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September 22, Elite Men: Las Vegas

Mourey makes Vegas his happy hunting ground

Laura Weislo
September 23, 2010, 7:55 BST,
September 23, 2010, 17:15 BST

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