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Taberlay aims to defend at Sage Brush

The Kenda Cup West Series opener, the Sage Brush, is drawing a talented field for the southern California race on Sunday including last year's Sage Brush men's pro winner Sid Taberlay (Sho-Air/Specialized). The Australian was recently crowned national short track champion Down Under and he's looking to defend his Sage Brush title.

Taberlay will be hard pressed to do so with the likes of Cannondale Factory riders Jeremiah Bishop and Tinker Juarez, 2009 La Ruta and Costa Rican cross country champion Manny Prado (Sho-Air/Specialized team) on hand.

Last year's women's winner, Pua Sawiki (Team Mata/Okle looks likely to repeat as a two-time race winner. Sawicki will face a solid line-up of women racers with Rock N Road's Allison Mann leading the charge of those trying to knock her out of the top spot.

The San Diego area race will open the 2010 Kenda Cup West Series. It features a traditional loop with multiple distances ranging from 26.8 miles and 3,500 feet of climbing for the pros and cat. 1s to a shorter 18-mile loop for the cat. 2s and 3s.

The course uses existing jeep and motorcycle trails of the Lake Morena OHV park and offers racers a wide variety of terrain, with rolling Whoop De Doos, banked berm corners and a flowy style of riding.

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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.