With about 10 minutes to go in the elite men's short track national championships race, Adam Craig (Giant) launched an explosive attack to catapult himself from third to first. Once off the front, Craig, committed to the effort, grew his gap to take a convincing win ahead of Todd Wells (Specialized Factory Racing) and Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Subaru / Gary Fisher).
"Some official-looking guy near the start/finish said I had two laps to go, so I thought I'd better hurry up and make my move," said Craig. "Unfortunately, I found out really had five laps to go. It was so hard, I almost had to stop."
Craig, who was the Super D and cross country national champion last year, was delighted with his win. "I was starting to think I wouldn't have to worry about bringing national championship kits to races for the next year - the way this weekend was going," he said, "but now I will after all. I'll take this short track win. I'm bad at the running you have to do for the Super D anyway," he said referring to loosing the Super D title earlier in the day.
The race started with Wells setting a furious pace. Behind him, Horgan-Kobelski and Sam Schultz (Subaru / Gary Fisher) sat on, and Wells pulled them away from the rest. Craig was a few more places back for the first half of the race.
Schultz appeared to be riding so well he had some, and even himself, convinced it might be his big day. "I was feeling good when I was with the leaders. I was thinking, 'Hey maybe I can do this? Maybe I should go around them?', but now I think I was just getting a little cocky," he laughed. "I'm glad I didn't try to make a move because I came a little unglued soon after."
That's about when Craig launched his attack. "I tried to hit them in their heart and get them demoralized," said Craig. No one could follow him.
Wells and newly crowned national cross country champion Horgan-Kobelski were left to do battle behind for second. On each lap, Wells was descending faster and Horgan-Kobelski was climbing stronger, just like in the previous day's cross country race. Horgan-Kobelski put in a final attack on the last climb for a chance at second, but Wells overtook him going into the final descent and held on until the end for second. Horgan-Kobelski was third.
"Craig had a good surge. I wanted to follow him, but I was already going as hard as I could," said Wells. "Racing at high altitude like this means I really only have one speed. And on this course, there wasn't much recovery."
"On the last lap, I just had to give it a try. You never know..." said JHK of his final lap attempt to overtake Wells. "I felt good out there," he said, then paused and changed his mind. "Nah, I was hurting out there. I woke up today absolutely wrecked. I know people said I could win all three, but I was happy to just make it through." JHK is the cross country and marathon national champion.
Ryan Trebon (Kona) put in a consistent race to finish fourth. He worked his way up, passing Colin Cares and Schultz along the way. Schultz would finish fifth. Trebon is headed off to race the Cascade Cycling Classic starting on Tuesday as he begins to ramp up for the 'cross season.
|1||Adam Craig (Giant Bicycles)|
|2||Todd Wells (Todd Wells)|
|3||Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Subaru / Gary Fisher)|
|4||Ryan Trebon (Kona)|
|5||Sam Schultz (Subaru / Gary Fisher)|
|6||Carl Decker (Giant Bicycles)|
|7||Jeremiah Bishop (Monavie - Cannondale)|
|8||Andy Schultz (Kenda/Tomac/Hayes)|
|9||Bryan Alders (Monaviecannnondale.com)|
|10||Colin Cares (Kenda / Tomac / Hayes)|
|11||Troy Wells (Team Clif Bar)|
|12||Macky Franklin (Transparent Racing)|
|13||Cody Peterson (SRAM / Mavic)|
|14||Rob Squire (USA National Team)|
|16||Trevor Downing (Mafia Racing)|
|17||Ethan Gilmour (USA National Team)|
|18||Stephen Ettinger (Black Diamond Sports Therapy)|
|19||Robert Marion (KMC / Hayes)|
|20||Travis Livermon (Champion System / Cannondale)|
|21||Dana Weber (Trek VW)|
|22||Tim Allen (Niner / Ergon)|
|23||Benjamin Portilla (Honey Stinger / Trek)|
|24||Blake Zumbrunnen (Revolution / Peak Fasteners)|
|25||Spencer Paxson (Team S&M Young Guns)|
|26||Mike West (Maverick)|
|27||Kalan Beisel (ProCycling/CTS)|
|28||John Curry (GAS/Intrinsik Architecture)|
|29||Matt Wiebe (Team Colorado Singletrack)|
|30||Nick Truitt (PCL Construction/Yeti Cycles/Wheatridge Cyclery/Rockbom Brewerytt)|
|31||Drew Edsall (Scott USA / WTB)|
|32||Chad Wells (3D Racing)|
|33||John Nobil (Bear Valley Bikes)|
|34||Dylan Stucki (Mafia Racing)|
|35||Jason Young (Feedback Sports)|
|36||Kat Statman (Transparent Racing)|
|37||Travis (TJ) Woodruff (Adventure 212 / Specialized)|
|38||Tyson Kaman (FCCT)|
|39||Nate Byrom (Northstar / WTB)|
|41||Bradford Sims (Echelon Spokes and Slopes)|
|DNS||Aaron Elwell (CRRT / Twin Six)|
|DNS||Michael Broderick (KENDA / Seven / NoTubes)|
|DNS||Kevin Kane (Cannondale Factory Racing)|
|DNS||James (Jay) Richards|
|DNS||Erik Tonkin (Kona)|
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Sue George is an editor at Cyclingnews. She coordinates all of the site's mountain bike race coverage and assists with the road, 'cross and track coverage.
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