Geoff Kabush (Scott-3Rox) won round 2 of the US Cup at Bonelli Park, California on a hot and dusty Saturday afternoon. The veteran Canadian Kabush rode a savvy race, conserving his energy in the first half of the race and launching a powerful move in the final few laps to take the victory after his top rivals had already tired themselves out.
Seven men formed a lead group on the first of seven laps including Olympic bronze medallist Marco Fontana and Manuel Fumic (both Cannondale Factory Racing), US Short Track National Champion Todd Wells (Specialized), Sergio Mantecon Gutierrez (Trek Factory Racing), Kabush and US Cross Country National Champion Stephen Ettinger (BMC).
As the first man to attack, Fontana surged on lap two and established a 10-second gap over the other six men. His teammate Fumic crashed in the uphill rock garden, but recovered well to quickly chase back on. The gap from Fumic's crash helped Fontana, and he pushed the pace off the front on his own for two laps. Kabush seemed to barely hang on to the main chase group, but after the race, he admitted that he was just conserving his energy.
Plaxton calculated that it was time to reel in Fontana on the fourth lap, and he did just that to bridge up to the Italian so that the two riders rolled through together as the race leaders with three laps to go.
The savvy Kabush knew that it would not be a good idea to let Cannondale Factory Racing teammates Fontana and Plaxton get away together, so he chased them down and joined them. Taking barely a breather after his effort to bridge, Kabush wasted no time in counter-attacking the duo and getting a gap on them.
With two laps remaining, Kabush lead Plaxton by about five seconds, but the early effort had already cost Fontana, who had dropped further back and was then caught by Mantecon. Wells rode on his own in fifth place, ahead of Fumic and Ettinger.
As Kabush continued to apply pressure, Plaxton blew up and Kabush quickly extended his lead. Plaxton struggled to hold off Mantecon until the Spaniard eventually overtook him just before the bell lap. Meanwhile, Wells' consistency on the day started paying off as he bridged up to and passed Fontana - the two rode across the line together with one lap to go.
At the front, Kabush cruised to a solo victory on the final lap, finishing with plenty of time to enjoy the feeling of taking the win.
"This whole week, I had a little something going on in my head, but I never gave up hope that I could pull out something special on the day," said Kabush. "I wanted to be conservative at first, and I kind of rolled along there on the back, saving my legs for the end."
"It was motivating to come out in March for a win. It was special to come here and take the win - it's been awhile since I won a national series event," said Kabush. "It's also unique to have this UCI HC-category race here."
Many racers were excited to have the chance to compete in a UCI category HC event on North American soil; it was the first such race in the US in mountain biking's history.
Mantecon followed for second place on the day while an exhausted Plaxton held on for third. Wells finished strong to take fourth place while Fontana ended up in fifth place.
110 elite men lined up in Bonelli Park.
After round two of four in the USA Cycling US Cup series, Kabush leads ahead of previous series leader Plaxton and Wells.
The USA Cycling US Cup series will continue with round 3, a UCI Category HC race in Fontana, California on Saturday, March 22.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Geoff Kabush (Can) Scott 3 Rox Racing||1:34:31|
|2||Sergio Mantecon Gutierre (Spa) Trek Factory Racing||0:00:50|
|3||Max Plaxton (Can) Cannodale Factory||0:01:31|
|4||Todd Wells (USA) Specialized Factory||0:02:07|
|5||Marco Aurelio Fontana (Ita) Cannondale Factory||0:02:30|
|6||Manuel Fumic (Ger) Cannondale Factory||0:03:16|
|7||Stephen Ettinger (USA) BMC Mountain Bike||0:03:30|
|8||Jeremiah Bishop (USA) Sho-Air/Cannondale||0:03:51|
|9||Alex Grant (USA) Sho-Air/Cannondale||0:03:54|
|10||Raphael Gagne (Can) Rocky Mountain Factory||0:04:26|
|11||Derek Zandstra (Can) Scott 3 Rox Racing||0:04:47|
|12||Benjamin Sonntag (Ger) Stans No Tubes Elite||0:05:13|
|13||Adam Morka (Can) WFP Coaching/Trek||0:05:40|
|14||Cameron Jette (Can) Scott-3 Rox Racing||0:06:12|
|15||Sam Schultz (USA) Sho-Air/Cannondale||0:06:34|
|16||Spencer Paxson (USA) Kona||0:06:39|
|17||Hector Rivers (Col) Scott Rotor USA||0:06:41|
|18||Kerry Werner (USA) BMC Project Dirt||0:07:04|
|19||Mitchell Hoke (USA) The Pros Closet/Stans||0:07:33|
|20||Jeremy Martin (Can)||0:08:11|
|21||Troy Wells (USA) Team Cliff Bar||0:09:14|
|22||James Reid (RSA) Trek Racing South||0:09:22|
|23||Russell Finsterwald (USA) Sram/Troy Lee Design||0:09:36|
|24||Jose Escarcega (Mex) Alu Bike-Krbo Cycling||0:09:55|
|25||Casey Williams (USA) Whole Athlete/Specialized||0:10:29|
|26||Evan Guthrie (Can) Norco Factory Team||0:10:41|
|27||Kris Sneddon (Can) Kona||0:10:43|
|28||Barry Wicks (USA)||0:10:46|
|29||Michael Broderick (USA) Kenda/Stans No Tubes||0:11:18|
|30||Keegan Swenson (USA) Cannondale Factory||0:11:39|
|31||William Melone (USA) Riverside Racing||0:11:43|
|Lapped||Ryan Woodall (USA) The Pros Closet/Stan's|
|Lapped||Rotem Ishay (Isr) Team Jamis Bikes|
|Lapped||Jason Siegle (USA) Sdg/Felt|
|Lapped||Tristan Uhl (USA) 787 Racing|
|Lapped||Sepp Kuss (USA) BMC Project Dirt|
|Lapped||Julien Bourdevaire (Fra) Team Blackstar|
|Lapped||Chris Baddick (GBr) The Gear Movement|
|Lapped||Marc-Antoine Nadon (Can) Scott 3 Rox Racing|
|Lapped||Carl Decker (USA) Giant Factory Team|
|Lapped||Tom Sampson (USA)|
|Lapped||Miguel Valadez Ortiz (Mex) Bear Valley Bikes|
|Lapped||Ernest Watenpaugh (USA)|
|Lapped||Christopher Hamlin (USA)|
|Lapped||Jason Sager (USA) Backcountry.Com|
|Lapped||Alexandre Vialle (Can) Espresso Sport|
|Lapped||David (Tinker) Juarez (USA) Sho-Air/Cannondale|
|Lapped||Michael Hosey (USA) Soulcraft|
|Lapped||Tj Woodruff (USA) Backcountry.Com|
|Lapped||Elliot Reinecke (USA) Velo Hangar/Focus|
|Lapped||Braden Kappius (USA) Team Clif Bar|
|Lapped||Ryan Geiger (USA) Topix-Frm Factory|
|Lapped||Cole Oberman (USA) Rare Disease Cycling|
|Lapped||Charles Jenkins (USA) KHS/Cytomax/Esi|
|Lapped||Payson Mcelveen (USA) Usa U23|
|Lapped||Joseph Maloney (USA) Ks Energy Services|
|Lapped||Jakub Valigura (Cze) 92Fifty' Cyclery|
|Lapped||Kalan Beisel (USA) Giant-Tuff Shed|
|Lapped||Sean Donovan (USA)|
|Lapped||Gustavo Pedroza (Mex) Ellin Cycling Team|
|Lapped||Bryan Alders (USA) Marin Bikes Factory|
|Lapped||Gareth Feldstein (USA) Muscle Milk|
|Lapped||Menso De Jong (USA) Team Clif Bar|
|Lapped||Jett Chandler (USA) Doug Chandler|
|Lapped||Sergio Hernandez (USA) Incyle-Predator|
|Lapped||Patrick Chartrand (Can) Rocky Mountain Factory|
|Lapped||Stephane Roch (Swi) Swami's/Skliz|
|Lapped||Madison Matthews (USA) Toasted Head Racing|
|Lapped||Craig Wohlschlaeger (USA) Giant Bicycle|
|Lapped||Aaron Oakes (USA) Bicycle Express|
|Lapped||Colin Osborn (USA) Honey Stinger|
|Lapped||Juan Carlos Nunez Galuan (Mex)|
|Lapped||Jarred Jordan (USA)|
|Lapped||John Nobil (USA) Bear Valley Bikes|
|Lapped||Quinn Moberg (Can) Rocky Mountain Factory|
|Lapped||Christopher Wieczorek (USA) Total Cyclist|
|Lapped||Rocky Gingg (USA) Momentum Endurance|
|Lapped||Matthew Turner (USA) Summit Utah Devo|
|Lapped||Eliel Anttila (USA) Uc Berkeley|
|Lapped||David Flaten (USA) Giant Factory North|
|Lapped||Noah Tautfest (USA) Bicycle Express/Kona|
|Lapped||Joel Titius (USA) Socal Endurance|
|Lapped||David Pinedo (Mex) Ellin Cycling Team|
|Lapped||Hal Helbock (USA)|
|Lapped||Trey Jarno (Est) Bear Valley Bikes|
|Lapped||Peter Glassford (Can) Trek Canada|
|DNF||Marco Antonio Escarcega Salazar (Mex) Alu Bike-Krbo Cycling|
|DNF||Dan Wolf (USA) Old Line Velo|
|DNF||Emil Lindgren (Swe) Giant Pro XC Team|
|DNS||Ryan Trebon (USA) Sho-Air/Cannondale|
|DNF||Skyler Taylor (USA) Bear Development Team|
|DNF||Brodie Stringer (USA) Team Baghouse|
|DNF||Alex Wild (USA) Trail Head Racing|
|DNF||Lucas Newcomb (USA) Bear Development Team|
|DNS||Nick Thomas (USA) Az Devo|
|DNS||Anton Cooper (NZl) Cannondale Factory|
|DNS||Antoine Caron (Can) Specialized Racing|
|DNS||Miguel Ramos (USA) Bear Valley Bikes|
|DNF||Anthony Stein (USA)|
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Geoffrey Kabush (Canada) Scott-3Rox Racing||77||pts|
|2||Max Plaxton (Canada) Cannondale Factory Racing||64|
|3||Todd Wells (United States) Specialized Racing||56|
|4||Jeremiah Bishop (United States) Sho-Air/Cannondale||45|
|5||Sergio Mantecon Gutierrez (Spain) Trek Factory Racing||37|