Geoff Kabush (Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain) edged out a feisty Sam Schultz (Gary Fisher/Subaru) to win the short track today at Windham Mountain. Yesterday, he came from behind to win the cross country race as well. It was the Canadian champion's second double in a row after doing the same last weekend at Mount Snow. An aggressive Sid Taberlay (Team ShoAir/Specialized) was third today, followed by Todd Wells who was fourth, and Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski in fifth.
Today was the final round of the four part Trailwatch.net short track series. Todd Wells carried a commanding lead into the race today and won the championship by making another podium appearance. Wells decided early in the season to make short track a priority of his domestic racing this year. At this point short track racing is solely an American event and is not included in the World Cup races that Wells attends.
The newly modified course at Windham Mountain included one significant climb and one minor one. The absence of singletrack on the course, that meant that the passing lanes were wide open. Riders did not have to wait before launching attacks. The result was perhaps the most aggressive race the circuit has seen in years.
As has become customary, Todd Wells won the start today but Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski quickly went by him and led the first lap. The field stayed together with all the favorites up front. Barry Wicks, who had told Cyclingnews that he was going to win the $100 prime on lap three could be seen moving to the front. Unfortunately for Wicks, the announcers then changed the prime to lap number four and Wick’s effort came to nothing.
Sid Taberlay attacked hard on lap four and spent the next few laps at the front. He created chaos in the field and the race favorites all drove hard to get back on his wheel.
Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski was the first to make contact, but he brought with him Wells, U.S. champion Adam Craig (Giant), Max Plaxton (ShoAir), Sam Schultz, and Kabush.
The next few laps were absolute pandemonium as rider after rider attacked the group. Kabush himself attacked on lap six but was chased down by riders who still had relatively fresh legs. Sixteen minutes into the event another Kabush attack was more successful but Schultz remained glued to his wheel.
In the final minutes of the event, a serious chase group of Craig, Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski, Wells, and Taberlay worked hard to hunt down Kabush and Schultz. Unfortunately for the quartet there were moments of hesitation amongst the group, which helped assure that the breakaway would succeed today. Remarkably, Schultz took several turns at the front and there were times when small gaps appeared between he and Kabush.
"Sam rode an incredibly smart race today," said Kabush after his win. "I laid down a pretty vicious attack with four laps to go and he was right there. I went again on the last lap but he countered. He got a jump on me but I had just enough real estate at the end to close it down."
With Schultz leading on the downhill on the final lap, the crowd went into frenzy. Most knew they might be watching history being made if young Schultz could knock of the most prolific North American winner ever. As they rounded the corner to the finish it appeared that Schultz had closed the door on Kabush, but somehow the Canadian champion got around him to win by inches.
"It was awesome racing Kabush today. I was not even that red-lined" said Schultz. "I was pretty comfortable while sitting on his wheel…but I knew he would have a hell of a sprint coming to the finish and he definitely did. It was super fun racing with him."
Sid Taberlay won the lap four prime today while Schultz was awarded the "Most Aggressive Rider" award.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team|
|1||Geoff Kabush (Can) Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain|
|2||Sam Schultz (USA) Subaru-Gary Fisher|
|3||Sid Taberlay (Aus) ShoAir/Specilaized|
|4||Adam Craig (USA) Giant Mtb Team|
|5||Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (USA) Subaru-Gary|
|6||Todd Wells (USA) Specialized|
|7||Seamus Mcgrath (Can) Jamis Factory|
|8||Carl Decker (USA) Giant Mtb Team|
|9||Max Plaxton (Can) Shoair/Specialized|
|10||Andy Schultz (USA) Kenda/Tomac/Hayes|
|11||Rotem Ishay (USA)|
|12||Thomas Turner (USA) Outspokin Bicycles|
|13||Kris Sneddon (Can) Kona|
|14||Tad Elliott (USA) U23 National|
|15||Robert Marion (USA) Kenda/KMC/Hayes|
|16||Rob Squire (USA) U23 National Team|
|17||Michael Broderick (USA) Kenda/Seven|
|18||Martin Kell (USA) Mountainside|
|19||Colin Cares (USA) Kenda/Tomac/Hayes|
|20||Barry Wicks (USA) Kona|
|21||Travis Livermon (USA) Champion System/Cannondale|
|22||Ethan Gilmour (USA) U23 Nat Team|
|23||Ryan Woodall (USA) Dedicated Athlete/Industry|
|24||Justin Lindine (USA) Bikers.Com/Cannondale|
|25||Greg Carpenter (USA) Devo/Giant|
|26||Aaron Elwell (USA) Crrt/Monster/T6|
|27||Rickey Visinski (USA)|
|28||Blake Harlan (USA) Jamis Factory Team|
|29||Sam Jurekovic (USA) ShoAir/Specialized|
|30||Tom Sampson (USA)|
|31||Timothy Carson (USA)|
|32||Noah Tautfest (USA)|
|33||Justin Raynes (USA) Bikes Unlimited|
|34||Seamus Powell (USA) Windham Mt Outfitters|
|35||Alex Ryan (USA) CCN/Cannondale|
|36||Paul Kolb (USA)|
|DNF||Simon Happy (Can) Rst Velo Sports|
|DNF||Osias Lozano (USA)|
|DNF||Jordan Kahlenberg (USA)|
|DNF||Erik Tonkin (USA) Kona|
|DNF||Macky Franklin (USA) Transparent Racing|
|DNF||Ryan Trebon (USA) Kona|
|DNF||Stephen Ettinger (USA) Black Diamond Sports Therapy|
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