Geoff Kabush (SCOTT-3Rox Racing) slipped and slid to his third Canadian national cyclo-cross championship Saturday on a wet, sloppy course in Surrey, British Columbia.
A typically wet Pacific Northwest day soaked the 3.25 km course at the South Surrey Athletic Park as steady wind and rain quickly turned the terrain into a slippery challenge by the time the Elite men started at the end of the day.
Two-time Canadian champion Mike Garrigan (Stage Race-Blacksmith Cycles) took the hole shot to start the Elite men's race. He was quickly followed by Kabush, Aaron Schooler (Team H&R Block) and two-time defending champion Chris Sheppard (Rocky Mountain Bicycles), who was looking for his third consecutive title.
Sheppard took the lead partway through the first lap. Adam Morka (Trek Canada) grabbed his wheel, followed by Kabush, Schooler, Derrick St. John (Stevens-The Cyclery), Andrew Watson (SCOTT-3Rox Racing) and Cameron Jette (SCOTT-3Rox Racing), to form an early lead group of seven.
Kabush attacked hard on the second lap and opened up a 20 second gap to a chase group of three, which included Sheppard, Schooler and St. John, with another 10 second gap to Morka, Cameron and Watson. Kabush looked solid over the slick course, flying around corners and “drifting” through off-camber sections. His gap was soon 30 seconds over the chasing trio, then it increased to 40 and kept growing past a minute.
While Kabush poured it on, Sheppard opened up a small gap on St. John about two-thirds of the way through the 60-minute race. Jette followed close behind, with Watson and Craig Richey (Renner Custom CX) rounding out the leaders.
Kabush took the bell for the final lap with more than a minute over Sheppard. St. John chased behind in third, followed by Richey and then Jette. But Schooler, who had started out fast and then faltered, flew up to Jette and Richey as they started the lap, chasing his fifth straight third-place finish at the championship race. His chances improved when Jette crashed about halfway through the final lap, leaving Schooler and Richey to chase down the 20-second gap to St. John.
With the battle for the last podium spot still playing out on the course behind him, Kabush crossed the line to take his third cyclo-cross national championship, adding to his wins in 2004 and 2009. Sheppard came in more than a minute down for second, while St. John kept his third-place spot. Despite Schooler's final lap heroics, Richey won the battle for fourth, with Schooler rounding out the top five.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Geoff Kabush (Can) SCOTT-3Rox Racing||1:02:55|
|2||Chris Sheppard (Can) Rocky Mountain Bicycles||0:01:29|
|3||Derrick St John (Can) Stevens p/b The Cyclery||0:01:48|
|4||Craig Richey (Can)||0:02:00|
|5||Aaron Schooler (Can) NORCO Bicycles - SRI Importing||0:02:11|
|6||Cameron Jette (Can) Scott - 3 Rox Racing||0:02:28|
|7||Andrew Watson (Can) Norco Factory Team||0:02:32|
|8||Tyler Trace (Can) Trek Red Truck||0:03:19|
|9||Kevin Noiles (Can) Sundays Best Racing||0:03:20|
|10||Andrew Pinfold (Can) H&R Block||0:03:44|
|11||Mark McConnell (Can) Team AB||0:03:49|
|12||Kevin Calhoun (Can) Rocky Mountain||0:03:54|
|13||Adam Morka (Can) Trek Canada||0:04:49|
|14||Thomas Skinner (Can) Norco/Oak Bay Bikes||0:05:38|
|15||Cody Canning (Can) Trek RedTruck Racing p/b Mosaic||0:06:06|
|16||Mike Garrigan (Can)||0:07:19|
|17||Kelly Guest (Can) Straight Up Cycles||0:08:04|
|18||Sven Sturm (Ger) Trek RedTruck Racing p/b Mosaic||0:08:30|
|19||Raphael Lalumiere (Can) Russ Hays/Accent Inns||0:08:33|
|20||Pascal Wehr (Ger) Cannondale|
|21||Mike Berkenpas (Can) Secret Cycles|
|22||Jesse Reams (Can) TREK Red Truck Racing|
|23||Kelly Servinski (Can) SCOTT Bikes|
|24||Wai-Ben Wong (Can) Glotman Simpson Cycling|
|25||Cyrus Kangarloo (Can) Speed Theory|
|26||Brett Wakefield (Can) Local Ride Racing|
|27||Sherwood Plant (Can) Independant|
|28||Richard Machhein (Can) Local Ride Racing|
|29||Matt Hornland (Can) Mighty Riders|
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Growing up in Missoula, Montana, Pat competed in his first bike race in 1985 at Flathead Lake. He studied English and journalism at the University of Oregon and has covered North American cycling extensively since 2009, as well as racing and teams in Europe and South America. Pat currently lives in the US outside of Portland, Oregon, with his imaginary dog Rusty.
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