Men of Oz dominate U.S. Open of mountain biking

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:49

    VERNON-The third Annual U.S. Open of Mountain Biking, held by Diablo Freeride Park at Mountain Creek over the weekend, drew 375 professional and amateur racers from 30 different states and six different countries. The resort's Black Creek Sanctuary lodging, as well as many neighboring hotels, was sold-out well in advance as a result of the Open and holiday weekend getaways. Officials expect even bigger crowds for future events once the Appalachian Hotel at Mountain Creek opens later this summer, still more. Among the sponsors of the event were: Cannondale Bicycle Corporation, Fox Racing Shox, Magura USA, Moorewood Bikes USA, Hayes Disc Brakes, Sram, High Gear Racing, Inc, e.13 Components, Cycle Works, SIC, Kenda USA, Fox Riders Co., Northeast Sovereign DH Racing, Brooklyn Machine Works, IRA Cycles, Sinister Bikes, Powerbar, Iron Horse Bikes and NYC Freeride. The riders came for the huge cash purse of over $35,000 in cash and prizes, the convenient location, epic course, and warm hospitality, building on this race's reputation as one of the nation's premier downhill events. For the second year in a row, Australian phenom Sam Hill posted the fastest course time (2:48.501), continuing to prove his dominance in the downhill race scene. Hill edged out countrymen Nathan Rennie by over two seconds in defending his 2004 U.S. Open Title and claiming the unprecedented first place payout of $5,000. Rounding out the remaining men's podium spots and taking third place was yet another Australian ripper, Chris Kovarik. Sabrina Jonnier, competing in her first U.S. Open, adapted quickly to the terrain of Diablo Freeride Park and claimed top honors in the women's pro category. Throwing down a time of 3:11.195, Jonnier posted nearly a four-second lead over defending U.S. Open champion Kathy Pruitt. For complete results visit