Wells claims Fontana by one second

Kabush, Plaxton in tight race for podium places

After previously being unbeaten on the course, Geoff Kabush (Team Maxxis/Rocky Mountain) suffered a narrow defeat by just one second to Todd Wells (Specialized). Sho-Air/Specialized teammates Max Plaxton and Sid Taberlay finished third and fourth respectively, while Sam Schultz held on for fifth place after being dropped from the lead group mid-race.

“Everyone was just sitting up on the flat before the last climb and I sort of hit it and was able to hold on,” said Wells. “Generally whoever leads up the climb stays in the lead.”

The Santa Anna winds were blowing at nearly gale force for the entire race today. Riders were treated to sand in their mouths and eyes, as the headwinds neutralized many attacks.

“One of the best places to attack was on the pavement climb, but there was an extreme headwind so it was kind of useless,” said Kabush. “It was easy to follow attacks because you could just jump on someone’s wheel.”

The Fontana course was redesigned slightly again this year. It still featured a massive climb up the mountain, but a highly technical descent was added that had riders flying down slick rock and over multiple drop-offs. Surprisingly there were very few crashes as the riders mustered all their skills for these dangerous sections of the course.

A select group of six riders got away from the field early on the first lap, including Kabush, Max Plaxton (Specialized / Sho-Air), Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Gary Fisher/Subaru), Sid Taberlay (Specialized / Sho-Air), Sam Schultz (Gary Fisher / Subaru), and Todd Wells (Specialized). It seemed that Kabush and Wells did much of the work up front, but everyone got involved, launching attack after attack. Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Subaru / Gary Fisher) snapped a chain early in the race that would end any chance he had of making the podium.

Schultz came unglued from the group on the third lap and rode solo the rest of the race. “I lost them at the top of the pavement climb and couldn’t get back on,” said Schutlz. “It was easy to motivate myself by trying to catch the leaders rather than get caught myself from behind.”

The final run into the finish was through some trees where it is near impossible to pass. Whoever was first into the finishing area had a huge advantage in any final sprint. While Kabush is a fantastic sprinter, Wells had the lead coming out of the trees and was able to hold off Kabush.

Kabush had been shooting for his fifth consecutive victory at Fontana, but was magnanimous in defeat. “It was good to see Todd win,” he said. “He has often been strong at these national races but he’s had a hard time winning them.”

Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Todd Wells (USA) Specialized1:46:15 
2Geoff Kabush (Can) Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain-Rocky Mountain0:00:01 
3Max Plaxton (Can) Sho-air/Specialized0:00:03 
4Sid Taberlay (Aus) Sho-air/Specialized0:00:29 
5Sam Schultz (USA) Subaru-Gary Fisher0:03:15 
6Derek Zandstra (Can) 3 Rox Racing0:04:31 
7Barry Wicks (USA) Kona0:05:04 
8Raphael Gagne (Can) Rocky Mountain Factory Team0:05:29 
9Eric Batty (Can) Trek Canada0:05:48 
10Carl Decker (USA) Giant Factory Team0:06:41 
11Jeremiah Bishop (USA) Cannondale Factory Team0:06:57 
12Kris Sneddon (Can) Kona0:07:10 
13Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (USA) Subaru-Gary Fisher0:07:53 
14Rob Squire (USA) U23 National Team0:08:22 
15Peter Glassford (Can)0:08:29 
16Benjamin Sonntag (Ger)0:09:26 
17Adam Morka (Can) Trek Canada0:10:08 
18Andy Schultz (USA) Kenda/Felt0:10:29 
19Colin Cares (USA) Kenda/Felt0:10:49 
20Russell Finsterwald (USA) Subaru/Gary Fisher0:10:57 
21Spencer Paxson (USA) Team S&M-Kona0:11:23 
22Vincent Lombardi (USA) Sho-Air/Sonnance0:12:27 
23Tj Woodruff (USA) Trek Bicycles Boulder0:12:48 
24Travis Livermon (USA) Champion System/Cannondale0:13:09 
25Stephen Ettinger (USA) Mafia/Felt/PBR  
26Ryan Woodall (USA) Brick City Bicycles/I90:14:36 
27Jeff Herrera (USA) Hammerheadbikes.com0:14:41 
28Alex Grant (USA) Cannondale Factory Racing0:14:46 
29Sondre Norland (Nor)0:14:49 
30Ryan Trebon (USA) Kona/FSA0:15:21 
31Cody Canning (Can)0:15:35 
32Zachary Hughes (Can)0:16:15 
33Robert Marion (USA) American Classic/Kenda/Tomac0:16:20 
34Ken Onodera (Jpn) Subaru-Gary Fisher0:16:22 
35Kalan Beisel (USA) Procycling/CTS0:17:42 
36Tyson Wagler (Can) 3 Rox Racing0:17:51 
37Miguel Valadez (Mex)0:18:12 
38Dror Pekatch (Isr) Subaru-Gary Fisher0:18:32 
39Bryan Alders (USA)0:18:37 
40Burke Swindlehurst (USA) Teamgive/Blackbottoms0:18:38 
41Kevin Smallman (USA) Cannondale Factory Racing0:19:26 
42Drew Edsall (USA) Yeti0:19:40 
43Evan Guthrie (Can)0:19:54 
44Kerry Werner (USA)0:19:56 
45Andrew L'esperance (Can)  
46Paul Freiwald (USA) Pivot Cycles0:20:56 
47Tim Allen (USA)0:21:09 
48Jim Hewett (USA)0:22:07 
49Danny Mcnaughton (USA) Content Works/Unseen Machine0:22:16 
50Zachary Keller (USA) Form Cycles/Griffin0:23:17 
Pulled
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
51Michael Mooradian (USA)  
52Menso De Jong (USA) Santa Cruz Bicycles  
53Jason Siegle (USA) Bike Religion  
54Ethan Gilmour (USA)  
55Greg Carpenter (USA)  
56Scott Keller (USA)  
57Eric Emsky (USA) Blue Competition Cycles  
58Brent Steinberg (USA) Gary Fisher, 29Er Crew  
59Alex Boone (USA) Trek Mtn Co-Op  
60Randall Jacobs (USA) Wheelworks Racing  
61Justin Maka (USA) Hayes/Spy  
62Nitish Nag (USA) NRL Racing  
63Haydn Boucher (Can) 3Rox Racing  
64Lucas Livermon (USA) Inland  
65Ryan Clark (USA) Cynergy Cycles  
66John Nobil (USA) Bear Valley Bikes  
67Dylan Stucki (USA) Mafia Racing  
68Rob Sousa (USA) Pro Cycling  
69Trevor Downing (USA) Mafia Racing  
70Yuki Saito (Jpn) Topeak-Ergon  
71Matthew Connors (USA) Bicycle Ranch  
72Tom Obrien (USA)  
73Patrick Dennis (Can)  
74Eric Bierman (USA) Steven K Sports  
75Matthew Paziuk (Can) Trek Store Toronto  
76Nicholas Stevens (USA) Waltworks  
77Ryan Dorsey (USA) Honey Stonger/Trek  
78Garnet Vertican (USA) Big Ring  
DNFMatt Miller (USA) Giant Mid Atlantic  
DNSAaron Snyder (USA)  
DNSErik Tonkin (USA) Kona  
DNFDezmin Wilder (USA) Sobe Cannondale  
DNFAaron Bradford (USA) Specialized/Onsite Ultrasound  
DNFMitchell Hoke (USA) Tokyo Joes  
DNFJohn Bennett (USA) Whole Athlete  
DNSNicholas Weighall (USA) Radracing NW  
DNFBryan Vanvleet (USA) KHS Bicycles  
DNFBraden Kappius (USA) Clif Bar  
DNFDavid (Tinker) Juarez (USA) Factory Cannondale  
DNFCameron Jette (Can) La Bicicletta Elite Team  

 

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