by Pat Malach
Local rider Chris Jones (The Athletic) doubled up on wins this weekend at the Cross Crusade Halloween doubleheader in Bend, winning both Saturday and Sunday and climbing closer to overall leader Carl Decker (Giant Factory Racing), who finished fifth Sunday after coming second to Jones the day before.
In the women’s race, series leader Laura Winberry (Speedvagen) bounced back from a fourth place finish Saturday to take her second win of the 2014 series ahead Serena Bishop (All Access Racing), who had won the previous day.
For the second consecutive day, the dry Central Oregon weather kept the track at Deschutes Brewery fast and dusty. Costumes ruled the day for the annual Crusade Halloween race, with the majority of the more than 1,000 racers throughout the day taking advantage of the opportunity to show off their creativity. But costumes or no, the elite races were typically competitive.
Jones, who led most of the race on his way to Saturday’s win, had to battle to the finishing straight to score Sunday’s win. Kona’s Barry Wicks set the pace on the first lap before Jones eventually grabbed the lead. But the rider for The Athletic wasn’t able to take his early lead all the way to the line after OBRA champion Josh Kelley slipped past him about halfway through the race.
“I’ve never raced against him before head to head,” Jones said of Kelley. “He’s really good. He’s more technically proficient than I am. But, yeah, he gave me a really serious run.”
As Wicks faded to third, Jones bided his time behind lapped traffic but eventually got back on terms with Kelley on the last lap, setting up the finale.
“He just kind of let me through,” Jones said of his pass around Kelley on the final lap. “I think he probably wanted to sprint because he’s a lot faster, it looked like. But I was riding some sections he was running, and that’s how I got the gap.”
Jones turned onto the finishing straight with enough of a lead that he could take time to let out a sigh of relief as he crossed the line. Kelley finished seven seconds later. Wicks held onto third, while Ben Thompson (Thump Coffee) grabbed fourth. Decker rounded out the top five.
Winberry had an easier time of it than Jones, grabbing the lead early and never surrendering it on her way to her second win of the 2014 Crusades. Bishop, fresh off her first win of the series on Saturday, battled Upper Echelon Fitness rider Clara Honsigner for the runner-up spot, putting just nine seconds into Honsinger by the finish. Race #1 winner Megan Chinburg (River City Bicycles) finished fourth, followed by Kristen Minarik (bicycleattorney.com) to close out the top five.
Elite Men Top Ten
- Chris Jones (The Athletic) 1:00:31
- Josh Kelley (Chris King-Cielo Factory Team) 1:00:38
- Barry Wicks (Kona) 1:01:39
- Ben Thompson (Thump Coffee)
- Carl Decker (Giant Factory racing) 1:02:40
- Molly Cameron (Portland Bicycle Studio) 1:02:47
- Brennan Wodtli (Speedvagen) 1:03:40
- Shannon Skerritt (Trek) :57:38 -1
- Mitchel Trux (REN Cycles) :57:45 -1
- Matt Russell (Hutch’s Bend) :58:00 -1
Elite Women Top “Eleven” (Updated Result in Bold)
- Laura Winberry (Speedvagen) :59:29
- Serena Bishop (All Access Racing) :59:42
- Clara Honsinger (Upper Echelon Fitness) :59:51
- Megan Chinburg (River City Bicycles) 1:00:37
- Alexandra Burton (Portland Bicycle Studio)
- Kristen Minarik (bicycleattorney.com) 1:02:47
- Tina Brubaker (Speedvagen) 1:03:15
- Rebecca Bieri (Etna Brewing-Desalva Cycles) 1:03:29
- Abby Youngwerth (BYRDS) 1:03:39
- Kristin Duyn (Portland Bicycle Studio) 1:03:45
- Jessica Gill (Upper Echelon Fitness) 1:04:00