Palmer struggles at Deer Valley, while two South Shore bikers win |

Palmer struggles at Deer Valley, while two South Shore bikers win

Deer Valley wasn’t kind to pro downhill mountain bike racer Shaun Palmer, but other South Shore competitors Amber Ramos, Trevor Snowden and Robby Tavares made the best of the National Off-Road Bicycling Association event last weekend.

Palmer of Meeks Bay finished a disappointing 41st in the men’s pro downhill race last Sunday that required riders to negotiate a two-mile technical course descending 1,200 feet.

Chris Kovarik of Australia won his second straight NORBA event despite a spill that turned his bike around and left him facing the wrong way.

“I’m not sure how I’ve won the last two weeks. I pedaled hard and just kept holding on,” Kovarik said. “Today, I was pretty sloppy, but I put everything together and came up with the win.”

Missy Giove won the women’s pro downhill, following Kovarik’s winning formula of crashing during her final run.

Unlike Kovarik, she was thrown off her bike, where she landed with her face in the dirt.

“After my injury last week, I didn’t think I was the person to win this week. As soon as they said, ‘Go,” though, I just dug deep and went hard,” said Giove, who earned her 10th national win. “I knew I was having a good run, but then I crashed. After that, I just tried to hold it together.”

Ramos won the expert female 15-18 cross country division and, in the process, showed the other age-group winners above her that the best racer out there was a 12-year-old. Ramos’ winning time of 1 hour, 41 minutes and 22.99 seconds gave her an eight-minute victory in her class and also bettered the expert female 19-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54 and 55-and-up winners’ times. The entire expert field encompassed 77 racers.

Tavares, sponsored by Cutting Edge Sports, nearly won the senior men 30-34 expert downhill division, losing by only seconds with his second-place time of 5:32.04. Cutting Edge Sports teammate Reed Mather was 48th.

Snowden continued to dominate the NORBA wheeler division, posting a winning time of 9:11.66.

In other area results, Heather Grau placed fifth in the cross country expert female 25-29 class; Jason Rahlwes of Truckee came in 33rd in the expert men 25-29 cross country division; James Hays of Incline Village claimed 46th place in the expert men 30-34 cross country class.

Team GT’s Alison Dunlap, a 1996 Olympian, and Kashi Luechs of New Zealand captured first place in the pro cross country races. Lesley Tone of Incline Village was 22nd.

After a three week-break, World Cup racing resumes this weekend in Mount St. Anne, Quebec.

The NORBA national championships are set for Aug. 19-22 at Mount Snow Resort in Vermont.

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