by Pat Malach
Molly Cameron (Portland Bicycle Studio) and Serena Bishop (All Access Racing) finessed their way over a challenging and fast circuit Sunday at Portland International Raceway to win the penultimate race of the 2014 Cross Crusade series.
Various versions of the wooded, undulating course on Portland International Raceway’s infield have been regular features of the US Grand Prix of Cyclocross and were used to decide the national championships in 2003 and 2004. Rain throughout the morning kept the course slippery for the more than 1,200 riders who competed throughout the day, and the course was well worn in by the time the category A men, women and masters started just after 1 p.m.
With Chris Jones (The Athletic), Carl Decker (Giant Factory Racing) and Ryan Trebon (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.
While Kelley pressed the pace into the winding wooded section on the first lap, the cream of the Oregon crop began to form behind. With Cameron chasing just behind, Kelley opened a good gap over the main group as they rolled through the fast-and-open early sections of the course, but just a lap later it was Cameron who had the advantage over Kelley. Woodtli bided his time just behind as the two leaders settled things up front.
Cameron eventually won the battle for the lead and cruised cleanly through the closing laps to take the category A win, the first since 2009 for the Portland Bicycle Studio owner/rider. Wodtli eventually closed in on Kelley over the final laps to take second. Kelley was third, followed by Ben Thompson (Thump Coffee) and Sean Babcock (Team S&M) to round out the top five.
Bishop, the defending champion who has won the series overall three years running, put a nice exclamation point on a weekend that started with an OBRA championship Saturday in Troutdale. But the Bend rider had to fight Portland’s Megan Chinburg into the last straight of the hour-long race Sunday in Portland to take home the weekend double and secure her second win of the 2014 series.
Chinburg led early in the opening lap, but by the time the women hit the run-up on the deep sand pile as they started the second lap, Bishop had taken over the lead and was looking strong on the front. Chinburg was just a few seconds behind, followed by Laura Winberry (Speedvagen), Alice Pennington (Team S&M) and Lisa Curry (Gallatin Alpine Sports) from Bozeman, Montana.
While Curry worked her way past Pennington and Winberry, Bishop looked secure on the front and good for the win. But Chinburg put in one last effort on the final lap and eventually caught up to the leader with the finish line in sight, setting up a sprint for the win as they took the final set of barriers together.
Bishop had the faster line coming off the barriers and into the final corner, easily taking the win from the River City Bicycles rider. Curry finished 20 seconds later, holding off Winberry to take third by 24 seconds over the current series leader. Pennington was fifth, another four seconds back.
The Cross Crusade culminates Sunday, Nov. 19, with the traditional finale at Barton Park, a gritty, rocky venue about 25 miles southeast of Portland.
1. Molly Cameron (Portland Bicycle Studio) 1:01:41
2. Brennan Wodtli (Speedvagen) 1:01:49
3. Josh Kelley (Chris King-Cielo Factory Team) 1:02:09
4. Ben Thompson (Thump Coffee) 1:03:35
5. Sean Babcock (Team S&M) 1:04:11
6. Seth Patla (REN Cycles-Tri Cycles) 1:05:19
7. Damian Schmitt (Portland Bicycle Studio) 1:05:34
8. James Ceccorulli (bicycleattorney.com) 1:05:48
9. Jeremy Russell (bicycleattorney.com) 1:05:53
10. Ryan Garner (Team Planet X) 1:06:27
1. Serena Bishop (All Access Racing) 1:06:40
2. Megan Chinburg (River City Bicycles) 1:06:42
3. Lisa Curry (Gallatin Alpine Sports) 1:08:02
4. Laura Winberry (Speedvagen) 1:08:26
5. Alice Pennington (Team S&M)1:08:30
6. Alexandra Burton (Portland Bicycle Studio) 1:00:20 -1
7. Clara Honsinger (Upper Echelon Fitness) 1:01:20 -1
8. Kristen Minarik (bicycleattorney.com) 1:02:07 -1
9. Kristin Duyn (Portland Bicycle Studio) 1:02:20 -1
10. Laura Trace (Upper Echelon Fitness) 1:02:22 -1
(best six of eight races will count toward final overall standings)
1. Carl Decker (Giant Factory Racing) 120
2. Chris Jones (The Athletic) 104
3. Molly Cameron (Portland Bicycle Studio) 100
4. Brennan Wodtli (Speedvagen) 93
5. Josh Kelley (Chris King-Cielo Factory Team) 89
1. Laura Winberry (Speedvagen) 137
2. Megan Chinburg (River City Bicycles) 122
3. Serena Bishop (All Access Racing) 120
4. Alexandra Burton (Portland Bicycle Studio) 100
5. Kristen Minarik (bicycleattorney.com) 65