A little bit of everything this week as we had a drama-filled day at the World Cup Stop in Canada, Vos continues impressive early season and some fine work by cyclocross stars at the Intermontane Challenge.
Kabush, Nash Takes Bronze in Mont Saint Anne
Geoff Kabush set the bar high for the cyclocross world, finishing up his day at the sixth stop on the World Cup Mountain Bike circuit in Mont Saint Anne, Canada in third place, just shy of the pace set by winner Julien Absalon. Kabush rode a solid and consistent race and did not crack under the pressure of Absalon and fourth placed Ralf Naef, who led for the early portion of the race. Next up on the pecking order for cyclocross was Adam Craig who finished up his day in 13th place, followed two spots later by Todd Wells who finished in 15th. Carl Decker and Barry Wicks were both on hand, each finishing one lap off the pace of the winner.
The Luna team of Katerina Nash and Georgia Gould rode a powerful race in the elite women’s race, placing their other, non-cyclocross teammate, Catherine Pendrel in position for a dominating win, and putting Nash in position to take a podium finish. Nash battled her way as high up as second but was overtaken before hitting the line, and would have to settle for second. Gould finished up the day in 7th place. Caroline Mani was in the day’s field, finishing up 25th overall, but picking up 4th in the U23 competition. American Cyclocross Champion Katie Compton was rolling in 10th place in her assault on the World Cup races, but would once again retire due to an asthma attack.
Vos Comes Up Short at Internationale Thüringen–Rundfahrt der Frauen
After winning stage one and losing her first place standing in stage two (see last week’s edition), World Cyclocross Champion and Dutch Road Champion Marianne Vos was looking for a little revenge and to get back to the top of the ladder. In stage three, Vos was able to finishing in the first major chase group of the day, 1:36 behind the day’s winner, and just behind Eva Lechner, who had the best day of any cyclocrosser, finishing up the day in third. Unfortunately, the breakaway was able to get enough time to allow the stage’s winner to take the lead, keeping Vos in third place overall.
Stage four was the race’s individual time trial, in which Vos laid down the day’s third fastest time, bested by 35 seconds by Christine Soeder. Overall leader Linda Villumsen Serup did a good job by only losing 34 seconds to Vos on the day, managing to retain her overall lead in the competition. Lechner was 21st on the day 2:51 behind Soeder’s time. Vos was once again able to claw back time overall on stage four, where a fourth place finish on the day brought back a further 9 seconds on Villumsen. Going into the final day, Vos still had 33 seconds to cover to claim the lead in the race, despite already leading the young riders competition and the sprint competition.
Vos was unable to rid herself of Villumsen on the final day of racing, finishing up 14th on the day, in a group that finished 5:27 behind stage winner Fabiana Luperini. Collegiate Cyclocross Champion Carla Swart was the best placed cyclocrosser on day six, finishing the day in 9th place. Vos would end up taking home second place overall, to go with her young riders title and points title.
Jeremiah Bishop, Sue Butler Heat Things Up at Intermontane Challenge
Jeremiah Bishop, despite missing out on the US Marathon National Title, is quickly proving that he is close to unrivaled when it comes to long distance mountain biking. After two days of racing at the Intermontane Challenge, Bishop has two stage wins to go with his near sweep of the Breck Epic a few days prior. Sweltering heats were not enough to derail Bishop’s first two stages, which saw him beat teammate Tinker Juarez by a slim but solid 18 seconds. Ben Sonntag narrowly managed to beat Chris Sheppard for third place on the day, at 5:44 behind.
As if one hot stage wasn’t enough, Bishop once again proved a dominant force on day two, out sprinting Sheppard to take home his second victory in as many days. Sonntag was once again the third placed man, but dropped to fourth place on the overall competition following Sheppard’s resurgence. Sheppard had been hindered by a broken chain on stage one and looks sure to challenge Bishop’s dominance in the days to come. Sheppard was on the attack throughout the day but could not shake the sturdy Bishop, who grabbed the victory in a sprint finish.
Cyclocross has been dominating the women’s half of the Intermontane Challenge, with veteran ‘crosser Sue Butler giving everyone and anyone a run for their money, and like Bishop, going a perfect two-for-two in stage victories. Butler took stage one by a huge margin of 26:15, after closest challenger Amanda Carey took a wrong turn and lost nearly half an hour to Butler. Lyne Bessette continued her un-retirement tour, rolling in for fifth place on stage one. Stage two once again saw Butler take home the victory and pad her lead in the overall standings.
Wondering what your favorite mudders have been up to? Doing your homework so you can win Cyclocross Magazine’s fantasy cyclocross league next season? We’ve got you covered with our new, weekly report on your favorite top ‘crossers. Each week Jake Sisson will bring you the latest news, gossip, and maybe even a tweet or two on the pro scene. This is installment #18. Installment #17 is here. Got something worth reporting? Let us know!