Kintner, Woodruff take second titles at Mountain Bike National Championships

  
  


(July 18, 2015) – Jill Kintner (Bellingham, Wash./Red Bull-Norco Bicycles) marched to the women’s pro downhill national championship and Chloe Woodruff (Prescott, Ariz./Team Stan’s NoTubes-Niner) sprinted to the women’s pro cross-country win, as the two athletes earned their second Stars-and-Stripes jerseys in as many days on Saturday at the 2015 USA Cycling Mountain Bike National Championships in Mammoth Mountain, Calif.
 
Jill Kintner cruises to her second championship of the week.
Jill Kintner cruises to her second championship of the week. (photo by Philip Beckman/www.pbcreativephoto.com)

Aaron Gwin (Wildomar, Calif./Specialized Racing) also won his seventh downhill national championship, and Howard Grotts (Durango, Colo./Specialized Factory Racing) picked up his first pro men’s cross-country national title.
 
Kintner followed up Friday’s dual slalom win with a convincing 15.64-second downhill margin of victory, crossing in 4:03.95 to earn her 15th career professional national championship. She defeated dual slalom silver medalist Jacqueline Thomas (Winter Park, Colo.), who earned downhill silver in 4:19.59, while Rebecca Gardner (Marlboro, N.Y.) took bronze in 4:55.05.
 
“It definitely feels good to get another win. I’m happy to keep my sleeve a bit longer,” Kintner said. “I’m happy with how the day went and to represent America.”
 
Woodruff’s second gold medal of the weekend was not as lopsided, as the Arizona native outlasted Erin Huck (Boulder, Colo./SCOTT-3Rox Racing) in a final sprint, crossing in 1:39:39, one second ahead of Huck’s 1:39:40 finish. Woodruff and Huck battled throughout the majority of the five-lap race, two constants at the front that at times also included Rose Grant (Kalispell, Mont.) and Georgia Gould (Fort Collins, Colo./LUNA Pro Team). Defending champion Lea Davison (Jericho, Vt./Specialized Factory Racing) suffered a rear flat early, causing her to settle for sixth place and opening the door for other riders like Grant, who finished third in 1:40:16, to reach the podium.
 
“I had a lot of nerves coming into this weekend,” Woodruff said. “I wasn’t really thinking about (winning), but I had some people telling me, ‘Hey, you’re going to do it. You’re going to come away with two jerseys.’ I thought that’s a pipedream. I knew I could do it; it was just a matter of hanging with Erin.”
 
Aaron Gwin, Howard Grotts, Chloe Woodruff and Jill Kintner (l to r) won pro titles on Saturday.
Aaron Gwin, Howard Grotts, Chloe Woodruff and Jill Kintner (l to r) won pro titles on Saturday. (photo by Phil Beckman/www.pbcreativephoto.com)

The pro men’s downhill competition came down to Gwin, the six-time downhill champion and No. 1 seed in the event. On the final run of the day, Gwin assembled a 3:20.52 effort that upended Michael Sylvestri’s (Truckee, Calif.) then-top time of 3:23.45 to take the win. Sylvestri earned silver and Luca Shaw (Hendersonville, N.C./SRAM-Troy Lee Designs) won bronze with his 3:24.47 run.
 
“National Champs have always been a special event for me,” Gwin said. “I’ve been fortunate enough to win it a few times, and it’s always a race I look forward to, one that I definitely want to do well at. I’m really stoked to keep the Stars-and-Stripes sleeve for another year and take it back to the World Cup.”
 
In the final event of the day, the 22 year-old Grotts dethroned three-time pro cross-country champion and teammate Todd Wells (Durango, Colo./Specialized Factory Racing) following a daylong battle with the defending champion. Grotts and Wells played cat and mouse through the first four laps, with Wells creating space on the ascents and Grotts catching up on the climbs, until Grotts took over on the penultimate lap. With Keegan Swenson (Park City, Utah/Sho-Air-Cannondale), Stephen Ettinger (Bozeman, Mont./Sho-Air Cyclery) and Alex Grant (Salt Lake City, Utah/Ridebiker-Cannondale) gaining, Grotts attacked and never looked back, crossing in 1:42:13, 1:03 ahead of the field. Swenson earned silver in 1:43:16, while Grant claimed bronze in 1:43:51. Like his fellow 2014 XC champion Davison, Wells finished sixth in 1:46:34.
 
“On the second-to-last lap I gave it a go because I saw Keegan was coming up to us so I had the opportunity to get as much time on the climb (as possible),” said Grotts. “That was enough of a buffer on the last two descents that I had to do to roll in for the win.”
 
Hear from all four Day 4 professional national champions.
 
All remaining amateur cross-country and downhill divisions crowned national champions on Saturday, with more than 30 Stars-and-Stripes settled. Click here for all Day 4 results.
 
The 2015 USA Cycling Mountain Bike National Championships close out on Sunday with all enduro divisions, including men’s and women’s 15+ pro/open and amateur 15-60+ divisions.
 
For a complete scheduleresults, course maps and photo galleriesplease visit the event web site. If you can’t make it out for the event, follow all of the action on Twitter using the hashtag #MTBNats.

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This Article Updated July 19, 2015 @ 08:10 AM For more information contact: