Horgan-Kobelski, Gould claim cross country wins

Kabush, Koerber get second place

Georgia Gould (Luna Pro Team) proved again that she is in a class by herself by winning the final cross country race of the USA Cycling Pro XCT series by nearly two minutes. Willow Koerber (Subaru - Trek), the top-ranked American on the World Cup circuit used her technical prowess to grab second place, while Katie Compton (Planet Bike) rode impressively to third place. Mary McConneloug (Kenda-Seven-No Tubes) finished fourth, and US National Champion Heather Irmiger (Subaru-Trek) took the final spot on the podium.

This was the second stage of a three-day stage race. Rain drenched the Cheyenne Mountain race course only an hour before the women's start, but amazingly the track was nearly dry by race time. The women rode four circuits of the 4.39-mile long course, with 658 feet of climbing per lap. The first mile is wide-open, mostly uphill doubletrack. The small pea-stone surface gave riders fits as they could never be sure how much speed to take into corners.

The back side of the course used Cougar's Shadow Trail, probably the most technical course on the Pro XCT schedule. There are relentless uphill and downhill switchbacks, numerous rock gardens, and at least two technical run-ups. With turns every 50 feet, it was quite easy for a rider to get out of sight of her rivals. Once the riders popped out into the open, they had perhaps one minute to recover on a gravely doubletrack descent before hitting the final technical downhill.

Gould simply rode away from everyone and increased her lead throughout the race. Behind her Compton managed to stay with Koerber for the first lap before slipping back about a minute. McConneloug seemed to improve as the race went on, perhaps because many of the women were not allowed to pre-ride the course on race day. Their first laps were a learning experience.

"I went to the front right after the feed zone and just wanted to ride my own pace," said Gould. "There is a lot of singletrack and not very much passing, and people are not going to let you by. I just wanted to get out front. All the hardest parts are at the top, so I definitely suffered out there."

Young racers Amy Dombroski (Luna Pro Team) and Chloe Forsman (Tokyo Joes) seem to be battling each other quite often this season. Dombroski is in her first full season as a mountain bike racer, while Forsman is still a full-time student at the University of Arizona in Tucson. So far this weekend, Forsman has come out on top of this race-within-a-race.

Pua Sawicki, formerly an endurance racer, has been honing her skills on the World Cup circuit this season. Her sixth place finish is quite impressive given the depth of talent racing. Krista Park (Incycle) seems to have flipped a switch and turned herself into a top level elite racer, almost overnight. Suddenly she is at the front of every race and in the hunt for podium positions.

"The course was super fun," said Koerber after the race. "It really makes you focus and takes your mind off the fact that it's 6:00 o'clock and you're hungry and tired. I am not a fan of all that gravelly stuff (the doubletrack). The last thing I want to do is have a big crash with some big events coming up - plus road rash is not cute."

When asked about her battle with Compton, Koerber said, "I don't think that at any point I was attacking, but on the third climb I dropped a gear or two and she came off."

With her victory today, Georgia Gould guarantees that she will be the overall US Pro XCT series winner.

JHK survives Kabush's last lap challenge

In one of the most exciting cross country races of the season, Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Subaru-Trek) held off Geoff Kabush (Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain) in a fierce last lap battle. Todd Wells (Specialized) was in the hunt the entire race but had to settle for third place. This should be enough to ensure Wells wins the Pro XCT series title. Sam Schultz (Subaru-Gary Fisher) continued an impressive streak of races lately by finishing fourth. Ryan Trebon (Kona) appears to be coming into top form for the National Championships next week. He finished fifth.

This race was like a war for many of the riders. Last year's winner Max Plaxton (Sho-Air/Specialized) suffered a concussion, but completed his final lap before being taken to the hospital. Kabush also hit his head on a tree during the first lap and rode for a while a bit dazed. Many riders, including Brady Kappius, had multiple spectacular crashes, but were able to continue racing. Sam Schultz said on his Facebook page that he "rode in fear and is hoping to get his mojo back today."

About the last thing a race leader wants to see behind him is Kabush and Wells teaming up to reel you in. JHK managed to hold about a 35-second lead until the fourth lap, when Kabush realized he must bridge up to JHK before getting on to the final lap climbs.

Kabush passed JHK just as they started lap five but had expended so much energy that JHK was able to launch a successful uphill attack that would give him a margin he would retain on his way to victory.

"My plan was to ride a really aggressive race," said Horgan-Kobelski. "I pushed really hard through all the technical stuff at the top. I chose to ride a dually (Superfly 100), and was definitely faster than the guys on hardtails."

"I hadn't pre-ridden the course, so I took it a little easy on the first lap and really started pushing on the second and third lap," said JHK. "I was honestly surprised those guys came back to me. You always get nervous when you get caught on the last lap, but I felt really strong and made a big move on the last climb."

It was quite bizarre that due to scheduling problems, a huge portion of the men's and women's fields had not been allowed to pre-ride the course. Gould was one of the few who had pre-ridden, only because she was out on the course at 7:30 am despite the fact that her race did not begin until 4:00 pm.

It should be noted that Russell Finsterwald, who finished seventh, is riding well above what is expected of this first-year Trek rider. It has been a long time since we have seen such talent at the age of 18. Only Adam Craig (Team Giant) comes to mind as someone who displayed these flashes of brilliance at the beginning of his pro career. What is even more impressive about Finsterwald is his consistency, something that young riders rarely seem to have. He is certainly someone to watch.

The elite racers will compete in an XCC format race on Sunday, something not seen in the US in quite a few years. The men will race 45 minutes plus five minutes of a 1.2-mile course, while the women will race 30 minutes plus five laps. It should be quite interesting to watch.

Stay tuned to Cyclingnews for full coverage of Sunday's stage 3 events.

Full Results

Elite men
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (USA) Subaru-Trek 1:57:47  
2 Geoff Kabush (Can) Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain 0:00:20  
3 Todd Wells (USA) Specialized Factory Racing 0:00:23  
4 Sam Schultz (USA) Subaru-Trek 0:05:12  
5 Ryan Trebon (USA) Kona 0:06:17  
6 Troy Wells (USA) 0:07:18  
7 Russell Finsterwald (USA) Subaru-Trek 0:07:59  
8 Michael Broderick (USA) Kenda/Seven/NoTubes 0:08:07  
9 Benjamin Sonntag (Ger) 0:08:12  
10 Spencer Paxson (USA) 0:08:32  
11 Bryan Alders (USA) 0:09:46  
12 Colin Cares (USA) 0:10:58  
13 Kalan Beisel (USA) 0:11:02  
14 Kevin Kane (USA) 0:12:37  
15 Michael Mccalla (USA) 0:13:36  
16 Brady Kappius (USA) 0:13:38  
17 Matthew Beaton (USA) 0:14:36  
18 Andy Schultz (USA) 0:14:44  
19 Robert Marion (USA) 0:15:19  
20 Greg Carpenter (USA) 0:16:01  
21 Mitch Hoke (USA) 0:16:16  
22 Peter Ostroski (USA) 0:16:32  
23 Kerry Werner Jr. (USA) 0:18:16  
24 Aaron Elwell (USA) 0:18:41  
25 Joe Schneider (USA) 0:18:54  
26 Scott Frederick (USA) 0:19:14  
27 Macky Franklin (USA) 0:20:48  
28 Doug Johnson (USA) 0:21:39  
29 Will Patterson (USA) Whole Athlete Cycling Team 0:22:11  
30 Bryan Mickiewicz (USA) 0:22:49  
31 Cody Peterson (USA) 0:23:30  
32 Matt Connors (USA) 0:24:49  
33 Tristan Uhl (USA) 0:25:44  
34 Menso De Jong (USA) 0:26:37  
35 Cr Wohlschlaeger (USA) 0:26:41  
36 Woodruff Tj (USA) 0:27:45  
37 John Nobil (USA) 0:27:57  
38 Graham Aldredge (USA) 0:29:41  
39 Matt Wiebe (USA) 0:40:20  
40 Clark Jj (USA) 0:51:38  
41 John Bennett (USA) 0:57:13  
42 Max Plaxton (Can) 1:05:10  
Elite women
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Georgia Gould (USA) Luna Pro Team 1:48:31  
2 Willow Koerber (USA) Subaru-Trek 0:01:45  
3 Katherine Compton (USA) 0:03:14  
4 Mary McConneloug (USA) Kenda/Seven/NoTubes 0:04:54  
5 Heather Irmiger (USA) Subaru-Trek 0:05:15  
6 Pua Sawicki (USA) 0:06:20  
7 Chloe Forsman (USA) Tokyo Joes 0:09:31  
8 Krista Park (USA) Incycle / Cannondale 0:09:39  
9 Amy Dombroski (USA) Luna Pro Team 0:09:49  
10 Jennifer Smith (NZl) 0:10:14  
11 Amanda Carey (USA) Kenda/Felt 0:10:56  
12 Judy Freeman (USA) 0:12:40  
13 Allison Mann (USA) 0:14:02  
14 Aleksand Mooradian (Pol) 0:16:49  
15 Michelle Bellamy (NZl) 0:19:13  
16 Molly Throdahl (USA) 0:20:27  
17 Bryna Blanchard (USA) 0:21:36  
18 Erin Disterheft (USA) 0:24:03  
19 Deidre York (USA) 0:26:15  
20 Danae York (USA) 0:27:09  
Cat. 1 Men 15-16
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Ryan Geiger 1:27:48  
2 Chase Dickens    
3 Taylor Smith 0:00:32  
Cat. 1 Men 17-18
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Skyler Trujillo 1:47:13  
2 William Curtis 0:01:13  
3 Tony Smith 0:02:14  
4 Lewis Gaffney 0:05:30  
5 Zachary Valdez 0:05:46  
6 Nicholas Newcomb 0:10:18  
7 Joseph Yoham 0:11:27  
8 Colby Pastore    
9 Riley Predum 0:13:23  
10 Alex Stevenson 0:14:39  
11 Roman Brockley 0:51:40  
Cat. 1 Men 19-29
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Peter O'donnell 1:55:10  
2 Chris Hurst 0:00:03  
3 Matt Williams 0:09:24  
4 Matthe Mooradian 0:16:11  
5 Derek Brinkerhoff 0:17:08  
Cat. 1 Men 30-39
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Kervin Quinones 1:54:10  
2 Brent Gorman 0:06:00  
3 Kyle Ashton 0:06:55  
4 Darian Founds 0:09:00  
5 Craig Kennedy 0:12:16  
6 Jacob Gonzales 0:18:54  
7 Kevin Noleen 0:20:37  
8 Jean Matthews 0:27:19  
Cat. 1 Men 40-49
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Dario Fredrick 1:52:22  
2 Ron Bollenberghe 0:09:55  
3 Brian Maslach 0:13:59  
4 Art Macfarland    
Cat. 1 Men 50+
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Russell Asleson 2:07:59  
2 Miroslav Novak 0:02:16  
3 Steve Cherry 0:08:04  
4 Roy Gryskevich 0:23:59  
Cat. 1 Women 17-18
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Meghan Kane 1:49:12  
2 Kara Uhl 0:07:27  
Cat. 1 Women 19-29
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Philicia Marion 1:55:24  
2 Kerri Stone 0:12:33  
Cat. 1 Women 30+
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Syrae Weikle 1:45:24  
2 Katina Walker 0:09:32  
3 Lauren Ziedonis 0:25:20  
Cat. 2 Men 15-16
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Philip Meyer 1:36:04  
Cat. 2 Men 17-18
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Bobby Zidek 2:00:30  
2 Sven Beer 0:09:34  
Cat. 2 Men 19-29
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Benjamin Hess 2:13:47  
2 Ranjodh Gill 0:01:18  
3 Zach Bodhane 0:05:42  
4 Rafael Olvera 0:14:34  
5 Daniel Gerow 0:46:52  
Cat. 2 Men 30-39
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Steven Thompson 2:27:37  
2 Pete Vanbreemen 0:09:15  
Cat. 2 Men 40-49
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Chip Stadjuhar 2:08:24  
2 Bob Catalano 0:05:32  
3 Robert Willcox 0:05:40  
4 Stephen Trahey 0:12:13  
5 Juan Gutierrez 0:13:44  
6 Chris Kuzma 0:17:09  
7 David Rosenbaum 0:18:13  
8 Bill Harms 0:30:26  
Cat. 2 Men 50+
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Emil Gercke 2:28:17  
2 Robert Rodriguez 0:12:52  
Cat. 3 Men 15-16
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Zach Kuzma 1:12:53  
2 Connor Mason 0:30:07  
Cat. 3 Men 17-18
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Dakota Pittman 1:03:37  
Cat. 3 Men 30-39
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Guillerm Guerra 1:06:25  
2 Craig Oboyle 0:09:54  
3 Scott Swandal 0:22:27  
Cat. 3 Men 40-49
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Dan Spinato 1:10:45  
2 Ronald Formanek 0:03:13  
3 Jack Mason 0:05:24  
4 Adrian Gailey 0:19:09  
Cat. 3 Men 50+
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Steve Simmons 1:18:23  
2 Tim Gaffney 0:23:16  
Cat. 3 Women 19+
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Megan Henning 1:41:34  
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Cameron Chambers 2:15:07  
2 Ben Ollett 0:08:25  
3 Jeff Walker 0:13:29  


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