By Steve Medcroft
It was a weekend of excitement and surprises in Sandpoint, Idaho at the Schweitzer Mountain NORBA National Series race.
Following last year's dry, hot and dusty competition, racers were surprised to suffer hailstorms and thunderous rain showers at this year's event. Jill Kintner crashed in the four-cross preliminaries and missed the rest of the weekend. Overtaking a hard-charging Adam Craig, Liam Killeen (Specialized) upset the men's cross country field to win his first NORBA series race. A South African other than Greg Minaar (Team G-Cross Honda) won the downhill event (Minaar stumbled on his final run to fall second by one-tenth of a second to countryman Andrew Neethling (Turner - Honda). As mentioned above, Australian Olympian Sid Taberlay (Specialized) collided with a bear during a training ride.
Only Shonny Vanlandingham's (Luna Chix) win in the women's cross country race defied the weekend's pattern of unexpectedness. The win, Vanlandingham's second in a row in the NORBA series, shows that the Luna Chix racer hasn't lost a step in form after winning the series in 2004.
The NORBA series moves next in Aspen Colorado's Snowmass Village Resort July 22 - 24.
Schweitzer Mountain reports, full results & photos