Williams and Sheppard Wrap up Cross Crusade Series with Wins in Barton Park – UPDATED: Photos, Results

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The uphill trudge to the finish line © Dave Roth

The uphill trudge to the finish line © Dave Roth

by Laura Winberry and Josh Liberles

Barton, Oregon – A fine mist covered the final event of the 2010 Cross Crusade Series, settling into gravel and river stone, rolling country road and tire-tracked earth. After two years in Oregon, I guess I’m still new to the nuances of mud-types, and I can’t help but make hackneyed comparisons to the urban legend about the Eskimos’ 200+ words for snow. The off-and-on light rain throughout the day had everyone’s kits covered in brown kicked-up course early on, but the lack of clay in the soil meant the runny slurry ran off of drive trains and, despite twisty turns and sphincter-tightening descents, made for a less technical affair by this year’s Cross Crusade’s standards. Power and flat-out speed were largely the requisite qualities, and Wendy Williams and newly-crowned Canadian national champ Chris Sheppard proved they had the most of both in claiming the wins in the series finale.

Wendy Williams down the slick descent © Dave Roth

Wendy Williams down the slick descent © Dave Roth

Wendy Williams Best at Barton, Wins Overall Series
With out-of-the-ordinary-warm November temperatures in the mid-50s, the Elite women’s race kicked off in its final Crusade hoorah, moving from a short flat and into pocked, paved downhill. Everything seemed to unfold in fast forward, as Brigette Brown (River City Bicycles), Meghan Chinburg (Veloforma), Serena Bishop (Sunnyside Sports), Tina Brubaker (Vanilla Workshop) and Laura Winberry (Cascade Couriers/Elite Endurance) formed a well-oiled train into the first of many gravel and soup-spewed sections. Chinburg held solid, fast lines through the brown waterways with Brubaker and Winberry still in tow, the three almost in synch during the first 3/4 lap. A few changes arrived with the second run-up, as Winberry shouldered her rig and engined around Chinburg, slotting herself behind Brubaker, Bishop, and Brown. A few more rutted turns and series leader Wendy Williams (River City Bicycles) was quick to join Bishop and Brubaker, especially after Brown suffered a dropped chain and had to stop to get things going again.

Serena Bishop leads the way early © Dave Roth

Serena Bishop leads the way early © Dave Roth

“Brigette went off the front early. We clawed her back, then she dropped a chain,” said Williams “Then Serena and I rode together for a while; after a while, I left her and just kept trying to put time on her.”

Two laps into the eventual seven total, and Williams, Bishop, and Winberry maintained a spaced one, two, three, respectively, with several others fighting hard to close the gap. Lap six brought Brown back into the action, at which point Winberry took advantage of drafting tactics on the back road portion, trading back and forth with Brown until the last lap when Brown opened things up a bit.

Williams, Bishop and Brown would claim the podium steps in that order, with ample space between them. “Battling with the River City girls is awesome – fitness is one thing, mental toughness is another,” commented Bishop. “Today I had the mental toughness I had been looking for all season. Barton was a great finale to the Cross Crusade, but also a great opener for Nationals preparation.”

With half a bell lap remaining, Brenna Lopez-Otero (Bend Memorial Clinic) and Anne Davis Usher (Bridgetown Velo) also picked up pace, just enough to nab fourth and fifth, with Winberry 15 seconds back in sixth.

CXM contributor Laura Winberry © Dave Roth

CXM contributor Laura Winberry © Dave Roth

“I loved the course, the fine mist all around, and the watery mud. I felt strong, clipped into a fast start, and was on top of my game,” said Winberry. “I wanted a top-five, but just missed it. Like everyone else I worked hard, which is all I can ask for. I am against excuses, but a recent return of childhood asthma was definitely a limiting factor.”

“I’m still picking the mud out of my eyes. Barton throws a little bit of everything at you,” said Bishop later the night. “There weren’t many chances to rest, you had to pushing it the whole race.”

Brigette Brown sprints the run-up © Dave Roth

Brigette Brown sprints the run-up © Dave Roth

As running ‘crossers throughout the day attested, the key to the day was not flatting. Barton Park is a notoriously rocky venue, and the mud and deep puddles just added to the peril. “I guess the biggest thing was just trying not to flat – it was pretty rocky, and you couldn’t see it, so you had to pick and choose where to put your wheels,” said Williams. “There were so many flat sections that you’d want to draft, but you couldn’t really, because you’d get sprayed in the face and eyes.”

To help limit the danger, Williams ran a high-for-her pressure of about 30psi and was able to withstand the hour of racing without a bike change. The win was icing on the cake for Williams, who has also repeated last year’s performance by sealeing the overall Cross Crusade series. Her closest rival in the series, Alice Pennington (Team S&M), was busy scoring impressive results in the New Belgium Cup USGP this weekend, with a sixth place on Saturday and 10th on Sunday.

Sheppard strutting his new maple leaf duds © Dave Roth

Sheppard strutting his new maple leaf duds © Dave Roth

The Sheppard Show

After sprinting himself into a maple lead jersey at last weekend’s Canadian National Championships, Sheppard returned to the Cross Crusade lineup for the series finale. Sheppard had already won three Crusades and had taken second behind Ryan Trebon at the Sherwood Equestrian Park. Thanks to consistency and a double-win weekend in Astoria, Oregon, Shannon Skerritt (Corsa Concepts) had solidified an insurmountable lead in the series the week prior in Hillsboro, but was looking to finally beat Sheppard in a head-to-head duel.

After just over a lap as Skerritt’s front tire started squishing around, he realized that his battle at the front was over, and he had a long trudge to the pits. By the time he was up and running again, he was at the back of the field and had plenty of ground to make up to climb back up into the results. Although he never got further than 11th, where he’d finish, he made short work of rocketing past 40 riders over the next six laps.

Aaron Tuckerman chasing alone © Dave Roth

Aaron Tuckerman chasing alone © Dave Roth

The course featured a long paved section as well as flat off-road power stretches where riders could open it up. The result was bunches of riders clinging together for drafting, but that didn’t prevent a few from digging deep to go it alone.

Sheppard hit the gas early, and almost instantly had a gap from the race’s start. Aaron Tuckerman, Skerritt’s Corsa Concepts teammate, set off in pursuit, with Donald Reeb (Rocky Mountain) trailing behind. When Tuckerman reached the first of the course’s two steep, rocky run-ups he hit his front wheel into one of the several prominent rocks, piled up, and got a minor abrasion on his lower leg to go with it.

Ian Brown up the course's rocky run-up © Dave Roth

Ian Brown up the course's rocky run-up © Dave Roth

“A group caught back up to me then with Ian Brown (River City-Specialized), Ben Thompson, Reeb, Michael Gallagher (Cyclocrossracing.com), Damian Schmidt (Sunnyside Sports) and Skerritt,” said Tuckerman. “I knew the Rocky Mountain guys weren’t going to chase, so on the back side I attacked and tried to bridge. I got a gap, held it until the last lap when Ian Brown caught me on the first run-up. From there, I stomped on the pedals and got away before the finish. I really wanted to be out front and picking my own lines, able to see what was out there.”

A bird's eye view of the misty course © Dave Roth

A bird's eye view of the misty course © Dave Roth

Tuckerman’s result marks his best-ever in a Crusade race, and has further stoked his cyclocross fire. “Cyclocross will be a focus for next year, it’s a bunch load of fun and easier to squeeze in with work than a full-on road season. The Corsa Concepts team got first and third in the series with Skerritt and me, which is pretty sweet for the team’s first season.

“I’m getting used to going hard for an hour – before, that meant crit racing, and I was more used to that stop/go style,” continued Tuckerman. “And I’m also just getting better as a cyclocross rider. This course suited me too; the big, long fast sections allowed me to get on top of a gear and hold it.”

Sheppard soloed in for the win with about a minute buffer over Tuckerman. Brown came in alone about 20 seconds later to secure another podium finish.

Photo Gallery by Dave Roth:

Men’s Results:

Pl Num First Name Last Name Team City Age Laps
1 124 Chris Sheppard Rocky Mountain Bend 37 8
2 10 Aaron Tuckerman Corsa Concepts Portland 27 8
3 52 Ian Brown river city bicycles/tonic fab Portland 31 8
4 7 Ben Thompson Rocky Mountain Bicycles P/B Shimano Bend 34 8
5 28 donald Reeb Rocky Mountain Bicycle p/b Shimano Keiser 36 8
6 11 Eric Sheagley Rocky Mountain Portland 38 8
7 13 Brett Luelling Buy Local Cycling Salem 29 8
8 46 Patrick Jackson Buy Local Cycling Bend 31 8
9 49 michael gallagher cyclocrossracing.com p/t Blue Portland 37 8
10 111 Ross Brody Buy Local Cycling Salem 31 8
11 4 Shannon Skerritt Corsa Concepts Portland 39 8
12 166 Chris Snyder bicycleattorney.com Portland 36 8
13 175 Patrick Means Team S+M 8
14 26 Matthew Wills Courage Cycles Portland 30 8
15 8 Benjamin Kubas Therapeutic Associates Cycling/GENR8 Eugene 34 8
16 38 Scott Bradway Team S&M/Sellwood Cycle Repair Portland 39 8
17 162 Michael Manning Pilots Cycling 8
18 57 Joshua Liberles Corsa Concepts Portland 37 8
19 39 Steven Hunter Embrocation Cycling Journal Portland 30 8
20 40 joel madrone Courage Cycles Portland 35 8
21 147 Justin Finn Spooky Bikes Corvallis 8
22 1 Seth Patla River City Bicycles Hillsboro 33 8
23 53 Ryan Weaver River City Bicycles Portland 33 8
24 173 Jake Salcone Ridemore Wear Less 8
25 176 DAve Davis Second Ascent 8
26 45 Neal Bibler Team S+M Milwaukie 32 8
27 174 Trevor Spahr Ironclad Performance Wear 8
28 168 Bruce Cole-Baker Sunnyside Sports Bend 7
29 32 Mathew Hall Ira ryan Portland 32 7
30 6 Dave Messenheimer Team Oregon presented by Laurelwood Brewing Portland 30 7
31 118 Tim Joslin Cyclepath Racing Portland 34 7
32 142 Joshua Johnston Pararescue 7
33 171 Grant Cutter Stanford University Cycling Team 7
34 144 Clint Culpepper Team Beer Portland 7
35 114 Paul LaCava Giant Bicycles Portland 32 7
36 138 Brent Mattison Team Lazy Tarantulas Bend 27 7
37 109 Andrew Bennett Team Redline Eugene 18 7
38 145 Chip Sloan Gründelbrüisers/Stewie Bicycles Vancouver 7
39 117 Spencer Moersfelder River City Bicycles Portland 35 7
40 139 James Ceccorulli Team Dirt/Mudslinger Events Portland 23 7
41 23 Chad Swanson Team S+M The Dalles 33 7
42 127 Garrett McAllister Bend 25 7
43 172 Shawn Rader 7
44 33 Ira Ryan IRA Ryan Cycles portland 34 7
45 123 brad winn Primal-First Bank portland 27 7
46 161 alex wentz Team Oregon presented by Laurelwood Brewing 7
47 169 Timothy Lang Portobello Bicycle Racing 7
48 170 Sal Collura CoMotion 7
49 106 Nat Johnson Green Submarine Records Portland 32 7
DNF 14 Damian Schmitt Sunnyside Sports Bend 32 5
DNF 102 Matt Fox Sunnyside Sports Bend 32 5
DNF 5 Davy Yeater River City Bicycles Portland 30 4
DNF 59 Jonathan Smith Team S+M Portland 36 4
DNF 21 Jonathan Myers Team S+M Portland 43 2
DNF 19 Ian Leitheiser Cyclepath Racing Portland 39 1
DNF 164 Matt Cline Portobello Bicycle Racing 1

Women’s Results:

Pl Num First Name Last Name Team City Age Laps
1 928 Wendy Williams River City Bicycles Portland 41 7
2 917 Serena Bishop Sunnyside Sports bend 31 7
3 903 Brigette Brown River City Bicycles Portland 35 7
4 908 Brenna Lopez-Otero Bend Memorial Clinic Total Care Racing Team Bend 41 7
5 921 Anne Davis Usher Bridgetown Velo Portland 62 7
6 927 Laura Winberry Elite Endurance Bend 26 7
7 925 Heather Clark Bend Memorial Clinic Total Care Racing Team Bend 32 7
8 901 Renee Scott Sunnyside Sports Bend 37 6
9 943 Tina Brubaker Vanilla Workshop 6
10 932 Nissy Cobb River City Bicycles Portland 24 6
11 915 Lindsay Jones Team Dirt/Mudslinger Events Eugene 30 6
12 926 Becky Bjork Bend Memorial Clinic Total Care Bend 40 6
13 913 Anona Whitley Ironclad Performance Wear Portland 25 6
14 910 Colleen Mcclenahan Sorella Forte Portland 45 6
15 905 Rachel Bagley Motor Dome Portland 32 6
16 945 Alexandra Burton 6
17 940 Taylor Shekell Team Beer 6
18 931 Megan Chinburg Veloforma Portland 32 6
19 951 Abra McNair Showers Pass 5
20 916 Karen Oppenheimer Bend Memorial Clinic Total Care Racing Team Bend 42 4
DNF 947 Susan Peithman Veloforma Portland 29 3
DNF 918 Heather Wills Embrocation Cycling Journal Portland 36 2

 

 

Cyclocross Magazine, Issue 22, Print and digital subscriptionsHave you subscribed yet? You're missing out if not. Get all-original content and your cyclocross fix throughout the year with a subscription and Issue 23 back copy, with features on Lars van der Haar, Jonathan Page, Elle Anderson and more!
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