BEND, OREGON – Day two of the Cross Crusade Halloween weekend in Bend played out a lot like the first – just add costumes. Chris Sheppard (Rocky Mountain Bicycles) and Jade Wilcoxson (Optum Pro Cycling) each doubled up by winning both Saturday and Sunday races, although they had a little harder time of it the second time around.
Wilcoxson, who used one of the green sprint-leader skinsuits she won at the Cascade Cycling Classic for part of her caterpillar costume, once again distanced herself from runner-up Serena Bishop Gordon (Silverado Gallery-Sunnyside Sports) by the finish, but a first-lap crash gave her Bend rival a slight advantage early on. It turned out not to be enough, however, as Wilcoxson used her road power on the dry, fast, rocky course to catch Bishop Gordon, pass her and then build a nearly two-minute lead by the finish.
Bishop Gordon finished second for the second day in a row. River City Bicycles’ Brigette Brown grabbed the third spot Sunday, crossing the line nearly three minutes after the winner. Brooke Snyder (Bicycleattorney.com) and Tina Brubaker (Speedvagen) each finished a lap down for fourth and fifth, respectively.
Wilcoxson has won three of the five series races now and sits atop the series standings, although it’s likely she won’t contest for the overall prize because of team commitments to national races.
“I won’t be here, well, maybe next weekend, but then I go to Kentucky and Iowa City,” she said. “I’ll be back with the team and I’ll be doing whatever they want me to for the rest of the season.”
Sheppard Rocks & Rolls to Fourth Series Win
Sheppard, dressed in a denim vest and faded black Motley Crew concert T-shirt, rocked his way to another win but got more of a battle from the rest of the field after winning with a commanding margin Saturday. Sheppard once again grabbed an early lead, but this time the chasers kept the margin close. Carl Decker’s Bavarian princess costume didn’t appear to slow him down much as he tried to chase Sheppard down, eventually finishing in second place, just 45 seconds behind the winner.
Cross Crusade newcomer Kevin Bradford Parish grabbed the third spot on Sunday, crossing the line just a second after Decker. Molly Cameron (Portland Bicycle Studio) came in half a minute later for fourth, while Shannon Skerritt (Cosrsa Concepts) rounded out the top five.
Sheppard has now won four of the five 2012 Cross Crusade races and appears to be in good form to defend his Canadian national champion’s jersey this November.
Costume ’Cross Keeps It Crazy
The annual costume race at Cross Crusade has been a tradition for as long as anyone can remember, according to series director Brad Ross. And after Bend’s enthusiastic showing at the national in 2009 and 2010, moving the weekend from the coastal town of Astoria to the hub of Central Oregon seemed like a no-brainer.
“The costume race has been going on as long as the Cross Crusade,” Ross said. “So I guess it’s been 19 years now. We’re sort of the oldest standing series in the country, but there’s a lot of costume races around now.
“The cool thing about ’cross is that Halloween has become one of the most popular weekends for ’cross,” Ross added. “And people love to dress up.”
Next week the Cross Crusade travels back across the Cascades to Barton park for the sixth race of the eight-race series.
- Chris Sheppard (Rocky Mountain Bicycles) 1:00:13
- Carl Decker (Giant Bicycles) 1:00:58
- Kevin Bradford Parish 1:01:58
- Molly Cameron (Portland Bicycle Studio) 1:01:32
- Shannon Skerritt (Corsa Concepts) 1:01:59
- Jade Wilcoxson (Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies) 1:03:36
- Serena Bishop Gordon (Silverado Gallery-Sunnyside Sports) 1:05:29
- Brigette Brown (River City Bicycles) 1:06:23
- Brooke Snyder (Bicvyvleattorney.com) 58:38
- Tina Brubaker (Speedvagen) 59:00