Italian Marco Aurelio Fontana (Cannondale Factory Racing) proved that short track racing is not just for North Americans when he won the elite men's race, which drew 69 men to the start line. The men set out to race 20 minutes plus two laps. Fontana beat Stephen Ettinger (BMC Racing) and Raphael Gagne (Rocky Mountain Factory Racing) at Bonelli Park in California on Sunday afternoon.
Another European Sergio Mantecon Gutierrez (Trek Factory Racing) of Spain took the hole shot ahead of US Cross Country National Champion Stephen Ettinger (BMC Racing). The two led a large group as it snaked its way through lap one.
Gutierrez continued to set the pace for the first two laps, followed by Fontana and Ettinger. The Spaniard rode so strongly that he created a gap on his rivals early on lap 2.
Canadian Max Plaxton (Cannondale Factory Racing) first led the chase, along with Ettinger, Fontana and Todd Wells (Specialized). Their efforts paid off as the leaders were reunited for the third lap, largely thanks to US Short Track National Champion Wells putting the hammer down to close down the last part of the gap. Plaxton unfortunately lost control on on the far side of the course and crashed out of the race.
Eight men were then together at the front with a slight gap on a chase group led by Saturday's cross country winner Geoff Kabush (Scott-3Rox). The Canadian, as he did the previous day, tended to ride his own pace, evening out the surges and ebbs of the other top riders until he eventually caught up with the leaders on lap four.
Wells won the Sho-Air hot lap prime of $200 on lap five, crossing the line just ahead of Fontana.
A brief respite after the hot lap meant 12 men raced together in the lead group, but at minute 17, Wells launched an attack to break up the group and improve his own chances at a win. Fontana was the first to react to Wells.
With one lap to go, Gutierrez came back to the front, leading Fontana, Raphael Gagne (Scott-3Rox) and Manuel Fumic (Cannondale Factory Racing). Only eight men remained in contention for the win, while Europeans Fontana and Fumic proved their condition in an unfamiliar format by never being outside of the top five places for almost the entire race.
Fontana took over the lead on the back straight of the final lap with Ettinger and Gagne in tow. The Italian successfully negotiated the tight final corner and held off Ettinger and Gagne in the dash to the finish line.
Wells rolled in for fourth place ahead of Gutierrez in fifth. Cross country winner Kabush rode in for sixth.
"I love this format," said Fontana after the short track. "We decided to stay at the front today to avoid any crashes and it paid off. I'm glad to come away from this weekend with at least one victory and can't wait for the next race that they were so kind to name after me already!"
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team|
|1||Marco Fontana (Ita) Cannondale Factory|
|2||Stephen Ettinger (USA) BMC Mountain Bike|
|3||Raphael Gagne (Can) Rocky Mountain|
|4||Todd Wells (USA) Specialized Factory|
|5||Sergio Mantecon Gutie (Spa) Trek Factory Racing|
|6||Geoff Kabush (Can) Scott 3 Rox Racing|
|7||Manuel Fumic (Ger) Cannondale Factory|
|8||Russell Finsterwald (USA) Sram/Troy Lee Design|
|9||Troy Wells (USA) Team Cliff Bar|
|10||Kerry Werner (USA) BMC Project Dirt|
|11||Spencer Paxson (USA) Kona|
|12||Mitchell Hoke (USA) The Pros Closet/Stan's|
|13||Carl Decker (USA) Giant Factory Team|
|14||Benjamin Sonntag (USA) Stans No Tubes Elite|
|15||Cole Oberman (USA) Rare Disease Cycling|
|16||Alex Grant (USA) Sho-Air/Cannondale|
|17||Cameron Jette (Can) Scott-3 Rox Racing|
|18||Jeremy Martin (Can)|
|19||Joseph Maloney (USA) Ks Energy Services|
|20||Barry Wicks (USA)|
|21||Peter Glassford (Can) Trek Canada|
|22||Kris Sneddon (Can) Kona|
|23||Tom Sampson (USA)|
|24||Alexandre Vialle (Can) Espresso Sport|
|25||Patrick Chartrand (Can) Rocky Mountain|
|26||Tristan Uhl (USA) 787 Racing|
|27||Tj Woodruff (USA) Backcountry.Com|
|28||Joel Titius (USA) Socal Endurance|
|29||Kalan Beisel (USA) Giant-Tuff Shed|
|30||Payson Mcelveen (USA) Usa U23|
|31||Ryan Woodall (USA) The Pros Closet/Stan's|
|32||Michael Broderick (USA) Kenda/Stans No Tubes|
|33||Evan Guthrie (Can) Norco Factory Team|
|34||Christopher Hamlin (USA)|
|35||Marc-Antoin Nadon (Can) Scott 3 Rox Racing|
|36||Bryan Alders (USA) Marin Bikes Factory|
|37||William Melone (USA) Riverside Racing|
|38||Michael Hosey (USA) Marin Factory|
|39||Colin Osborn (USA) Honey Stinger|
|40||Sepp Kuss (USA) BMC Project Dirt|
|41||Ryan Geiger (USA) Topix-Frm Factory|
|42||Alex Wild (USA) Trail Head Racing|
|43||Braden Kappius (USA) Team Clif Bar|
|44||Quinn Moberg (Can) Rocky Mountain|
|45||Casey Williams (USA) Whole Athlete/Specialized|
|46||Jarred Jordan (USA)|
|47||Madison Matthews (USA) Toasted Head Racing|
|48||Jakub Valigura (USA) 92Fifty' Cyclery|
|49||Noah Tautfest (USA) Bicycle Express/Kona|
|50||Dan Wolf (USA) Old Line Velo|
|51||David Flaten (USA) Giant Factory North|
|52||Aaron Oakes (USA) Bicycle Express|
|53||Matthew Turner (USA) Summit Utah Devo|
|54||Derek Hermon (USA) Bear Valley Bikes|
|55||Trey Jarno (USA) Bear Valley Bikes|
|DNF||Antoine Caron (Can) Specialized Racing|
|DNF||Stephane Roch (USA) Swami's/Skliz|
|DNF||Brodie Stringer (USA) Team Baghouse|
|DNF||Sam Schultz (USA) Sho-Air/Cannondale|
|DNF||Ernest Watenpaugh (USA)|
|DNF||Nick Thomas (USA) Az Devo|
|DNF||Emil Lindgren (Swe) Giant Pro Xc Team|
|DNF||Keegan Swenson (USA) Cannondale Factory|
|DNF||Rotem Ishay (USA) Team Jamis Bikes|
|DNF||Adam Morka (Can) Wfp Coaching/Trek|
|DNF||Ryan Trebon (USA) Sho-Air/Cannondale|
|DNF||Max Plaxton (Can) Cannodale Factory|
|DNF||Christopher Wieczorek (USA) Total Cyclist|
|DNF||Lucas Newcomb (USA) Bear Development|
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