Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Gwin & Kintner win pro downhill races on final day of 2013 Gravity MTB Nationals

Angel Fire, N.M. (August 4, 2013) — The 2013 USA Cycling Gravity Mountain Bike National Championships wrapped up Sunday with the downhill competitions highlighted by dominating performances in the pro races from Aaron Gwin (Wildomar, Calif./Specialized Racing DH) and Jill Kintner (Seattle, Wash./ Team Norco International/Red Bull).

After the morning’s amateur contests, the pro women led off the afternoon competitions at New Mexico’s Angel Fire Resort. Pro GRT women’s leader Anne Galyean (Frederick, Md./Trek-Integrity Racing-Deity) was the first to crack the seven-minute mark. She was followed by defending national champion Jacqueline Harmony (Tucson, Ariz./A Culture of Speed), who topped her time by a little more than two seconds.

But as soon as Kintner came into view of the finish, it was clear she was about to earn her second national title of this event. Yesterday’s pro women’s dual slalom winner crossed the line in 6:06.208, more than thirty seconds ahead of runner-up Harmony.

Pro Men’s Downhill

Aaron Gwin wheelies across the finish line to win the pro men's downhill
Aaron Gwin crosses the finish line to win the pro men's downhill. Photo: Eddie Clark

Following a weather delay due to lightning in the area, the pro men took to the 2.5-mile long course. Riders were pushing the pace hard, and many had broken chains and flat tires to prove it. However, no one came close to Gwin’s qualifying time of 5:23.2 until eventual runner-up Logan Binggeli (Saint George, Utah/KHS Bicycles) sped through with a 5:25.759. That time would hold as fourth-place finisher Kevin Aiello (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif./KHS Factory Racing) and third-place finisher Mitch Ropelato (Ogden, Utah/Factory Specialized DH) came past.

But the defending champ proved unbeatable today; Gwin stopped the clock at 5:14.017 to earn the right to wear the Stars-and-Stripes for another year. Visit the USA Cycling YouTube channel to listen to Gwin describe his winning ride.

Men’s 17-18 Downhill

The men’s 17-18 downhill was the final event to be contested. Walker Shaw (Hendersonville, N.C./Specialized Gravity USA), who took third in yesterday’s pro men’s dual slalom, was the first rider to cross the line. He posted a time of 5:54.587. Shortly thereafter, a heavy rain opened up on the mountain. Though the downpour would soon subside, Shaw remained in the hot seat. Of the final eight riders, Kellen Lutz (Fraser, Colo.) came within four-tenths of a second of Shaw’s time, but it wasn’t enough. Shaw took the win, with Todd Renwick (Soulsbyville, Calif.) rounding out the podium in third.

Amateur Downhill Competitions

The juniors and masters races began the day under sunny skies. Riding the same course as the pros, the youngest riders led off the morning session. Katie Sanders (Nine Mile Falls, Wash.), the first rider to start the day and took the win in the girls 11-12 race. Two Utah juniors earned Stars-and-Stripes jerseys when Julien Markewitz (Salt Lake City, Utah) topped the 6-10 boys field and Joseph Foresta (South Jordan, Utah), whose sister, Sophia, won the women’s open dual slalom yesterday, took home the title in the 11-12 group. Devin Kjaer (Aptos, Calif.) improved upon his dual slalom silver with the gold medal in the boys 13-14 race.

Charlie Harrison gets some air on his way to the men's 15-16 downhill win

 Charlie Harrison gets some air on his way to the men's 15-16 downhill win. Photo: Eddie Clark

New Mexico’s own Pederson family claimed two Stars-and-Stripes jerseys when Michelle Pederson (Los Alamos, N.M./Bike n Sport Racing) won the junior women’s 15-18 race and her father Neal Pederson (Los Alamos, N.M./Bike n Sport Racing) did the same in the men’s 45-49 event.
In the boy’s 15-16 downhill, Charlie Harrison (Trabuco Canyon, Calif.) stopped the clock at 5:53.144 to take the win and claim the top amateur time of the day. Weston Walker (Laramie, Wyo./University of Wyoming) rode to victory in the men’s 19-24 race, while Willem Cooper (Newport, R.I.) edged the men’s 25-29 field. Amanda Cordell (Salt Lake City, Utah) earned the women’s 19-29 title, and Lindsay Yost (Brighton, Colo.) added a jersey to her closest in the women’s 30-39 race.

Kyle Lofstedt (Denver , Colo.) and Joe Dodds (Lakewood, Colo.) will bring gold medals back to Colorado after winning the men’s 30-34 and 35-39 races, respectively. Noelle Champagne (San Luis Obispo, Calif.) earned her first-place prize in the women’s 40+ division. Scott Spangler (Albuquerque, N.M.) descended fast enough to ascend to the top of the podium in the men’s 40-44 contest.

Paul Cherry (Lakewood, Colo.) topped the men’s 50-54 field, Les Price (Scottsdale, Ariz.) rose to the challenge in the men’s 55-59 group and Joel Creed (Franklin, Ind.) proclaimed his dominance of the men’s 60+ downhill.

For additional event information, daily wrap-ups, photos, results and more, visit the USA Cycling event page at www.usacycling.org/2013/mtb-gravity-nationals. Find additional photos and coverage  on Twitter via the USA Cycling account as well as the hashtag #MTBNats, and on the USA Cycling and Angel Fire Mountain Bike Park on Facebook pages.

Article Source: USA Cycling 

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