Carl Decker had to hang it all out there Sunday to get his second Cross crusade win of the year. © Pat Malach

Carl Decker on his way to a win at Cross Crusade round two. © Pat Malach

by Pat Malach

BEND, Ore. – Ryan Trebon (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com) ended Carl Decker’s unbeaten streak at the 2013 Cross Crusade series Saturday and Sunday in Bend by taking series races four and five.

The women’s race also saw a new winner as former pro Rachel Lloyd (DFL) took Saturday’s race ahead of the week three winner Beth Ann Orton (Team S&M). Weeks one and two winner, Serena Bishop Gordon (All Access) added her third win of the series during Sunday’s costume race.

The Crusades traveled to central Oregon for the Halloween weekend doubleheader at the Deschutes Brewery venue that has also been used for multiple National Championship events and the former U.S. Gran Prix of Cyclocross.

A typical bluebird fall day in Bend greeted riders on Saturday, with temperatures dipping and rain showing up in force on Sunday as riders attacked the newly configured course that will also be used in December for the Deschutes Brewery Cup, the final C1 race on USA Cycling’s professional calendar.

Because the Cross Crusades are not UCI races, Decker decided to defend his unbeaten streak on Saturday by switching to a perfectly legal mountain bike rather than his cyclocross machine. The same strategy proved to be a winner in July when he beat Jonathan Page on a fast, technical course that favored his mountain bike rig.

The slightly hairy descent on the new course may have convinced Decker to try the ploy again Saturday, but Decker couldn’t match his Utah result against the lightning-fast two-time national champion. Trebon finished 35 seconds ahead of Decker, with Kevin Bradford-Parish (Cyclocrossracing.com) coming in third, 55 seconds behind the winner, with singlespeeder JT Fountain close behind.

Lloyd dominated her race on Saturday, coming in nearly two minutes ahead of Orton. Megan Faris (Rapha-River City Bicycles) grabbed the final podium spot, finishing more than two minutes down on the leader.

Bishop Gordon (All Access) finished fourth Saturday but rebounded on Sunday for the win over Faris after riding one more lap than her competitors. Orton was third, followed by Rebeccah Bieri (Etna Brewing-DeSalvo Custom Cycles) and unattached rider Solana Kline.

The men’s race on Sunday looked a lot like Saturday’s, with the addition of Halloween costumes. Trebon once again bested Decker, this time by 34 seconds. Bradford-Parish also finished third again, followed this time by 16-year-old Lance Haidet of Bear Development Team. Rapha-Focus rider Chris Jones finished fifth.

The Cross Crusade continues in the Portland area, with race six at the Washington County Fairgrounds in Hillsboro on November 3rd.