Todd Wells (Specialized) bested a defiant Jeremey Horgan-Kobelski (Gary Fisher/Subaru) to solidify his lead in the Trailwatch.net Short Track Series. Geoff Kabush (Team Rocky Mountain-Maxxis) took third and won "Most Aggressive Rider" as he sliced through the pack from a very poor starting position. Adam Craig (Giant) finished fourth while his teammate Carl Decker was fifth.
Racers were treated to spectacular views of the mountains at Bear Creek Regional Park. While a bit of rain came down during the race, it had no effect on the outcome. The course caused some major fits for riders as there were virtually no passing lanes. With the exception of one short steep climb, the course was all narrow singletrack. Riders had to plan passes on the one section of doubletrack, making for a bit of chaos at that one spot on the course.
As has become almost commonplace, Todd Wells won the start and got onto the singletrack first. Initially a large group that included Horgan-Kobelski, Troy Wells (Cliff Bar), Kabush, Sam Schultz (Gary Fisher/Subaru) and Craig were mixing it up behind Wells. Within a few laps, Schultz flatted and had to drop out.
By the sixth lap, Wells and Horgan-Kobelski opened about a 50-meter gap on Kabush and the rest of the chasers. Over the next two laps they slowly increased their lead. On lap ten, Craig made a massive effort and briefly moved past Kabush into third place.
"I had thought that I would jump across to Jeremy and Todd…then I had 'Altitude reality' and could not maintain it," said Craig. Within a lap Kabush made the move past Craig to reclaim third place.
On lap eleven, Wells made a small attack that put a 25-meter gap between him and Horgan-Kobelski. This gap grew slightly until the end of the race. Behind them the chasers were fairly strung out so there were no finishing places contested by sprints.
Several racers, including Kabush, were confused by the signs the officials were posting during the race. At one point the signs were changed from minutes remaining to laps remaining. Kabush and others commented that they thought there was more time left than there actually was.
"I tried to attack mid-race, and I got a gap then kept it to the finish," said Todd Wells. "My focus is now on short track and to have some good cross country races here and there."
In an interesting move, the entire Sho-Air Specialized team did not race the short track event Apparently they were hoping to save energy for Saturday's cross country race at Cheyenne Mountain Park. Since the powerful Sho-Air team have been living near sea level, they will need every advantage they can get to compete with Colorado natives Todd Wells and Jeremy-Horgan Kobelski.
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