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USA Cycling Mountain Bike National Championships - CN
USA, July 19-22, 2007
Race 1 - Thursday, July 19: U23 Men Cross Country
By Jackson Weber in West Dover, Vermont
Sam Jurekovic (U23 National Team) wrenched victory from defending champion Subaru-Gary Fisher's Sam Schultz in the day's U23 men's cross country race. Schultz and Jurekovic generally together until the last lap during which Jurekovic attacked. That's when Schultz suffered cramps, leaving Jurekovic to comfortably ride away to victory.
"I was right with Sam until the second lap when I went over my handlebars," Jurekovic explained how he lost 20 seconds at one point on lap two. "When I recovered, I rode with Colin (Cares) for a lap, but rode away on the climb. It was a very hard chase, but when I finally caught back up with Sam at the top of the mountain on the third lap, I just rode right by him. I just didn't stop and tried not to look back."
"I felt awesome today," second placed Schultz said, "I was leading for most of the race, but Sam just started riding really strong. Once he blew by me, I just tried to salvage my losses. He opened up a pretty good gap and then I started cramping pretty badly. I just didn't quite have the legs today."
- 2007 nationals marked the second consecutive year that the same trio swept the top three podium spots. Last year, the order was Schultz, Jurekovic, and Cares.