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Explosive attack nets Craig a short track win

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Adam Craig (Giant) is the new US Short Track National Champion.

Adam Craig (Giant) is the new US Short Track National Champion. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Defending champion Jeremiah Bishop (MonaVie/Cannondale)

Defending champion Jeremiah Bishop (MonaVie/Cannondale) (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Todd Wells (Specialized) wins the uphill start.

Todd Wells (Specialized) wins the uphill start. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Andy Schultz (Kenda-Tomac-Hayes) rides with Adam Craig (Giant).

Andy Schultz (Kenda-Tomac-Hayes) rides with Adam Craig (Giant). (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Todd Wells (Specialized) descends in second place.

Todd Wells (Specialized) descends in second place. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Gary Fisher/Subaru) descends a steep pitch.

Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Gary Fisher/Subaru) descends a steep pitch. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Barry Wicks (Kona) heads down a wooden ramp.

Barry Wicks (Kona) heads down a wooden ramp. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Under 23 cross country Champion Colin Cares (Kenda-Tomac-Hayes)

Under 23 cross country Champion Colin Cares (Kenda-Tomac-Hayes) (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski and Sam Schultz descend together (both Gary Fisher/Subaru)

Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski and Sam Schultz descend together (both Gary Fisher/Subaru) (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Sam Schultz (Gary Fisher/Subaru) is having a great race.

Sam Schultz (Gary Fisher/Subaru) is having a great race. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Adam Craig (Giant) leads the race.

Adam Craig (Giant) leads the race. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Ryan Trebon (Kona) rides in fifth.

Ryan Trebon (Kona) rides in fifth. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Jeremiah Bishop moves up in the field.

Jeremiah Bishop moves up in the field. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Todd Wells (Specialized) leads JHK and Sam Schultz up the climb.

Todd Wells (Specialized) leads JHK and Sam Schultz up the climb. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Ryan Trebon (Kona) streaks down to the start/finish area.

Ryan Trebon (Kona) streaks down to the start/finish area. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Carl Decker (Giant) on the wooden ramp

Carl Decker (Giant) on the wooden ramp (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Adam Craig (Giant) with one lap to go

Adam Craig (Giant) with one lap to go (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Adam Craig (Giant) celebrates his victory.

Adam Craig (Giant) celebrates his victory. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Men's Short Track Podium (L to R) Sam Schultz (Gary Fisher/Subaru) 5th, Todd Wells (Specialized) 2nd, Adam Craig (Giant) 1st, Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Gary Fisher/Subaru) 3rd, Ryan Trebon (Kona) 4th

Men's Short Track Podium (L to R) Sam Schultz (Gary Fisher/Subaru) 5th, Todd Wells (Specialized) 2nd, Adam Craig (Giant) 1st, Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Gary Fisher/Subaru) 3rd, Ryan Trebon (Kona) 4th (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)

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.

Elite men
1Adam Craig (Giant Bicycles)
2Todd Wells (Todd Wells)
3Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Subaru / Gary Fisher)
4Ryan Trebon (Kona)
5Sam Schultz (Subaru / Gary Fisher)
6Carl Decker (Giant Bicycles)
7Jeremiah Bishop (Monavie - Cannondale)
8Andy Schultz (Kenda/Tomac/Hayes)
9Bryan Alders (Monaviecannnondale.com)
10Colin Cares (Kenda / Tomac / Hayes)
11Troy Wells (Team Clif Bar)
12Macky Franklin (Transparent Racing)
13Cody Peterson (SRAM / Mavic)
14Rob Squire (USA National Team)
15Barry Wicks
16Trevor Downing (Mafia Racing)
17Ethan Gilmour (USA National Team)
18Stephen Ettinger (Black Diamond Sports Therapy)
19Robert Marion (KMC / Hayes)
20Travis Livermon (Champion System / Cannondale)
21Dana Weber (Trek VW)
22Tim Allen (Niner / Ergon)
23Benjamin Portilla (Honey Stinger / Trek)
24Blake Zumbrunnen (Revolution / Peak Fasteners)
25Spencer Paxson (Team S&M Young Guns)
26Mike West (Maverick)
27Kalan Beisel (ProCycling/CTS)
28John Curry (GAS/Intrinsik Architecture)
29Matt Wiebe (Team Colorado Singletrack)
30Nick Truitt (PCL Construction/Yeti Cycles/Wheatridge Cyclery/Rockbom Brewerytt)
31Drew Edsall (Scott USA / WTB)
32Chad Wells (3D Racing)
33John Nobil (Bear Valley Bikes)
34Dylan Stucki (Mafia Racing)
35Jason Young (Feedback Sports)
36Kat Statman (Transparent Racing)
37Travis (TJ) Woodruff (Adventure 212 / Specialized)
38Tyson Kaman (FCCT)
39Nate Byrom (Northstar / WTB)
40Joshua Berry
41Bradford Sims (Echelon Spokes and Slopes)
DNSAaron Elwell (CRRT / Twin Six)
DNSMichael Broderick (KENDA / Seven / NoTubes)
DNSKevin Kane (Cannondale Factory Racing)
DNSJames (Jay) Richards
DNSErik 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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