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Knapp, Kabush rule Crank Brothers ‘cross

Fortunately for New England sports fans, they have last week’s Red Sox World Series win to look back on with a smile, because out-of-towners dominated today’s third round of the Crank Brothers U.S. Gran Prix of Cyclo-cross in Gloucester, Massachusetts. In front of a huge, partisan New England crowd, Canadian Geoff Kabush (Maxxis) claimed his biggest ‘cross won to date, while Seattle’s Anna Knapp (Kona) took a win in one of the few ’cross events where victory had eluded her.

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By Chris Milliman, Special to VeloNews

Knapp was smooth through the sand

Knapp was smooth through the sand

Photo: Chris Milliman

Fortunately for New England sports fans, they have last week’s Red Sox World Series win to look back on with a smile, because out-of-towners dominated today’s third round of the Crank Brothers U.S. Gran Prix of Cyclo-cross in Gloucester, Massachusetts. In front of a huge, partisan New England crowd, Canadian Geoff Kabush (Maxxis) claimed his biggest ‘cross won to date, while Seattle’s Anna Knapp (Kona) took a win in one of the few ’cross events where victory had eluded her.

One of the traditional stops on the Verge New England ’Cross Series circuit, Gloucester offers the sort of fast, demanding course that ’cross aficionados hunger for and covet. With damp overcast conditions and a strong wind off the ocean, fair weather promised to reward those riders with staying power and technical acuity. Knapp wasted no time showing that she felt right at home in the gloomy, wet air, which may have reminded her a bit of her hometown.

After Mary McConneloug (Seven Cycles) went to the front for the first half of the first lap, Knapp upped the pace considerably in the ensuing half of the opening tour. Only Cyclocrossworld.com’s Gina Hall could stay within shouting distance of Knapp, who opened a 20-second gap on lap 2. And while Hall managed to move a few seconds closer to the leader on a few occasions, Knapp’s superiority through the two-part sandpit always opened the gap again.

“She was so smooth through the sand,” said Hall after finishing second to Knapp. “I got a bit closer on a couple sections, but every time we came to the sand I’d mess it up, she’d cruise right through, and the gap would open up again. After a while the bungee cord loses its stretch and you can’t make those gaps up.”

As for Knapp, she said: “I think some times when you have a gap you just have to tell yourself that the people behind you are working as hard as you are. For the ladies it kind of ends up being this time trial of a race.”

Anna Milkowski (Rona) followed her second place from last weekend’s event in Delaware to pick up the final podium spot behind Knapp and Hall.

In his first year racing a big ’cross schedule, Kabush may still have room to improve, a frightening prospect for those who bore the brunt of his show of strength in Gloucester. Kabush made the decisive move with three laps to go, and the presence of teammate Adam Craig may have made the difference in the race.

Kapow! Kabush

Kapow! Kabush

Photo: Chris Milliman

Craig led the race briefly after a slide out by then-race leader Ryan Trebon (Kona-Clarks), but within two laps he was joined by Trebon, Todd Wells (GT-Hyundai), Ben Jacques-Maynes (Sierra Nevada), and Kabush.

With no one eager to put an ultimate effort into a mid-race move, Kabush sat at the back and let others make the pace. Meanwhile, Craig covered every move and set a steaming pace that kept the others from sparing too much energy. With three laps to go Kabush attacked out of the group, which had dwindled to Trebon and the two Maxxis riders.

“I was able to accelerate a bit faster out of the corners than Ryan,” said Kabush. “With that I got a few more seconds over the last couple laps. He was holding up and I was able to roll through in a lot of places. And it doesn’t get much better than having a teammate up with you, I just waited for the right moment.”

“It worked perfect,” said Craig of the Maxxis teammates’ tactics.

“My technique is horrible right now,” lamented Trebon. “I was going fast, but I don’t feel comfortable cornering. I think I haven’t raced enough.”

Trebon and the rest of the fields will get a chance to race again on Sunday with the fourth round of the USGP at the same site on a very similar course.

Crank Brothers U.S. Gran Prix of Cyclo-cross
Gloucester, MA. October 30

Men
1. Geoff Kabush, Maxxis, 55:38
2. Ryan Trebon, Kona-Clarks, 55:53
3. Adam Craig, Maxxis, 56:06
4. Todd Wells, GT-Hyundai, 56:22
5. Ben Jacques-Maynes, Sierra Nevada, 56:39
6. Andy Jacques-Maynes, Specialized, 56:52
7. Marc Gullickson, Redline, 57:05
8. Jackson Stewart, Clif Bar, 57:12
9. Mark McCormack, Clif Bar-Colavita, same time
10. Barry Wicks, Kona-Clarks, s.t.

Women

1. Ann Knapp, Kona, 35:30
2. Gina Hall, Cyclocrossworld.com, 35:51
3. Anna Milkowski, Rona, 36:05
4. Barbara Howe, Velo Bella, 36:15
5. Mary McConneloug, Seven Cycles, 36:30
6. Rhonda Mazza, Velo Bella, 36:32
7. Josie Beggs, Starbucks, 36:46
8. Melissa Thomas, Bikesource, 37:10
9. Sarah Kerlin, Velo Bella, 37:13
10. Chrissy Varadaros, Velo Bella, 37:21

Photo Gallery

Results

Crank Brothers U.S. Gran Prix of Cyclo-cross
Gloucester, MA. October 30

Men
1. Geoff Kabush, Maxxis, 55:38
2. Ryan Trebon, Kona-Clarks, 55:53
3. Adam Craig, Maxxis, 56:06
4. Todd Wells, GT-Hyundai, 56:22
5. Ben Jacques-Maynes, Sierra Nevada, 56:39
6. Andy Jacques-Maynes, Specialized, 56:52
7. Marc Gullickson, Redline, 57:05
8. Jackson Stewart, Clif Bar, 57:12
9. Mark McCormack, Clif Bar-Colavita, same time
10. Barry Wicks, Kona-Clarks, s.t.

Women

1. Ann Knapp, Kona, 35:30
2. Gina Hall, Cyclocrossworld.com, 35:51
3. Anna Milkowski, Rona, 36:05
4. Barbara Howe, Velo Bella, 36:15
5. Mary McConneloug, Seven Cycles, 36:30
6. Rhonda Mazza, Velo Bella, 36:32
7. Josie Beggs, Starbucks, 36:46
8. Melissa Thomas, Bikesource, 37:10
9. Sarah Kerlin, Velo Bella, 37:13
10. Chrissy Varadaros, Velo Bella, 37:21