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By Fred Dreier
Colin Cares and Amy Dombroski required fresh, clean stars-and-stripes jerseys Friday after taking the U23 crowns at the 2009 USA Cycling national mountain bike championships, held at SolVista resort in Granby, Colorado. Both riders crossed the line coated in layers of dirt and trail grime after suffering mid-race crashes.
Cares even had a sizable rock wedged between the vents of his helmet.
“I went down on the last lap — I just washed out on a loose corner,” said Cares, who hails from Boulder, Colorado. “The adrenaline kicked in. I got right back on my bike.”
Cares (Kenda-Tomac-Hayes) had enough of a gap to remount his rig and continue racing — and post up for a finish line photo before crossing the finish line. He earned his advantage over second-place Rob Squire on the opening climb of the first of four laps around the 4.5-mile course.
Squire, who was racing in his first nationals as a U23, nearly closed the gap on the surging Cares, but came up short at the finish line.
“I’d always get within about 10 seconds, but (Cares) would get back out of sight,” said Squire, who hails from Salt Lake City, Utah.
The victory marks Cares’ first national title, and it came in his final year of eligibility in the U23 category. Cares finished second in the junior class in 2005, then finished third place at U23 nationals in 2006, ’07 and ’08.
“Winning feels good, I did everything I could have done to prepare,” he said. “I knew that winning was definitely realistic.”
Cares took the victory in the absence of reigning U23 champion Tad Elliott. Elliott recently broke his scapula in a training crash outside his home in Durango, Colorado.
“(Elliott) would have been really dangerous here,” Cares said. “He’s very strong at altitude. It’s unfortunate he wasn’t here.”
Dombroski sprints to win
Dombroski took the women’s crown in a two-up sprint with reigning U23 champion Chloe Forsman of the Luna squad, after the two battled for the majority of the three-lap race. Dombroski, who rides on the Webcor Builders professional road team, proved to be the better climber of the two, and repeatedly opened up gaps on Forsman on the course’s long, fire road ascent.
Each lap, however, Forsman closed the gap on the ensuing downhill.
Behind the two, Coloradan Lydia Tanner (Tokyo Joe’s) chased in third, but an untimely flat tire relegated her to fourth.
Dombroski looked to have Forsman on the ropes after opening up a sizable gap on the second lap’s long climb. But Dombroski flew over the handlbars on the ensuing downhill. Forsman took the advantage going into the final lap, and Dombroski rolled through with her entire right side covered in dirt.
“I got a little nervous after (crashing) but I just told myself to calm down,” Dombroski said. “I knew I was climbing better than (Forsman) and that I could catch back up.”
Dombroski did catch up, and instead of attacking Forsman, she followed her lines through the tricky, technical areas. Forsman was unable to shake Dombroski on the downhill, and the Webcor rider grabbed the advantage heading into the final singletrack descent to the finish line. Forsman attempted to come around Dombroski at the line, but pulled out of her pedal in the final turn.
“I was trying but I couldn’t get around,” Forsman said. “I was riding a little sloppy, but when it’s that close I never thought I couldn’t pull it off.”
The win marks the first national-level mountain bike result for Dombroski, who already has three U23 cyclocross titles and has finished on the podium at U23 road nationals. Dombroski races full time as a road cyclist, but said she would enjoy spending more time on the dirt.
“Hitting dirt is better than falling on asphalt,” she said.
- Durango Devo rider Alicia Rose Pastore took home the junior women’s 15-18 title, winning a two-up sprint with Jill Behlan of Tokyo Joe’s. Pastore, who attends Durango High School, is also an All-American Nordic skier.
- Russell Finsterwald (ProCycling/SRM) took home the men’s Junior 17-18 title after battling with Skyler Trujillo (Niner Bikes) and Eric Emsky (Rad Racing). Finsterwalt attends Coronado High School in Colorado Springs, and splits time with the national junior road team.
- Felt-Holowesko road rider Peter Stetina (Tokyo Joe’s) rode his way into 5th place in the U23 men’s race, despite riding the opening lap with a flat tire. Stetina said he will contest Saturday’s Bob Cook Memorial Mount Evans Hillclimb, near Idaho Springs, Colorado.
2009 USA Cycling National Mountain Bike Championships
- 1. Colin Cares Kenda / Tomac / Hayes in 01:43:39
- 2. Rob Squire Usa National Team in 01:44:30
- 3. Stephen Ettinger Black Diamond Sports Therapy in 01:48:48
- 4. Macky Franklin Transparent Racing in 01:50:31
- 5. Peter Stetina Tokyo Joe’s in 01:51:40
- 6. Nicholas Weighall Rad Racing Nw in 01:51:58
- 7. Aaron Snyder Scott Usa in 01:52:20
- 8. Travis Livermon Champion System / Cannondale in 01:53:36
- 9. Kevin Kane Cannondale Factory Racing in 01:54:24
- 10. Matthew Beaton Tokyo Joes in 01:56:26
- 11. Ethan Gilmour Usa National Team in 01:56:50
- 12. Trevor Downing Mafia Racing in 01:57:07
- 13. Joe Schneider 3d Racing in 01:57:15
- 14. Dylan Stucki Mafia Racing in 01:58:05
- 15. Gregory Carpenter in 01:58:33
- 16. Art Nelsen Tokyo Joes / Vandessal in 01:58:59
- 17. Braden Kappius Clif Bar in 01:59:20
- 18. Nate Byrom Northstar / Wtb in 01:59:37
- 19. Dallas Fowler Titetown Flyers in 02:03:00
- 20. Michael Hosey Soulcraft in 02:03:25
- 21. Amar Mannina Rocky Mounts / Izze in 02:03:33
- 22. John Bennett Whole Athlete in 02:03:39
- 23. Lars Ellefson Maplelag / Giant in 02:05:36
- 24. Christopher Suter Adrenaline / Titus in 02:05:48
- 25. Noah Tautfest in 02:06:37
- 26. Seamus Powell Windham Mtn Outfitters in 02:08:47
- 27. Zachary Keller Titus in 02:09:55
- 28. Matt Wiebe Team Colorado Singletrack in 02:09:55
- 29. Matthew Connors Fisher 29er Crew in 02:11:59
- 30. Peter O’Donnell Flanders / Mbrc in 02:14:13
- 31. Adam Parke Orange Peel in 02:15:00
- 32. Joshua Berry in 02:17:43
- 33. Alex Ryan Champion System / Cannondale in 02:20:06
- 34. Tim Curry Cb Builders / Brick Oven in 02:26:40
- 35. Chase Orrick Durango Devo/tomac Bikes in 02:31:01
- DNF Colin Osborn Team Bikeparts.com
- DNF Graham Aldredge Gp Velotek
- DNF Mitchell Peterson Monavie-Cannondale.com
- DNF Jeremiah Gantzer
- 1. Russell Finsterwald Procycling / Srm in 01:52:03
- 2. Skyler Trujillo Niner Bikes in 01:54:15
- 3. Eric Emsky Rad Racing Nw / Hagens Berman Llc in 01:55:28
- 4. Jack Hinkens Penn Cycle in 01:56:39
- 5. Seth Kemp Gt / Kenda Cycleyouth in 01:59:59
- 6. alex schoenfelder Gas / Intrisic in 02:02:20
- 7. Wesley Lamberson in 02:03:11
- 8. William Curtis Whole Athlete in 02:03:51
- 9. Joseph Dombrowski Haymarket Bicycles P/b Function Drinks in 02:05:43
- 10. Kerry Werner Shirks Presented By Trek in 02:06:56
- 11. Gordon Cottle Porcupine / Specialized Racin in 02:07:25
- 12. Bryce Gordon Honey Stinger / Trek in 02:08:00
- 13. Lewis Gaffney Team F.i.taos in 02:08:36
- 14. David Block Gear West Bike Shop in 02:09:42
- 15. Ben Sukys in 02:10:23
- 16. Nick Newcomb Whole Athlete in 02:12:18
- 17. Zach McDonald Classic Cycles in 02:12:35
- 18. Riley Predum Whole Athlete in 02:12:36
- 19. Zachary Valdez in 02:13:33
- 20. Kevin Fish Austin Flyers in 02:14:08
- 21. Brae Patten Tokyo Joes Junior in 02:15:22
- 22. Alex Stevenson in 02:15:26
- 23. Will Patterson in 02:16:41
- 24. Aristotle Peters Expo Racing / Gf29 in 02:18:21
- 25. Zane Enders Autoliv in 02:20:38
- 26. Matthew Stottlemyre in 02:20:39
- 27. Ben Malmborg Tokyo Joes Junior in 02:21:14
- 28. Davis Bentley Whole Athlete in 02:21:23
- 29. Brian Jorgensen in 02:22:16
- 30. Andrew Taylor in 02:23:29
- 31. Joshua Elston Autoliv Cycling Club in 02:27:24
- 32. Taylor Schmidt Optimize Endurance Services / Bikesource in 02:28:08
- 33. Kody Adams Cannondale in 02:28:09
- . Cody Cox Pro Cycling in DNS
- . Sam Gross in DNS
- . Andrew Dunlap in DNS
- . Kallan Creager Pivot Cycles in DNS
- . Kyle Kraakevik Fetish Cycles in DNS
- 1. Amy Dombroski Webcor Builders in 01:34:06
- 2. Chloe Forsman Luna Pro Team in 01:34:10
- 3. Kay Sherwood Tokyo Joes in 01:41:55
- 4. Lydia Tanner Tokyo Joes in 01:44:10
- 5. Erica Zaveta Zaveta Cycling in 01:44:42
- 6. Sabina Kraushaar in 01:54:36
- 7. Danae York Velobum.com/Turner Bikes in 02:01:47
- 1. AliciaRose Pastore Durango Devo in 01:45:44AM
- 2. Jill Behlen Tokyo Joes Junior
- 3. Kaila Hart Durango Devo in 01:47:10AM
- 4. Essence Barton Devo / Nso in 01:50:32AM
- 5. Wesley Geer Tokyo Joes Junior in 01:50:40AM
- 6. Ellen Patten Tokyo Joes Junior in 01:51:00AM
- 7. Linnea Dixson Moots / Honey Stinger / Smartwool in 01:51:43AM
- 8. Lauren Catlin Norcal in 01:53:33AM
- 9. Christine Weir Northstar At Tahoe / Giant in 01:54:50AM
- 10. Deidre York Velobum.com / Turner in 01:58:03AM
- 11. Meghan Kane Tough Girl / Scott in 02:00:40AM
- 12. Emily Parker in 02:02:04AM
- 13. Nathalie Krantz in 02:02:14AM
- . Ellie Atkins Tokyo Joes Junior in DNF
- . Karli Haugen in DNF