Transition Factory Racing's Jill Kintner takes Womens National DH title.
Lars Sternberg and Jill Kintner of the Transition Racing squad attended the US National Championships in Sol Vista Colorado this past weekend, while Bryn Atkinson traveled to Morzine France to prepare for the final two European rounds of the World Cup circuit. Lars and Jill left a week beforehand to attend the Mountain States Cup in Snowmass Colorado, and get acclimated to the altitude in preperation for the Champs the following weekend.
Jill and Lars were both enjoying the Snowmass course, and had the course dialed come Sunday race time. In the Womens final Jill had a few crashes, and suffered a gash to the chin which required some stitches. Melissa Buhl (KHS) took the victory. In the Mens race, Lars had a conservative run and placed 4th in the finals. Aaron Gwin took a convincing win by over 15 seconds. Both Transition riders were happy with the relaxing weekend, and were looking forward to being as strong as possible heading into Nationals.
The team arrived at Sol Vista ready to get to work. With a spread out practice schedule the pressure was off to learn the course in just a few runs. Both riders made the necessary equipment and physical adjustments required to succeed on such a unique course. At just around 2.5 minutes the course was much more physically demanding than a typical course of the same duration. There we're some large jumps and obstacles that were made even more challenging by a near constant 15-20 mph wind. The mens and womens fields both saw early withdrawls due to injuries.
In seeding Sunday am Jill set the bar with a qualifying time of 2min 50sec. Lars qualified 3rd in mens with a time of 2min 27sec. Having set the fastest seeding time Jill was the last Woman down. Jackie Harmony stepped up her time to a 2min 49sec in the finals, which meant Jill had to go faster than in seeding to take the win. She crossed the line with a 2min 46sec, and a DH National Championship jersey to add to her growing collection. She had this to say "I was told by a homie, to put the “Soul” in Sol Vista, and that might just have happened yesterday. Dedicated the race to some broken friends, and Won my first ever Downhill National Championship in pro Women. Couldn't be happier!"
In the mens finals Aaron Gwin ran early after a crash in seeding and set a new record of 2min 21sec. Lars would be unable to best this time after suffering a puncture to his rear tube 1/2 way down the race course. In the end Gwin's time stood, and he took his 2nd Men's title. Lars says "I'm glad Kintner was able to bring home a jersey to the NW. It would have been amazing to have brought both of them home, but unfortunately this was not my year. I am happy with my performance this weekend however. I stuck to my plan in practice, and found the right pace for the course early on. I feel I was on my way to a successful weekend, but my rear tube had other plans!"
The team has returned home for the NWCup finals, whilst Bryn remains in Europe for Champerey this weekend.
Source: Transition Bikes