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It's Grigson Again, Randolph One Ups
STXC and DS #1
Snow Summit, CA: May 20, 2000

• NORBA Series Preview
• Race Preview
• Cross-Country
• Downhill

Saturday afternoon hosted two events here at Big Bear Lake, CA: the short-track cross-country (STXC) and the SoBe dual slalom (DS). The STXC competitors didn't take their mark until 4pm, so the crowd was on hand and the cerveza was flowing as the racers made fast and furious laps around the dusty track that circled the base of Snow Summit. Following the rollerderby of cross-country mountain biking came the gate banging, hip-wiggling, wheelie-riding DS...but first things first.

Short-Track Cross Country:
After a first place finish in Friday's cross-country, Mary Grigson (Gary Fisher/Saab) of Australia still had the legs and became the first woman to cross the finish line. Greg Randolph (Team GT) obviously wasn't satisfied with second in yesterday's cross-country, so he stood out of the saddle and dropped the men's pack to ride solo across the finish.

The women's podium didn't change much from yesterday with Ann Trombley taking second and Chrissy Redden earning third. The women's race was a strategic one with a select few taking turns at the helm. Redden came off the start hard to take the initial lead with Grigson following. They rode as a team, keeping Trombley at bay, until she decided nuff-s-enuff!

"The Fisher girls (Grigson and Redden) were working me," said Trombley. "Mary (Grigson) wouldn't let me around her, so I got pissed off and passed her, but I should have saved my energy." However, Grigson had a plan of her own and on the second to last lap she put the pedal down and took the lead for good.

"Today's race was twice the intensity of yesterday's race (XC). There was no let up because it was so bloody short," Grigson explained. "The difference between a cross-country race and the short-track is that I was riding in that zone where I felt I could pass out the entire time." A few riders almost did. Jimena Florit took fourth and got horizontal in the winners tent -- nothing serious, just exhausted.

Greg Randolph, who strutted through the finish, had come prepared. "Last night I had a couple of Budweisers, a few slices of pizza and rested seemed to work." However, he did go on to admit just how grueling the race was, "I was hurting out there, I was really suffering. I went out hard and pushed it. I suffered like a dog." He put it all down in the last few laps leaving the rest of the pack sucking dirt.

Pavel Tcherkassov (Gary Fisher/Saab) was able to win the game of cat and mouse that took place behind Randolph, to take second in his first short-track race, followed by Kashi Leuchs (Volvo-Cannondale) in third and Geoff Kabush (KONA) in fourth.

The race looked like more pain than fun, but that's why I'm spectating. NORBA created the STXC to keep the crowd involved and it seems to have worked. They cheered and jeered the riders in every turn - if you get the chance, check out the short track, but be prepared to eat their dust. No, really...

Dual Slalom
Immediately following the STXC, the crowd flocked to the green gates of the SoBe dual slalom course for berms, whoopties, and big spills.

Cheri Elliot wasn't holding back from the start. She ate HUGE in the early rounds with some over-the-bars acrobatics after she hit a hay bail near the finish. No biggie - she stuck the runs that counted and earned herself first, beating out Leigh Donovan (2nd) in the finals. Elke Brutsaert (3rd) and Nicole Grant (4th) found themselves in the consolation finals.

As for the men, it was old school meets new school - with some major upsets. Australian Chris Kovarik sent a surprised DS master Dave Cullinan to the consolation finals while Rich Houseman beat up on Mike King. Kovarik continued teaching and showed Houseman how it's done to take first. Houseman had to settle for silver. Cullinan took third leaving King for fourth.

With the world cup DS and DH competing in Les Gets, France this weekend, some of the top riders are missing...SoBe-it! The competition's been fierce so far and a few fresh faces have left their mark. Stay tuned - things get faster when the downhill riders mount their motorcycles, I mean full-suspension rigs, to prove who's fastest.

Lucas Kane, Slurping SoBe's for

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