After suffering a mid-race crash, Canadian national champion Geoff Kabush (Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain) rode himself back into contention and ultimately took his second straight ProXCT victory. Max Plaxton (ShoAir Specialized) took second place after his teammate Sid Taberlay flatted and dropped to fourth. Todd Wells (Specialized) was third. Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Gary Fisher/Subaru) finished fifth.
Windham Mountain has been designated as a World Cup venue for 2010, and spectators and racers alike were excited to see how the elite racers would perform on the newly modified cross country course. Designers shortened the course to 3.2 miles to bring it in line with World Cup standards and added a 0.65-mile start loop through a parking lot to make it more spectator friendly.
Kabush led all the favorites up the mountain but it was Taberlay who was first on the descent. Young Sam Schultz (Gary Fisher/Subaru) was again riding with the leaders in the first two laps, but then faded somewhat. Horgan-Kobelski knew he had to finish four spots or less behind Taberlay to secure the US ProXCT Series title. At one point during the race, that was in question, but by the end of the race the series was his.
"I wanted to finish with a win, but on the third lap those guys kind of slipped away," said JHK. "I could tell it probably wasn't my day to win so I knew I needed to finish on the podium. I'm pretty happy to win the series."
The race at the front seemed under control by Kabush until the ShoAir guys popped out of the woods with Kabush nowhere in sight. "I caught my bar on the end of a stump and kind of fell off. It was no big deal but my bike tumbled down a little bit of a cliff," said Kabush, who explained his absence. "I had to take a bit of a hike and got back on. I lost 30-45 seconds."
Plaxton and Taberlay put the hammer down after Kabush faltered. Plaxton set a blistering pace up the mountain followed by Taberlay and Wells. Sam Schultz, JHK, and Kabush briefly formed a second group but Kabush finally had to bridge the gap on his own.
"I just tried to ride back on. I knew those guys would try to take advantage of the gap," said Kabush. By the top of the climb on lap four he had made contact. "On lap five I lit it up and got the (winning) gap. It was good practice for next year's World Cup."
Kabush was the only member of the podium today who rode his hard-tail on the course. The lumpy descent had most riders reaching for their dual suspension bike. Kabush had tested his dually but decided that the extra weight was not worth the climbing penalty.
In the final US ProXCT series standings, JHK finished first, Taberlay second, Plaxton third, Wells fourth, and Kabush was fifth. Kabush had missed one of the races due to his World Cup schedule.
This race concludes the inaugural year of the ProXCT Series sponsored by ShoAir. There was great doubt at the end of last season as to whether there would be a national series in 2009 but ShoAir's Scott Tedro worked through considerable difficulties to make it happen. By combining forces with some existing successful races such as Bump n' Grind, a six-race series was crafted. Series champion Horgan-Kobelski said after the race, "There are a lot of positive things to build on for next year."
On Sunday, the elite men will compete in the finals of the TrailWatch.net Short Track. Wells has the series virtually locked up barring some disaster.
Stay tuned to Cyclingnews for full coverage from Windham Mountain this weekend.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Geoff Kabush (Can) Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain||1:38:46|
|2||Max Plaxton (Can) Shoair/Specialized||0:01:07|
|3||Todd Wells (USA) Specialized||0:01:15|
|4||Sid Taberlay (Aus) Shoair/Specilaized||0:01:34|
|5||Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (USA) Subaru-Gary||0:01:40|
|6||Adam Craig (USA) Giant MTB Team||0:04:12|
|7||Sam Jurekovic (USA) Shoair/Specialized||0:04:54|
|8||Derek Zandstra (Can) 3 Rox Racing||0:05:06|
|9||Rotem Ishay (Isr)||0:06:07|
|10||Carl Decker (USA) Giant MTB Team||0:07:05|
|11||Michael Broderick (USA) Kenda/Seven||0:07:19|
|12||Sam Schultz (USA) Subaru-Gary||0:07:53|
|13||Rob Squire (USA) U23 National Team||0:07:53|
|14||Matthew Hadley (Can) Xprezo||0:08:47|
|15||Andy Schultz (USA) Kenda/Tomac/Hayes||0:09:25|
|16||Spencer Paxson (USA) Team S&M Young Guns||0:10:18|
|17||Barry Wicks (USA) Kona||0:11:06|
|18||Tad Elliott (USA) U23 National||0:11:07|
|19||Peter Glassford (Can) Trek Store Racing Team||0:12:08|
|20||Kris Sneddon (Can) Kona||0:12:15|
|21||Thomas Turner (USA) Outspokin Bicycles||0:12:53|
|22||Adam Snyder (USA) 3-D Racing||0:14:58|
|23||Ryan Woodall (USA) Dedicated Athlete/Industry||0:17:29|
|24||Colin Cares (USA) Kenda/Tomac/Hayes||0:20:34|
|-1lap||Dana Weber (USA) Trek/World Bicycle Relief|
|-1lap||Brandon Draugelis (USA) Cannondale Factory Racing|
|-1lap||Jason Sager (USA)|
|-1lap||Michael Mooradian (USA) Spin Bike|
|-1lap||Stephen Ettinger (USA) Black Diamond Sports Therapy|
|-1lap||Matthew Okeefe (USA)|
|-1lap||Tom Sampson (USA)|
|-1lap||Robert Marion (USA) Kenda/Kmc/Hayes|
|-1lap||Macky Franklin (USA) Transparent Racing|
|-1lap||Aaron Snyder (USA)|
|-1lap||Blake Harlan (USA) Jamis Factory Team|
|-2laps||Brent Mellen (USA) Strava Velo|
|-2laps||Justin Raynes (USA) Bikes Unlimi|
|-2laps||Mike Joos (USA)|
|-2laps||John Burns (USA)|
|-2laps||Benjamin Moore (USA)|
|-2laps||Martin Kell (USA) Mountainside|
|-2laps||Tim Mosher (USA) Cannondale Factory Team|
|-2laps||Ethan Gilmour (USA) U23 Nat Team|
|-2laps||Seamus Powell (USA) /Windham Mt Outfitters|
|-2laps||Andrew Alesio (USA)|
|-2laps||Nathanael Wyatt (USA)|
|-3laps||Kyle Douglas (Can) 3 Rox Racing|
|-3laps||Timothy Carson (USA)|
|-3laps||Noah Tautfest (USA)|
|-3laps||Chris Gagnon (USA) Magura/MTBmind.Com|
|-3laps||Rickey Visinski (USA)|
|-3laps||Jordan Kahlenberg (USA)|
|-3laps||Greg Waggoner (USA)|
|-3laps||Aaron Elwell (USA) Crrt/Monster/T6|
|-3laps||Leonardo Sandoval (USA) One Man Show|
|-3laps||Maurice Gamanho (USA)|
|-3laps||Andrew Freye (USA) Bikeman.Com|
|-3laps||Mike Festa (USA)|
|-3laps||Patrick Wallace (USA)|
|-3laps||Katriel Statman (USA) Transparent Racing|
|-3laps||Harrison Precourt (USA) International Bikes MTB/Twin Six|
|-4laps||Greg Carpenter (USA) Devo/Giant|
|-4laps||Osias Lozano (USA)|
|DNF||Simon Happy (Can) RST Velo Sports|
|DNF||Justin Lindine (USA) Bikers.Com/Cannondale|
|DNF||Travis Livermon (USA) Champion System/Cannondale|
|DNF||Seamus Mcgrath (Can) Jamis Factory|
|DNF||Paul Kolb (USA)|
|DNS||Ryan Trebon (USA) Kona|
|DNS||Erik Tonkin (USA) Kona|
|DNF||Jesse Jakomait (Can)|
|DNF||Shane Gouldthread (USA) Dirtyharrys.Net|
|DNF||Dylan Alesio (USA)|
|DNF||Brian Astell (USA) Lost Coast Brewery/Marin|
|DNF||Alex Ryan (USA) CCN/Cannondale|