HILLSBORO, OREGON – An all-day rain and the churned-up peanut butter mud that followed wreaked havoc during the penultimate round of the 2012 River City Bicycles Cross Crusade Sunday as Donald Reeb (Cyclocrossracing.com) and Alice Pennington (Kona) powered to wins in the Elite men’s and women’s races.
By the time the Elite categories took the course at 1 p.m., simply remaining upright became the challenge on parts of the well-trodden course that twisted and turned its way through the fields, pastures and barns of the Washington County Fair Complex in Hillsboro west of Portland. Riders covered the pancake-flat course in just under nine minutes per lap, traversing a series off-camber sections, long grass straightaways with deep, sucking bogs, and paved sections that passed through the fairgrounds’ expo areas.
Pennington took charge of the women’s race early, chasing down quick-starting Laura Winberry (Speedvagen) on the third lap and settling in at the front of the race. Serena Bishop Gordon (Silverado Gallery-Sunnyside), winner the week before in Barton, got off to a slow start but warmed to the technically tricky course and eventually fought her way back to the front group of Pennington, Winberry, Beth Ann Orton (Team S&M), Brooke Snyder (bicycleattorney.com), Brigette Brown (River City Bicyles) and Tina brubaker (Speedvagen).
Pennington was in command at the halfway point, followed by Winberry, Bishop Gordon, Orton, and then Chinberg. But the tricky corners and troublesome bogs kept the order of the chasers in flux, as first Winberry led the charge, then Bishop Gordon and then, by the finish after seven laps, Chinberg.
Pennington claimed her first win of the 2012 series, while Chinberg came in 32 seconds later for second and her best-ever Cross Crusade finish. Snyder clawed her way to third by the end of the race, coming in 45 seconds behind the leader. Winberry, the early leader, held on for fourth. Bishop Gordon had trouble on the final lap and slipped to fifth Sunday, but the result was good enough to move her into the overall series lead by 10 points over previous leader Brubaker. Brown is in third, while Snyder moved up to fourth. Faris is fifth overall.
Reed Fights Sheppard For Second-Straight Win
Coming off his first-ever Cross Crusade win last week, Reeb got off to another fast start and put the rest of the contenders under pressure early. Series leader Chris Sheppard (Rocky Mountain Bicycles), who had won all four crusade races he had started before Sunday, got off to a slow start but made the select lead group that had formed by the third lap.
Molly Cameron (Portland Bicycle Studio) and Damian Schmitt (Silverado Gallery-Sunnyside) joined Reeb and Sheppard at the front of the race for several laps before Schmitt fell off the pace first, and then Cameron bobbled and lost contact. With three lap remaining, Reeb – still followed closely by Sheppard – poured on more power to try and dislodge the series leader, but he wasn’t able to shake him.
In the chase behind, Cameron recovered and held a slight advantage over Schmitt, but the Portland Bicycle Studio rider was out of the running for the win. Reeb and Sheppard dueled over the final two laps, but Sheppard, the Canadian national champion, wasn’t able to get the upper hand. Reeb held him off for the win, finishing with a two second lead. Cameron came in 19 seconds behind the leader for third. Schmitt grabbed his best finish of the series so far this year with fourth. Shannon Skerritt (Trek Cyclocross Collective) rounded out the top five.
Reeb’s result moved him into third overall for the 2012 series. Sheppard leads the rankings with 124 points. Cameron is next with 103. just one point ahead of Reeb. Shannon Skerritt (Trek Cyclocross Collective) is fourth with 89 points, while Carl Decker is fifth with 77. The best six of eight races count toward the final series standings.
The 2012 Cross crusade series concludes Sunday, Nov. 18, at the former USGP and national championship “Pro Paddock” course at Portland International Raceway.
1. Donald Reeb (Cyclocrossracing.com) 1:02:29
2. Chris Sheppard (Rocky Mountain Bicycles) 1:02:31
3. Molly Cameron (Portland Bicycle Studio) 1:02:48
4. Damian Schmitt (Silverado Gallery-Sunnyside) 1:02:50
5. Shannon Skerritt (Trek Cyclocross Collective) 1:03:48
1. Alice Pennington (Kona) 1:05:03
2. Megan Chinberg (Corsa Concepts) 1:05:35
3. Brooke Snyder (bicycleattonrey.com) 1:05:48
4. Laura Winberry (Speedvagen) 1:06:08
5. Serena Bishop Gordon (Silverado Gallery-Sunnyside) 1:06:31
Complete OBRA results are here: http://obra.org/events/20825/results