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Swiss Champ Heule captures NACT lead in Seattle

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Over the barricades at Starcrossed

Over the barricades at Starcrossed (Image credit: Matthew J. Clark/StraightEIGHT Films)
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Tim Johnson remounts.

Tim Johnson remounts. (Image credit: Matthew J. Clark/StraightEIGHT Films)
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Christian Heule in action.

Christian Heule in action. (Image credit: Matthew J. Clark/StraightEIGHT Films)
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Christian Heule on the podium with Jonathan Page (L) and Jeremy Powers (R)

Christian Heule on the podium with Jonathan Page (L) and Jeremy Powers (R) (Image credit: Matthew J. Clark/StraightEIGHT Films)
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The pouring rain on Barry Wicks

The pouring rain on Barry Wicks (Image credit: Matthew J. Clark/StraightEIGHT Films)
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Jonathan Page (Planet Bike)

Jonathan Page (Planet Bike) (Image credit: Matthew J. Clark/StraightEIGHT Films)
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Ryan Trebon (Kona)

Ryan Trebon (Kona) (Image credit: Matthew J. Clark/StraightEIGHT Films)
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Tim Johnson (Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld.com)

Tim Johnson (Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld.com) (Image credit: Matthew J. Clark/StraightEIGHT Films)
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Christian Huele won the NACT opener.

Christian Huele won the NACT opener. (Image credit: Matthew J. Clark/StraightEIGHT Films)

Swiss Christian Heule snagged his second victory in three years at the USA's west coast season opener Star Crossed in Seattle, Washington. The National Champion out-played American top dogs Jeremy Powers (Cyclocrossworld.com) in second and former World silver medallist Jonathan Page (Planet Bike) in third.

With one lap to go the front group dwindled down to a mere six riders including Powers and Page along with current US National Champion Ryan Trebon (KONA), Troy Wells (Clif bar), Jacques-Maynes (Bissell). Page took a firm hold on the front of the train holding his position around the muddy corners with half a lap to go. Heule later joined him.

Trebon made a move, but Heule quickly followed him. Heule took a turn up front for the first time in the closing kilometres of the race. Several attacks continued around Heule as he waited patiently to make his one winning move in the last corners of the race. He had a small lead over chasers Powers and Page entering the finishing straightaway. All three in full sprint mode, Heule managed to hold off the chasing duo for what turned out to be a very well played manoeuvre for the win.

Mud slides in Seattle 'cross

The King County Marymoor Park Velodrome crowds gathered around the perimeter of the oval to catch a glimpse of heavy hitting 'cross talents as they line up to start round one of the North American Cyclo-Cross Trophy Series. Call-ups included Heule, Page and Powers along with US Under 23 National Champion Nick Weighall (California Giant Berry Farms), 2008 USGP winner Tim Johnson (Cyclocrossworld.com), former US National Champion Andy Jacques-Maynes (Bissell), Danish National Champion Joachim Parblo, the ever-strong Barry Wicks (KONA).

Lastly, the crowds cheered loudly when US National Champion Ryan Trebon
(KONA) took his place in the front row.

Seattle delivered traditional 'cross weather to the star-studded field. The 'Rainy City' dropped buckets over the some 75 riders who lined up under twilight hours. All wanted the opportunity to take on some of the toughest 'cross riders in the business. The course zigzagged its way round the perimeter of the velodrome and crossed back and forth through the inner oval providing plenty of viewing options of the spectators.

Powers headed out strong as he took the hole shot off the velodrome and onto the grass. Johnson hit the ground on the first lap but that did not stop him from getting back into the game. The former US national champion is known for having some of his best rides under rainy conditions such as these were. He was not the only rider to go down as the slick conditions caused multiple crashes on the first lap.

A front group of eight riders established themselves to include Powers, off the front early followed by Parblo Weighall, Wicks, Heule, Jacques-Maynes and Page. Noticeably missing from the chase group was both Johnson and Trebon who went down in separate crashes early in the race.
Jesse Anthony (Jamis), Chris Jones (Champion System) and Troy Wells (Clif Bar) joined the two powerhouse 'crossers. All the four riders eventually caught up to the leaders.

Mid-race, the rain continued to pour down on the field as Page took a timely flyer. He was quickly joined by Weighall. However, the bounding leaps of Trebon was all it took to bring the trio back in contact. Attacks coming from the front group of ten riders forced the speeds to stay high for the duration of the 60-minute race.

Page, Trebon, Heule and Jacques-Maynes made a bid for a breakaway and succeeded for the next three laps. An array of untimely accidents marred the fourth lap. Wells made his way across to the breakaway adding to the horsepower in the group and took a timely opportunity to attack. However, when Page made contact Wells crashed leaving the Page up front alone.

A chasing Trebon found himself caught up in the crash with Wells. Both riders picked themselves up and mustered up the strength to catch Page, who also crashed while off the front.

The lead position continued to rotate through the front group as each rider attempted a jump to gain an advantage. The final few laps say one small break after another but all riders seemed too evenly matched to gain time over the next. In the end, it was the fastest man who would take the group kick to the line.

The NACT series round two continues with Rad Racing Gran Prix of Cyclo-cross held in Lakewood, Washington on Sunday.

Full Results
1Christian Heule (Swi) Rendementhypo Cycling Team1:04:44
2Jeremy Powers (USA) Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld0:00:01
3Jonathan Page (USA) Planet Bike
4Ryan Trebon (USA) Kona0:00:06
5Andy Jacques-Maynes (USA) Bissell Pro Cycling0:00:13
6Troy Wells (USA) Clif Bar0:00:51
7Jesse Anthony (USA) Jamis Bicycles0:01:04
8Russell Stevenson (USA) Benaroya Research Institute Cycling Team0:01:19
9Aaron Schooler (Can) Team H&R Block-Kona0:01:30
10Tyler Trace (Can) Trek Red Truck0:01:43
11Craig Richey (Can) Blue Competition Cycles P/B Neverblue0:02:17
12Molly Cameron (USA) Portland Bicycle Studio0:02:20
13James Driscoll (USA) Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld0:02:39
14Logan Wetzel (USA) Benaroya Research Institute0:02:45
15Barry Wicks (USA) Kona0:02:53
16Sean Babcock (USA) Team S&M0:02:59
17Steve Fisher (USA) Rad Racing Nw/Hagens Berman0:03:24
18Davy Yeater (USA) River City Bicycles0:03:27
19Shannon Skerritt (USA) Trek/Vw/Bikegallery0:03:49
20Joachim Parbo (Den) Ccv Leopard Cycles0:04:10
21Kevin Bradford-Parish (USA) Emdesports.Com
22Nicholas Weighall (USA) California Giant Berry Farms/Specialized0:04:28
23Jeremy Ferguson (USA)0:04:29
24Jake Wells (USA) Mafiaracing.Com0:04:46
25Ryan Iddings (USA) Lapierre Usa0:04:55
26Kevin Noiles (Can) La Bicicletta Pro Shop0:05:00
27Toby Swanson (USA) Benaroya Research Institute Cycling Team0:05:04
28Nathan Bannerman (USA) Hagens Berman0:05:16
29Brett Nichols (USA) Bode0:05:19
30Shaun Adamson (Can) Juventus0:05:31
31Aaron Bradford (USA) Onsite Ultrasound Racing0:05:48
32Thomas Skinner (Can) Oak Bay Bikes0:05:49
33Spencer Paxson (USA) Team S&M Young Guns0:05:59
34Kevin Hulick (USA) Vanilla Bicycles0:06:09
35Brett Luelling (USA) Capitol Subaru Cycling0:06:10
36Morgan Schmitt (USA) Bissell Pro Cycling0:06:37
-1 LapIan Terry (USA) Rad Racing Nw/Hagens Berman
-1 LapRyan Weaver (USA) River City Bicycles
-1 LapNick Berry (Can) Mighty Cycling
-1 LapChris Parrish (USA) Hagens Berman Llp
-1 LapJohn Curry (USA) G.A.S./Intrinsik
-1 LapJames C Birkenbuel (USA) Alki Rubicon Racing
-1 LapMatthew Davis (USA) Mad Duck/Momenta Training
-1 LapJoshua Berry (USA) Team Bode
-2 LapsWestley Richards (USA) Kryki Sports/Lenovo
-2 LapsMatthew Fox (USA) Sunnyside Sports
-2 LapsCody Peterson (USA) Hutchs Bicycles
-2 LapsKyle Mcgilvray (USA) Old Town Bicycle
-2 LapsDuncan Mcgovern (USA) Noreast Cycling
-2 LapsJohn-Christian Flack (USA) The Valley Athletic Club
-3 LapsDavid Pilz (USA) Gentle Lovers
-3 LapsJiri Senkyrik (USA)
-3 LapsScotty Carlile (USA) Tai Cycling/Genr8
-3 LapsBen Dodge (USA) Sugar Crm
-3 LapsLandon Erickson (USA) Cucina Fresca
-2 LapsEric Emsky (USA) Rad Racing/Hagens Berman
-2 LapsAaron Tuckerman (NZl) Landrover-Orbea
-2 LapsMark Blackwelder (USA) Gentle Lovers
-3 LapsSean Worsech (USA) Rad Racing
-4 LapsTim Woods (USA) Bicycle Centres/Collision 1
-4 LapsCraig Fowler (USA) Chamois Shake Presented By Ubrdo
-4 LapsMatt Wittler (USA) Lost Coast Brewery/Marin Bikes
-5 LapsDan Mensher (USA) Gentle Lovers
DNFTim Johnson (USA) Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld
DNFChris Sheppard (Can) Santa Cruz/Shimano/Wtb
DNFMichael Sayers (USA) Amgen/Giant Masters Cycling Team
DNFDrew Mackenzie (Can) Island Racing Club
DNFChristopher Ragusa (USA) Ccb Volkswagen
DNFDan Skinner (Can) Louis Garneau/Evolution
DNFJonathan Baker (USA)
DNSErik Tonkin (USA) Kona
DNSKris Sneddon (Can) Kona
DNSJeff Anderson (USA) Team Cucina Fresca
DNSBrandon Mart (USA) Team Ride For A Reason
DNSBen Thompson (USA)
DNSSteven Hunter (USA) Veloshop
DNSRussell Anderson (Can) Oak Bay Bikes
DNSBen Chaddock (Can) Whitman College Cycling Team
DNSMichael Benno (USA) Veloce / Felt Racing

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