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Keep The Rubber Side Down
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Race Report:

NORBA Nationals # 6: Schweitzer Mountain Resort, Sandpoint ID

On July 29-31 Team Biogen Idec made the trek to Sandpoint Idaho for race # 6 of the NORBA NCS series. Conditions were brutal at best: hot and dusty and rough. Throw in a healthy dose of high altitude and the stage was set for a tough weekend of racing. With 2 of the riders taking the weekend off due to personal commitments it was up to Sally Warner, Bart Gillespie and Eric Jones to carry the flag in the Pro fields.

Sally Warner had a strong ride in the Women’s Pro XC on Saturday, finishing 30th despite having not raced for almost a month. Sally described the course as “fun”, although I have to say there were a few others that would not share her feelings. There were several DNF’s and I saw at least two Pro women unable to ride and reduced to tears by the conditions.

In the Mens Pro XC, Eric Jones rode near the front throughout the 2.5 hour affair, putting in a strong showing and finishing 14th. Bart Gillespie was not fully recovered from the prior weekend (where he won the 10 hour, 100 mile Endurance 100 in Utah) and was riding with an injured wrist. He toughed it out and finished 46th.

Sunday’s short track featured a novel approach by race organizers: the course was mostly on dirt (so nobody was able to break out their road bikes). Sally Warner showed why she’s ranked 13th in the country in short track, riding to a strong 18th place finish despite some shifting issues. Eric and Bart both had strong races as well, finishing 15th and 27th respectively.

Grassroots rider Dave “Harry” Harrison of Sun Valley ID was on hand and posted a respectable 15th place in the 55 mile XC Marathon event.

All in all it was a very successful weekend. There were good crowds considering the somewhat remote location. There were quite a few Raleigh bikes floating around the venue which may be a sign that our Grassroots Program is gaining momentum in Idaho and the surrounding area.

Speaking of Idaho and things with momentum, Raleigh America Inc.’s own Paul McKenna was on hand, duking it out for an 11th place finish in the Men’s Expert 35-39 XC race. Great job Paul!


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