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Pua Sawicki and Sid Taberlay took convincing wins at San Diego’s Sagebrush Safari, the third round of the new Sho Air-Specialized U.S. Cup of mountain bike racing.
The race was also the third round of the Kenda Cup West. Although it fell just one week after the Fontana National, which was the opening round of USA Cycling’s Pro cross-country tour, the Sagebrush did not see Fontana winners Georgia Gould or Geoff Kabush in attendance. Both riders were en route to the World Cup opener, held this Sunday in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa.
The race did attract a host of talented West Coast professional riders, including the Sho Air-Specialized squad of Taberlay, Sam Jurekovic and Manny Prado; Kenda-Tomac-Hayes’ Andy Schultz, Amanda Carey, Zephanie Blasi and Kathy Sherwin; and the U23 national team riders Tad Elliott, Robbie Squire and Ethan Gilmour.
Sawicki (Ellsworth), who finished eighth in Fontana, quickly took the lead in the women’s race after Natasha Hernday (Amgen) grabbed the hole shot. Sawicki rode her way into the pro men’s field, never seeing the rest of the pro women for the remainder of the race. She finished eight minutes up on second-place Allison Mann (IE Bikes).
Taberlay, who won the opening US Cup at Bonelli Park in San Dimas, rode alongside Schultz for the majority of the men’s race. The two quickly gapped Jurekovic and Prado, who were met by Squire midway through the race.
Taberlay, a five-time Australian national champ, sat on Schultz for the remainder of the final lap, then attacked the American after the final descent to gain a 25-second gap.
Sho Air-Specialized US Cup No. 3 Results
1. Sid Taberlay (Sho-Air/Specialized) 1.42.39
2. Andy Schultz (Kenda/Tomac) 1.43.51
3. Sam Jurekovic (Sho-Air/Specialized) 1.44.34
4. Robbie Squire (U-23 National Team) 1.45.20
5. Manuel Prado (Sho-Air/Specialized) 1.45.49
1. Pua Sawicki (Ellsworth) 1.57.11
2. Allison Mann (IE Bikes) 2.05.11
3. Amanda Carey (Kenda/Tomac) 2.06.37
4. Natasha Hernday (Amgen) 2.06.38
5. Kathy Sherwin (Kenda/Tomac) 2.07.49