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Kabush and Nash aim to defend US Cup leads at Fontana

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Katerina Nash leading Luna team-mate Catharine Pendrel up the longest climb during lap two

Katerina Nash leading Luna team-mate Catharine Pendrel up the longest climb during lap two (Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Geoff Kabush (Scott 3Rox Racing) seemed to be biding his time in sixth position

Geoff Kabush (Scott 3Rox Racing) seemed to be biding his time in sixth position (Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Marco Aurelio Fontana (Cannondale Factory Racing) said he had not raced in California since 2010

Marco Aurelio Fontana (Cannondale Factory Racing) said he had not raced in California since 2010 (Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Max Plaxton (Cannondale Factory Racing) was well aware of the team tactics in play today by the Scott Team

Max Plaxton (Cannondale Factory Racing) was well aware of the team tactics in play today by the Scott Team (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/
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Emily Batty (Trek Factory Team) had to pull out all the stops to win fourth place over Erin Huck

Emily Batty (Trek Factory Team) had to pull out all the stops to win fourth place over Erin Huck (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/

Coming just one week after round 2 of the 2014 USA Cycling US Cup Series presented by Sho-Air Cycling Group in Bonelli Park, Fontana will host round 3 of the world-class mountain bike race series. Top racers, such as Bonelli Park winners Geoff Kabush (Scott-3Rox Racing) and Katerina Nash (Luna Pro Team), will be on the start line in Fontana, California, on Saturday, March 22.

"We're excited to host many of the world's best mountain bikers for a second week in a row here in California," said Sho-Air President Scott Tedro. "We expect some more tight battles among North America's and Europe's elite stars in Fontana."

The Fontana race will be a UCI categorized C1 race.

Series standings ahead of Fontana

At the halfway point of the USA Cycling US Cup Series, Canadian Geoff Kabush and Czech Republic native Katerina Nash head into round 3 in Fontana atop the standings.

Kabush leads the men's standings with 80 points ahead of round 1 Mellow Johnny's Classic winner Max Plaxton (Cannondale Factory Racing) with 64 points, US Short Track National Champion Todd Wells (Specialized Racing) with 56 points, Jeremiah Bishop (Sho-Air Cannondale) with 45 points and Sergio Mantecon Gutierrez (Trek Factory Racing) with 37 points.

Nash is ranked number one among the women with 80 points after winning both the Mellow Johnny's Classic and Bonelli Park. Her teammate Catharine Pendrel is second with 64 points while Emily Batty (Trek Factory Racing) has moved up to third overall with 57 points. Daniela Campuzano (Mexican National Team) has 49 points in fourth while Geogia Gould (Luna Pro Team) rounds out the top five with 47 points.

Standings could see a shake-up at Fontana, where the men's and women's winners will collect 25 points for their victories. And all racers, including the winners, will pick up an extra five points for lining up on the start line. Full series standings are below.

The elite men's contenders

USA Cycling US Cup Series leader Geoff Kabush (Scott 3Rox) of Canada will face some tough competition in the elite men's race in Fontana. Kabush, a veteran racer with many years of experience, powered to victory last weekend at Bonelli Park after riding a tactically smart race while his rivals took turn attacking and tiring out their legs.

Among the other North Americans to watch are Canadian Max Plaxton (Cannondale Factory Racing), American Todd Wells (Specialized Racing) and American Stephen Ettinger (BMC). Wells won in Fontana in 2010 and 2013 while Plaxton earned the victory there in 2011. Both riders are highly motivated to do well in the series, with Plaxton now sitting in second place overall after his third place Bonelli Park finish and Wells in third place overall after his fourth place Bonelli Park finish. US Cross Country National Champion Ettinger missed round 1, but came on strong in round 2 as the second-best placed American.

Plaxton's Cannondale European teammates, including Marco Fontana of Italy and Manuel Fumic of Germany cannot be counted out. Fontana played a big role in the outcome of the Bonelli Park cross country with an attack mid-race, and he also won the short track race the next day.

Bonelli Park runner-up Sergio Mantecon (Trek Factory Racing) of Spain now sits in fifth place in the series after proving he is on form and able to mix it up with the best this past weekend.

Sho-Air/Cannondale will be well represented with top riders Jeremiah Bishop, Sam Schultz and Alex Grant. Bishop, who is currently fourth in the USA Cycling US Cup series, made it to Bonelli Park last weekend just in time to race after the birth of his second child while Schultz continues his comeback after nearly a year out of competition due to a back injury.

The elite women's contenders

After winning both the cross country and short track races at Bonelli Park and the USA Cycling US Cup series opener at Mellow Johnny's, Katerina Nash (Luna Pro Team) is undoubtedly the woman to beat in round 3 in Fontana. She'll again have the support of her super strong teammates Catharine Pendrel of Canada and Geogia Gould of the United States. Between the three Luna ladies, they've got three of the top five spots in the USA Cycling US Cup Pro Series covered.

Emily Batty (Trek Factory Racing) racing proved she was on form in Bonelli with a third place finish. The consistent Canadian, racing thus far without teammates, is sitting in third overall in the series.

Mexican Daniela Campuzana (Mexican National Team) has showed up consistently at both rounds of the USA Cycling US Cup Pro Series so far and after finishing fourth at Bonelli Park, is fourth overall in the series.

Evelyn Dong's fifth place finish at Bonelli Park did not go unnoticed. The rider from the US continues to climb the elite domestic ranks.
The favorites can't count out Mary Mcconneloug (Kenda/Stans No Tubes) and Pua Mata (Sho-Air/Cannondale) of the United States and the up and coming Mikaela Kofman (Scott 3 Rox Racing) of Canada. All three put in top 10 finishes at Bonelli Park.

The course

Though it is essentially an urban race, the venue at Southridge Park in Fontana is much closer to the edge of the Los Angeles metropolis - nearly in the desert. The "classic" mountain bike course covers 3.5 miles and has 650 feet of climbing per lap and features smooth, flowing singletrack on a bald, treeless hill. It also includes lots of rocks and roots, which creates a racing experience unlike any other presently found within the US Cup circuit.

Free live video streaming

Building upon the success of the live video streaming offered for rounds 1 and 2 of the USA Cycling US Cup Series presented by the Sho-Air Cycling Group, round 3 at Fontana will again be streamed free online here at Cyclingnews. Stay tuned for further coverage.

Saturday, March 23 Fontana Race Schedule (all times Pacific Daylight Time)
11h00 - 11h15 PDT: Elite women cross country - staging and call-up
11h15 - 13h15 PDT: Elite women cross country race
13h30 - 13h45 PDT: Elite men cross country - staging and call-up
13h45 - 15h45 PDT: Elite men cross country race
15h50 - 16h00 PDT: Elite women and men cross country podium ceremony

Elite men US Cup Series standings after two rounds
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Geoff Kabush(Scott 3 Rox Racing)77pts
2Max Plaxton(Cannodale Factory Team)64
3Todd Wells(Specialized Factory Racing)56
4Jeremiah Bishop(Sho-Air/Cannondale)45
5Sergio Mantecon Gutierrez(Trek Factory Racing Team)37
6Derek Zandstra(Scott 3 Rox Racing)37
7Benjamin Sonntag(Stans No Tubes Elite Racing)33
8Marco Aurelio Fontana(Cannondale Factory Racing)28
9Spencer Paxson(Kona)28
10Manuel Fumic(Cannondale Factory Racing)26
11Payson Mcelveen(USA U23)25
12Adam Morka(WFP Coaching/Trek Bikes)25
13Stephen Ettinger(BMC Mountain Bike Racing Team)24
14Russell Finsterwald(Sram/Troy Lee Designs Race Team)21
15Kris Sneddon(Kona)20
16Alex Grant(Sho-Air/Cannondale)20
17Troy Wells(Team Cliff Bar)18
18Raphael Gagne(Rocky Mountain Factory)18
19Tony Aguirre(Platinum X)17
20Cameron Jette(Scott-3 Rox Racing)17
21Sam Schultz(Sho-Air/Cannondale)16
22Carl Decker(Giant Factory Team)15
23Jason Sager(Backcountry.Com)14
24Ryan Trebon(Sho-Air/Cannondale)14
25Kerry Werner(BMC Project Dirt)13
26Casey Williams(Whole Athlete/Specialized)13
27Mitchell Hoke(The Pros Closet/Stans No Tubes MTB)13
28Rotem Ishay(Team Jamis Bikes)12
29Hector Fernando Riveros11
30Miguel Valadez Ortiz(Bear Valley Bikes)10
31Skyler Taylor(Bear Development Team)10
32Elliot Reinecke(Velo Hangar/Focus Bikes)10
33Gareth Feldstein(Muscle Milk)10
34Ernest Watenpaugh10
35Michael Hosey(Marin Factory)10
36Craig Wohlschlaeger(Giant Bicycle)10
37Ryan Geiger(Topix-Frm Factory Race Team)10
38Menso De Jong(Team Clif Bar Cylcing)10
39Bryan Alders(Marin Bikes Factory Team)10
40Cole Oberman(Rare Disease
41Joseph Maloney(Ks Energy Services/Team Wisconsin)10
42Tom Sampson10
43Dan Wolf(Old Line Velo)10
44Tj Woodruff(Backcountry.Com)10
45Rocky Gingg(Momentum Endurance)10
46Madison Matthews(Toasted Head Racing/Gu Energy)10
47William Melone(Riverside Racing)10
48Chris Baddick(The Gear Movement/Epic Pro Cycling)10
49Keegan Swenson(Cannondale Facotry Team)10
50Alex Wild(Trail Head Racing)10
51Braden Kappius(Team Clif Bar)10
52Kalan Beisel(Giant-Tuff Shed)10
53David Flaten(Giant Factory North East Pro Team)10
54Tristan Uhl(787 Racing)10
55Sepp Kuss(BMC Project Dirt)10
56Ryan Woodall(The Pros Closet/Stans No Tubes MTB)10
57Hector Rivers9
58Jeremy Martin6
59Gustavo Pedroza(Ellin Cycling Team)5
60Brodie Stringer(Team Baghouse)5
61Jordan Kahlenberg(Giant Mid-Atlantic)5
62Lucas Newcomb(Bear Development Team)5
63Michael Broderick(Kenda/Stans No Tubes)5
64Noah Tautfest(Bicycle Express/Kona)5
65Jarred Jordan5
66Eliel Anttila(UC Berkeley)5
67Antoine Caron(Specialized Racing Canada)5
68Joel Titius(Socal Endurance)5
69Evan Guthrie(Norco Factory Team)5
70Trey Jarno(Bear Valley Bikes)5
71Jack Hinkens(BMC MTB Development Team US)5
72Christopher Hamlin5
73Alexandre Vialle(Espresso Sport)5
74Carson Lange5
75Aaron Oakes(Bicycle Express)5
76James Reid(Trek Racing South Africa)5
77Quinn Moberg(Rocky Mountain Factory Team)5
78Marco Antonio Escarcega S(Alu Bike-Krbo Cycling Team)5
79Jose Escarcega(Alu Bike-Krbo Cycling Team)5
80Christopher Wieczorek(Total Cyclist)5
81Sergio Hernandez(Incyle-Predator Components)5
82Charles Jenkins(Khs/Cytomax/ESI)5
83David Vaughn5
84David Pinedo(Ellin Cycling Team)5
85Julien Bourdevaire(Team Blackstar)5
86Brady Stewart5
87Timothy Rugg5
88Garet Steinmetz5
89Pete Macleod5
90Brian Barrow5
91Alex Muecci5
92Andrew Dahlheim5
93Keck Baker5
94Stephane Roch(Swami's/Skliz)5
95Sean Donovan5
96Drew Edsall(Kenda/Felt)5
97Anthony Stein5
98Peter Glassford(Trek Canada)5
99Hal Helbock5
100Juan Carlos Nunez Galuan5
101David (Tinker) Juarez(Sho-Air/Cannondale)5
102Steve Tilford5
103Patrick Chartrand(Rocky Mountain Factory Team)5
104Colin Osborn(Honey Stinger/Bontrager)5
105Marc-Antoine Nadon(Scott 3 Rox Racing)5
106Jason Siegle(Sdg/Felt)5
107Ignacio Torres(Turbo Bicycles)5
108Barry Wicks5
109Jakub Valigura(92Fifty' Cyclery)5
110Matthew Turner(Summit Utah Devo)5
111Jett Chandler(Doug Chandler Performance)5
112Emil Lindgren(Giant Pro Xc Team)5
113Martin Cox(Endurancefac)5
114John Nobil(Bear Valley Bikes)5

Elite women US Cup Series standings after two rounds
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Katerina Nash(Luna Pro Team)80pts
2Catherine Pendrel(Luna Pro Team)64
3Emily Batty(Trek Factory Racing Team)57
4Daniela Campuzano Cha(Mexico National Team)49
5Georgia Gould(Luna Pro Team)47
6Evelyn Dong(Backcountry.Com)40
7Erin Huck(Tokyo Joes-Vcgraphix.Com)37
8Rachel Lloyd(California Giant Berry Farms)34
9Maghalie Rochette(Luna Pro Team)28
10Larissa Connors(Marin Bikes Factory Team)27
11Mary Mcconneloug(Kenda/Stans No Tubes)26
12Mikaela Kofman(Scott 3 Rox Racing)24
13Erica Tingey(Team Jamis)22
14Amanda Nauman(Sdg/Felt)21
15Monique Mata(Sho-Air/Cannondale)20
16Christina Gokey-Smith(Colonels)20
17Sandra Walter18
18Amy Beisel(Liv/Giant-Tuffshed)18
19Erin Alders(Liv/Giant)16
20Shayna Powless(BMC Project Dirt)14
21Candice Neethling(Bundu Bashers)13
22Rose Grant(Sportsman & Ski Haus)10
23Jessica Rawlins10
24Vicky Barclay(Stans No Tubes Elite Women)10
25Lorenza Morfin8
26Amanda Sin(Scott 3 Rox Racing)8
27Kate Courtney(Specialized Factory Racing)7
28Cindy Montambault(Cvm 2 Vals)6
29Andreanne Pichette(Opus-Ogc)5
30Hannah Rae Finchamp(Luna Pro Team)5
31Caroline Woods(Marin Factory Team)5
32Cayley Brooks5
33Jamie Busch(Juliana/Santa Cruz Bicycles)5
34Nina Baum(Stans No Tubes Women Elite)5
35Emily Shields(BMC Project Dirt)5
36Kaylee Blevins(Bear Development)5
37Tonya Bray(Paa/MTBchick.Com)5
38Lisa Uranga5
39Lesley Paterson(Scott Bikes)5
40Jennifer Todd(Platinum Performance)5
41April Morgan5
42Melissa Ross(Faster Performance Center)5
43Gabrielle April(Rocky Mountain/Pro Cycle)5
44Frederique Larose-Gin5
45Deyanira Guerrero(Veloz Team)5

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