Husband and wife double up with US national cross country victories

US Cross Country Champions Heather Irmiger and Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Gary Fisher/Subaru).

US Cross Country Champions Heather Irmiger and Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Gary Fisher/Subaru). (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/

Saturday was the perfect day for husband and wife Jeremy Horgan Kobelski and Heather Irmiger (Subaru / Gary Fisher) of Boulder, Colorado. Racing in Granby, Colorado, both added US National Cross Country championship titles to their palmares - just two weeks after each won a US Marathon National title.

The day got off to a good start when Irmiger overcame a flat tire on the first lap to regain the lead and eventually win in the elite women's cross country race ahead of teammate Willow Koerber and Katie Compton (Katie Compton Racing / Independent Fabrication). Hours later, Horgan-Kobelski rode to a win in the men's cross country race, which wasn't decided until the final lap. He beat Adam Craig (Giant) and teammate Sam Schultz.

"This is as good as it gets," said Horgan-Kobelski after his win, referring to the joint victories by Irmiger and himself.

"It was no extra motivation or pressure to watch Heather win. I'm happier for her to win than for myself. I was so excited for her. I hardly even warmed up because I was busy watching her race."

Irmiger said watching Horgan-Kobelski win was not easy. "I was so nervous. I almost didn't want to watch the last two laps. Todd (Wells, who spent most of the race in second until he had a mechanical on the final lap - ed.) was riding so strong," said Irmiger. "We talked about how the race would go down. Jeremey said Todd would be so hard to beat."

A few very important family members were on hand and enjoyed watching both race. "We are here for team support. We ring bells really well," said Heather's dad from the sidelines.

"Yes, we have lots of experience watching bike races," said her mom, who also got to watch the pair win at the Firecracker 50 US Marathon National Championships on July 4. "It's easier than racing," she joked.

Horgan-Kobelski's parents and brother were also on hand to watch the couple win double titles.

Irmiger said the family would celebrate with a little wine last night after the race, but not too much. After all, both were planning to race the short track the next day (Sunday), and more wins are possible given how well both have been riding. "Who knows what could happen?" said Heather.

"We're going for the triple," said Heather's mom, who will be there supporting both double national champions. No matter what the outcome, the weekend will go down as a successful one for both racers and their families.

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Sue George is an editor at Cyclingnews.  She coordinates all of the site's mountain bike race coverage and assists with the road, 'cross and track coverage.