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By Andrew J. Bernstein
Geoff Kabush (Maxxis-Rocky Mountain) and Willow Koerber (Subaru-Gary Fisher) won their respective Pro XTC cross-country races in the Yankee Clipper at Windham Mountain in New York on Saturday.
Kabush overcame a close encounter with a stump to take the win in 1:38:46 ahead of Max Plaxton (Sho-Air-Specialized) with Todd Wells (Specialized) third.
Koerber, meanwhile, celebrated her first pro win in five years by crossing just ahead of Luna teammates Georgia Gould and Catherine Pendrel, who finished second and third, respectively.
Into a gully, then into the lead
The pro men rode aggressively, with a small group emerging at the front, taking turns leading the race.
Kabush, fresh off his win at Mt. Snow a week earlier, fell victim to an early crash, riding into a stump. He was uninjured, but his bike tumbled into a gully.
“I had to hike down to get it,” he said.
Despite after a hard effort to get back on terms with the lead group, Kabush had enough gas to launch an attack on the fifth lap, catapulting himself into the lead, which he held to the line.
“The last month has been awesome. Hopefully I’ll stay healthy and get to Australia in one piece,” he said, referencing next month’s mountain bike world championships in Canberra.
Max Plaxton (Sho-Air) held on for second, but was unable to help teammate Sid Taberlay finish high enough to snatch the overall series from Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Subaru-Gary Fisher).
The two were riding with Todd Wells (Specialized) following Kabush’s crash, but Taberlay flatted, presaging a bad day. High temperatures were also a factor in the race.
“With this heat, a bad day is very possible,” said Plaxton.
Wells used Taberlay’s flat as an opportunity to ride away. Plaxton chased back to Wells, eventually beating him. Taberlay finished fourth, behind the Specialized rider.
“That’s racing,” said Taberlay of his ill-timed puncture.
Koerber crushes, and impresses
Koerber took the lead on the top of the second trip up the course’s punishing climb, only to lose it to a flat tire on the next lap. After her competitors passed her in the tech zone, a team mechanic said to her, “You know, you can still do this.”
Inspired, Koerber attacked right out of the tech zone, quickly catching and passing her rivals to retake the lead. She flatted one more time, but had enough of a lead to nurse her brand-new Gary Fisher 29er back to the tech zone for a second wheel change before racing off once more, this time to her first victory in a pro race since 2004.
“I really needed to suffer,” she said. “I was into it, I didn’t care how bad it hurt, I was going to win. Winning is a whole level of punishing yourself. You have to want it, because those girls are really fast.”
Runner-up Gould called Koerber’s performance impressive.
“It was one of those days where she had the fire in her eyes. I just moved out of the way when she came up to me,” said Gould.
- 1. Geoff Kabush Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain in 1:38:46
- 2. Max Plaxton Shoair/specialized in 1:39:53
- 3. Todd Wells Specialized in 1:40:01
- 4. Sid Taberlay Shoair/specilaized in 1:40:20
- 5. Jeremy Horgan-kobelski Subaru-Gary in 1:40:26
- 6. Adam Craig Giant Mtb Team in 1:42:58
- 7. Sam Jurekovic Shoair/specialized in 1:43:40
- 8. Derek Zandstra 3 Rox Racing in 1:43:52
- 9. Rotem Ishay in 1:44:53
- 10. Carl Decker Giant Mtb Team in 1:45:51
- 11. Michael Broderick Kenda/seven in 1:46:05
- 12. Sam Schultz Subaru-Gary in 1:46:39
- 13. Rob Squire U23 National Team in 1:46:39
- 14. Matthew Hadley Xprezo in 1:47:33
- 15. Andy Schultz Kenda/tomac/hayes in 1:48:11
- 16. Spencer Paxson Team S&m Young Guns in 1:49:04
- 17. Barry Wicks Kona in 1:49:52
- 18. Tad Elliott U23 National in 1:49:53
- 19. Peter Glassford Trek Store Racing Team in 1:50:54
- 20. Kris Sneddon Kona in 1:51:01
- 21. Thomas Turner Outspokin Bicycles in 1:51:39
- 22. Adam Snyder 3-D Racing in 1:53:44
- 23. Ryan Woodall Dedicated Athlete/industry in 1:56:15
- 24. Colin Cares Kenda/tomac/hayes in 1:59:20
- 25. Dana Weber Trek/world Bicycle Relief, 1 Lap back
- 26. Brandon Draugelis Cannondale Factory Racing, 1 Lap back
- 27. Jason Sager , 1 Lap back
- 28. Michael Mooradian Spin Bike Sh, 1 Lap back
- 29. Stephen Ettinger Black Diamond Sports Therapy, 1 Lap back
- 30. Matthew Okeefe , 1 Lap back
- 31. Tom Sampson , 1 Lap back
- 32. Robert Marion Kenda/kmc/hayes, 1 Lap back
- 33. Macky Franklin Transparent Racing, 1 Lap back
- 34. Aaron Snyder , 1 Lap back
- 35. Blake Harlan Jamis Factory Team, 1 Lap back
- 36. Brent Mellen Strava Velo, 2 Laps back
- 37. Justin Raynes Bikes Unlimi, 2 Laps back
- 38. Mike Joos , 2 Laps back
- 39. John Burns , 2 Laps back
- 40. Benjamin Moore , 2 Laps back
- 41. Martin Kell Mountainside, 2 Laps back
- 42. Tim Mosher Cannondale Factory Team, 2 Laps back
- 43. Ethan Gilmour U23 Nat Team, 2 Laps back
- 44. Seamus Powell /windham Mt Outfitters, 2 Laps back
- 45. Andrew Alesio , 2 Laps back
- 46. Nathanael Wyatt , 2 Laps back
- 47. Kyle Douglas 3 Rox Racing, 3 Laps back
- 48. Timothy Carson , 3 Laps back
- 49. Noah Tautfest , 3 Laps back
- 50. Chris Gagnon Magura/mtbmind.com, 3 Laps back
- 51. Rickey Visinski , 3 Laps back
- 52. Jordan Kahlenberg , 3 Laps back
- 53. Greg Waggoner , 3 Laps back
- 54. Aaron Elwell Crrt/monster/t6, 3 Laps back
- 55. Leonardo Sandoval One Man Show, 3 Laps back
- 56. Maurice Gamanho , 3 Laps back
- 57. Andrew Freye Bikeman.com, 3 Laps back
- 58. Mike Festa , 3 Laps back
- 59. Patrick Wallace , 3 Laps back
- 60. Katriel Statman Transparent Racing, 3 Laps back
- 61. Harrison Precourt International Bikes Mtb/twin Six, 3 Laps back
- 62. Greg Carpenter Devo/giant, 4 Laps back
- 63. Osias Lozano , 4 Laps back
- Simon Happy Rst Velo Sports, DNF
- Justin Lindine Bikers.com/cannondale, DNF
- Travis Livermon Champion System/cannondale, DNF
- Seamus Mcgrath Jamis Factory, DNF
- Paul Kolb , DNF
- Jesse Jakomait , DNF
- Shane Gouldthread Dirtyharrys.net, DNF
- Dylan Alesio , DNF
- Brian Astell Lost Coast Brewery/marin, DNF
- Alex Ryan Ccn/cannondale, DNF
- 1. Willow Koerber Subaru-Gary in 1:36:58
- 2. Georgia Gould Luna Womens Mtb Team in 1:37:37
- 3. Catherine Pendrel Luna Womens Mtb Team in 1:37:45
- 4. Lea Davison Maxxis in 1:38:33
- 5. Katerina Nash Luna in 1:39:58
- 6. Mary Mcconneloug Kenda/seven in 1:41:51
- 7. Heather Irmiger Subaru-Gary in 1:42:54
- 8. Pua Sawicki Ellsworth in 1:45:14
- 9. Amanda Sin 3 Rox Racing in 1:46:32
- 10. Amy Dombroski in 1:47:08
- 11. Chloe Forsman Luna Womens Mtb Team in 1:48:40
- 12. Sandra Walter Local Ride Womens Mtb in 1:50:30
- 13. Allison Mann Shoair/specialized/nema in 1:51:45
- 14. Judy Freeman Toughgirl/co in 1:52:42
- 15. Krista Park Incycle/magura/notubes in 1:52:46
- 16. Kimberly Flynn Vantaggio in 1:54:36
- 17. Zephanie Blasi Kenda/tomac/hayes in 1:55:50
- 18. Heather Holmes Kenda/tomac/hayes in 1:56:03
- 19. Lindsey Bishop in 1:56:27
- 20. Alexandra Serrano Cikla-Specialized in 1:57:26
- 21. Jamie Dinkins in 1:58:27
- 22. Maureen Bruno Roy in 1:59:05
- 23. Anina Aaron Kenda/kmc/hayes in 1:59:32
- 24. Catherine Vipond Norco in 2:01:24
- 25. Bryna Nestor , 1 Lap back
- 26. Teal Stetson-lee , 1 Lap back
- 27. Jane Pearson , 2 Laps back
- 28. Lydia Tanner Tokyo Joes, 2 Laps back
- 29. Philicia Marion Kenda/kmc/hayes, 3 Laps back
- Molly Throdahl , DNF
- Danae York Velobum.com/turner, DNF
- Kathy Sherwin Kenda/tomac/hayes, DNF