Stander wins cross country in three-up sprint

Burry Stander won the three-up sprint at the end of the elite men's cross country race at the Sea Otter Classic in Monterey, California. With two against one in the lead trio, the Specialized team dominated the race, taking first, third and fourth. However, the outnumbered Geoff Kabush (Maxxis Rocky Mountain) rode an intelligent race, making it to the final sprint despite Team Specialized's best efforts to drop him en route. Kabush finished second ahead of Todd Wells (Specialized) in third.

Not far behind, Christoph Sauser (Specialized) finished fourth. Roel Paulissen (Cannondale) made a late race surge to ride himself up into fifth place.

Early int he race a group of five riders formed, including Wells, Stander, Kabush, Marco Fontana (Cannondale) and Sauser, at the front, setting a pace that strung the large field out immediately.

Fontana and Sauser were gapped off. "It's tough to plan the start, but we hoped to get all three of us up there," said Wells. "We almost did, but it didn't quite work."

"I was behind Fontana and then got about five to 10m off Kabush, and then I didn't have the top speed to catch back up," said Sauser. "I thought maybe I could catch back on the climb, but I sat down a little too early and then there was a flat part and that was it." On his own on the flat parts, Sauser wasn't as fast as the lead trio, especially with a long, level paved section around the race track on each of the five total laps.

The rest of the race was a battle between the two Specialized men, Stander and Wells, and one Maxxis Rocky Mountain rider, Kabush. Stander and Wells did everything they could to shake Kabush, but the tenacious Canadian rode intelligently to defend his position in their group. Kabush had hoped to get some help against Specialized from the Cannondale riders, but after Fontana faded, he didn't see anything but red at the front for the duration.

"Obviously I wanted to win, but it was a good race," said Kabush. "It was tough going there with just me and the Specialized guys. I wasn't looking behind. I knew I had to stay in the top three. They'd go one-two in the singletrack and wanted to let a gap grow, so I worked to stay second wheel and try to control it and soften them up whenever I could."

"Todd and I were trying the whole time to get a gap on Kabush, but we couldn't. He was riding well today," said Stander.

"I thought for sure we'd be able to shake him," said Wells. "We'd get small gaps on him, and then he'd power back. At one point, we almost got both of us off, but he was too strong. I would attack and Burry would sit on Kabush, then he'd attack and I'd sit on Kabush."

However, both Specialized riders approached the finish with confidence. "I knew at the finish that Burry would beat Kabush in the sprint," said Wells.

"I knew it was going to be a sprint," said Stander. "I did a lot of road racing during my summer - the last couple of weeks. My sprinting has been good. I attacked first, then Todd went over me and Kabush followed him, so it gave me the perfect line-up and I knew when we came into the last straight that I had it."

"Burry led the last singletrack and I kept a bit of a gap. I was hoping to get it down to the last corner when I knew I could get to the finish," said Kabush, "but when Todd went on the inside, I had to cover that. On the last corner, I made my jump, but Burry was able to come by."

Sauser never did catch the lead trio and rode solo for three laps to finish fourth. On the final lap, Paulissen worked his way up significantly to leap away from the chase group of five that he'd joined near the end of the race. He was helped by two teammates, who blocked for him as he rode away for fifth place.

"It was hard today. I had some stomach problems and still do," said Paulissen. "I was suffering the first 40 minutes, and I tried to get in my rhythm. The legs got better though and on the long gravel climb, I went for it."

It was Paulissen's first time racing a 29er on a cross country course. "It was good on the rolling portions of this course. The course wasn't twisty, and the bike was so stable. I would race it again, depending on the course."

Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Burry Stander (RSA) Specialized Factory1:23:13
2Geoff Kabush (Can) Team Maxxis-Rocky MountainRow 1 - Cell 2
3Todd Wells (USA) Specialized Factory Racing0:00:02
4Christopher Sauser (Swi) Specialized Factory Racing0:01:06
5Roel Paulissen (Bel) Cannondale Factory Racing0:02:14
6Manuel Fumic (Ger) Cannondale Factory Racing0:02:39
7Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (USA) Subaru-Gary Fisher0:02:52
8Jeremiah Bishop (USA) Cannondale Factory Racing0:02:53
9Marco Aurelio Fontana (Ita) Cannondale Factory Racing0:03:17
10Chris Sheppard (Can) Rocky Mountain/Thule0:03:22
11Carl Decker (USA) Giant Factory Offroad0:04:44
12Barry Wicks (USA) KonaRow 11 - Cell 2
13Adam Morka (Can) Trek Canada0:05:00
14Conrad Stoltz (RSA) Specialized Factory Racing0:05:01
15Jason Sager (USA) Team JamisRow 14 - Cell 2
16Benjamin Sonntag (Ger) Cannondale Factory RacingRow 15 - Cell 2
17Lachlan Norris (Aus) Drapac/Porsche/Giant0:05:37
18Travis Livermon (USA) Champion Systems/Cannondale0:06:20
19Kris Sneddon (Can) Kona0:06:26
20Thomas Turner (USA) Jamis Bicycles0:06:34
21Craig Richey (Can) Aviawest0:06:36
22Andy Schultz (USA) Kenda-Felt0:07:07
23Stephen Ettinger (USA) Mafia Racing0:07:14
24Ryan Woodall (USA)0:07:21
25Rotem Ishay (Isr) Team JamisRow 24 - Cell 2
26Ken Onodera (Jpn) Subaru-Gary Fisher0:07:22
27Spencer Paxson (USA) Team S&MRow 26 - Cell 2
28Tad Elliott (USA) Team Sho-Air/SpecializedRow 27 - Cell 2
29Peter Glassford (Can)Row 28 - Cell 2
30Tj Woodruff (USA) Trek Bicycle StoreRow 29 - Cell 2
31Dana Weber (USA) Trek0:07:25
32Max Knox (RSA) DCM0:07:41
33Robert Marion (USA) American Classic/Kenda0:07:56
34Stefan Widmer (Can) Rocky Mountain Factor0:08:09
35Sean Babcock (USA) Team S&M0:08:19
36Kerry Werner Jr. (USA) Shirks Presented0:08:20
37Simon Jensen (Den) HMTBK0:08:31
38Sam Schultz (USA) Subaru-Gary Fisher0:08:33
39Tinker Juarez (USA) Cannondale Factory Racing0:08:36
40John Bennett (USA) Whole Athlete0:09:00
41Russell Finsterwald (USA) Subaru-Gary Fisher0:09:05
42Mitchell Hote (USA)0:09:28
43Pierre Facomprez (Fra) Look ShimanoRow 42 - Cell 2
44Burke Swindlehurst (USA) Teamgive/Blackbottom0:09:33
45Kalan Beisel (USA) ProcyclingRow 44 - Cell 2
46Eric Emsky (USA) Blue Competition Cycle0:09:38
47Jeffrey Herrera (USA) Hammerheadbikes.Com0:09:45
48Dror Pekatch (Isr) Subaru-Gary Fisher0:09:57
49Vincent Lombardi (Fra) Sho-air/Sonance0:10:10
50Branden Stewart (RSA) DCM0:10:12
51Colin Cares (USA) Kenda/Felt0:10:13
52Yuki Saito (Jpn) Topeak-Ergon0:10:17
53Ben Thompson (USA) Trek MTN Co-Op0:10:23
54Bryan Alders (USA) Pearl Izumi0:10:46
55Aaron Bradford (USA) Specialized/OnsiteRow 54 - Cell 2
56Erik Tonkin (USA) Kona0:10:47
57Aren Timmel (USA) Team Chico0:11:16
58Scott Frederick (USA) Inland Construction0:11:18
59Adam Snyder (USA) Team Jamis0:11:43
60Tim Allen (USA)0:11:45
61Ross Schnell (USA) Trek/CrankbrothersRow 60 - Cell 2
62Greg Carpenter (USA) 3D Racing0:12:01
63Ethan Gilmour (USA) Giant Factory0:12:11
64Nate Whitman (USA) Cynergy / Specialized0:12:17
65Alex Grant (USA) Cannondale Factory Racing0:12:24
66Kevin Smallman (USA) Incycle Bikes/Cannonda0:12:56
67Drew Edsall (USA) Yeti0:13:41
68Spencer Powlison (USA) Mafia Racing-Pabst-Felt0:14:41
69Anthony Slowinski (USA) Backwoods Racing0:16:13
70Troy Wells (USA) Team Clif Bar0:17:30
-1lapLucas Livermon (USA) Inland ConstructionRow 70 - Cell 2
-1lapOmer Kem (USA) Team JamisRow 71 - Cell 2
-1lapNicholas Stevens (GBr) WaltworksRow 72 - Cell 2
-1lapAaron Snyder (USA) Scott Rc Mountain BikeRow 73 - Cell 2
-1lapJohn Nobil (USA) Bear Vly BikesRow 74 - Cell 2
-1lapBlake Harlan (USA) Team JamisRow 75 - Cell 2
-1lapBradford Perley (USA) Mafia Racing/Felt/PBRRow 76 - Cell 2
-1lapDylan Stucki (USA) Mafia RacingRow 77 - Cell 2
-1lapMichael Mooradian (USA) Bedford-Spin-VergeRow 78 - Cell 2
-1lapAaron Elwell (USA) Highgear/TrekRow 79 - Cell 2
-1lapBraden Kappius (USA) Clif BarRow 80 - Cell 2
-1lapKenny Burt (USA)Row 81 - Cell 2
-1lapAlex Boone (USA) Trek MTN CoopRow 82 - Cell 2
-1lapNate Byrom (USA) Northstar/GiantRow 83 - Cell 2
-1lapJustin Maka (USA) Hayes/SpyRow 84 - Cell 2
-1lapNitish Nag (USA) Nrl Racing DevelopmenRow 85 - Cell 2
-1lapGabriel Keck (USA) Summit BicyclesRow 86 - Cell 2
-1lapBrian Astell (USA) Lostcoast BreweryRow 87 - Cell 2
-1lapCharles Jenkins (USA) KHS 650 CrewRow 88 - Cell 2
-1lapMitchell Peterson (USA) GiantRow 89 - Cell 2
-1lapNick Weighall (USA) California Giant BerryRow 90 - Cell 2
-2lapsJeff Blair (Can) UnattachedRow 91 - Cell 2
-2lapsMike Anderson (USA)Row 92 - Cell 2
-2lapsRandall Jacobs (USA) Wheelworks RacingRow 93 - Cell 2
-2lapsTony Smith (USA) Focus BikesRow 94 - Cell 2
-2lapsKyle Stock (USA) Golden Chain CyclistsRow 95 - Cell 2
-2lapsJason Moeschler (USA) WTBRow 96 - Cell 2
-2lapsWiley Mosley Mosley (USA) John Quinn / Jerk RacingRow 97 - Cell 2
-2lapsMatt Connors (USA) Bicycle RanchRow 98 - Cell 2
-2lapsNoah Tautfest (USA) Biyclce ExpressRow 99 - Cell 2
-2lapsBen Sullivan (USA) Momentum EnduranceRow 100 - Cell 2
-2lapsJohn Burns (USA)Row 101 - Cell 2
-2lapsRon Castia (USA) Infovista Cycling TeamRow 102 - Cell 2
-2lapsJeff Kerkove (USA) Topeak-ErgonRow 103 - Cell 2
-2lapsSeamus Powell (USA) Ollett Coaching/InustrRow 104 - Cell 2
-2lapsZachary Keller (USA) Form CyclesRow 105 - Cell 2
-2lapsBob Delp (USA) Vitamin Water/FolsomRow 106 - Cell 2
-2lapsOsias Lozano (Col)Row 107 - Cell 2
-2lapsGarnet Vertican (USA) GiantRow 108 - Cell 2
-2lapsRob Sousa (USA) Pro CyclingRow 109 - Cell 2
-2lapsAnastasio Flores (USA) Giant Berry FarmsRow 110 - Cell 2
-2lapsAndrew Rigel (USA) Mafia Racing/Felt/PBRRow 111 - Cell 2
-2lapsHal Helbock (USA) Cytomax/KhsRow 112 - Cell 2
-2lapsEric Batty (Can) Trek CanadaRow 113 - Cell 2
-2lapsEvan Plews (USA) www.Evanplews.ComRow 114 - Cell 2
-3lapsRouke Croeser (RSA) DCMRow 115 - Cell 2
-3lapsBryan Van Vleet (USA) KHSRow 116 - Cell 2
-3lapsMatt Wittler (USA) Lost CoastRow 117 - Cell 2
DNFRyan Trebon (USA) KonaRow 118 - Cell 2
DNFSid Taberlay (USA) Sho-air/SpecializedRow 119 - Cell 2
DNFKat Statman (USA) Feedback SportsRow 120 - Cell 2
DNFNick Truitt (USA) YetiRow 121 - Cell 2
DNFDrew Mackenzie (Can) Island Racing ClubRow 122 - Cell 2
DNFJim Hewett (USA) Summit BicyclesRow 123 - Cell 2


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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.