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By VeloNews Interactive
Northern California cross fans were greeted to a great day of ‘cross racing Sunday at the third round of the Bay Area Super Prestige Series.
Cyclo-cross powerhouses Travis Brown, Todd Wells, Marc Gullickson, Jackson Stewart and Andy Jacques-Maynes all wore each other down trading for the lead.
For most of the race, Brown made concerted efforts to get to that front group and was repeatedly forced to close gaps. With four laps to go, Brown caught the lead group of Gully, Wells and Maynes and attacked in a technical uphill section. The group was back together a lap later and with two laps left, Brown attacked again.
“I saw an opportunity to attack, the group was slow to respond and I was able to get about a 10 second gap before the rest of the group responded and started chasing,” he said.
The group was by no means finished, however and with 500m to go, Wells caught and passed Brown as they charged toward the finish. Brown, however, managed to stay close enough and come around Wells to take the sprint for the line.Horgan-Kobelski, Barnholt tops in Boulder ‘cross
The gray skies and cold weather from the previous week broke just in time for race number three in Boulder Racing’s season-long cyclo-cross series, offering competitors a nice combination of sunny skies, mild temperatures and a compact Euro-style course. The course around the Louisville Center offered spectators the chance to watch entire races unfold before their eyes.
The recreation center graciously hosted what has become more of a spectacle than a race, much like the SuperCups of old. Boulder Racing had a number of sponsors on hand to peddle their wares and, much to the delight of fans, give away large amounts of swag. Clif Bar, Medically Based Fitness, Rudy Project, and Noodles & Company were all represented throughout the venue. To top it off, New Belgium Brewery hosted a beer garden and offered its traditional first-lap prime with winners earning a six-pack for the fastest first lap.
The women’s race was a truly exciting show, a big change, given thatthe previous two events were chalked up as largely uncontested wins by Heather Szabo (Tokyo Joe’s).
Race number three would proved to be a true nail-biter. The start wasfast and furious with Szabo fighting a large women’s field for the lead,only holding on for three-quarters of a lap. She was overtaken by pro mountain biker Kerry Barnholt (SoBe-Cannondale), a pro mountain biker who had a breakthrough race this year at world’s, finishing in the top 15.
Barnholt came to Boulder Racing’s third cyclo-cross series event freshoff a season break, and quickly showed that had lost little fitness. Fifteen minutes into the 45-minute event, Barnholt had a commanding lead with Szabo and Julie Emmerman (Ritchey-K2) matching each other stride for stride in the fight for second.
But Barnnholt’s race was no simple victory parade. A puncture cost her the lead, and five riders passed her as she rode the flat tire three-quarters of a lap to the pit. With a new wheel, she began her pursuit of the leaders.
Up front, Szabo had built a small advantage over Emmerman, gaining a gap that hovered around 15 seconds, with the hard-charging Barnholt 1:45 behind. The gap seemed insurmountable.
But Barnholt clawed her way back to the front, regaining the lead on the last lap, and held onto it to claim the victory. Szabo crossed second, with Emmerman took third.
In the men’s race, the absence of Trek strongman Travis Brown, who was at a UCI race in California, meant an opportunity for someone else to shine. Seeing an opportunity for some free beer, Mike West (Full Cycle) started like a man shot from a cannon, gaining a considerable lead very quickly.
After two blistering laps, Polo’s Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski made his move, closing the gap to West. The two worked together ,gaining a serious advantage over Jonathan Baker (Pro Peloton) and Christian McCarthy (Vitamin Cottage) the most active chasers.
Horgan-Kobelski took the first test of West’s form three-quarters of the way through the hour-long race, but West hung in there, able to match each challenge until the final 200 meters. That was where Horgan-Kobelski took the lead for good, crossing the line with only a couple seconds advantage.
Alison Dunlap (Luna Chix) finished a strong 26th in the open men’s race. Before the race, she said she was looking for a “extra hard workout” to prepare for next week’s World Cup event in St. Wendel, Germany.
1 Kerry Barnholt (SoBe-Cannondale)
2 Heather Szabo (Tokyo Joe’s)
3 Julie Emmerman (Ritchey-K2)
4 Jennifer Gersbach (CU Cycling)
5 Anne Lannan (Valdoro)
6 Meghan Blades
7 Heather Irmiger (Ritchey-K2)
8 Catherine Johnson (Pro Peleton Velo)
9 Erin Light (Red Rocks Velo)
10 Margell Abel (Boulderracing.Com)
1 Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (RLX Polo)
2 Mike West (Full Cycle)
3 Jonathan Baker (Pro Peleton Velo)
4 Christian Mccarthy (Vitamin Cottage)
5 Doug Campbell
6 Brandon Dwight (7-UP-Maxxis)
7 Joe Depaemelaere (Boulder-Denver Couriers)
8 Zak Grabowski (Hot Tubes)
9 Jeff Wardell (Louisville Cyclery)
10 Greg Frozley (Cody Racing)