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Monique Sawicki the 2004 Female NORBA National Marathon Series Champ
finishes 2nd at the Nova NORBA Nationals

By Ron Sawicki

Monique Warrior's Society member Monique's Mata's campaign to defend her National Marathon Series Championship on March 17th at the McDowell Mountain Bike Park in Phoenix Arizona was not without mishaps. She pulled a solid second place after taking a bad spill on her second lap! Monique rode strong but she took a beating on the10 miles of rocky technical terrain at the end of each lap. At one point the deficit was big but she kicked it on lap three and separated herself from Marla Streb by 15 minutes.

After racing 81 miles in the marathon she also competed in the full XC stage race on the following 3 days. She finished strong in all the races, always in the top half of the 60 rider's (she rode her new bike for the first time this weekend with the correct parts). The bike and brakes were flawless, but Monique did have a few more crashes and ended up quite bruised and bloody (we will be concentrating on technical skills for sea otter).

On the podium In the short track Monique was hit right at the start by a girl who lost control of her bike; the accident twisted her bars sideways while her front wheel stayed straight. She got off her bike twisted the bars back into place and took off, 40 seconds behind the last girl! She was able to catch that girl and pass half the field before crashing again trying to pass another girl on a steep descent. She was on fire and maybe a little too aggressive passing on the drop. She still held on to her ranking somewhere in the top twenties. People kept coming up to her and me blown away with her comeback - even one of the major teams went to Kenda just to find out who she was.

All in all it was a great weekend! She is now ranked 2nd in the Marathon series and after the next race she plans on being back on top!

Go team Mata!!

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