Newly crowned short track champion Sid Taberlay (Sho-Air/Specialized) showed that his short track national championship win in Australia was no fluke, as he beat the best racers in North America. Ryan Trebon (Kona), who set the tempo for most of the race, finished a close second. Max Plaxton (Sho-Air/Specialized) moved up during the race to take third. Todd Wells (Specialized) was fourth, and Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Gary Fisher/Subaru) was fifth.
A new 15-minute plus one lap format meant that the pace was fast and furious from the start. Trebon, who struggled a bit last season, went immediately to the front and took control of the race. Only Taberly was able to match his speed and a gap opened to a group of chasers that included Wells, Plaxton, Kabush (Team Maxxis/Rocky Mountain), and Horgan-Kobelski. Kabush unsuccessfully attempted to close down the gap as did other riders during the course of the race.
At the front, Trebon finally gave up the lead to Taberlay on the third lap. "I wasn't going to pull the whole time. He actually went around me pretty hard, and I suffered a little to get on his wheel," said Trebon. "There were a couple laps when we rode at 80 percent, and that's when the gap went down. But we rode the last couple laps pretty fast."
"Ryan is always strong. He puts the power down with those big leg levers. He goes hard from the start and when it's only 15 minutes he is going to last," said Taberlay. "He certainly hurt me on the flats, but I managed to hang in there and do a bit of time at the front. It worked out in the end. I just made sure that I got into the tight sections first to give myself the best chance."
The final run-in to the finish is through a grove of trees. In all the years the event has been held in Fontana, no one has pulled off a successful pass on that section of singletrack. Once the leader enters the finishing straight first, he is virtually guaranteed a win.
Behind the leaders a bit of shuffling was going on. Max Plaxton managed to get around Todd Wells, and JHK got past Kabush. After the race there was a lot of positive buzz about the new format. Kabush said on his Twitter blog that "it felt a little like NASCAR".
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team|
|1||Sid Taberlay (Sho-air/Specialized)|
|2||Ryan Trebon (Kona/FSA)|
|3||Max Plaxton (Shoair/Specialized)|
|4||Todd Wells (Specialized)|
|5||Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Subaru-Gary Fisher)|
|6||Geoff Kabush (Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain)|
|7||Derek Zandstra (3 Rox Racing)|
|8||Jeremiah Bishop (Cannondale Factory Team)|
|9||Sam Schultz (Subaru-Gary Fisher)|
|10||Barry Wicks (Kona)|
|11||Carl Decker (Giant Factory Team)|
|12||Kris Sneddon (Kona)|
|13||Eric Batty (Trek Canada)|
|14||Manuel Prado (Sho-air/Specialized)|
|15||Travis Livermon (Champion System/Cannondale)|
|16||Andy Schultz (Kenda/Felt)|
|17||Kalan Beisel (Procycling/CTS)|
|18||Colin Cares (Kenda/Felt)|
|19||Raphael Gagne (Rocky Mountain Factory Team)|
|20||Ken Onodera (Subaru-Gary Fisher)|
|23||Robert Marion (American Classic/Kenda/Tomac)|
|25||Stephen Ettinger (Mafia/Felt/PBR)|
|26||Jeff Herrera (Hammerheadbikes.com)|
|28||Ryan Woodall (Brick City Bicycles/I9)|
|31||Tj Woodruff (Trek Bicycles Boulder)|
|34||Russell Finsterwald (Subaru/Gary Fisher)|
|35||Alex Grant (Cannondale Factory Racing)|
|36||Mitchell Hoke (Tokyo Joes)|
|37||Dror Pekatch (Subarur-Gary Fisher)|
|38||Braden Kappius (Clif Bar)|
|41||Kevin Smallman (Cannondale Factory Racing)|
|43||Rob Squire (U23 National Team)|
|44||Nicholas Stevens (Waltworks)|
|45||Ryan Dorsey (Honey Stinger/Trek)|
|46||Trevor Downing (Mafia Racing)|
|49||Dylan Stucki (Mafia Racing)|
|49||Lucas Livermon (Inland)|
|51||Brent Steinberg (Gary Fisher)|
|52||Yuki Saito (Topeak-Ergon)|
|53||Matthew Paziuk (Trek Store Toronto)|
|DNF||Erik Tonkin (Kona)|
|DNF||Burke Swindlehurst (Teamgive/Blackbottoms)|
|DNF||Nicholas Weighall (Radracing Nw)|
|DNF||Adam Morka (Trek Canada)|
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