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Ettinger wins Catamount Classic short track

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Stephen Ettinger (BMC Development Team) cornering hard on his last lap

Stephen Ettinger (BMC Development Team) cornering hard on his last lap
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Rotem Ishay (Team Jamis) leading out the Elite Men

Rotem Ishay (Team Jamis) leading out the Elite Men
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Rotem Ishay (Team Jamis) taking the hole s-ot

Rotem Ishay (Team Jamis) taking the hole s-ot
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Rotem Ishay (Team Jamis) got to the downhill singletrack first

Rotem Ishay (Team Jamis) got to the downhill singletrack first
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Russell Finsterwald (Trek Factory Racing) being watched closely by Ettinger

Russell Finsterwald (Trek Factory Racing) being watched closely by Ettinger
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Howard Grotts (Specialized) was very competitive on this climbers course

Howard Grotts (Specialized) was very competitive on this climbers course
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Payson McElveen (Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory) riding the top of the course

Payson McElveen (Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory) riding the top of the course
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Russell Finsterwald (Trek Factory Racing) with a sizable gap over the main field

Russell Finsterwald (Trek Factory Racing) with a sizable gap over the main field
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Stephen Ettinger (BMC Mountainbike Team) did most of the chasing to bring back Finsterwald

Stephen Ettinger (BMC Mountainbike Team) did most of the chasing to bring back Finsterwald
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Jeremiah Bishop (Sho-Air Cannondale) appeared to be riding a tactically perfect race

Jeremiah Bishop (Sho-Air Cannondale) appeared to be riding a tactically perfect race
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Rotem Ishay (Team Jamis) was part of the chase group going after Finsterwald

Rotem Ishay (Team Jamis) was part of the chase group going after Finsterwald
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Stephen Ettinger (BMC Mountainbike Team) leading Russell Finsterwald up the small mountain at Catamount Recreation Center

Stephen Ettinger (BMC Mountainbike Team) leading Russell Finsterwald up the small mountain at Catamount Recreation Center
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Jeremiah Bishop (Sho-Air Cannondale) checking who was with him on the final run-in to the finish

Jeremiah Bishop (Sho-Air Cannondale) checking who was with him on the final run-in to the finish
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Howard Grotts (Specialized) with the race lead

Howard Grotts (Specialized) with the race lead
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Michael Sampson (Adigga Racing) entertaining the spectators

Michael Sampson (Adigga Racing) entertaining the spectators
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Stephen Ettinger (BMC Mountainbike Team) got the first call-up

Stephen Ettinger (BMC Mountainbike Team) got the first call-up
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Russell Finsterwald (Trek Factory Racing) was picked as a pre-race favorite

Russell Finsterwald (Trek Factory Racing) was picked as a pre-race favorite
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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The Elite Men's field was large but missing Wells and Plaxton who were traveling today

The Elite Men's field was large but missing Wells and Plaxton who were traveling today
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Rotem Ishay (Team Jamis) leading the race on lap two

Rotem Ishay (Team Jamis) leading the race on lap two
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Jeremiah Bishop (Sho-Air Cannondale) riding in second position on lap two

Jeremiah Bishop (Sho-Air Cannondale) riding in second position on lap two
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Cameron Dodge (Scott) riding in the top five on lap two

Cameron Dodge (Scott) riding in the top five on lap two
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Stephen Ettinger (BMC Mountainbike Team) trying to get away from Finsterwald

Stephen Ettinger (BMC Mountainbike Team) trying to get away from Finsterwald
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Mitch Hoke (Kenda Felt) was with the leaders for much of the race

Mitch Hoke (Kenda Felt) was with the leaders for much of the race
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Payson McElveen (Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory) was not far behind the leaders for much of the race

Payson McElveen (Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory) was not far behind the leaders for much of the race
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Mitch Hoke (Kenda Felt) attempting to reel in Finsterwald

Mitch Hoke (Kenda Felt) attempting to reel in Finsterwald
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Stephen Ettinger (BMC Mountainbike Team) and Finsterwald with a small gap over Bishop

Stephen Ettinger (BMC Mountainbike Team) and Finsterwald with a small gap over Bishop
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Sepp Kuss (Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory) descending the first of three dropoffs

Sepp Kuss (Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory) descending the first of three dropoffs
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Stephen Ettinger (BMC Mountainbike Team) edges out Finsterwald to take the win

Stephen Ettinger (BMC Mountainbike Team) edges out Finsterwald to take the win
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)

Stephen Ettinger (BMC) won the elite men's short track race at the Catamount Classic in Vermont on Sunday. He won a sprint finish with Russell Finsterwald (Trek). Jeremiah Bishop (Sho-Air/Cannondale) was third.

Racers enjoyed perfect weather - relatively cool for August and sunny. They did, however, race an unusual short track course. Between 50 percent and two-thirds of the course was on grass. The lap started with one significant climb, and each lap riders climbed to the top of the hill on grass, then ducked into the woods onto a mostly singletrack downhill with minimal passing options. The downhill featured three separate launch points, and racers were flying through the air all over. One launch point was a fairly wide bridge while the other two were effectively singletrack. The second third of the course was all downhill, and racers came out onto a grassy, mostly flat section to the finish. It was wide open, but slow going on the grass for sprint finishes, and both the hill and the wind were factors in the races.

Rotem Ishai took the hole shot up the hill after the start and led for the first couple of laps. A few laps in, Finsterwald went off the front and got a gap of about 50 feet. That left Ettinger to chase him down. Bishop was sitting in and letting Ettinger chase down Finsterwald.

There were a few lead changes where several riders took a turn going for it, but no one could get away.

When it came down to two laps to go, Bishop attacked but couldn't get a gap. Ettinger stayed with him and Finsterwald was still among the leaders.

Coming out the woods the last time, Bishop was leading and he was followed by Ettinger and Finsterwald. Finsty went around both of them and then only Ettinger could respond.  He won the final sprint by about one bike length.

Conspicuously absent were several of the men's favorites from the previous day including the Catamount Pro XCT winner Max Plaxton (Sho-Air/Cannondale) and Specialized teammates Todd Wells and Kohei Yamamoto. Wells departed for Colorado to get ready for next weekend's Leadville 100.

Editorial assistance provided by Dave McElwaine.

Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Stephen Ettinger0:28:22
2Russell Finsterwald0:00:07
3Jeremiah Bishop0:00:09
4Howard Grotts0:00:10
5Rotem Ishai0:00:11
6Patrick Chartrand
7Kerry Werner0:00:12
8Cameron Dodge0:00:19
9Tom Sampson0:00:36
10Mitchell Hoke0:00:43
11Ryan Woodall0:01:03
12Richard Cypress Gorry0:01:04
13Sepp Kuss0:01:29
14Alexandre Vialle0:07:20
15Michael Sampson0:07:36
16Tristan Cowie0:07:40
17Payson Mcelveen0:07:45
18David Flaten0:07:49
19Christopher Hamlin0:07:54
20Mathieu Bélanger-Barrette0:07:58
21Billy Melone0:08:02
22Tyler Berliner0:08:07
23Jorge Munoz0:08:56
24Guillaume Larose-Gingras0:09:03
25Bobby Bailey0:09:08
26Jacob Sacket0:09:13
27Vincent Lessard0:09:17
28Landon Russell0:09:22
29Levi Kurlander0:09:28
30Matthew Owens0:09:37
31John Burns0:09:41
32Carson Beckett0:09:45
33Jonathan Anderson0:09:50
34Thomas Gauthier0:09:54
35Jonathan Cantin0:09:58
DNSGered Dunne
DNSRotem Ishai
DNSMax Plaxton
DNSLuke Vrouwenvelder
DNSTodd Wells
DNSKohei Yamomoto

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