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Hulik, Mazza storm Oregon championships

As advertised, the ‘cross course through the Washington County Fairgrounds in Hillsboro, Oregon, was wide-open, grassy and void of anything resembling elevation gain. Several days of dry weather and Sunday’s beautiful, mostly blue skies only added to the warm feelings about how quickly the course could be covered.

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By Patrick Malach

2008 Cross Crusade finals: Cross Crusade Men's Elite overall winner Jason Sager.

2008 Cross Crusade finals: Cross Crusade Men’s Elite overall winner Jason Sager.

Photo: Patrick Malach

As advertised, the ‘cross course through the Washington County Fairgrounds in Hillsboro, Oregon, was wide-open, grassy and void of anything resembling elevation gain. Several days of dry weather and Sunday’s beautiful, mostly blue skies only added to the warm feelings about how quickly the course could be covered.

But one trip through the well-trodden soil of the fairgrounds’ rodeo arena made it clear to the riders in the Cross Crusade finale/Oregon state championships that the string of dry days hadn’t been enough to soak up the weeks of fall rain that had already saturated the ground just beneath the surface.

2008 Cross Crusade finals: Cross Crusade Women's Elite overall winner Wendy Williams.

2008 Cross Crusade finals: Cross Crusade Women’s Elite overall winner Wendy Williams.

Photo: Patrick Malach

And so the warm feelings dissipated while a brutal war of attrition began.

Rhonda Mazza (Team S&M) fired the first shot with a starting-gun explosion from the women’s field that earned her a lead that she held to the finish. Strong and steady series leader Wendy Williams (River City Bicycles) chased all afternoon but finished three seconds behind in second. Emily VanMeter and Megan Farris of River City were left to battle for third and fourth. Erin Playman (Gentle Lovers) rounded out the top five on the day.

Williams’ second-place finish, combined with another second and four first-place finishes overall, was more than enough to take the Cross Crusade Series crown over teammate VanMeter, who won the sixth race of the series and never finished worse than fourth. Mazza, the newly crowned Oregon State Champ, finished third overall, 38 points back.

In the men’s race, Kevin Hulik (Vanilla Bicycles) used a take-no-prisoners strategy similar to Mazza’s. Charging hard from the line, Hulik, followed by Sean Babcock (Team S&M) and a gaggle of fellow top-ranked Vanilla riders, pounded out a solid lead that continued to build over the rest of the field, including series overall leader Jason Sager (Sagersports.com).

2008 Cross Crusade finals: Sean Babcock leads Kevin Hulik during the race.

2008 Cross Crusade finals: Sean Babcock leads Kevin Hulik during the race.

Photo: Patrick Malach

Lead changes at the front ensued until Vanilla rider Molly Cameron, Hulik and Babcock (who started the day just six points behind Sager in the overall standings) opened up a gap and worked it to nearly 40 seconds by the last lap. With double series points on the line and the overall leader nowhere in sight, Babcock pushed the pace as the three lead riders emerged from the depths of the rodeo arena mudbog about 40-meters from the finish, but Hulik powered through to take the sprint and maximum series points, nipping Babcock by two seconds and Cameron by three.

Sager finished seventh, about 1:30 behind, but his sweep of the first three series races was enough to hold off the late charges from Babcock and Hulik, who were rewarded with second- and third-place finishes respectively for their overall efforts in the eight-race Cross Crusade.

Photo Gallery

Results

Womens Elite: | (Men’s results )

1 Mazza Rhonda Portland Team S&m 34 4 40:11.50
2 Williams Wendy Portland River City Bicycles 39 4 40:14.10
3 Vanmeter Emily Portland River City Bicycles 32 4 40:36.40
4 Farris Megan Portland River City Bicycles 29 4 41:43.30
5 Playman Erin Portland Gentle Lovers 34 4 42:55.80
6 Gundersen Heather Portland Veloshop 34 4 42:59.60
7 Flaherty Colleen Portland Veloce/felt 31 4 43:04.30
8 Pennington Alice Hood River Desalvo Cycles 27 4 43:12.50
9 Brubaker Tina Portland Vanilla Bicycles/stumptown 4 43:15.00
10 Johnson Sara 4 43:26.90
11 Mensher Joanna Portland Gentle Lovers 30 4 44:02.60
12 Browning Julie Portland Cyclepath Racing 39 4 44:16.50
13 Brown Audrey Portland Team S&m 22 4 44:45.00
14 Post-Holmberg Sarah Portland 4 44:45.60
15 Stoick Bridget Portland River City Bicycles 33 4 44:54.20
16 Kunz Kori Eugene Poplollies 37 4 45:18.90
17 Jenkins Abby Super Relax 24 4 45:24.00
18 Cardinal Elizabeth Portland Veloshop 33 4 45:30.30
19 Alvares Marila Portland Bike Gallery 37 4 45:32.20
20 Schubel Megan Portland 33 4 45:48.00
21 Sturdy Sarah Portland Tireless Velo 32 4 45:52.80
22 Miller Ellen 4 46:01.90
23 Morin Rhonda Portland Sorella Forte 42 4 47:14.80
24 Wille Kristin Portland Portland Velo 25 4 48:25.20
25 Fournier Sami Organicathlete 4 51:28.30
Dnf Savoie Michelle Banks Veloshop 30 1

Men’s results | (Women’s results )

1 Hulick Kevin Vanilla Bicycles 35 7 01:00:52.00
2 Babcock Sean Corvallis Team S&m 25 7 01:00:54.00
3 Cameron Molly Vanilla Bicycles 7 01:00:55.00
4 Woras Solomon Winthrop Vanilla Bicycles 26 7 01:01:35.00
5 Skerritt Shannon Portland Vanilla Bicycles 7 01:01:41.00
6 Thompson Ben Bend Sunnyside/cannondale 32 7 01:01:46.00
7 Sager Jason Portland Sagersports.com 33 7 01:02:16.00
8 Schmitt Damian Bend Sunnyside Sports/marcroft 30 7 01:03:12.00
9 Blackwelder Mark Portland Gentle Lovers 34 7 01:03:18.00
10 Paxson Spencer Troutlake Team S&m 24 7 01:04:14.00
11 Hunter Steven Portland Veloshop 28 7 01:04:26.00
12 Weaver Ryan Portland River City Bicycles 30 7 01:04:27.00
13 Miller Cary Team S&m 36 7 01:04:31.00
14 Sheagley Eric Portland Veloce/felt 36 7 01:04:32.00
15 Benno Michael Portland Veloce/felt 40 7 01:04:33.00
16 Wilmes Doug Portland River City/marcroft Cycles 28 7 01:04:40.00
17 Luelling Brett Salem Capitol Subaru Cycling 27 7 01:04:45.00
18 Yeater Davy Portland River City Bicycles 28 7 01:06:13.00
19 Cloyd James Salem Mona Vie 24 7 01:06:20.00
20 Carlile Scotty Bend Therapeutic Associates Inc. Cycling 25 7 01:06:25.00
21 Brandt Chris Eugene Collin’s Cycle Shop 34 7 01:06:30.00
22 Finn Justin Corvallis Spooky Bikes 24 7 01:06:33.00
23 Carwile Steve Capitol Subaru Cycling 7 01:07:09.00
24 Madrone Joel Portland Courage Bikes 33 7 01:07:31.00
25 Mahoney Matt Gentle Lovers 30 7 01:07:35.00
26 Riffle Jason Portland River City Bicycles 31 7 01:07:40.00
27 Pilz David Portland Gentle Lovers 29 7 01:08:29.00
28 Rathe Jacob Portland Team Redline 17 7 01:08:41.00
29 Watson Dan Portland Gentle Lovers 28 6 59:06.50
30 Ryan Kelly Portland River City Bicycles 29 6 59:09.90
31 Patla Seth Hillsboro River City Bicycles 31 6 59:19.70
32 Dodge Ben Portland Sugar Cmr/easton/specialized+d226 28 6 59:35.70
33 Bushnell Spencer Portland Therapeutic Associates Inc. Cycling 27 6 59:59.00
34 Townsend Reny 6 01:00:01.00
35 Swanson Chad Portland Team S&m 31 6 01:00:02.00
36 Kath Mike Danger Boy Racing 30 6 01:00:05.00
37 Kic Tony Portland Gentle Lovers 30 6 01:00:24.00
38 Adams Greg Portland Bridgetown Velo 29 6 01:00:57.00
39 948 6 01:01:36.00
40 Rodriguez Jose Vista Ridge Velo 6 01:02:16.00
41 Sheppard Chris Bend Uc Santa Cruz Cycling 35 6
42 Brown Ian Portland River City Bicycles/tonic 29 5 59:36.60
43 Markstrom Ruben Portland 32 5 01:02:50.00
44 Ceccorulli James Aloha Portland State University 21 5 01:03:25.00
45 Plews Evan Salem Capitol Subaru Cycling 32 5
46 Mensher Daniel Portland Gentle Lovers 33 5
Dnf Stuck Jeffrey Team S&m 33 4
Dnf Wills Matthew Portland Veloshop 28 2
Dnf Hall Matthew Portland Ira Ryan Cycles 30 2
Dnf Redden Andy White Salmon Nolimitz/ice 26 1