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Mourey makes Vegas his happy hunting ground

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Ryan Trebon (Kona) running a hill in first place.

Ryan Trebon (Kona) running a hill in first place. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Elite men's start led out by Tim Johnson (Cannondale - Cyclocrossworld.com).

Elite men's start led out by Tim Johnson (Cannondale - Cyclocrossworld.com). (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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A thirty-foot high, fire-breathing mantis towered over the crowd.

A thirty-foot high, fire-breathing mantis towered over the crowd. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Brady Kappius (Team Clif Bar) all alone.

Brady Kappius (Team Clif Bar) all alone. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Tim Johnson (Cannondale - Cyclocrossworld.com) feathering a bit with teammate Driscoll off the front.

Tim Johnson (Cannondale - Cyclocrossworld.com) feathering a bit with teammate Driscoll off the front. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Geoff Kabush (Team Maxxis - Rocky Mountain) hammering down a descent.

Geoff Kabush (Team Maxxis - Rocky Mountain) hammering down a descent. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Christian Heule (Champion System LBS) descending.

Christian Heule (Champion System LBS) descending. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Tim Johnson (Cannondale - Cyclocrossworld.com) worked at times to slow the chasers.

Tim Johnson (Cannondale - Cyclocrossworld.com) worked at times to slow the chasers. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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American champion Tim Johnson (Cannondale - Cyclocrossworld.com) in the chase group.

American champion Tim Johnson (Cannondale - Cyclocrossworld.com) in the chase group. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Jamey Driscoll (Cannondale - Cyclocrossworld.com) all alone on one of the descents.

Jamey Driscoll (Cannondale - Cyclocrossworld.com) all alone on one of the descents. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Troy Wells (Team Clif Bar) bunny-hopping the barriers.

Troy Wells (Team Clif Bar) bunny-hopping the barriers. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Geoff Kabush (Team Maxxis - Rocky Mountain) hung with the leaders until the last lap.

Geoff Kabush (Team Maxxis - Rocky Mountain) hung with the leaders until the last lap. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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French national champion Francis Mourey (FDJ), left, seemed to be biding his time most of the race.

French national champion Francis Mourey (FDJ), left, seemed to be biding his time most of the race. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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The work of chasing down Driscoll was primarily the work of Ryan Trebon (Kona).

The work of chasing down Driscoll was primarily the work of Ryan Trebon (Kona). (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Jamey Driscoll (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com) with about a 30 second lead.

Jamey Driscoll (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com) with about a 30 second lead. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Not everyone in the race was contending for the victory.

Not everyone in the race was contending for the victory. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Francis Mourey (Francais Des Jeux) nips Driscoll at the line to win CrossVegas.

Francis Mourey (Francais Des Jeux) nips Driscoll at the line to win CrossVegas. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Jesse Anthony (California Giant Berry) and Derek St. John (Garneau Club Chaussures) rounding an uphill corner.

Jesse Anthony (California Giant Berry) and Derek St. John (Garneau Club Chaussures) rounding an uphill corner. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Gerben De Knegt (Rabobank - Giant) beginning a dismount.

Gerben De Knegt (Rabobank - Giant) beginning a dismount. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Racing on the legendary green grass at Desert Breeze Soccer park.

Racing on the legendary green grass at Desert Breeze Soccer park. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Riders got to make several trips per lap up the only hill.

Riders got to make several trips per lap up the only hill. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Carl Decker (Giant) running the barriers.

Carl Decker (Giant) running the barriers. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Ryan Trebon (Kona) leading the race.

Ryan Trebon (Kona) leading the race. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Christian Heule (Champion System LBS) chasing Trebon.

Christian Heule (Champion System LBS) chasing Trebon. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Mountain bikers on the run (l-r): Adam Craig (Rabobank), Todd Wells (Specialized), Geoff Kabush (Maxxis).

Mountain bikers on the run (l-r): Adam Craig (Rabobank), Todd Wells (Specialized), Geoff Kabush (Maxxis). (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Barry Wicks (Kona) heading into some barriers.

Barry Wicks (Kona) heading into some barriers. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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The crowd at CrossVegas was similar to a World Cup race.

The crowd at CrossVegas was similar to a World Cup race. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Adam Craig (Rabobank - Giant) put in a good performance.

Adam Craig (Rabobank - Giant) put in a good performance. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Francis Mourey (FDJ) out-sprints Jamey Driscoll to the line.

Francis Mourey (FDJ) out-sprints Jamey Driscoll to the line. (Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Men's podium (l-r): Gerben De Knegt (Rabobank), 3rd; Francis Mourey (Francais Des Jeux), 1st; Jamey Driscoll (Cannondale - Cyclocrossworld.com), 2nd.

Men's podium (l-r): Gerben De Knegt (Rabobank), 3rd; Francis Mourey (Francais Des Jeux), 1st; Jamey Driscoll (Cannondale - Cyclocrossworld.com), 2nd. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Jamey Driscoll (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com) with a 15-second lead with one lap to go.

Jamey Driscoll (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com) with a 15-second lead with one lap to go. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Jamey Driscoll (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com) on his solo breakaway.

Jamey Driscoll (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com) on his solo breakaway. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Francis Mourey (Francais Des Jeux) at the start.

Francis Mourey (Francais Des Jeux) at the start. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Jamey Driscoll (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com) was last year's CrossVegas winner.

Jamey Driscoll (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com) was last year's CrossVegas winner. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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French national champion Francis Mourey (Francais Des Jeux) and Chris Jones (Rapha Focus).

French national champion Francis Mourey (Francais Des Jeux) and Chris Jones (Rapha Focus). (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Some of the special nightlife on hand at tonight's race.

Some of the special nightlife on hand at tonight's race. (Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Davide Frattini (Hudz - Subaru) showing off his new team colors on the barrier section.

Davide Frattini (Hudz - Subaru) showing off his new team colors on the barrier section. (Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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The run-ups were steep but fast.

The run-ups were steep but fast. (Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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This does work for riders sometimes.

This does work for riders sometimes. (Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Jamey Driscoll (Cannondale - Cyclocrossworld) was smooth and fast over the barriers.

Jamey Driscoll (Cannondale - Cyclocrossworld) was smooth and fast over the barriers. (Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Riders head through one of the few well-lit sections.

Riders head through one of the few well-lit sections. (Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Night time 'cross racing.

Night time 'cross racing. (Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Jamey Driscoll (Cannondale - Cyclocrossworld) making good speed on tonight's fast course.

Jamey Driscoll (Cannondale - Cyclocrossworld) making good speed on tonight's fast course. (Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Tim Johnson (Cannondale - Cyclocrossworld) powers up one of the grassy climbs.

Tim Johnson (Cannondale - Cyclocrossworld) powers up one of the grassy climbs. (Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Tim Johnson (Cannondale - Cyclocrossworld) getting psyched up on the start line.

Tim Johnson (Cannondale - Cyclocrossworld) getting psyched up on the start line. (Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Ryan Trebon (Kona) was the early aggressor in the race.

Ryan Trebon (Kona) was the early aggressor in the race. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)

French champion Francis Mourey brought home another victory in the USA in a thrilling sprint at CrossVegas, denying the defending champion Jamey Driscoll (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld) the win on the line. It was the Francaise des Jeux rider's third win of the season after a pair of triumphs in much more adverse conditions last weekend in Seattle, Washington.

Las Vegas, Nevada may have lacked the spectacle of the downpours that plagued riders last weekend, but the drama of the race could not have lived up better to the bright lights and big stage of this flamboyant town.

Driscoll, who had been on a solo breakaway since the third lap and at one point nearly 30 seconds ahead of the main group, saw his lead reduced steadily until it was just a few seconds coming into the last half lap. He very nearly held on, but was nipped by Mourey at the finish line as the Frenchman rocketed out of the chasing group with 50m to go.

Rabobank-Giant's Gerben de Knegt claimed the third spot from one of the deepest fields ever to contest cyclo-cross on US soil.

"I was a little bit tired having only arrived in Vegas last night," said Mourey. "I went to bed at 2am and spent all day today visiting sponsors and it was tiring.

"I knew that my best chance of a win was if it was a sprint finish, so I waited for as long as I needed to."

The disappointment of the Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld team was palpable as Driscoll collapsed to the grass after the finish, still out of breath from his solo effort which went on for two thirds of the race.

"I didn't expect it to be as easy as last year," said Driscoll, who was a relatively unknown rider last year when he entered into the race winning break with another fairly unfamiliar name in the 'cross scene, Chris Jones. "The one card I played last year, I didn't think I'd be able to play it this year. I kind of did, I was surprised about that," he said. "But when the national champion is number six on the start line, I knew it would be a tough field tonight."

Mourey was complimentary about the quality of the racing, even if the nighttime race in the desert was a bit different from his normal venues. "We were all behind the leader but he only had a few seconds so I knew that there was a good chance of coming back, but it was a tough race, especially at night under all the lights. French guys like me aren't used to this. It's a very different atmosphere to the cold I'm used to.

"The US field is quality. I've been amongst the best 'cross riders in the world for many years but the American field is very strong with some great athletes. The Worlds are coming here in a couple of years and it's going to be a great event."

Driscoll goes for broke

125 riders lined up under the lights at the Desert Breeze soccer park, and while the race was quick from the gun and riddled with attacks, little separation occurred over the first two laps, and a large group was still together when Driscoll took advantage of a temporary lull in the pace to launch his attack on lap three.

With teammate Tim Johnson easing up to help Driscoll establish his gap, and a timely crash by Todd Wells (Specialized) on the run-up, Driscoll quickly built a 20-second lead by the end of lap three. The next time through the start/finish, the defending champion had built up half a minute's lead and looked well on track to repeat his effort of the year before.

Behind the plucky Driscoll a powerful contingent had formed in pursuit, including Gerben De Knegt and Adam Craig (Rabobank - Giant), Mourey (FDJ), Christian Heule (Champion System LBS), Jonathan Page (Planet Bike), Johnson and Jeremy Powers (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com), Ryan Trebon (Kona), Geoff Kabush (Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain), Wells, Luca Damiani (Kenda Pro Cycling P/B Geargrinder), Christopher Jones (Rapha Focus) and Jesse Anthony (California Giant Berry/ Specialized)

"The only people who had tried attacking before me were big guys like Trebon, and then they sat up just enough for me to launch an attack," Driscoll said. "I figured the chances of them chasing me down was 50-50. I just remembered last year working with Chris Jones, and it was all about working flawlessly to stay away. I knew it would be a tall order to stay away."

Tall described the main force behind Driscoll's demise, as 6'5" Ryan Trebon took charge of keeping the gap in check. But his efforts only benefited the Europeans who were happy to take a back seat to the chase and then pounce at the last minute.

"I just did too much," Trebon admitted. "It's a fast, hard race… it was really hard. You can't fault people for the tactics they use in the race."

Not only did Trebon have to work against the team tactics of Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld, who worked to keep their teammate clear, and the Europeans who allowed the domestic riders the honor of fighting at the front, but the crowds who became unusually unruly.

"I was really disappointed as someone threw a beer right in my face over on the stairs. It's okay to have fun and to cheer, but that's just not right. This is my job, you know," Trebon lamented. "I don't even mind when people heckle, but that's just bad sportsmanship."

The reigning US national champion Tim Johnson is normally a title fighter in CrossVegas, but after a broken ankle suffered earlier this summer, his presence in the leading group and his work for his teammate was a good indicator that his form is returning.

"I was trying to help when I could. I'm still trying to get my legs back after such a crappy year, and it was good to get up there and contribute," Johnson said. He was proud of the work of his younger teammate, who held on so long against the odds. "He's just a strong kid, he's not the quickest guy out there, but he'll never give up and he never really slows down. I can't believe he did that two years in a row like that."

Full Results
1Francis Mourey (Fra) Francaise Des Jeux0:59:30
2James Driscoll (USA) Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com
3Gerben De Knegt (Ned) Rabobank - Giant Off Road Team0:00:01
4Ryan Trebon (USA) Kona
5Christian Heule (Swi) Champion System LBS0:00:02
6Jonathan Page (USA) Planet Bike
7Jeremy Powers (USA) Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com0:00:03
8Lars Van Der Haar (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Off-Road Team0:00:04
9Geoff Kabush (Can) Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain0:00:08
10Adam Craig (USA) Rabobank-Giant Off-Road Team0:00:10
11Christopher Jones (USA) Rapha Focus0:00:13
12Timothy Johnson (USA) Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com0:00:17
13Jesse Anthony (USA) California Giant / Specialized0:00:23
14Luca Damiani (Ita) Kenda Pro Cycling P/B Geargrinder0:00:36
15Todd Wells (USA) Specialized Factory Racing0:00:45
16Derrick St John (Can) Garneau Club Chaussures-Ogilvy0:01:54
17Jake Wells (USA)
18Tyler Wren (USA) Boo Bicycles0:02:02
19Rene Birkenfeld (Ger) Harvesterhude Rv0:02:09
20Zach McDonald (USA) Rapha Focus
21Craig Richey (Can) Cyclocrossracing.Com p/b Blue
22Tim Van Nuffel (Bel) Van Goethem-Prorace-Cycling Team0:02:10
23Carl Decker (USA) Giant0:02:11
24Molly Cameron (USA) Portland Bicycle Studio0:02:17
25Barry Wicks (USA) Kona0:02:19
26Aaron Schooler (Can) Team H&R Block0:02:35
27Jonathan Baker (USA) Hudz-Subaru0:02:43
28Mitchell Hoke (USA) Clif Bar Development Team0:02:54
29Brady Kappius (USA) Team Clif Bar0:03:25
30Joachim Parbo (Den) Kch Leopard Cycles0:03:31
31Valentin Scherz (Swi) Cyfac-Champion System p/b Revolution Wheelworks0:03:37
32Davide Frattini (Ita) Hudz-Subaru
33Tyler Trace (Can) Trek Red Truck
34Brandon Dwight (USA) Boulder Cycle Sport0:03:43
35Jeremy Ferguson (USA) California Giant/Specialized0:03:48
36Matthew Pacocha (USA) Hudz-Subaru0:03:52
37Mark Lalonde (USA) Specialized0:04:00
38Ryan Dewald (USA) Bikyle/Mazur Coaching0:04:01
39Jared Nieters (USA) Haymarket/Seavs0:04:04
40Kevin Noiles (Can) La Bicicletta Pro Shop0:04:13
41Adam Myerson (USA) Mountain Khakis F/B Jittery Joes0:04:16
42Kamden Reedy (USA) Web-Op0:04:19
43Troy Wells (USA) Team Clif Bar0:04:34
44Mathew Ankney (USA) Kccx/Verge Elite Cyclocross Team0:04:37
45Stephen Cummings (USA) Indiana Regional Medical Center0:04:45
46Aaron Bouplon (USA) Rocky Mounts / Izze0:04:54
47Jamie Newall (GBr) Team Corley Cycles0:04:56
48Sergio Hernandez (USA) Jelly Belly Presented By Kenda0:05:07
49Anthony Grand (Swi) Cyfac-Champion System p/b Revolution Wheelworks
50Ben Chaddock (Can) Rubicon-Orbea0:05:08
51Geert Wellens (Bel) Scott Usa Cycling Team0:05:16
52Scott Tietzel (USA) Mountain Khakis F/B Jittery Joes0:05:20
53Jason Siegle (USA) Bike Religion0:05:49
54Justin Robinson (USA) California Giant/Specialized0:05:56
55Kevin Mullervy (USA) Team Exergy0:06:11
56Morgan Ryan (USA) The Team So Cal Cross0:06:20
57Spencer Powlison (USA)0:07:52
61Roger Rilling (USA) Stoller
62Jason Holbrook (USA) Boulder Cycle Sport
63Dean Poshard (USA) Rockloboster
65Mike Sherer (USA) Verizon U25 Team
66Peter Sullivan (USA) Svelte Cycles
67Luke Keough (USA) Bikereg.Com/Cannondale-1lap
68Dave Hackworthy (USA) Clement Cx
69Nicholas Weighall (USA) California Giant/Specialized
70Conor Mullervy (USA) Team Exergy
71Kyle Reedy (USA) Web-Op-2laps
72William Gault (USA) Kccx/Verge Elite Cyclocross Team
73John Bailey (USA) Bailey Bikes
74Anton Petrov (USA) Bike Religion
75Phil Grove (USA) Lake Washington Velo
76Cody Kaiser (USA) California Giant/Specialized
77Geoffrey Nenninger (USA) Colorado Multisport
78Shawn Harshman (USA) Pm Racing Team
79Kyle Peppo (USA) Gs Mengoni Usa
80Zoltan Tisza (Hun) Tecnofilm-Betonexpr 2000-3laps
81Bryan Alders (USA) S.O.L.O.
82David McNeal (USA) Birmingham Bicycle Company
83Bill Marshall (USA) Kccx/Verge Elite Cyclocross Team
84Charles Coyle (USA) Hudz-Subaru Cycling Team
85Brian Astell (USA) Lost Coast Brewery/ Marin
86Daniel MacDonald (Can) Total Restoration-4laps
87Michael Hosang (USA) Team Tripower
88Zach Lail (USA) Mock Orange Racing
89John Behrens (USA) Bailey Bikes
90Gary Douville (USA) Platinum Performance
91Matthew McGee (USA) Unattached
92Cort Cramer (USA) Svelte Cycles
93Joshua Lehmann (USA) Sunapee/S & W Racing Team
94Benjamin Popper (USA) Rock Lobster
95Anastasio Flores Jr (USA) California Giant Strawberry
96Andy Bestwick (USA) Allegiant Airlines/ Pain Md'S-5laps
97Tyler Wertenbruch (USA) Slo Nexus - Gym One
98JP Partland (USA) Kissena
99Danny Kam (USA) Herbalife La Grange-6laps
DNFGreg Gibson (USA) Truckerco.Com Racer'S Cycle Service
DNFGuillaume Nelessen (USA) Van Dessel Factory Team
DNFTravis Livermon (USA) Mock Orange Racing
DNFDylan McNicholas (USA)
DNFMartin Gujan (Swi) Cannondale Factory Racing
DNFAllen Krughoff (USA) Boulder Cycle Sport
DNFNick Truitt (USA) Yeti Cycles
DNSMarco Aurelio Fontana (Ita) Cannondale Factory Racing
DNSMatt Shriver (USA) Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory
DNSJonathan Sundt (USA) Kenda Pro Cycling P/B Geargrinder
DNSManuel Fumic (Ger) Cannondale Factory Racing
DNSStephen Pierce (USA) Cambridge Bicycle / Igleheart Frames
DNSOliver Vrambout (USA) The Bikery Du Nord
DNSRobert Marion (USA)
DNSMichael Friedman (USA) Jelly Belly P/B Kenda
DNSBryan Fawley (USA)
DNSElliott Craddock (USA)
DNSShadd Smith (USA) Kccx/Verge Elite Cyclocross Team
DNSChristopher McGovern (USA)
DNSDavid Sheek (USA) Rock N' Road
DNSDavid Wilcox (USA) Pedro's Grassroots Cycling Club
DNSLane Miller (USA)
DNSStevie Cullinan (USA)
DNSColby Pearce (USA) Hudz-Subaru
DNSPaul Adams (USA)
DNSMike Stewart (USA) Tri Cities Road Club

Second lap sprint award
1Christian Heule (Swi) Champion System LBS
2Ryan Trebon (USA) Kona
3Christopher Jones (USA) Rapha Focus

Fastest lap award
1Francis Mourey (Fra) Francaise Des Jeux

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