Mourey makes Vegas his happy hunting ground

Driscoll close, but no repeat win

French champion Francis Mourey brought home another victory in the USA in a thrilling sprint at CrossVegas, denying the defending champion Jamey Driscoll (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld) the win on the line. It was the Francaise des Jeux rider's third win of the season after a pair of triumphs in much more adverse conditions last weekend in Seattle, Washington.

Las Vegas, Nevada may have lacked the spectacle of the downpours that plagued riders last weekend, but the drama of the race could not have lived up better to the bright lights and big stage of this flamboyant town.

Driscoll, who had been on a solo breakaway since the third lap and at one point nearly 30 seconds ahead of the main group, saw his lead reduced steadily until it was just a few seconds coming into the last half lap. He very nearly held on, but was nipped by Mourey at the finish line as the Frenchman rocketed out of the chasing group with 50m to go.

Rabobank-Giant's Gerben de Knegt claimed the third spot from one of the deepest fields ever to contest cyclo-cross on US soil.

"I was a little bit tired having only arrived in Vegas last night," said Mourey. "I went to bed at 2am and spent all day today visiting sponsors and it was tiring.

"I knew that my best chance of a win was if it was a sprint finish, so I waited for as long as I needed to."

The disappointment of the Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld team was palpable as Driscoll collapsed to the grass after the finish, still out of breath from his solo effort which went on for two thirds of the race.

"I didn't expect it to be as easy as last year," said Driscoll, who was a relatively unknown rider last year when he entered into the race winning break with another fairly unfamiliar name in the 'cross scene, Chris Jones. "The one card I played last year, I didn't think I'd be able to play it this year. I kind of did, I was surprised about that," he said. "But when the national champion is number six on the start line, I knew it would be a tough field tonight."

Mourey was complimentary about the quality of the racing, even if the nighttime race in the desert was a bit different from his normal venues. "We were all behind the leader but he only had a few seconds so I knew that there was a good chance of coming back, but it was a tough race, especially at night under all the lights. French guys like me aren't used to this. It's a very different atmosphere to the cold I'm used to.

"The US field is quality. I've been amongst the best 'cross riders in the world for many years but the American field is very strong with some great athletes. The Worlds are coming here in a couple of years and it's going to be a great event."

Driscoll goes for broke

125 riders lined up under the lights at the Desert Breeze soccer park, and while the race was quick from the gun and riddled with attacks, little separation occurred over the first two laps, and a large group was still together when Driscoll took advantage of a temporary lull in the pace to launch his attack on lap three.

With teammate Tim Johnson easing up to help Driscoll establish his gap, and a timely crash by Todd Wells (Specialized) on the run-up, Driscoll quickly built a 20-second lead by the end of lap three. The next time through the start/finish, the defending champion had built up half a minute's lead and looked well on track to repeat his effort of the year before.

Behind the plucky Driscoll a powerful contingent had formed in pursuit, including Gerben De Knegt and Adam Craig (Rabobank - Giant), Mourey (FDJ), Christian Heule (Champion System LBS), Jonathan Page (Planet Bike), Johnson and Jeremy Powers (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com), Ryan Trebon (Kona), Geoff Kabush (Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain), Wells, Luca Damiani (Kenda Pro Cycling P/B Geargrinder), Christopher Jones (Rapha Focus) and Jesse Anthony (California Giant Berry/ Specialized)

"The only people who had tried attacking before me were big guys like Trebon, and then they sat up just enough for me to launch an attack," Driscoll said. "I figured the chances of them chasing me down was 50-50. I just remembered last year working with Chris Jones, and it was all about working flawlessly to stay away. I knew it would be a tall order to stay away."

Tall described the main force behind Driscoll's demise, as 6'5" Ryan Trebon took charge of keeping the gap in check. But his efforts only benefited the Europeans who were happy to take a back seat to the chase and then pounce at the last minute.

"I just did too much," Trebon admitted. "It's a fast, hard race… it was really hard. You can't fault people for the tactics they use in the race."

Not only did Trebon have to work against the team tactics of Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld, who worked to keep their teammate clear, and the Europeans who allowed the domestic riders the honor of fighting at the front, but the crowds who became unusually unruly.

"I was really disappointed as someone threw a beer right in my face over on the stairs. It's okay to have fun and to cheer, but that's just not right. This is my job, you know," Trebon lamented. "I don't even mind when people heckle, but that's just bad sportsmanship."

The reigning US national champion Tim Johnson is normally a title fighter in CrossVegas, but after a broken ankle suffered earlier this summer, his presence in the leading group and his work for his teammate was a good indicator that his form is returning.

"I was trying to help when I could. I'm still trying to get my legs back after such a crappy year, and it was good to get up there and contribute," Johnson said. He was proud of the work of his younger teammate, who held on so long against the odds. "He's just a strong kid, he's not the quickest guy out there, but he'll never give up and he never really slows down. I can't believe he did that two years in a row like that."

Full Results
1Francis Mourey (Fra) Francaise Des Jeux0:59:30 
2James Driscoll (USA) Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com  
3Gerben De Knegt (Ned) Rabobank - Giant Off Road Team0:00:01 
4Ryan Trebon (USA) Kona  
5Christian Heule (Swi) Champion System LBS0:00:02 
6Jonathan Page (USA) Planet Bike  
7Jeremy Powers (USA) Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com0:00:03 
8Lars Van Der Haar (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Off-Road Team0:00:04 
9Geoff Kabush (Can) Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain0:00:08 
10Adam Craig (USA) Rabobank-Giant Off-Road Team0:00:10 
11Christopher Jones (USA) Rapha Focus0:00:13 
12Timothy Johnson (USA) Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com0:00:17 
13Jesse Anthony (USA) California Giant / Specialized0:00:23 
14Luca Damiani (Ita) Kenda Pro Cycling P/B Geargrinder0:00:36 
15Todd Wells (USA) Specialized Factory Racing0:00:45 
16Derrick St John (Can) Garneau Club Chaussures-Ogilvy0:01:54 
17Jake Wells (USA)  
18Tyler Wren (USA) Boo Bicycles0:02:02 
19Rene Birkenfeld (Ger) Harvesterhude Rv0:02:09 
20Zach McDonald (USA) Rapha Focus  
21Craig Richey (Can) Cyclocrossracing.Com p/b Blue  
22Tim Van Nuffel (Bel) Van Goethem-Prorace-Cycling Team0:02:10 
23Carl Decker (USA) Giant0:02:11 
24Molly Cameron (USA) Portland Bicycle Studio0:02:17 
25Barry Wicks (USA) Kona0:02:19 
26Aaron Schooler (Can) Team H&R Block0:02:35 
27Jonathan Baker (USA) Hudz-Subaru0:02:43 
28Mitchell Hoke (USA) Clif Bar Development Team0:02:54 
29Brady Kappius (USA) Team Clif Bar0:03:25 
30Joachim Parbo (Den) Kch Leopard Cycles0:03:31 
31Valentin Scherz (Swi) Cyfac-Champion System p/b Revolution Wheelworks0:03:37 
32Davide Frattini (Ita) Hudz-Subaru  
33Tyler Trace (Can) Trek Red Truck  
34Brandon Dwight (USA) Boulder Cycle Sport0:03:43 
35Jeremy Ferguson (USA) California Giant/Specialized0:03:48 
36Matthew Pacocha (USA) Hudz-Subaru0:03:52 
37Mark Lalonde (USA) Specialized0:04:00 
38Ryan Dewald (USA) Bikyle/Mazur Coaching0:04:01 
39Jared Nieters (USA) Haymarket/Seavs0:04:04 
40Kevin Noiles (Can) La Bicicletta Pro Shop0:04:13 
41Adam Myerson (USA) Mountain Khakis F/B Jittery Joes0:04:16 
42Kamden Reedy (USA) Web-Op0:04:19 
43Troy Wells (USA) Team Clif Bar0:04:34 
44Mathew Ankney (USA) Kccx/Verge Elite Cyclocross Team0:04:37 
45Stephen Cummings (USA) Indiana Regional Medical Center0:04:45 
46Aaron Bouplon (USA) Rocky Mounts / Izze0:04:54 
47Jamie Newall (GBr) Team Corley Cycles0:04:56 
48Sergio Hernandez (USA) Jelly Belly Presented By Kenda0:05:07 
49Anthony Grand (Swi) Cyfac-Champion System p/b Revolution Wheelworks  
50Ben Chaddock (Can) Rubicon-Orbea0:05:08 
51Geert Wellens (Bel) Scott Usa Cycling Team0:05:16 
52Scott Tietzel (USA) Mountain Khakis F/B Jittery Joes0:05:20 
53Jason Siegle (USA) Bike Religion0:05:49 
54Justin Robinson (USA) California Giant/Specialized0:05:56 
55Kevin Mullervy (USA) Team Exergy0:06:11 
56Morgan Ryan (USA) The Team So Cal Cross0:06:20 
57Spencer Powlison (USA)0:07:52 
61Roger Rilling (USA) Stoller  
62Jason Holbrook (USA) Boulder Cycle Sport  
63Dean Poshard (USA) Rockloboster  
65Mike Sherer (USA) Verizon U25 Team  
66Peter Sullivan (USA) Svelte Cycles  
67Luke Keough (USA) Bikereg.Com/Cannondale-1lap 
68Dave Hackworthy (USA) Clement Cx  
69Nicholas Weighall (USA) California Giant/Specialized  
70Conor Mullervy (USA) Team Exergy  
71Kyle Reedy (USA) Web-Op-2laps 
72William Gault (USA) Kccx/Verge Elite Cyclocross Team  
73John Bailey (USA) Bailey Bikes  
74Anton Petrov (USA) Bike Religion  
75Phil Grove (USA) Lake Washington Velo  
76Cody Kaiser (USA) California Giant/Specialized  
77Geoffrey Nenninger (USA) Colorado Multisport  
78Shawn Harshman (USA) Pm Racing Team  
79Kyle Peppo (USA) Gs Mengoni Usa  
80Zoltan Tisza (Hun) Tecnofilm-Betonexpr 2000-3laps 
81Bryan Alders (USA) S.O.L.O.  
82David McNeal (USA) Birmingham Bicycle Company  
83Bill Marshall (USA) Kccx/Verge Elite Cyclocross Team  
84Charles Coyle (USA) Hudz-Subaru Cycling Team  
85Brian Astell (USA) Lost Coast Brewery/ Marin  
86Daniel MacDonald (Can) Total Restoration-4laps 
87Michael Hosang (USA) Team Tripower  
88Zach Lail (USA) Mock Orange Racing  
89John Behrens (USA) Bailey Bikes  
90Gary Douville (USA) Platinum Performance  
91Matthew McGee (USA) Unattached  
92Cort Cramer (USA) Svelte Cycles  
93Joshua Lehmann (USA) Sunapee/S & W Racing Team  
94Benjamin Popper (USA) Rock Lobster  
95Anastasio Flores Jr (USA) California Giant Strawberry  
96Andy Bestwick (USA) Allegiant Airlines/ Pain Md'S-5laps 
97Tyler Wertenbruch (USA) Slo Nexus - Gym One  
98JP Partland (USA) Kissena  
99Danny Kam (USA) Herbalife La Grange-6laps 
DNFGreg Gibson (USA) Truckerco.Com Racer'S Cycle Service  
DNFGuillaume Nelessen (USA) Van Dessel Factory Team  
DNFTravis Livermon (USA) Mock Orange Racing  
DNFDylan McNicholas (USA)  
DNFMartin Gujan (Swi) Cannondale Factory Racing  
DNFAllen Krughoff (USA) Boulder Cycle Sport  
DNFNick Truitt (USA) Yeti Cycles  
DNSMarco Aurelio Fontana (Ita) Cannondale Factory Racing  
DNSMatt Shriver (USA) Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory  
DNSJonathan Sundt (USA) Kenda Pro Cycling P/B Geargrinder  
DNSManuel Fumic (Ger) Cannondale Factory Racing  
DNSStephen Pierce (USA) Cambridge Bicycle / Igleheart Frames  
DNSOliver Vrambout (USA) The Bikery Du Nord  
DNSRobert Marion (USA)  
DNSMichael Friedman (USA) Jelly Belly P/B Kenda  
DNSBryan Fawley (USA)  
DNSElliott Craddock (USA)  
DNSShadd Smith (USA) Kccx/Verge Elite Cyclocross Team  
DNSChristopher McGovern (USA)  
DNSDavid Sheek (USA) Rock N' Road  
DNSDavid Wilcox (USA) Pedro's Grassroots Cycling Club  
DNSLane Miller (USA)  
DNSStevie Cullinan (USA)  
DNSColby Pearce (USA) Hudz-Subaru  
DNSPaul Adams (USA)  
DNSMike Stewart (USA) Tri Cities Road Club  
Second lap sprint award
1Christian Heule (Swi) Champion System LBS  
2Ryan Trebon (USA) Kona  
3Christopher Jones (USA) Rapha Focus  
Fastest lap award
1Francis Mourey (Fra) Francaise Des Jeux  
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