Jill Kintner captures her first downhill national championship
Jill Kintner (Transition Racing) raced to her first downhill national championship title late Sunday afternoon in Granby, Colorado. She defeated Jacqueline Harmony (Vixen Racing) and Melissa Buhl (KHS) in the final run.
“I feel like I accomplished something today. It’s my first year racing downhill,” said the former BMX and four cross superstar, Kintner.
Kintner endured the pedally course and was one of just a few women to take the big jumps on the course, verses the go-arounds which usually add a second of time each.
“I got a little funny in the air over the first jump in my final run because I was tired, but in the big one at the end, I dabbed a little and it could have gotten ugly,” she said.
“Qualifying was my first full run. I was trying to save my energy for those jumps, so I wouldn’t screw them up. This course – for girls to jump these jumps – is a big statement. 40-foot gaps for chicks – took me a long time to get the courage to do them. I finally squeezed them out in the run.”
Unfortunately, Katie Holden and Kathy Pruitt were not so lucky. Holden crashed in qualifying and broke her wrist. “She convinced me to do that last jump and then got hurt,” said Kintner. “It’s a bummer for her, and I dedicate this win to her.”
Kathy Pruitt was also missing from the final. She broke her ribs and collapsed a lung in training yesterday.
Another woman who capped off a stellar weekend was Harmony. She finished second, taking her second silver medal of the championships, after winning one in four cross last night.
“I had a few weird front wheel bobbles, but overall it was a nice, clean run,” said Harmony. “I hit that big jump the smoothest I did all weekend and I think that got me through it.” Harmony is headed to Swizterland next weekend for her first World Cup of 2010.
Buhl finished third, ahead of Leigh Donovan (Intense Cycles) in fourth and Darian Harvey (Vixen Racing) in fifth.
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