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Georgia Gould (Luna) and Adam Craig (Giant) out-suffered their respective fields to claim short-track wins at the 2009 USA Cycling national mountain bike championships in Granby, Colorado.
The two proved strongest on the course at the SolVista resort, which featured a single long, lung-searing climb to the top of a beginner ski hill and a loose, winding descent back to the start/finish. The loop was noticeably large at nearly half a mile in length, and the course’s size stretched out the field in both races.
“This course is like a mini cross-country, and it makes the pain cave really dark,” said Lea Davison, who finished third in the women’s event. “It’s not really a tactical course. It’s important to either get stronger or maintain your pace. If you die, you’re going backwards.”
Gould had the legs to move forward through the women’s field. Pua Sawicki (Ellsworth) grabbed the hole shot and Willow Koerber (Subaru Gary Fisher) took the early lead at the top of the opening lap. But Gould, who saw her cross-country ambitions erased on Saturday by a mechanical, grabbed the lead on the second lap and never looked back.
Behind Gould, Heather Irmiger (Subaru-Gary Fisher) rode her way into second with Davison passing the fading Koerber. A resurgent Mary McConneloug passed Kelli Emmett (Giant) for fifth.
At the line, Gould said the fan support helped her win.
“The people cheering made a big difference. It was like a cyclocross race,” Gould said. “It helped me get over the top of the climb.”
Reigning short-track champion Katie Compton (Independent Fabrication) sat out the event after suffering an asthma attack during Saturday’s cross-country race.
“My lungs really haven’t recovered from yesterday,” Compton said.
For Gould, the win marks her first short-track title and her first win at nationals since 2006, when she grabbed the cross-country crown at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, California.
“It was definitely more selective than other short tracks,” Gould said. “Maybe it wasn’t as fun for spectators than others because it was fitness-based and less tactical.”
Tactics played more of a role in the men’s race as Todd Wells (Specialized) and Saturday’s winner, Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Subaru-Gary Fisher), stretched the men’s field out early.
Wells, who saw his cross-country hopes go down in flames when his crank unthreaded, was the aggressor, leading JHK up the climb and forcing him to chase on the downhills. The two stretched out an early gap with Sam Schultz (Subaru-Gary Fisher), with Craig trailing back in seventh place.
As the race wore on Craig and Ryan Trebon (Kona) slowly closed on Wells and JHK. Craig, who was riding a full-suspension Giant Trance X, narrowed the gap on the downhills, and with five laps to go pulled alongside the two. He wasted little time riding on Horgan-Kobelski’s wheel, attacking instead.
“Someone at the finish line said, ‘Two to go,’ but there was actually five laps to go,” Craig said. “I made my move and then I almost had to stop. But I was continually astounded I didn’t have to pull over. Racing is fun when you’re in shape.”
Wells attempted to pull Craig back on the final two laps, but he made the advantage stick.[nid:95527]
“I could hear from the cheering of the crowd that Adam was coming. I wanted to go faster but when he came around us I was at my limit,” Wells said. “I felt like I could pretty much go one speed today.”
With the win Craig salvaged what had otherwise been a disappointing national championship weekend. The Giant rider, who won the national cross-country titles in 2007-08, finished second to JHK in that event. Craig also saw his five-time Super D streak ended by relative unknown Aaron Bradford (Onsite Ultrasound) on Sunday morning.
“I’ll take a short-track win,” Craig said. “I thought I wouldn’t have to worry about bringing national championship kits around for a year. But I guess not.”
- Bradford took home the Super D title ahead of Mike West (Maverick), with Ross Schnell (Trek-Oakley-Crank Brothers) finishing third.
- Former downhill pro Elke Brutsaert won the women’s Super D ahead of Jacqueline Harmony (Vixen) with Kelli Emmett (Giant) in third.
- Alison Dunlap (Luna), the 2001 world cross country champion, suited up for the women’s short track. She rode in fifth place for much of the race until fading to 11th.
Men’s short track results | Click for: Women’s results
- 1. Adam Craig Giant Bicycles
- 2. Todd Wells Todd Wells
- 3. Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski Subaru / Gary Fisher
- 4. Ryan Trebon Kona
- 5. Sam Schultz Subaru / Gary Fisher
- 6. Carl Decker Giant Bicycles
- 7. Jeremiah Bishop Monavie – Cannondale
- 8. Andy Schultz Kenda/Tomac/Hayes
- 9. Bryan Alders Monavie-Cannnondale.com
- 10. Colin Cares Kenda / Tomac / Hayes
- 11. Troy Wells Team Clif Bar
- 12. Macky Franklin Transparent Racing
- 13. Cody Peterson Scottusa
- 14. Rob Squire Usa National Team
- 15. Barry Wicks
- 16. Trevor Downing Mafia Racing
- 17. Ethan Gilmour Usa National Team
- 18. Stephen Ettinger Black Diamond Sports Therapy
- 19. Robert Marion Kmc / Hayes
- 20. Travis Livermon Champion System / Cannondale
- 21. Dana Weber Trek Vw
- 22. Tim Allen Niner / Ergon
- 23. Benjamin Portilla Honey Stinger / Trek
- 24. Blake Zumbrunnen Revolution / Peak Fasteners
- 25. Spencer Paxson Team S&m Young Guns
- 26. Mike West Maverick
- 27. Kalan Beisel Procycling/cts
- 28. John Curry Gas/intrinsik Architecture
- 29. Matt Wiebe Team Colorado Singletrack
- 30. Nick Truitt Pcl Construction/yeti Cycles/wheatridge
- 31. Drew Edsall Scott Usa / Wtb
- 32. Chad Wells 3d Racing
- 33. John Nobil Bear Valley Bikes
- 34. Dylan Stucki Mafia Racing
- 35. Jason Young Feedback Sports
- 36. Kat Statman Transparent Racing
- 37. Travis (TJ) Woodruff Adventure 212 / Specialized
- 38. Tyson Kaman Fcct
- 39. Nate Byrom Northstar / Wtb
- 40. Joshua Berry
- 41. Bradford Sims Echelon Spokes And Slopes
Women’s short track results | Click for Men’s results
- 1. Georgia Gould Luna Pro Team
- 2. Heather Irmiger Subaru / Gary Fisher
- 3. Lea Davison Maxxis / Rocky Mountain
- 4. Willow Koerber Subaru / Gary Fisher
- 5. Mary McConneloug Kenda / Seven / Notubes
- 6. Kelli Emmett Giant Bicycles
- 7. Judy Freeman Tough Girl / Scott
- 8. Chloe Forsman Luna Pro Team
- 9. Pua Sawicki Ellsworth
- 10. Zephanie Blasi Kenda / Tomac / Hayes
- 11. Alison Dunlap Luna Pro Team
- 12. Susan Butler Monavie / Cannondale.com
- 13. Erin Huck Tokyo Joes
- 14. Krista Park Incycle / Magura / Notubes
- 15. Nina Baum Cannondale Factory Racing
- 16. Kathy Sherwin Kenda – Tomac – Hayes
- 17. Lydia Tanner Tokyo Joes
- 18. Amanda Carey Kenda/tomac/hayes
- 19. Jamie Dinkins Motor Mile
- 20. Lindsey Bishop Mafia Racing
- 21. Sarah Kaufmann Roaring Mouse / Titus
- 22. Kay Sherwood Tokyo Joes
- 23. Molly Throdahl Sports Garage
- 24. Lisa SPEEGLE Gas/intrinsik Architecture
- 25. Melody Serra Oes / Bikesource
- 26. Teal Stetson-Lee
- 27. Kyia Anderson Hidden Bay Sports / Cannondale
- 28. Erika Powers Revolution / Peak Fasteners
- 29. Kristina Dominic Directory Plus
- 30. Philicia Marion Kenda / Kmc / Hayes
- 31. Melissa Marts Tough Girl / Scott