Kabush wins a heated cross country

Geoff Kabush (Scott-3Rox Racing) raced to victory on a boiling hot spring day in the Sea Otter Classic cross country race on Saturday afternoon. Kabush broke away from his rivals on the big climb back to the venue to win his first Sea Otter cross country race in several years. In an exciting sprint for second place, Sid Taberlay (H2O Overdrive) took the silver medal with a bike throw. Max Plaxton (Specialized) rolled across third making it a good weekend after his short track win on Friday. Sam Schultz (Subaru-Trek) finished fourth, and US Cross Country National Champion Todd Wells (Specialized) rounded out the podium in fifth.

Heat and lack of a breeze were the story of the day at Laguna Seca. Riders competed on a 19.6-mile single loop without any shade. With temperatures in the mid 80s, nearly every finishing rider talked about the heat on the course. Many said they "hit a wall" after an hour and had to concentrate on finishing rather than competing.

The race started on the racetrack, and riders made nearly a full loop before finally seeing any dirt. It was remarkable to see nearly 100 pro men riding in a tight pack like road racers. Unfortunately, this was one of the least spectator-friendly courses of the past few years. Once riders hit the dirt, they were out of sight for over an hour.

Kabush made his move after the turn-around at the bottom of the valley. "I just tried to use my skills and equipment to the best of my advantage," said Kabush. "I used my full-suspension (Scott bike) and Max-Lite tires which are super fast. I was just trying to chip away at the guys' legs. Once we turned the corner and started to climb, I just rode away."

For some reason, there was a huge amount of amateur riders on course during the race. "I had a bit of fear because of all the traffic on the course so I didn't know where they (the four chasers) were," said Kabush.

Behind Kabush was a group that contained the rest of the eventual podium: Schultz, Taberlay, Wells, and Plaxton. Taberlay made an attack just before the final stretch of pavement and got a small gap. The rest of the group made a bunch sprint out of the finish, but Taberlay got across first with a very cool bike throw. Of the four, he probably has the most experience in road racing.

"It was a hard day out there with the heat," said Taberlay. "There were a lot of attacks. Kabush was just too strong and he rode away with it. The other four of us were just out there suffering."

Former Canadian National Champion Chris Sheppard finished a surprising sixth. That put three Canadians among the top six finishers.

Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Subaru Trek) lost contact with the main chase group but still finished seventh. Burry Stander (Specialized) finished eighth. He told Cyclingnews that he was still a bit jet lagged from coming over from Europe on Thursday.

Mitch Hoke (Clif Bar) turned in one of his most impressive rides by finishing ninth. Twenty-two-year-old Stephen Ettinger (BMC) rounded out the top ten.

Most of the top pros will now be preparing for round three of the World Cup in the Czech Republic on May 13th. For the Americans, it will be a continuation of the Olympic qualification process.

Full Results

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Elite men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Geoff Kabush (Can) Scott-3Rox Racing1:14:14
2Sid Taberlay (Aus) Kenda/H20 Overdrive0:01:10
3Max Plaxton (Can) Specialized RacingRow 2 - Cell 2
4Sam Schultz (USA) Subaru TrekRow 3 - Cell 2
5Todd Wells (USA) Specialized RacingRow 4 - Cell 2
6Chris Sheppard (Can)0:02:13
7Jeremy Horgan-Kobels (USA) Subaru Trek0:02:21
8Burry Stander (RSA) Specialized Racing0:02:26
9Mitchell Hoke (USA) Clif Bar0:03:26
10Stephen Ettinger (USA) BMC Mtn Bike Racing0:03:41
11Neal Kindree (USA) Specialized0:03:51
12Kris Sneddon (Can) Kona0:03:58
13Spencer Paxson (USA) Kona0:04:28
14Russell Finsterwald (USA) Subaru Trek0:04:29
15Kerry Werner (USA) BMC Mtn Bike Racing0:05:02
16Howard Grotts (USA) Specialized Racing0:05:09
17Andrew Watson (Can) Norco Factory Team0:06:04
18Derek Zandstra (Can) Scott-3 Rox RacingRow 17 - Cell 2
19Thomas Turner (USA) Jamis0:06:19
20Peter Glassford (Can) Trek Canada0:06:33
21Jason Siegle (USA) SDG Felt0:06:55
22Jason Sager (USA) Jamis0:07:05
23Yuki Ikeda (Jpn) Topeak Ergon Racing0:07:07
24Zach Valdez (USA) Whole Athlete-SpecializedRow 23 - Cell 2
25Barry Wicks (USA) Kona0:07:24
26Josh Carlson (Aus) Giant Factory Off Road0:07:32
27Onodera Ken (Jpn) Team SpecializedRow 26 - Cell 2
28Troy Wells (USA) Clif Bar0:07:50
29Drew Edsall (USA) Kenda-Felt0:07:54
30Scott Tietzel (USA)0:07:56
31Miguel Valadez (USA) EllsworthRow 30 - Cell 2
32Alex Grant (USA) Cannondale Factory0:08:12
33Adam Morka (Can) Trek Canada0:08:14
34Macky Franklin (USA) Orbea-Tuff ShedRow 33 - Cell 2
35Thomas Bundgaard (Den) Racing 29Ers0:09:12
36Colin Cares (USA)0:09:43
37Jim Hewett (USA)0:09:53
38Clint Claassen (USA)0:09:57
39Tim Allen (USA) Niner-Hayes-Ergon0:10:20
40Cory Wallace (Can) Kona Factory Team0:10:54
41Will Curtis (USA) Santa Cruz X FusionRow 40 - Cell 2
42Andrew L'esperance (Can) Norco Factory Team0:11:01
43Tyson Wagler (Can) Scott-3 Rox RacingRow 42 - Cell 2
44Cody Kaiser (USA) California Giant0:11:12
45Robert Marion (USA)0:11:35
46Menso De Jong (USA) Santa Cruz E13Row 45 - Cell 2
47Benjamin Portilla (USA) Honey Stinger/Bontrager0:11:57
48Charles Jenkins (USA) Khs/Cytomax0:12:13
49Brendon Davids (USA) Sho-Air0:12:32
50Brennan Wodtli (USA) All Access Racing0:12:44
51Garrett Gibson (USA)0:13:26
52Kevin Smallman (USA)0:14:07
53Michael Hosey (USA)0:14:11
54Tom Sharp (USA) Content WorksRow 53 - Cell 2
55Jordan Kahlenberg (USA) Giant Midatlantic0:14:14
56Daniel Munoz (USA) Socal Endurance0:14:36
57Scott Kuppersmith (USA) Indian Cycle Racing0:14:38
58Brady Kappius (USA) Clif Bar0:15:04
59Nick Truitt (USA) Yeti/Pactimo Pro XC0:15:14
60Jason Moeschler (USA)0:15:16
61Evan Plews (USA) Ibis Cycles0:15:31
62Cameron Jette (Can) Scott - 3 Rox Racing0:16:02
63Stephen Dempsey (USA) Freehub Magazine0:16:12
64Craig Wohlschlaeger (USA) The Hub/Giant0:16:21
65Danny Mcnaughton (USA)0:16:42
66Tony Smith (USA) Whole Athlete-Specialized0:17:10
67Anthony Sinyard (USA) Supacaz Specialized0:17:27
68Rich Weis (USA) Subaru TrekRow 67 - Cell 2
69Kendal Johnson (USA) Sage Brush Cycles0:18:24
70Nate Bird (USA)0:20:16
71Rob Anderson (USA)0:21:04
72Tanner Hurst (USA) American Classic/Xped0:21:15
73Max Houtzager (USA)0:21:58
74Nitish Nag (USA) NRL Racing0:22:12
75Ross Holbrook (USA) Yeti/Pactino0:22:54
76John Nobil (USA)0:24:00
77Ron Castia (USA) Watch 4 Net P/B Jakro0:24:16
78Alex Wild (USA)0:26:14
79Kyle Stock (USA)0:26:31
80Tsering Alleyne (USA)0:27:03
81Colby Pastore (USA) Santa Cruz X Fusion0:27:04
82Chris Thibodeau (USA) Specialized/Curve0:30:46
83Anastasio Flores Jr (USA) California Giant0:32:33
84Takahiro Ogasawara (USA) The Bike Journal0:35:43
85Matt Wittler (USA) Team Lost Coast Brew0:36:50
DNFMason Bond (USA) FeltRow 85 - Cell 2
DNFHal HelbockRow 86 - Cell 2
DNFCarl Decker (USA) Giant Factory Off RoadRow 87 - Cell 2
DNFTravis Glysson (USA) AZ DevoRow 88 - Cell 2


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