Streb wins women’s downhill
By Jason Sumner, VeloNews Associate Editor
Mick Hannah might not have known it, but he made a little history on Sunday. In winning the downhill at NORBA national No. 1 at Snow Summit Resort in Big Bear Lake, California, he became just the second man to ever capture both the dual slalom and downhill on the same weekend. The other guy on that list: Brian Lopes, who did it once in 1995 and once in 1996. Throw in the fact that Hannah is just 17 years old, and he probably deserves a record all his own.
In the downhill Hannah (Global Racing) started far back of the favorites because he lacked a NORBA ranking, but when the youngster stormed past his 30-second man near the bottom of the course, it was clear his time of 3:15.19 would be tough to beat. Nobody could.
Fellow Australian Nathan Rennie (Yeti-Pearl Izumi) came the closest, missing by just five hundredths of a second. Otherwise it was a blowout. Chris Kovarik (Intense) was third, 2.53 back. Reigning world champion Myles Rockwell (Giant) missed by 9.80. Defending NORBA champion Eric Carter (Mongoose-Hyundai) was 18.74 behind.
“I kept thinking someone would get me,” said Hannah, who spent about a half hour sitting on the old couch that Team Big Bear rolled out as the hot seat. “To win both races is pretty unbelievable.”
The final podium was Hannah, Rennie, Kovarik, plus two more Global riders, Greg Minnaar and Markolf Berchtold.
The women’s downhill didn’t have the same historical significance, but that didn’t bother Marla Streb. The Foes-Azonic rider pulled off a minor upset, besting last year’s overall NORBA winner, Missy Giove (Global Racing). Streb made the run from the top of the California ski resort in 3:42.3, 3.9 seconds quicker than Giove, who took second.
“My run was pretty sloppy at the top,” Streb said. “But after that I rode really well. All the time I spent riding motorcycles during the offseason really helped.”
Third went to Tara Llanes (Yeti-Pearl Izumi). Marielle Saner (Global Racing) and April Lawyer (Maxxis) completed the podium.
NORBA NATIONAL NO. 1, Snow Summit Resort, Big Bear Lake, California, June 1-3
Pro men; 1. Mick Hannah (Aus), Global Racing, 3:15.19; 2. Nathan Rennie (Aus), Yeti-Pearl Izumi, 3:15.24; 3. Chris Kovarik (Aus), Intense, 3:17.72; 4. Greg Minnaar (RSA), Global Racing, 3:18.83; 5. Markolf Berchtold (Bra), Global Racing, 3:19.14; 6. John Waddell, SunRace-Santa Cruz, 3:20.03; 7. Colin Bailey, Maxxis, 3:20.25; 8. Kirt Voreis, Haro-Lee Dungarees, 3:20.63; 9. Brian Lopes, GT-Fox, 3:21.58; 10. Fabien Barel (F), GT, 3:21.90; Others; 16. Myles Rockwell, Giant, 3:24.99; 49. Eric Carter, Mongoose-Hyundai, 3:33.92
Pro women; 1. Marla Streb, Foes-Azonic, 3:42.3; 2. Missy Giove, Global Racing, 3:46.3; 3. Tara Llanes, Yeti-Pearl Izumi, 3:48.0; 4. Marielle Saner (Swi), Global Racing, 3:50.5; 5. April Lawyer, Maxxis, 3:51.8; 6. Vanessa Quin (NZ), Giant, 3:53.4; 7. Kathy Pruitt, Dirt Works, 3:54.6; 8. Leigh Donovan, Schwinn, 3:56.0; 9. Katrina Miller (Aus), Jamis, 4:01.8; 10. Cheri Elliott, ODI-Azonic, 4:04.6; Others; 21 Rachel Lloyd, SunRace Santa Cruz, 4:17.9; 37. Elke Brutsaert, Schwinn, 6:38.8