Jill Kintner blasted her way to victory in the elite women's dual slalom on Saturday evening at the Sea Otter Classic. Round by round, she dispatched her competitors. Rachel Atherton finished second with Sabrina Jonnier in third and Melissa Buhl in fourth.
Boasting a strong field, the women's race featured eight big names in the quarter finals, including Kintner, Anneke Beerten, Leigh Donovan, Buhl, Jonnier, Pruitt, Tracy Moseley and Atherton.
In the semi-finals, Kintner faced off against Buhl, moving on after winning both rounds while Atherton advanced following a two-run win over Jonnier.
That set an exciting battle for the top four spots.
Kintner rode to the overall win ahead of Atherton, but both were happy with their races.
"It's the first time I ever won the Sea Otter dual slalom. I've had a lot of seconds and thirds, but this one means a lot. I'm glad I could do it this time, but cheers to Rach, she almost got me. I was riding super conservative in the final to make sure I had the legs I needed at the bottom."
Kintner was excited to race against such a talented field. "The girls were all fast. It's great to have international talent here with riders like Rachel and Tracy."
"I forgot how tiring dual slalom is," said Atherton after her year off due to injury. "It's so mental. You practice in the morning, then you have a four-hour rest, then it's straight in. It's a pretty quick turn around with a lot of sprinting."
"This year was so much more fun than any year before," said Atherton, who was racing Sea Otter as her only dual slalom of the year. "It was cool being in the final with Jill. I really respect her, and I made it to the final - I was so happy to do that."
In the race for third and fourth, Jonnier and Buhl each took a run win after Buhl crashed at the top of their first run. Jonnier's margin was enough for her to claim third.
"I didn't feel good all day," said Jonnier. "It was a bit disappointing and I'm out of energy now, but I hope to recharge overnight for the downhill tomorrow."
With her new team Transitions, Kintner said she is only racing downhill and dual slalom this year and not four cross. "I'm going to mix it up. You can't stay in your comfort zone for too long," said Kintner, an accomplished four cross and BMX racer.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team|
|1||Jill Kintner (Transitions)|
|2||Rachel Atherton (Commencal)|
|3||Sabrina Jonnier (Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain)|
|4||Melissa Buhl (KHS Bicycles)|
|6||Kathy Pruitt (Jamis Bikes)|
|7||Tracy Moseley (Trek World Racing)|
|9||Fionn Griffiths (Norco World Team)|
|10||Claire Buchar (Chain Reaction Cycles/Intense)|
|15||Joy Martin (Vixen Racing)|
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