Raleigh Sponsored Team Biogen-Idec gathered in Durango, CO last weekend for the 8th and final NORBA event of the season. Good weather and great trail conditions promised some exciting racing and the riders didnít disappoint.
The first Biogen Idec team member to race was Roger Gillespie in the Menís Expert 50+ category on Friday. Roger is pro racer Bart Gillespieís dad and a hammer in his own right. Roger was hampered by a sore back this weekend, but toughed it out for a 4th place finish. This was good enough to earn him 2nd place for the overall national season series.
Next up was Linde T. Smith on Saturday morning, lining up for his race at 8:00 AM. Along with Lisa Peck, Linde is one of the team riders who suffers from MS and is an inspiration to all who know and race with him. Linde, who typically specializes in Cyclocross racing had particularly good form and rode to a 10h place finish in his XC race.
Saturday afternoon saw the Pros with 70 men and 60 women lining up to battle a brutal 12.5 mile loop which featured over 1800 vertical feet of climbing per lap. The men went off first with Biogen-Idec rider Eric Jones getting a great start and hitting the first major climb near the leaders. The climb wound its way out of the base village at 8600 feet and went up the ski slope at a pitch that had expert riders walking their bikes. Jones ground his way to the front in front of the weekendís largest crowds and actually crested the first climb in 4th place, trailing only Geoff Kabush (Maxxis), Adam Craig (Giant) and Ryan Trebon (Kona). Eric paid the price for his aggressive early effort, losing a several places on the top of the course but he recovered well enough to post a 9th place finish.
In the Pro womenís race, Sally Warner was harshly reminded of the difference between living at sea level and racing at 10,000 feet. Warner fought gamely though hampered by the thin air and finished in 42nd place.
Sunday brought the Pro Short track (STXC) competition and the fans were once again out in force. The Pro Women went out first on the challenging course that wound its way through the Purgatory base village. Sally Warner was determined to improve upon her XC finish and did just that, pounding out a 15th place finish. In the Menís race, Bart Gillespie and Eric Jones rode together most of the way, finishing in 21st and 18th place respectively.
In all it was a very exciting cap to a great racing season for Team Biogen-Idec. The team represented the Raleigh brand with professionalism and good sportsmanship this year and managed to post some impressive results in the process.
Here are the final NORBA NCS season rankings for the Raleigh/Biogen-Idec Pro riders:
Eric Jones: 9th overall XC, 21st ST XC
Sally Warner: 26th overall XC, 15th STXC
Bart Gillespie: 33rd overall XC, 24th STXC
Lisa Peck: 62nd overall XC, 61st STXC
Thanks to all & look forward to Mammoth Mountain US Championships and cyclocross updates this fall!
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Thread: Durango NORBA Finals update
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