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National Mountain Bike Series #1 (NMBS) - 1
Fontana, California, USA, March 27 - 30, 2008
Race 17 - March 30: Elite Men Short Track
Wicks powers to Victory
By Dave McElwaine in Fontana, California
Former US National short track champion Barry Wicks (Kona) pulled off his first NMBS short track victory in a hard fought battle. Adam Craig (Giant) finished second, followed by the winner of Saturday's cross country race, Geoff Kabush (Maxxis).
On a course described by Ryan Trebon (Kona) as "a power course" that did not favor climbers but rather those with diesel engines who could keep the hammer down for twenty minutes plus two laps, Wicks pulled away from his rivals in the second lap. He was then joined by Craig in the final two laps. The pair remained at the head of affairs until the very end. A tough sprint was all that was able to separate them in the end.
How it unfolded
There was no clear favourite on the Bonelli Park starting line, with possible contenders including current U.S. national champion Ryan Trebon (Kona), Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Gary Fisher/Suburu), Craig, Barry Wicks (Kona), and Max Plaxton (Rocky Mountain) often shows early season speed.
Geoff Kabush got the hole shot as the huge men's field got around the first left hand turn without any crashes. Barry Wicks quickly powered past Kabush and led up the first climb at a blistering pace, followed closely behind by Kabush and Horgan-Kobelski.
During the first lap, Trebon decided to test his legs and went to the front. Unfortunately he and Sam Jurekovic (U23 National Team) slid out in a corner and crashed. Jurekovic was able to regain a good finishing position but Trebon was basically done for the day.
During the second lap Kabush took the lead from Wicks. After they swapped the lead several times, Wicks finally got away. Behind them Craig, who was sitting in fifth position, began pulling himself up the leader board. Plaxton was also on the move and seemed to be pulling away from those behind him.
With two laps to go, Craig expended a huge amount of energy and was able to bridge the gap to Wicks, while Kabush was less than 100 feet behind the pair as they began the final lap. Craig looked to be in trouble, desperately holding onto Wicks' wheel as he did all he could to try rid himself of his last remaining competitor for the title.
Rounding the final corner to the finish, it was Wicks who had the lead as they began sprinting for the line. Although Craig tried with all he had, Wicks was simply too strong, and he went on to claim his first NMBS short track title.
Kabush finished a strong third, followed by Ross Schnell (Trek / VW) who had moved up from riding much of the race in about ninth position. Plaxton was fifth, while rising star Jurekovic finished a creadible sixth.
Next weekend, the NMBS series moves on to Fountain Hills, Arizona.
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by Dave McElwaine / www.trailwatch.net
1 Barry Wicks (USA) Kona 0.24.56 2 Adam Craig (USA) Giant Mtb Team 0.01 3 Geoff Kabush (Can) Team Maxxis 0.06 4 Ross Schnell (USA) Trek/Vw 0.12 5 Max Plaxton (Can) Rocky Mountain-Haywood 0.18 6 Sam Jurekovic (USA) U23 National Team 0.21 7 Troy Wells (USA) Tokyo Joes 0.30 8 Mathieu Toulouse (Can) Team Maxxis 0.34 9 Sam Schultz (USA) Subaru-Gary Fisher 0.36 10 Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (USA) Subaru-Gary Fisher 0.39 11 Liam Killeen (GBr) Specialized Factory Team 0.42 12 Cody Peterson (USA) Scott Bicycles 0.43 13 Ryan Trebon (USA) Kona 1.00 14 Tim Allen (USA) Voodoo 1.02 15 Chance Noble (USA) Calif Giant Berryf Arms 1.07 16 Ryan Woodall (USA) Industrynine/Powerbar 1.08 17 Ricky Federau (Can) 1.10 18 Colin Cares (USA) U23 National Team 1.10 19 Bryan Fawley (USA) Tx Tough/Hotel San Jose 1.14 20 Kris Sneddon (Can) Kona Les Gets 1.18 21 Charles Pendry (USA) Inland - Btd 1.21 22 Adam Morka (Can) 3 Rox Cycling 1.28 23 Andy Schultz (USA) Kenda Titus Hayes 1.33 24 Mike Phillips (USA) Alterra/Specialized 1.37 25 Ignacio Torres (Mex) Turbo Bikes 1.40 26 Travis Livermon (USA) Kobold Watch Comp 1.40 27 Dana Weber (USA) Jax Bicycle Center 1.41 28 Manuel Prado (USA) Sho-Air/Rock N Road 1.45 29 Eric Salstrand (USA) Bicycle Haus/Oakley/Specialized 1.45 30 Matthew Hadley (Can) Xprezo 1.46 31 Mitch Hoke (USA) Tokyo Jos 1.51 32 Trevor Downing (USA) Devo 1.57 33 Chris Peariso (USA) Adventure 212 /Titus 2.04 Lapped 34 Adam Snyder (USA) 3-D Racing 35 Derek Zandstra (Can) 3 Rox Racing 36 Emmanuel Valencia (Mex) Turbo 37 Stefan Widmer (Can) Rocky Mountain/Different Bike 38 Martin Lazarski (Can) Rocky Mountain Different Bikes 39 Paul Hanson (USA) Sobe Cannondale 40 Eric Ransom (USA) Team Tamarack Resort 41 Jeff Schalk (USA) Trek Vw- East 42 Sean Donovan (USA) Cytomax/Khs 43 Mitchell Peterson (USA) Mona Vie/Cannondale 44 Alex Ryan (USA) Land Rover/Cannondale 45 Kyle Douglas (Can) 3 Rox Racing 46 Mike Andres (USA) Trek/Vw West Coast Team 47 Yuki Saito (USA) Fuentes Design/Walt Works 48 Nat Ross (USA) Subaru-Gary Fisher 49 Ethan Gilmour (USA) U23 National Mtb Team 50 Lucas Livermon (USA) Inland Construction 51 Kenji Takeya (Jpn) Specialized Japan 52 Eric Batty (Can) Trek Bicycles Store Team 53 Brian Bain (Can) Cmc/Bow Cycle 54 Kevin Smallman (USA) Sobe Cannondale 55 Michael Lee (USA) Trek/Vw West Coast 56 Nigel Hill (USA) Trekvwwestcoast 57 Dylan Stucki (USA) Independent Fabrications` 58 Daniel Sessford Blue Competiton Cycles 59 Travis Woodruff (USA) Bmc/Momentumendurance 60 Mcconnell Franklin (USA) Middlebury College 61 Matt Rotroff (USA) Btd/Inland Construction 62 Steve Kinney (USA) Steven K Sports 63 Michael Mooradian (USA) Spin Bike Shop 64 Colin Osborn (USA) Team Bikeparts.Com 65 Chad Wells (USA) 3D Racing 66 Luke Pennington (USA) S & M Young Guns 67 Tim Olson (USA) Trek/Vw Westcoast 68 Chanoch Redlich (Isr) Citycyclingclub 69 Carl Decker (USA) Giant Mtb Team 70 Noah Holcomb Sobe Cannondale 71 Robert Marion (USA) Kenda Titus DNF Shane Holliongshead (Can) Norco DNS Bart Gillespie (USA) Monavie/Cannondale DNS Dustin Wanstrath (USA) Tamarack Resort/ Scott Bikes