Geoff Kabush (Maxxis) and Georgia Gould (Luna) picked up where they left off on the National Mountain Bike Series, winning the 2008 NMBS cross-country opener in Fontana, California, on Saturday.
Kabush preserved his unbeaten mark on Fontana’s dusty course, which winds through housing developments surrounding Southridge Park. After a surging Barry Wicks strung out the pro field, the 30-year-old Kabush, who won at Fontana in 2006 and 2007, attacked from a lead group of five to take a convincing win ahead of reigning U.S. champ Adam Craig (Giant). Canadian Max Plaxton (Rocky Mountain), U23 national rider Sam Jurekovic and Wicks rounded out the final podium.
Gould, also a winner at Fontana in 2007, blasted away from the women’s field from the gun to retain her unbeaten streak on the NMBS, which currently reaches back to March of last year.
The Luna team’s Czech national champ Katerina Nash chased in second place, however Nash was unable to close the gap and finished second. Luna’s recently hired, Canadian Catherine Pendrel, spent the majority of the day in third, however a last-gasp surge by Kona’s Wendy Simms bumped Pendrel into fourth. Another Canadian, U23 national champ Emily Batty, rounded out the podium in fifth.
Gould said the victory was a welcomed show of her early season fitness.
“You always tell yourself that you feel good in training and that things are on target, but you never really do know until you race,” Gould said. “I had some butterflies before the race. It’s good to know that things are going as planned.”
2008 National Mountain Bike Series
Cross Country (Unofficial)
1. Geoff Kabushj (Can), Maxxis
2. Adam Craig, Giant
3. Max Plaxton (Can), Rocky Mountain
4. Sam Jurekovic, U23 National
5. Barry Wicks, Kona
1. Georgia Gould, Luna
2. Katerina Nash (CZ), Luna
3. Wendy Simms (Can), Kona
4. Catherine Pendrel (Can), Luna
5. Emily Batty (Can), Trek Bicycle Store