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Cactus Cup Stage Race - SR
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, September 19-21, 2008
Stage 1 - September 19: Time trial
Pinnacle Peak Time Trial kicks off the Cactus Cup
By Dave McElwaine in Las Vegas
Sam Jurekovic (U-23 National Team) finished only 1/10 of a second behind Taberly, and Tim Allen (Waste Management) was third. Before the race Allen had lamented that he was going to have to start first and not have anyone to chase, but as it turned out many riders had trouble getting around racers who were off their bikes.
Kelli Emmett (Giant) easily won the Elite Women's race in 3:07.88 in a smaller than normal field. Maureen Kunz (Lost Coast Brewery) took second place, about 8 seconds behind Emmett. Both women were forced to dismount due to the loose surface and high winds near the top.
Pinnacle Peak Park is a luscious, green, 80 acre park in the desert constructed for the residents of the 6,000 home Mountain's Edge Master Planned Community. Towering over the park is Pinnacle Peak itself, on which they have constructed the many hiking paths that were used in tonight's race.
Racers started with a slightly rolling section of trail that allowed for some fairly high speeds. However, as they turned onto the middle section of the course, they faced steep switchbacks and an extremely loose stone surface. Many of the top riders were using between 20 and 24 pounds of tire pressure after experimenting for much of the afternoon.
The top third of the course followed a steep ridgeline to the summit. It was near the top that almost half of the racers had to dismount and push their bikes. For many, it was actually faster.
Sid Taberly commented after the race "It's definitely one of those things where it was pure luck. You came around a big switchback right into the face of the wind and it was really loose. In practice you had some good times and you had some bad times."
He added "I was nearly up to my teammate Manny Prado and the wind blew me off the line and then I'm stepping off my bike and had to run. Everyone said I was just as fast running as I was riding."
The crowd watching the race was excited to see World Champion Christophe Sauser (Specialized) in the field sporting an honorary #1 racing plate. While he had a conservative run and did not crack the top three, he is expected to be a force to be reckoned with this weekend.
When asked about the course, Sauser replied "I love it . It's spectacular when you are on the top. You see the Vegas skyline but before you can enjoy that you have to work your way up. It's so short that you don't even feel it, but after 30 seconds your lungs are burning with the dry air....and again, I was very happy that these two minutes were over."
Sam Jurekovic, who appears to be fully recovered from his injuries at the U.S.A. National Championships seemed to have a perfect ride. He was out of the saddle a couple times in the switchbacks, and managed to stay on his bike in the most troublesome spots. He was also one of the riders using only 20 psi of tire pressure.
"It was real steep, real loose, and really windy up top.....I started real slow on purpose and then kept the same speed and the same gear to the top" commented Jurekovic after the race.
Tomorrow the racers with face what may be the longest Super D of their careers, an 8.1 mile run down Cottonwood Valley, ending in the old mining town of Blue Diamond.
Stay tuned to cyclingnews.com for complete Cactus Cup race coverage from Las Vegas this weekend.
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by Dave McElwaine /www.trailwatch.net
Elite men 1 Sid Taberlay (Team Shoal) 2.03.8 2 Sam Jurekovic (U23 National Team) 0.00.1 3 Tim Allen (Waste Management) 0.07.1 4 Benjamin Sonntag (Fort Lewis College) 0.07.7 5 Andreas Hestler (Rocky Mountain) 0.08.5 6 Carl Decker (giant bicycles) 0.08.9 7 Christoph Sauser (Specialized) 0.09.3 8 Adam Snyder (3-D racing) 0.11.4 9 Rotem Ishai (Kona - Spider C.C.) 0.11.8 10 Sean Donovan (Cytomax/KHS) 0.13.8 11 Blake Zumbrunnen (Revolution / Peak Fasteners) 0.13.9 12 Alex Grant (Rocky Mountain Bicycles) 0.18.2 13 Manuel Prado (Team Shoal) 0.21.0 14 Nicholas Stevens (Waltworks/Fuentesdesign) 0.21.1 15 Eric Ransom (Tamarack Resort) 16 Cody Peterson (Scott Bicycles) 0.21.3 17 Yuki Saito (WALTWORKS/FUENTESDESIGN) 0.22.8 18 Drew Edsall (Endurance Factor / Scott / Sram /) 0.26.6 19 Eric Salstrand 0.28.5 20 Andy Schultz (Kenda-Titus-Hayes) 0.31.0 21 Dave Harrison (Reddrox.com) 0.36.1 22 Fabio Dias (SPECIALIZED/ELITE BIKE) 0.45.0 Elite women 1 Kelli Emmett (Giant Bicycles) 3.07.9 2 Maureen Kunz (Lost Coast Brewery) 0.10.2 Semi-pro men 1 Brandon Firth (Rocky Mountain) 2.29.5 2 Rich Weis (Taser/KENDA) 0.18.5 3 Andy Rigel (Velo Bike Shop) 0.23.0 DNF Leonardo Cocholice (SPECIALIZED/ELITE BIKE) Expert men 1 Mike Hileman (eye gear sport optics) 2.28.1 2 Brandon Cunningham (TOSHIBA-Santo presented by He) 0.19.1 3 Bob McCall (Allegiant Airlines) 0.41.1 4 Todd Sims 0.53.0 5 Mark Jackson (Xtreme Couture) 1.06.4 6 Jared Fischer 1.07.5 7 Mike Pastore (Ibis) 1.07.6 8 Mark Roberts (Team Extreme Couture) 1.08.8 DNS Scott Leland (team easty/unr cycling) Sport men 1 Jon Horenziak (McGhies Bike Shop) 1.15.6 2 Jeffrey Johnson (Allegiant Airlines) 0.00.9 3 Shawn Tyrone (Cannondale-Mona Vie) 0.01.5 4 Cason Smith 0.06.1 5 Tony Gonzalez (Team CES) 0.10.9 6 Paul Ferrarc (team Lazy) 0.11.5 7 John Langton (Las Vegas Velo / PENTA) 0.13.7 8 Nando Ateho (CES) 0.13.9 9 Robert Stanley (Endura Factory Team) 0.20.5 10 Harold Uttke 0.25.6 11 Eric Neuhaus (JT's Bicycle) 0.30.2 Sport women 1 Julie Conner (McGhie's/Whoohagear) 1.49.6 2 Michele Bliss (Rocky Mounts-Izze Racing) 0.01.2 3 Heather Fischer 0.16.8 4 Jeanne Starling (Pro Cyclery) 0.33.2 Beginner men 1 Tim Moody (CES/Southwest Bikes) 1.35.7 2 Mike Olsen (Vegas Velo) 0.00.4 3 Thomas Pisillo (Gore Bike Wear) 0.00.9 4 Doug Murphy (New Ground) 0.10.6 5 Albert Vasquez (unattached) 0.33.8 6 Jeff Zebarth 0.45.3 Clydesdale 1 Pretner Ryan (Team Pro Cyclery) 1.34.3 2 Victor Miera (Luv2Bike) 0.14.8 Singlespeed 1 1 Mylne John (Team Shoal) 2.41.2 2 Hauswald Yuri (Marin Bikes) 0.07.5 3 Deay Birtch (Niner Bikes) 8.04.2 Singlespeed 2 1 Marshall Evans (Luv2bike) 1.21.4 2 John Day (JTs Bicycle) 0.03.6 3 Jason Landberg (Nu Vision Cyclery) 0.25.4 General classification after stage 1 Same as above.