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Page puts last season behind with NACT win

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The elite men's podium (L-R): Andy Jacques-Maynes, 4th; Christian Heule, 2nd; Jonathan Page, 1st; Jamey Driscoll, 3rd; Chris Jones, 5th.

The elite men's podium (L-R): Andy Jacques-Maynes, 4th; Christian Heule, 2nd; Jonathan Page, 1st; Jamey Driscoll, 3rd; Chris Jones, 5th. (Image credit: Matthew J. Clark/StraightEIGHT Films)
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Jonathan Page (Planet Bike) awaits the start of the Rad Racing Gran Prix.

Jonathan Page (Planet Bike) awaits the start of the Rad Racing Gran Prix. (Image credit: Matthew J. Clark/StraightEIGHT Films)
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Chris Jones (Champion System) finished in fifth place.

Chris Jones (Champion System) finished in fifth place. (Image credit: Matthew J. Clark/StraightEIGHT Films)
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Race leaders Christian Heule (Rendementhypo Cycling Team) and Jonathan Page (Planet Bike).

Race leaders Christian Heule (Rendementhypo Cycling Team) and Jonathan Page (Planet Bike). (Image credit: Matthew J. Clark/StraightEIGHT Films)
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Barry Wicks (Kona) en route to a ninth place finish.

Barry Wicks (Kona) en route to a ninth place finish. (Image credit: Matthew J. Clark/StraightEIGHT Films)
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Chris Sheppard (Santa Cruz/Shimano/Wtb/Giro) and Ryan Trebon (Kona) on a run up.

Chris Sheppard (Santa Cruz/Shimano/Wtb/Giro) and Ryan Trebon (Kona) on a run up. (Image credit: Matthew J. Clark/StraightEIGHT Films)
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The elite men tackle a steep run up.

The elite men tackle a steep run up. (Image credit: Matthew J. Clark/StraightEIGHT Films)
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Andy Jacques-Maynes (Bissell Pro Cycling) runs the barriers.

Andy Jacques-Maynes (Bissell Pro Cycling) runs the barriers. (Image credit: Matthew J. Clark/StraightEIGHT Films)
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Jamey Driscoll (Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld.Com) finished third.

Jamey Driscoll (Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld.Com) finished third. (Image credit: Matthew J. Clark/StraightEIGHT Films)
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Andy Jacques-Maynes (Bissell Pro Cycling) on his way to a fourth place finish.

Andy Jacques-Maynes (Bissell Pro Cycling) on his way to a fourth place finish. (Image credit: Matthew J. Clark/StraightEIGHT Films)
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Jonathan Page (Planet Bike) outsprints Christian Heule (Rendementhypo Cycling Team) to win the Rad Racing Gran Prix.

Jonathan Page (Planet Bike) outsprints Christian Heule (Rendementhypo Cycling Team) to win the Rad Racing Gran Prix. (Image credit: Matthew J. Clark/StraightEIGHT Films)
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Denmark's Joachim Parbo (Ccv Leopard Cycles)

Denmark's Joachim Parbo (Ccv Leopard Cycles) (Image credit: Matthew J. Clark/StraightEIGHT Films)
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Jeremy Powers (Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld.Com)

Jeremy Powers (Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld.Com) (Image credit: Matthew J. Clark/StraightEIGHT Films)
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US National Champion Ryan Trebon (Kona)

US National Champion Ryan Trebon (Kona) (Image credit: Matthew J. Clark/StraightEIGHT Films)
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Jeremy Powers (Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld.Com) in action.

Jeremy Powers (Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld.Com) in action. (Image credit: Matthew J. Clark/StraightEIGHT Films)
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Christian Heule (Rendementhypo Cycling Team) leads Jonathan Page (Planet Bike) around a corner.

Christian Heule (Rendementhypo Cycling Team) leads Jonathan Page (Planet Bike) around a corner. (Image credit: Matthew J. Clark/StraightEIGHT Films)
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Jonathan Page (Planet Bike) takes the win ahead of Christian Heule (Rendementhypo Cycling Team).

Jonathan Page (Planet Bike) takes the win ahead of Christian Heule (Rendementhypo Cycling Team). (Image credit: Joe Sales)
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Jonathan Page (Planet Bike) leads Christian Heule through the fields at the Rad Racing Gran Prix.

Jonathan Page (Planet Bike) leads Christian Heule through the fields at the Rad Racing Gran Prix. (Image credit: Joe Sales)
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Switzerland's Christian Heule (Rendementhypo Cycling Team) and Jonathan Page rode away from the elite men's field.

Switzerland's Christian Heule (Rendementhypo Cycling Team) and Jonathan Page rode away from the elite men's field. (Image credit: Joe Sales)

Competing in a full European schedule means that Jonathan Page (Planet Bike) thrives on the few chances he has at winning a 'cross race on American soil and winning is exactly what he did at the Rad Racing Gran Prix held in Seattle, Washington. He played his cards perfectly in the finale - a well-timed sprint saw him outpace break companion Christian Heule (Rendementhypo Cycling Team) for the victory.

Jamey Driscoll (Cyclocrossworld.com-Cannondale) took a well-earned third place after a lengthy chase to catch the two leaders.

"It's fun to win a bike race," said Page. "He [Heule] led most of the final section of the last lap and then I just accelerated. We came off the grass side by side and I pulled away from him. I patiently played my card. It was a tough, tough race and good one."

Page is off to a good start after a turbulent end to his season last year that began after accidentally missing a post-race anti-doping control on November 29th following the Koksijde World Cup in Belgium. He was up against a possible two-year suspension that was cleared by the World Anti Doping Association (WADA).

"I'd like to dedicate this race to the three lawyers who helped me out last winter and to Bob Downs, the owner of Planet Bike my title sponsor," Page said following his victory. "They saved my butt and without them I wouldn't have the chance to win a bike race. I'm hoping that there will be more chances to win in my career."

Heule's win in Star Crossed, the previous night, coupled with his second place performance in Rad Racing Gran Prix moved him into the early lead of the North American Trophy Points Series ahead of Page in second place and Andy Jacques-Maynes, who sits in third.

The NACT turns up the heat

The star-studded call ups in the men's pro-elite category fell short one important rider - defending champion Tim Johnson (Cyclocrossworld.com). Johnson pulled out of the previous day's Star Crossed after he crashed and separated his shoulder on the first lap.

The racing got underway with a highly contested field and a crowd hungry to see action similar to that of the night before. There was no mud nor rain, only the dry heat of typical of late September, but that didn't help the riders stay upright on their machines.

"I didn't think too much of the course at first as it was bone dry," said Page. "After I knew it was going to be hard because of the elevation changes, the long run ups and after you descend them you had to go up another one. It made for a good strong-man type of race."

Jesse Anthony (Jamis) was the first to hit the barriers in a tumble and lost time and places as the leaders continued on in their aggressive bid for victory without him. Other riders noticeably missing from the front included Ryan Trebon (KONA) and Jeremy Powers (Cyclocrossworld.com).

It wasn't long before two men - Heule and Page - emerged from the dust together and no other riders in reach. It was a battle of the Europeans. Heule, a four-time Swiss national champion and Page, a former US national champion who now calls Belgium home in order to fulfill his cyclo-cross commitments. He went on to become the first American to take a silver medal in the 2007 UCI World Cyclo-Cross Championships.

"Heule and I put the hammer down and rode away from the guys for most of the race," Page continued. "He had a couple moments of weakness and Driscoll came close to us. But, I went hard when he got close for one whole lap on the front and I hit it one more time up the hill and he was gone again. I wanted to keep it just the two of us."

Driscoll and Jacques-Maynes worked together to try and close in on the two leaders. However, Driscoll jumped ahead of Jacques-Maynes to try and bridge the gap. He almost made if it weren't for Page who turned it up a notch just as he was about the make contact.

Jacques-Maynes continued riding in fourth place well ahead of a chase group containing Danish National Champion Joachim Parbo (CCV Leopard Cycles), Chris Jones (Champion System) and Russell Stevenson (Benaroya Research Institute). Just behind, Barry Wicks (KONA) and Chris Sheppard (Santa Cruz/Shimano) worked together to stay with in reach of the top ten places.

Page used his strength to carry himself over the famed 80m run up ahead of Heule on the eighth and last time up; a deal breaker that indicated it was time to start thinking about the win. The Swiss talent negotiated the final corners ahead of Page but when the pair hit the tarmac it was Page who blasted past him to take the win.

Results
1Jonathan Page (USA) Planet Bike0:55:08
2Christian Heule (Swi) Rendementhypo Cycling Team
3James Driscoll (USA) Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld.Com0:00:30
4Andy Jacques-Maynes (USA) Bissell Pro Cycling0:00:57
5Christopher Jones (USA Champion System0:01:11
6Joachim Parbo (Den) Ccv Leopard Cycles0:01:24
7Russell Stevenson (USA) Benaroya Research Institute Cycling Team0:01:29
8Chris Sheppard (Can) Santa Cruz/Shimano/Wtb/Giro0:01:58
9Barry Wicks (USA) Kona0:02:30
10Ryan Iddings (USA) Lapierre Usa0:02:56
11Tyler Trace (Can) Trek Red Truck
12Craig Richey (Can) Blue Competition Cycles P/B Neverblue0:03:03
13Sean Babcock (USA) Team S&M0:03:04
14Jake Wells (USA) Mafiaracing.Com0:03:05
15Morgan Schmitt (USA) Bissell Pro Cycling0:03:18
16Aaron Schooler (Can) Team H&R Block-Kona
17Aaron Bradford (USA)0:03:33
18Cody Peterson (USA) Hutchs Bicycles0:03:42
19Kevin Bradford-Parish (USA) Emdesports.Com0:03:51
20Steve Fisher (USA) Rad Racing/Hagens Berman
21Kevin Noiles (Can) La Bicicletta Pro Shop0:03:54
22Davy Yeater (USA) River City Bicycles0:04:19
23Jeremy Ferguson (USA)0:04:25
24Jeremy Powers (USA) Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld.Com0:04:31
25Josh Berry (USA)0:04:51
26John Curry (USA) G.A.S./Intrinsik0:05:15
27Logan Wetzel (USA)
28Spencer Paxson (USA) Team S&M Young Guns0:05:30
29Nicholas Weighall (USA) California Giant Berry Farms/Specialized0:05:37
30Nathan Bannerman (USA) Rad Racing/ Hagens Berman0:05:42
31Ian Terry (USA) Rad Racing Nw/Hagens Berman0:06:00
32Kristopher Holden (USA) Vertical Earth
33Mark Blackwelder (USA)0:06:24
34Scotty Carlile (USA) Tai Cycling/Genr80:06:30
35Shaun Adamson (Can) Juventus
36Brett Luelling (USA) Capitol Subaru Cycling0:07:14
37Jesse Anthony (USA) Jamis0:07:42
38Kevin Hulick (USA) Vanilla Workshop0:07:48
39Ryan Weaver (USA)0:08:23
-1 lapKyle Mcgilvray (USA) Old Town Bicycle
-1 lapMatthew Davis (USA) Mad Duck/Momenta Training
-1 lapChris Hill (USA) Cucina Fresca
-1 lapNick Berry (Can) Mighty Cycling
-3 lapsMatthew Fox (USA) Sunnyside Sports
-3 lapsBen Dodge (USA) Sugar Crm
-3 lapsMatt Wittler (USA) Lost Coast Brewery/Marin Bikes
-4 lapsChristopher Ragusa (USA) Ccb Volkswagen
-4 lapsTim Woods (USA)
-4 lapsJoe Wessel (Can) Kelowna Cycle United
DNFRyan Trebon (USA) Kona
DNFMolly Cameron (USA) Portland Bicycle Studio
DNFDrew Mackenzie (Can) Island Racing Club
DNFBrandon Mart (USA) Team Kinetic Cycles
DNFThomas 'The Tank' Skinner (Can) Oak Bay Bikes
DNFTroy Wells (USA) Clif Bar
DNFShannon Skerritt (USA) The Vanilla Workshop-Speedvagen Racing
DNFToby Swanson (USA) Benaroya Research Institute Cycling Team
DNFBrett Nichols (USA) Bode
DNSTimothy Johnson (USA) Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld.Com
DNSJonathan Baker (USA) Hudz-Subaru Cyclocross Team
DNSKris Sneddon (Can) Kona
DNSErik Tonkin (USA) Kona
DNSSean Worsech (USA) Rad Racing Nw/Hagens Berman

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