A winning weekend at Deer Valley
Sometimes life is a bit like a bike wheel it goes in circles.
For local pro mountain biker Kathy Sherwin, that circle was finally completed on Saturday afternoon as she took fifth in the cross-country race at the National Off-Road Bicycle Association (NORBA) National Mountain Bike Race Series (NMBS) at Deer Valley the place where it all began.
Sherwin had been a long time employee at Deer Valley and watched many a bike race on the resort’s trails and terrain when she decided to try it for herself in 2000. She won the first race and never looked back, slowly climbing the ranks into the elite pro level. Now she finds herself in rare company, finishing among some of the sport’s best, but never finishing high enough to get that elusive spot on the podium.
Until Saturday on her home course.
"This is a dream come true," said the overwhelmed Sherwin.
Sherwin started the race in the top 10 and was able move up as she traversed the course loop. On each turn, she tried to separate herself more from the rest of the field.
"What was going through my mind was, ‘Grow the gap. Grow the gap,’" Sherwin said.
She was also encouraged by the hometown support that lined the course.
"You hear people cheering for you at every corner," Sherwin said. "You push it hard because you believe in yourself."
In past Deer Valley stops, Sherwin said that she had always been slowed down by some stroke of bad luck, but this time around, everything came together. The Titus-sponsored rider came through behind Heather Irmiger with a time of one hour, 59 minutes and 21 seconds.
"This is awesome," Sherwin said. "I’m so psyched."
Just ahead of her were the Luna-sponsored riders, dubbed the "Luna Chicks," who finished one-two three, in the 21-mile-long race. Georgia Gould led with a time of 1:51.49 (her fourth win) to remain undefeated on the series circuit. Right behind her was Shonny Vanlandingham with a time of 1:54.27 and Katerina Nash in third with a 1:55.19 finish.
On the men’s side, Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski of Subaru-Gary Fisher emerged victorious with a time of 2:08.19 in the four-lap race. The leaders battled relentlessly for the lead throughout much of the course.
"I was going as hard as I could those first two laps," Horgan-Kobelski said.
Right behind him was Canadian Jeff Kabush of Team Maxxis, who finished in 2:08.19. Trek rider Jeremiah Bishop, who set the breakneck pace at the beginning, came in third at 2:10.39. The Virginia-based rider was elated to finish so well at altitude, especially after losing his water bottle mid-race.
"If it’s any indication, I’m going to rock at sea-level," Bishop said. "I’m very pleased with it."
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