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National Mountain Bike Series #1 (NMBS) - 2
Fountain Hills, Arizona, USA, March 30-April 1, 2007
Stage 4 - April 1: Cross Country
Déjà vu for Kabush and Gould
By Rob Jones in Phoenix, Arizona
Three weeks ago, Georgia Gould and Geoff Kabush won the Pan Am Mountain Bike titles in Argentina, and on Sunday they once again were the champions at the first round of the US National Mountain Bike Series. The results were extremely similar to Argentina, with Gould - racing for Luna Chix - once again beating Mary McConneloug, and Canada's Geoff Kabush (Maxxis) battling American Todd Wells (GT). Wells finished third in Argentina, behind Canada's Seamus McGrath, but spent the day at the front of the race, just like this weekend.
Held at the McDowell Mountain Regional Park, North-East of Phoenix, the competitions were expected to be ones of attrition. Technically demanding terrain, cacti, sharp rocks and temperatures in the high 80s (low 30s Celcius) meant that if you weren't on your game, you likely wouldn't finish. The women completed three laps of the 16 kilometre loop, and the men four: both very long for the time of year.
How it unfolded
The plus-100 rider strong men's field got off to a fast start, with a lead group of 15 established after a few kilometres. Todd wells was the main animator in the early stages, closely marked by Kabush. Also in the group were Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Subaru-Gary Fisher), his team mate Sam Schultz, Jeremiah Bishop (Trek), Seamus McGrath (Rocky Mountain-Haywood), US champion Ryan Trebon and his Kona team mate Barry Wicks, and Adam Craig (Giant) all present. Missing was Max Plaxton (Rocky Mountain-Haywood), who had a poor start after pulling his foot out. Plaxton would catch the group by the second lap and then break his chain, ending his race.
"I knew no one would get away early," commented Kabush. "Wells got the holeshot into the singletrack, but we had a big train going there. He kept the pace high on the first lap, and I took over on the second. It just whittled down as people made mistakes, and then we were down to five."
By the second lap the lead group was down to five - Wells, Kabush, Bishop, Trebon and Wicks. Horgan-Kobelski, as with team mate Schultz, was yet another rider to flat and had to chase after a wheel change in the tech zone. Craig was chasing alone and McGrath had faded to seventh, followed by Michael Broderick (Kenda-Seven) and Carl Decker (Giant).
A lap later it was down to Kabush and Wells at the front: both looking very strong. Trebon was at 30 seconds - holding his own but not making any headway - and Horgan-Kobelski had made an impressive recovery to join Bishop in the final podium spots as Craig and Wicks started to fade.
The final podium was set - except for Craig moving into fifth after Bishop (you guessed it) flatted on the final lap. However it was still undecided who would get to stand on the top step of the podium, as Kabush and Wells continued to ride head-to-head into the final lap.
In the end it was Kabush who would solo in for the win, after dropping Wells in the second half of the final lap.
"I felt really comfortable on the third lap, and then I took over the pace on the fourth and kept winding it up," said Kabush. "He stuck with me, though, and I was getting a bit worried, but the back side of the course was pretty rough, and I got a gap on a step up before a steep climb. I knew that I would be at an advantage there on my full suspension Litespeed."
Wells admitted to being frustrated after losing again to his rival "There was nothing I could do on the last lap: I blew up a bit and then he attacked," explained Wells. "At that point it was all I could do to finish the race."
Gould, already the winner of both the time trial and the short track over the past two days, took an early lead after a gap opened on the first singletrack climb.
"Kathy Sherwin was second to Georgia and she couldn't hold the pace," explained McConneloug. "After I got by I was able to get back up to Georgia and was feeling pretty good, sitting on her wheel."
Unfortunately for McConneloug, a rut had her name on it. "I was right on her wheel and didn't see it in time, so I went down pretty hard and lost a bunch of time," she said.
Alison Sydor (Rocky Mountain-Haywood) had been sitting third and moved into second, but then had her own problems with a flat. "It was so rocky, you just couldn't avoid all the rocks, and I hit one pretty hard," said Sydor. "I tried to air it, but it wouldn't hold so I had to change the tube and then get a wheel change at the tech zone."
This left Sydor in the 30s, but she had one of the most impressive rides of the race to eventually finish 10th.
Meanwhile, McConneloug moved back into second but couldn't make much headway on Gould's 40 second cushion. Behind the front two, Sue Haywood (Trek), Shonny Vanlandingham (Luna Chix), and Katerina Nash (Luna Chix) were riding within sight of each other for most of the race until Nash flatted on the last lap and Vanlandingham succumbed to the heat and had to allow Haywood to open a gap. Kelli Emmett, sporting her new Giant colours, moved up to fifth.
- Prior to the race McGrath had talked of contesting for the victory after his strong silver medal performance in Argentina, but things didn't go to plan. "I just had a bad day today: no energy, no go," he explained. "I was pretty close to the limit on the first lap, so I knew that I couldn't hold it and had to back off a bit. At that point all I could do was just suffer through it and try to salvage a few (UCI) points."
- Horgan-Kobelski, while disappointed, was pleased with his performance. "The flat happened on the first lap at the far end of the course," he recalled. "I got a new wheel in the tech zone, but it (the flat) happened right when Todd (Wells), Geoff (Kabush) and I were getting a split. At that point it was impossible to make it back up to them, so I'm really happy that I was able to ride back up to fourth."
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us
Men 1 Geoff Kabush (Can) Team Maxxis 2.28.40 2 Todd Wells (USA) GT Bikes 0.58 3 Ryan Trebon (USA) Kona 2.36 4 Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (USA) Subaru-Gary Fisher 3.21 5 Adam Craig (USA) Giant 4.41 6 Carl Decker (USA) Giant 5.33 7 Michael Broderick (USA) Kenda/Seven Cycles 5.46 8 Barry Wicks (USA) Kona 6.04 9 Jeremiah Bishop (USA) Trek/VW 7.54 10 Seamus McGrath (Can) Rocky Mountain/Haywood 8.27 11 Mathieu Toulouse (Can) Team Maxxis 9.13 12 Andy Schultz (USA) Bear Naked/Cannondale 9.22 13 Jay Henry (USA) Ind 9.34 14 Jeff Schalk (USA) Trek/VW- East 9.49 15 Ross Schnell (USA) Trek/VW 11.46 16 Matthew Hadley (Can) Rocky Mountain Business 12.20 17 Roddi Lega (Can) Norco Factory Team 12.40 18 Dana Weber (USA) Jax Bicycle Center 12.53 19 Nat Ross (USA) Subaru-Gary Fisher 12.54 20 Leonardo Sandoval (USA) Socal Specialized Team 13.06 21 Ryan Woodall (USA) Premier Mortgage Fundin 13.31 22 Jeff Hall (USA) Salsa Cycles 15.40 23 Sam Jurekovic (USA) U23 National Team 15.43 24 Tim Heemskerk (Can) United Cycling Racing 16.18 25 Thomas Turner (USA) Bear Naked/Cannondale 17.39 26 Cody Peterson (USA) Scott Bicycles 17.51 27 Colin Cares (USA) U23 National Team 18.45 28 Brian Fuentes (USA) Waltworks/Fuentes Design 19.29 29 Sean Donovan (USA) Cytomax/KHS 19.43 30 Troy Wells (USA) Tokyo Joes 20.15 31 Brandon Draugelis (USA) Bear Naked/Cannondale 20.22 32 Travis Livermon (USA) Cycling Spoken Here 21.09 33 Damian Calvert (USA) Bear Naked/Cannondale 21.19 34 Rick Wetherald (USA) Tamarack Resort 22.09 35 Ryan Lynch (USA) James Frames/Mafia 22.13 36 Eric Ransom (USA) Team Tamarack Resort 22.16 37 Kamden Reedy (USA) Titus Cycles 22.20 38 Bryan Alders (USA) Mona-Vie/Cannondale 22.35 39 Grant Kier (USA) Redbarnbicycles.Com 23.10 40 Keith Hickerson (USA) Tamarack 24.14 41 Paul Hanson (USA) Bear Naked/Cannondale 25.21 42 Aren Timmel (USA) Ind 25.24 43 Tristan Uhl (USA) Team Hotel San Jose 25.41 44 Garcia Velarde, (MEX) Crazy Cat 26.40 45 Bryan Fawley (USA) Kenda/X-Fusion/Titus 27.00 46 Kelly Magelky (USA) BMC/Sports Garage 27.13 47 Mitchell Peterson (USA) Devo 27.39 48 Alan Obye (USA) Jamis 27.53 49 Brig Brandt (USA) Bend Elite 28.04 50 Paul Freiwald (USA) Titus Cycles 28.57 51 Michael Raney (USA) Voo-Doo 29.10 52 Shun Matsumoto (Jpn) Trek Japan 29.30 53 Sloane Anderson (USA) Clifbar/Smith 30.04 54 Aaron Snyder (USA) Ind 30.13 55 Kris Sneddon (Can) Kona 30.14 56 Ken Burt (USA) Jamis/Garmin 57 Kevin Smallman (USA) Bear Naked/Cannondale 32.23 58 Andrew Freye (USA) Bikeman.Com/Salsa Cycles 36.15 59 Trevor Downing (USA) Bear Valley Bikes 36.48 60 Mcconnell Franklin (USA) Devo 36.53 61 Scott Keller (USA) Deft Cycling 37.08 62 Kyle Hammaker (USA) Ind 37.24 63 Joshua Powers (USA) Shampa 37.39 64 Yuki Saito (USA) Fuentes Design/Walt Wor 42.51 65 Ben Thompson (USA) Bend Elite 1.05.47 DNF Jamie Morgan (USA) Moots Cycles DNF Travis Brown (USA) Trek/Frs DNF Dustin Wanstrath (USA) Team Tamarack DNF Bruce Muhlfeld (USA) Trek/VW DNF Michael Tobin (USA) Georges DNF Evan Sherman (Can) United Cycle DNF Brett Morgan (USA) Bear Naked/Cannondale DNF Alex Ryan (USA) Landrover/Cannondale DNF Christian Ball (USA) Independent Fabrications DNF Mike Sarnecki (Can) Team Ing DNF Charles Jenkins (USA) Cytomax/KHS DNF Cale Redpath (USA) 3d Racing DNF Charles Pendry (USA) Inland - Btd DNF Michael Janelle (USA) Tokyo Joes/Catlin DNF Nicholas Stevens (GBr) Orbea Usa DNF Raita Suzuki (Jpn) Bridgestone Anchor DNF Adam Snyder (USA) 3-D Racing DNF Max Plaxton (Can) Rocky Mountain-Haywood DNF Nick Martin (USA) Trek/VW DNF Tim Bolton (USA) Titus Cycles/Maxim Compo DNF Bart Gillespie (USA) Mona Vie/Cannondale DNF Eric Neat (USA) Deft Cycling/Schampa DNF Sam Schultz (USA) Subaru-Gary Fisher DNF Brent Miller (AUS) Kenda/X-Fusion/Titus DNF Bear Perrin (USA) Kenda/Jamis DNF Matt Freeman (USA) Pass Physical Therapy DNF Kevin Rice (USA) Tokyo Joes DNF Daniel Corum (USA) Inland/Btd DNF Keiitchi Tsujiura (Jpn) Bridgestone Anchor DNF Travis Woodruff (USA) Momentumendurance.Com DNF Glenn Fant (USA) Ind DNF Michael Mccalla (USA Ind Women 1 Georgia Gould (USA) Luna Womens MTB 2.06.20 2 Mary McConneloug (USA) Kenda/Seven Cycles 0.51 3 Susan Haywood (USA) Trek/VW 2.31 4 Shonny Vanlandingham (USA) Luna Womens MTB Team 2.58 5 Kelli Emmett (USA) Giant 3.40 6 Wendy Simms (Can) Kona 5.20 7 Zephanie Blasi (USA) Kenda/X-Fusion/Titus 5.44 8 Heather Irmiger (USA) Subaru-Gary Fisher 7.22 9 Chloe Forsman (USA) Luna Womens MTB Team 9.35 10 Alison Sydor (Can) Rocky Mountain/Haywood 9.45 11 Jenna Zander (USA) Bear Naked/Cannondale 10.01 12 Rie Katayama (Jpn) Trek 10.22 13 Melanie Meyers (USA) Kenda/Titus/X-Fusion 10.30 14 Catherine Pendrel (Can) Norco 10.53 15 Chrissy Bono (USA) Intense Cycles 10.57 16 Mical Dyck (Can) Trek/Terrascape Racing 12.19 17 Kathy Sherwin (USA) Titus 18 Kristen Danielson (USA) Velo Bella/Kona 12.50 19 Shannon Gibson (USA) Velo-Bella/Kona 13.46 20 Krista Park (USA) Colavita 13.48 21 Patricia Sinclair (Can) Scott 14.03 22 Katerina Nash (Cze) Luna Womens MTB Team 14.11 23 Megan Monroe (USA) BMC-Sports Garage 14.52 24 Jennifer Smith (NZl) Trek/VW 15.05 25 Emily Van Meter (USA) Bear Naked/Cannondale 15.12 26 Sue Butler (USA) Bear Naked/Cannondale M 18.06 27 Nina Baum (USA) Bear Naked/Cannondale 18.36 28 Jennifer Gersbach (USA) BMC/Sports Garage 18.38 29 Sara Bresnick-Zocchi (USA) Lynskey Performance 19.41 30 Melanie McQuaid (Can) BMC/Natures Path 19.51 31 Kimberly Flynn (USA) Vantaggio/Specialized 19.59 32 Jennifer Tribe-Wilson (USA) Ind 20.22 33 Natasha Cowie (USA) Velo Bella/Kona 21.12 34 Monique Sawicki (USA) Ergon/Ellsworth 21.17 35 Theresa Richardson (USA) Bear Naked/Cannondale 22.57 36 Jennifer Tilley (USA) Velo Bella/Kona 24.08 37 Barbara Howe (USA) Velo Bella 24.20 38 Heather Holmes (USA) Kenda/X-Fusion 24.44 39 Stacey Scanlan (USA) Team Tamarack 25.36 40 Heather Ranoa (USA) Intense 25.56 41 Alexandria Fabbro (USA) Velo Bella 26.03 42 Becca Blay (USA) Bear Naked/Cannondale 26.57 43 Christie Pleiss (USA) Pass Physical Therapy 27.00 44 Carolyn Popovic (USA) Trek/VW East Coast 27.03 45 Lorena Candrian (USA) Dcmtb 28.24 46 Erika Krumpelman (USA) Velo Bella/Kona 28.56 47 Jona Bollinger (USA) Pragon Racing 29.27 48 Paula Burks (USA) Vantaggio/ Specialized 29.40 49 Amy Drumm (USA) Denver Bicycle 30.33 50 Jana Repulski (USA) Team Tamarack Resort 30.37 51 Kim Jennings (USA) Ortho/Bicycles Outback 30.40 52 Jane Pearson (USA) Maverick 30.45 53 Rebecca Gross (USA) Velo Bella/Kona 31.45 54 Kathy Bodie (USA) Great Adventures Sport 32.10 55 Patricia Buerkle (USA) Tahoe Northstar/Giant 32.30 56 Sonya Looney (USA) Tough Girl Cycling 32.55 57 Jennifer Sica (USA) Deft Cycling/Schampa 36.32 58 Judy Freeman (USA) Bear Naked/Cannondale 40.08 59 Hilary Wright (USA) Devo 42.34 60 Rachel Throop (USA) Devo 45.53 DNF Danae York (USA) Velobum.Com/Turner Sus DNF Mandy Eakins (USA) Pass Physical Therapy DNF Willow Koerber (USA) Subaru-Gary Fisher DNF Sabina Kraushaar (USA) Healthfx DNF Sarah Barber (USA) Titus/Kenda/X-Fusion DNF Lea Davison (US) Trek/VW DNF Heather Svahn (USA) Ritchey Regional Team DNF Christina Smith (USA) Ortho Sage Cycles/Colon DNF Maria Pugliese (USA) Fetish Cyles DNF Shannon Holden (USA) Velo Bella/Kona DNF Kristina Maier (USA) BMC/Sports Garage DNF Kristi Lewis (USA) Orbea