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Chrissy and Christoph Take the Cross-Country
Mount Snow, VT: June 23, 2000

• Preview
• Cross-Country
• Short Track Cross-Country & Dual Slalom
• Downhill

The sun surfaced and the puddles dried as Rachel Lloyd (USA, Voodoo Cycles) sang the National Anthem to begin the second stop of the NORBA National Championship Series. With this, the Cross-Country racers dashed around the muddy course with Chrissy Redden (USA, Gary Fisher/Saab) and Christoph Sauser (SWI, Volvo Cannondale) riding the rocks and roots well to take gold here in Mount Snow, Vermont.

Redden spun out of the start and left everyone chasing for the first of four laps. "I wanted to get the whole shot to prepare for the first bit of technical riding," said Redden. "It was me and Alison (Dunlap) going into the singletrack. I attacked, and she didn't come with me, so I just punched it."

As the clock ticked, Redden only lengthened her lead. "Going into the third lap I was riding all by myself," she said. Behind her, Alison Dunlap (USA, Team GT) struggled to stay close.

"When Chrissy went out in the first lap, there was no way I could keep up with her. I came into the race tired and I'm happy with second," said Dunlap.

Ruthie Matthes (USA, Trek/Volkswagen), three-time national champion, hung with Dunlap for the first two laps, but eventually fell behind to battle Mary Grigson (AUS, Gary Fisher/Saab) and Alison Sydor (CAN, Volvo/Cannondale) for 3rd. "I guess the thing that gave me the hardest time was the steep little climbs," said Matthes. "I lost a little bit of time there, but I really liked the technical parts, and the descending was really fun. It was kind of Wild West out there— you just have to be relaxed and smooth and go through this stuff and think, 'I hope there's not a hole where that puddle is.'"

Grigson took 4th and Sydor walked with 5th.

The top women finished in just under two hours to the cheers of the crowd. Watching the race was Paola Pezzo (ITA, Gary Fisher/Saab). She has her sails set for the 2000 Olympics in Sydney later this year and stood as a spectator. However, it wasn't hard to spot her among the masses...dressed in a one-piece leopard-skin suit. Meow.

Lastly, give it up for 15-year old Magen Long (USA, Specialized), who made her pro NORBA debut today. She must be tired of cleaning house in the junior division. Long has been beating the younger females by several minutes and she placed 41st among the big girls in Friday's comes trouble.

Just after the women finished, the men lined up for what turned out to be a very similar race. Twenty-four year old Christoph Sauser beat the pack out of the gate and crushed everyone's hopes. "I set my own speed and nobody followed me. I'm hungry and I'm a technical the beginning of the season I didn't feel super good and I'm trying to come back from that."

Kirk Molday (USA, Trek/Volkswagen), who took gold at Snow Summit, moved from 4th to 2nd in line, where he stayed put for silver. Pavel Tcherkassov (RUS, Gary Fisher/Saab) followed Molday in the passing lane and took third while Tinker Juarez had a rough third lap and was passed by Kashi Leuchs (NZL, Volvo/Cannondale) who ended the race 4th.

Juarez ended the race in 5th place but held the 2nd spot for the first few laps of the race. "I had no choice but to light it up. I think I rode it (the course) pretty well, but I really came apart in the last few laps. I smacked a tree and I was able to recover, but I just came apart," he said, with a bloody leg.

After three of six laps, a group who was lagging behind pulled out the playground rules just past the first feed zone; they were riding wheelies, bumping tires and splashing water in each other's faces as they rode. None of them saw the podium, but who had more fun?

The Short Track Cross-Country (painful) begins Saturday afternoon. Once the suffering ends, the SoBe Dual Slalom weaves the rug...see you then.

Lucas Kane, asleep on the keyboard for

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