Palmer wins World Cup mountain bike race |

Palmer wins World Cup mountain bike race

It was bound to happen sooner or later.

Shaun Palmer has won just about every event there is in snowboarding boardercross and mountain biking. On Saturday, the 30-year-old South Lake Tahoe year-round pro athlete added another jewel to his collection: his first World Cup downhill mountain bike victory at Big Bear Lake, Calif.

Palmer edged World Cup series leader Steve Peat of Great Britain by .12 of a second on the rolling course at Snow Summit Ski Area.

“I’m happy for my first World Cup (round) win. I’ve had some struggles with my bike and mentally,” said Palmer, who took up competitive mountain biking only four years ago. “Now I’m looking forward to the rest of the season. I want to make it a Steve Peat, Nicolas Vouilloz, Shaun Palmer show.”

Vouilloz of France finished a disappointing sixth following a horrible start that led to an uncharacteristic crash.

“I crashed, not because I was going too fast, but because I made several mistakes at the start, and after the rocky jump I said, ‘OK, now it’s time to stop making mistakes and start racing. Almost immediately after this I crashed,” said Vouilloz, who slipped to second in the World Cup standings.

Palmer, who improved to fifth in overall points, cherished his rare win over Vouilloz.

“It feels good to beat Nicoas Vouilloz. He rides his bike all winter; I have to snowboard,” Palmer said.

Since he had to settle for second place, Peat was delighted to see his good buddy Palmer win his first World Cup race.

“My main aim is to stay consistent. My confidence is booming. This is the way I want to carry on,” Peat said. “I’m stoked for Palmer. He’s always been good at Big Bear,” Peat said.

That he has.

Palmer won NORBA series races at Big Bear in 1996 and 1997.

Following his spectacular snowboard season, in which “The Palm” won just about everything, including his third successive Winter X Games boardercross, the men’s Swatch boardercross championship and MTV’s Snowed In and the sped away with the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Grand Prix, he has gradually found the kind of success he expects on the mountain bike hill.

He’ll have a chance to win his second World Cup in front of friends and family when the circuit visits Squaw Valley July 9-11. The downhillers will race July 11.

On the women’s side, Missy Giove made it an American sweep in the downhill, beating France’s Anne-Caroline Chausson by .46 of a second.

It was Giove’s first win of the season.

“I knew it would be tight. We have a competition now. This is good for the sport,” said the Durango, Colo., resident.

There was a distinct separation between the top two finishers and the rest of the field. Marla Streb of the U.S. was 11.35 off the winning pace in third place.

Notes: Amber Ramos of South Lake Tahoe made her season debut by winning the women’s 15-19 expert division in convincing fashion.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around the Lake Tahoe Basin and beyond make the Tahoe Tribune's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User