARL, 04:06.0;
8. MYLES ROCKWELL (USA), GIANT BICY, 04:06.8;
9. JOEL PANOZZO (AUS), SUNRACE/SA, 04:08.7;
10. BEN CORY (AUS), FOES TIOGA, 04:08.9;
11. ERIC CARTER (USA), MONGOOSE/H, 04:09.3;
12. TODD LEDUC (USA), FOES/AZONI, 04:09.5;
13. NATHAN RANKIN (NZ), FOES/AZONI, 04:09.6;
14. COLIN BAILEY (USA), MAXXIS TIR, 04:09.9;
15. RICHARD LANCASTER (USA), WTB/JERRIC, 04:11.4;
16. JOHN WADDELL (AUS), SUNRACE/SA, 04:13.0;
17. CHRIS ODRISCOLL (USA), AZONIC/OAK, 04:15.2;
18. KIRT VOREIS (USA), HARO LEE D, 04:15.7;
19. JORDIE LUNN (CAN), SUNRACE SA, 04:15.9;
20. DERRICK NOBMAN (USA), RACERS EDG, 04:17.5;
21. JAMES DODDS (NZ), DIRTY DOG/, 04:17.8;
22. AARON PETERS (USA), SUNRACE SA, 04:18.6;
23. BRYN ATKINSON (AUS), ROYAL ORAN, 04:20.0;
24. TIM KRENTZ (USA), CHUMBA WUM, 04:21.3;
25. GARY HOUSEMAN (USA), TEAM HOUSE, 04:21.6;
26. GLENN HADEN (NZ), ROMIC/AZON, 04:21.7;
27. ORLANDO MARTINEZ (CUBA), SPY PROFIL, 04:21.9;
28. JOSHUA PRATER (USA), MRDIRT/SUN, 04:22.2;
29. RICK BOYER (AUS), ORANGE BIK, 04:22.4;
30. LUKE STROM (AUS), ORANGE CIT, 04:23.2;
31. NICHOLAS ONEIL (USA), 04:23.4;
32. JODY STODDARD (USA), FOX/INTENS, 04:24.3;
33. CHRIS KOVARIK (AUS), INTENSE/FO, 04:24.4;
34. GEORGE RYAN (USA), THE PROJEC, 04:25.4;
35. DARREN MILLER (USA), BIG CRANK, 04:26.0;
36. ERIC RASMUSSEN (USA), DIRTWORKS, 04:26.2;
37. MATT TIMMERMAN (USA), MICHELIN/I, 04:26.2;
38. TODD BOSCH (USA), INTENSE/RA, 04:27.3;
39. JESSE WHITSELL (USA), THE PROJEC, 04:28.1;
40. JOE LAWWILL (USA), TREK/ FOX, 04:28.9;
41. MATT THOMPSON (USA), BIG CRANK, 04:29.1;
42. MARK WEIR (USA), WTB, 04:29.9;
43. JIRO NAKAMURA (JP), WTB, 04:29.9;
44. LARS TRIBUS (USA), INTENSE/RA, 04:30.0;
45. TROY HEFLIN (USA), POLAR REVO, 04:31.8;
46. CAILE NOBLE (USA), ROYAL ORAN, 04:32.2;
47. JASON CODDING (USA), MADCATZ/OR, 04:33.5;
48. KYLE EBBETT (USA), IRON HORSE, 04:35.7;
49. JEFF EVANS (USA), CHEETA/SPY, 04:36.8;
50. TED DONOFRIO (USA), NORTHEAST, 04:41.1;
51. PHILIP TINSTMAN (USA), MAD CATZ/S, 04:41.3;
52. LOU DEANGELIS, 04:46.8;
53. YUTA KURISE (JP), TREK JAPAN, 04:47.1;
54. KOICHI INOMATA (JP), FOES/CREDI, 04:47.8;
55. SHAUMS MARCH (USA), RED BULL/C, 04:47.9;
56. MIKE MOGA, BIC CRANK, 04:48.0;
57. TRAVIS ROBERTSON (USA), WTB/DD INC, 04:51.0;
58. CHAD ONYSCHUK (CAN), DEVINCI/SO, 04:59.5;
59. DAVID WALKER (CAN), BITS+BIKES, 05:02.7;
60. AARON CHASE (USA), SOBE/CANNO, 05:34.9;
61. SCOTT COOPER (USA), TLD/MICHEL, 05:37.5;
62. JOHN DEMASI (USA), TLD/MICHEL, 08:38.0;
— NATE ADAMS (USA), BIG CRANK, DNF;
— GARY SAILORS (USA), AZONIC, DNS

WOMEN; 1. Sabrina Jonnier (F), Intense, 4:33:86; 2. Tracy Moseley (GB), Kona, 4:38:59; 3. Marla Streb, Luna, 4:45:26; 4. Lisa Sher, Chumba Wumba, 4:49:36; 5. Fiona Griffiths (GB), Ancillotti-UK, 4:49:52; Note: Full women’s results were not immediately available

NORBA NCS POINTS STANDINGS; (after 3 of 5 races); Men; 1. JOHN KIRKCALDIE, 550 POINTS;
2. MICK HANNAH, 492;
3. CHRIS KOVARIK, 486;
4. JARED RANDO, 470;
5. DUSTIN ADAMS, 462;
6. ERIC CARTER, 444;
7. CEDRIC GRACIA, 430;
8. NATHAN RENNIE, 430;
9. COLIN BAILEY, 406;
10. MYLES ROCKWELL, 400;
11. NATHAN RANKIN, 384;
12. JOEL PANOZZO, 384;
13. TODD LEDUC, 378;
14. JOHN WADDELL, 338;
15. RICHARD LANCASTER, 336;
16. BRYN ATKINSON, 324;
17. JARED GRAVES, 318;
18. KIRT VOREIS, 304;
19. GARY HOUSEMAN, 302;
20. AARON PETERS, 296;
21. CHRISTOPHER ODRISCOLL, 292;
22. ORLANDO MARTINEZ, 280;
23. SHAUMS MARCH, 256;
24. RICH HOUSEMAN, 244;
25. TIM KRENTZ, 242;
26. BEN CORY, 238;
27. ERIC RASMUSSEN, 236;
28. TODD BOSCH, 234;
29. LARS TRIBUS, 234;
30. MARK WEIR, 228;
31. JORDIE LUNN, 222;
32. TRAVIS COLLINS, 192;
33. PHILIP TINSTMAN, 188;
34. WADE BOOTES, 184;
35. BRIAN SCHMITH, 182;
36. JAMES DODDS, 172;
37. LUKE STROM, 172;
38. AARON CHASE, 166;
39. GLENN HADEN, 166;
40. JOE LAWWILL, 166;
41. JASON CODDING, 164;
42. NICHOLAS ONEIL, 158;
43. RYAN FINNEY, 152;
44. RICK BOYER, 150;
45. JUDD DE VALL, 148;
46. DARREN MILLER, 148;
47. JODY STODDARD, 140;
48. MATT TIMMERMAN, 136;
49. KYLE EBBETT, 134;
50. CAILE NOBLE, 132;
51. BRIAN LOPES, 130;
52. JIRO NAKAMURA, 124;
53. MARKOLF BERCHTOLD, 120;
54. MIKE KING, 114;
55. DERRICK NOBMAN, 112;
56. ROBIN BALOOCHI, 110;
57. WAYLON SMITH, 104;
58. JOSHUA PRATER, 96;
60. DAVID KLAASSENVANOORSCHOT, 92;
61. JIM JOHNSTON, 86;
62. GEORGE RYAN, 84;
63. CHRIS DEL BOSCO, 84;
64. JON WILSON, 82;
65. JESSE WHITSELL, 74;
66. MATT THOMPSON, 70;
67. CHRIS ROWEN, 68;
68. TROY HEFLIN, 62;
69. JOHN PERCY, 60;
70. NATE ADAMS, 54;
71. TRAVIS ROBERTSON, 54;
72. JEFF EVANS, 54;
73. TED DONOFRIO, 52

WOMEN;1. SABRINA JONNIER, 586 POINTS;
2. TRACY MOSELEY, 536;
3. LISA SHER, 494;
4. MARLA STREB, 478;
5. VANESSA QUIN, 440;
6. TARA LLANES, 438;
7. APRIL LAWYER, 426;
8. KATHY PRUITT, 416;
9. MELISSA BUHL, 394;
10. DAWN BOURQUE, 382;
11. MAXINE IRVING, 372;
12. GALE DAHLAGER, 358;
13. HIROKO INOMATA, 350;
14. DIANA MARGGRAFF, 346;
15. ANKA MARTIN, 338;
16. FIONN GRIFFITHS, 306;
17. GINA BARBOSA, 306;
18. MIO SUEMASA, 272;
19. LISA HORLOR, 250;
20. DANNI CONNOLLY, 248;
21. CASSANDRA BOON, 242;
22. RACHEL LLOYD, 232;
23. SARA JOHNSON, 232;
24. DONNA FLETCHER, 214;
25. SARA CHANDLER, 212;
26. TAMMY PICKERRELL, 210;
27. HOLLY KUHN, 204;
28. ANNE CAROLINE CHAUSSON, 200;
29. KATHI KRAUSE, 192;
30. TAI-LEE MUXLOW, 132;
31. MISSY GIOVE, 114;
32. MICHELLE RIVERA, 110;
33. ANNE WALTON, 106;
34. ALLIE RAU, 104;
35. HITOMI MIZUKURA, 98;
36. JILL HAMILTON, 94;
37. SHANNON AMBEROSE, 92;
38. MISA SUGIYAMA, 90;
39. RYOKO HATTORI, 88