by Pat Malach
Bend, Oregon – Bend residents Chris Sheppard (Rocky Mountain Bicycles/Shimano) and Serena Bishop Gordon played to their hometown crowds Saturday at Cross Crusade #5, taking the Elite men’s and women’s wins on the same course used for the 2009 and 2010 USA Cycling National Championships.
But unlike those national championship events, which were held in mid-December’s wet, cold conditions, Bend’s dry October weather turned the course into a hard-packed dust bowl that quickly coated riders and their machines with a fine layer of powdery grit.
Sheppard came out of the gates fast and with something to prove after last week’s relegation from first to third for improper number placement. But it took the Canadian National Champion about a lap to take the lead back from Corsa Concepts riders Shannon Skerritt and Aaron Tuckerman, the current series leader.
“Tuckerman put in some pretty good efforts,” Sheppard said. “But then he overshot a corner, so I took it and just hit every corner of that lap. I was really stoked for my legs today. I put in a really hard week since last Sunday to get ready for Canadian Nationals.”
Sheppard added to his lead in the early laps and then held his advantage as the chase behind began to sort itself out. Bend’s Carl Decker (Giant) rode his way into the second chase spot, followed by Tuckerman, then Adam Craig (Rabobank/Giant) and Donald Reeb (cyclocroacing.com). The top five held their order throughout the 60-minute race, which shared the course with the A women and Men’s Masters 35+ A groups.
The leaders covered nine laps of the course in just over an hour, with Sheppard finishing 30 seconds ahead of Decker, followed by Tuckerman, Craig and Reeb. The men’s race will definitely see a different winner on Sunday, with Sheppard sitting out the day as he continues to prepare for Canadian nats.
Gordon Sails To Win Saturday
In the women’s A race, Bishop Gordon jumped to an early lead to win the hole shot and never looked back, powering to her second Crusade win of the season and adding to her lead in the overall series, where she has yet to finish outside of the top three.
“My goal was to just lead around the first corner,” Bishop Gordon said. “I just felt really good, and it’s great to race at home with my husband here cheering. It’s been a really good season, but this weekend I really wanted to win. Cross is always fun, but when you’re winning with a good advantage, it’s nice to see everything that you’ve been working on pay off.”
With Alice Pennington and Sue Butler racing at the Boulder Cup in Colorado, the chase for the leader was left to Brigette Brown (River City Bicycles/Ridley/NoTubes), Megan Chinburg (Corsa Concepts) and Heather Clark (Bend Memorial Clinic Total Care). But Bishop Gordon wouldn’t be denied the win on this day – even through all the dust.
“It was dusty, but you could see,” she said. “It was fine. Everyone has to race in the same dust and breathe the same stuff in. The course is getting ridden in really well. So as long as you picked the right ridden-in line, you could kind of track your tires and go through it.”
Bishop Gordon piled on the speed through the dust bowl and grassy sections, building a lead of 1:10 over Clark by the finish line. Brown crossed the line next 1:50 behind the winner. Chinburg finished fourth, more than two minutes down.
The Cross Crusade continues Sunday with the annual Halloween costume race on the same course, and Bishop Gordon said she’ll use the same strategy Sunday.
“Except I’m going to be wearing a costume,” she said. “I’d like to win tomorrow. That would put me in a pretty good spot for the series.”
Elite Men’s Results:
1 Chris Sheppard 2 Carl Decker 3 Aaron Tuckerman Corsa Concepts Cycling Team 4 Adam Craig 5 Donald Reeb cyclocrossracing.com 6 Ben Thompson 7 Michael Gallagher Corsa Concepts Cycling Team 8 Damian Schmitt Silverado Gallery/Sunnyside 9 Cody Peterson 10 Kevin Hulick Gentle Lovers 11 Ross Brody Buy Local Cycling 12 Matt Russell Bend Memorial Clinic Total Care Racing Team 13 Seth Patla Gates Belt-Drive / River City Bicycles 14 Eric Sheagley Veloce Racing 15 Chris Snyder bicycleattorney.com 16 Paul LaCava 17 Josh Kelley 18 Matt Fox Silverado Gallery/Sunnyside 19 Scott Gray Team Oregon presented by Laurelwood Brewing 20 Ryan Weaver Gates Belt-Drive / River City Bicycles 21 Kolben Preble 22 James Williams Sunnyside Sports 23 Leland Gilmore River City Bicycles 24 Matthew Wills Embrocation Cycling 25 Andrew Boone Team Oregon presented by Laurelwood Brewing 26 Alex Criss Gates Belt-Drive / River City Bicycles 27 Scott Bradway Team S+M 28 Tim Joslin Cyclepath Racing 29 Connor McCutcheon 30 Brian Jorgensen 31 Ian Leitheiser Moots/Cyclepath 32 Joshua Liberles Corsa Concepts Cycling Team 33 Cory Bolen 34 James Ceccorulli 35 Eric Zuber 36 Kevin Andrews Rebound/Tireless Velo 37 Gabriel Linn Trusty Switchblade 38 Matt Mahoney Gentle Lovers 39 Jeff Ballantine Portland Velo 40 Nat Johnson Green Submarine Records 41 Chris Johnston bicycleattorney.com 42 brant ness 43 Ryan McGlone 44 Chip Sloan Grndelbrisers/Stewie Bicycles 45 Ryan Miller Pacific Power Blue Sky 46 Chad Swanson Team S+M 47 Jonathan Myers Team S+M 48 Steve O'Neill Cyclepath Racing 49 Kenneth Reed Green Submarine Records 50 Stephen Bedford Team Oregon presented by Laurelwood Brewing 51 Justin DeMallie Filth and Fury 52 David Messenheimer Green Submarine Records 53 Todd Dye Pacific Power Blue Sky 54 Brian Schultz Grndelbrisers/Stewie Bicycles 55 Mike Kath Therapeutic Associates Cycling/Sagebrush Cycles 56 Ross Bowden HPChiro/Alpine Mortgage Planning 57 Colin Dunlap 58 Larry Ehmke Grndelbrisers/Stewie Bicycles 59 Brian Gerow Corsa Concepts Cycling Team 60 alex wentz Team Oregon presented by Laurelwood Brewing 61 Ryan King IRA Ryan Cycles 62 Pete Zlatnik 63 Ryan Garner Tensegrity PT Cycling 64 Dave Davis 65 Matt Cline Portobello Bicycle Racing DNF Patrick Jackson Buy Local Cycling DNF Shannon Skerritt Corsa Concepts Cycling Team DNF Cary Miller Gentle Lovers DNF Steve Carwile www.evanplews.com/KENDAUSA DNF Brig Brandt Silverado Gallery/Sunnyside DNF Molly Cameron MetaFilter - Portland Bicycle Studio DNF john walrod Gates Belt-Drive / River City Bicycles DNF Jeremy Garbellano DNF Michael Benno Veloce Racing DNF Ira Ryan IRA Ryan Cycles
Elite Women’s Results:
1 Serena Bishop Gordon Silverado Gallery/Sunnyside 2 Heather Clark Bend Memorial Clinic Total Care Racing Team 3 Brigette Brown 4 Megan Chinburg Corsa Concepts Cycling Team 5 Tina Brubaker Gentle Lovers 6 Beth Ann Orton Team S+M 7 Brenna Lopez-Otero Bend Memorial Clinic Total Care Racing Team 8 Jill Hardiman 9 Taylor Shekell Team Beer 10 Erin Playman Team S+M 11 Kim Matheson Team S+M 12 Susan Grandjean Showers Pass 13 Rachel Bagley IRA Ryan Cycles 14 Alexandra Burton Upper Echelon Fitness Women's Cycling 15 Jade Koide Team Beer 16 Jade Wilcoxson 17 Kristen Minarik bicycleattorney.com 18 Lana MacNaughton Upper Echelon Fitness 19 Lindsay Fox 20 Meagan Masten Upper Echelon Fitness Women's Cycling 21 Sara Fletcher 22 Alalia Berry 23 Amy Campbell River City Bicycles 24 Audrey Brown Team S+M 25 hannah moore Green Submarine Records 26 Karen Oppenheimer 27 nissy Cobb Tempo Cycling and Pilates Studio 28 Hilary Billington Half Fast Velo 29 Abra McNair Showers Pass 30 Marila Alvares 31 Marylynn King Ironclad Performance Wear 32 laura Winberg 33 Erin Goodall Hammer Velo 34 Stephanie Chase Upper Echelon Fitness Women's Cycling
Photo Gallery – Pat Malach