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US Nationals, Mt Snow

Mount Snow, Vt. (June 25, 2000) — Only two weeks after winning the world
downhill title in Spain, Giant team rider Myles Rockwell (Durango, Colo.)
was on top of the podium again. After blowing a rear shock at the start of
the race, Rockwell still won the second round of the VISA Downhill, June
25, in Mount Snow, Vt.

Schwinn Toyota RAV4 rider Elke Brutsaert nabbed her second-consecutive VISA
Downhill win at Mount Snow, after winning the opening round in May in Snow
Summit, Calif.

Rockwell started his day off in first as well, claiming the fastest time
the day’s earlier qualifying round. The rugged Mount Snow course proved to
be a challenge for the world champion and the rest of the field. The
1.5-mile course was dotted with severe drop-offs, rocks and roots.

After losing his rear shock at the start of the race, Rockwell “held on for
dear life.”

“I just held on tightly. It was so scary. I was just gritting my teeth the
whole time. I almost lost some of the fillings in my teeth,” Rockwell said.
“I was just bench pressing the whole way down and praying I could hold on.
I know I wasn’t going as fast as I should have. It’s amazing. Bike racing
is all I’m good at, so I’m glad I’m winning.”

The win marks another accomplishment for Rockwell, who broke both of his
legs in 1997 after injuring his knee in 1996. Rockwell was forced to miss
the series finals at Mount Snow in 1999 due to a knee infection.

Englishman Steve Peat held the top spot briefly before Rockwell flew down
the hill. Peat, ended up second after he knocked out Team GT teammate Eric
Cater (Temecula, Calif.). Had Carter held on, he would have earned his VISA
Downhill Series win.

“It was a really burly course. It’s not my style of racing, but I just let
go of the brakes. I saw a lot of crashes up there, and it’s just not my
style of course,” Said Carter, the ’99 national downhill champion. “I knew
these guys (Peat and Rockwell) would be beat my time. They have long bodies
and carry so much more speed that I do. I knew it’d be enough for top three
though. This isn’t really my course.”

Brutsaert proved to be the course master in the women’s race, blasting the
women’s field by nearly six seconds. Like Rockwell, Brutsaert also
qualified first Sunday morning.

“This course was very demanding,” the seven-time U.S. World Mountain Bike
Championship team member. “Earlier in the week, I heard about the
international riders that were going to be here, I knew it would be heated
competition. I didn’t really put any pressure one myself though. I was
racing for the NORBA regardless of who was going to be here.”
Brutsaert’s win comes on the heels of her fourth-place performance at the
2000 World Mountain Bike Championships, June 10, in Sierra Nevada, Spain.
She also won the opening round of the VISA Downhill Series in May at Snow
Summit, Calif.

“There were two places where the crowd sort of jumped back from the course.
I was hitting so hard off the drop-off. I kept telling myself ‘No brakes,
no brakes’.” Brutsaert added. “If I’d have known that I was that far ahead
on the clock, I would have chilled a little bit. I told myself to go and be
spontaneous.”

Giove was the only rider who came near Brutsaert. Like Peat, local favorite
Giove also lost control on the course. At one point, the ’99 national
downhill champion was riding on her stomach and had to pull herself back up
on the bike.

“I’m just happy to make down the mountain in one piece. It’s crazy here. It
got hairy at the top. It’s harder to be a light rider here,” said Giove,
who also complained of a sore back. “I’m not 100 percent, but I rode well.
I like this course.

Subaru-Specialized rider Tara Llanes (Newport Beach, Calif.) had her
best-ever national downhill finish, crossing the line in third.

The 2000 Chevy Trucks NORBA National Championship Series, including the
VISA Downhill and SoBe Dual Slalom, continues July 28-30 at Deer Valley
Resort in Park City, Utah.

VISA DOWNHILL National Championship Series, round 2, June 23, Mount Snow,
Vt.

Pro Women VISA Downhill: 1.5 miles

1. ELKE BRUTSAERT, Durango, Colo. (Schwinn Toyota RAV4) at 4 minutes and
50.33 minutes; 2. Missy Giove, Durango, Colo. (Foes/Azonic) @ :5.74 back;
3. Tara Llanes, Newport Beach, Calif. (Subaru-Specialized) @ :15.35; 4.
Marla Streb, San Geronimo, Calif. (Yeti) @ :20.01; 5. Sari Jorgensen,
Switzerland (Tomac) @ :20.04; 6. Nolvenn LeCaer, France (Team GT) @ :20.14;
7. Vanessa Quin, New Zealand (Giant) @ :23.23; 8. Katja Repo, Finland (Team
GT) @ :24.13; 9. Kathy Pruitt, Lake Almanor, Calif. (Sunrace/Santa Cruz) @
:24.54; 10. Lisa Sher, Laguna Beach, Calif. (White Bros./Azonic) @ :25.56

Pro Men VISA Downhill: 1.5 miles

1. MYLES ROCKWELL, Durango, Colo. (Giant) at 4 minutes and 16.22 seconds;
2. Steve Peat, Great Britain (Team GT) @ :0.59 back; 3. Eric Carter,
Temecula, Calif. (Team GT) @ :4.45 back; 4. Michael Ronning, Australia
(Intense/Oakley) @ :6.11; 5. Jurgen Beneke, Germany (Giant) @ :6.34; 6.
Cedric Gracia, France (Volvo-Cannondale) @ :6.74; 7. John Kirkcaldie, New
Zealand (Rocky Mountain Bicycles) @ :6.74; 8. Rich Houseman, Temecula,
Calif. (Tomac) @ :7.14; 9. Mike King, San Diego (Haro/Lee Dungarees) @
:9.32; 10. Jason Sigfrid, Hood River, Ore. (Yeti) @ :12.20

Overall Standings

Pro Women’s VISA Downhill: 1. BRUTSAERT at 400; 2. Pruitt @ 310; 3. Quin @
308; 4. Sher @ 282; 5. Melissa Buhl, Chandler, Ariz. (Devo) @ 264

Pro Men VISA Downhill: 1. ROCKWELL @ 400 points; 2. Ronning @ 320; 3.
Kirkcaldie @ 318; 4. Johnny Waddell, Australia (Pro JrX Team) @ 280; 5.
Rich Houseman @ 272

FOR MEDIA ONLY: For more information, please contact NORBA communications
manager Patrice Quintero at 719/578-4867, or e-mail
pquintero@usacycling.org.

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