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:
|Pl||First Name||Last Name||Team|
|3||Aaron||Tuckerman||Corsa Concepts Cycling Team|
|7||Michael||Gallagher||Corsa Concepts Cycling Team|
|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|
|19||Scott||Gray||Team Oregon presented by Laurelwood Brewing|
|20||Ryan||Weaver||Gates Belt-Drive / River City Bicycles|
|23||Leland||Gilmore||River City Bicycles|
|25||Andrew||Boone||Team Oregon presented by Laurelwood Brewing|
|26||Alex||Criss||Gates Belt-Drive / River City Bicycles|
|32||Joshua||Liberles||Corsa Concepts Cycling Team|
|40||Nat||Johnson||Green Submarine Records|
|45||Ryan||Miller||Pacific Power Blue Sky|
|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|
|55||Mike||Kath||Therapeutic Associates Cycling/Sagebrush Cycles|
|56||Ross||Bowden||HPChiro/Alpine Mortgage Planning|
|59||Brian||Gerow||Corsa Concepts Cycling Team|
|60||alex||wentz||Team Oregon presented by Laurelwood Brewing|
|61||Ryan||King||IRA Ryan Cycles|
|63||Ryan||Garner||Tensegrity PT Cycling|
|65||Matt||Cline||Portobello Bicycle Racing|
|DNF||Patrick||Jackson||Buy Local Cycling|
|DNF||Shannon||Skerritt||Corsa Concepts Cycling Team|
|DNF||Molly||Cameron||MetaFilter - Portland Bicycle Studio|
|DNF||john||walrod||Gates Belt-Drive / River City Bicycles|
|DNF||Ira||Ryan||IRA Ryan Cycles|
Elite Women’s Results:
|Pl||First Name||Last Name||Team|
|1||Serena||Bishop Gordon||Silverado Gallery/Sunnyside|
|2||Heather||Clark||Bend Memorial Clinic Total Care Racing Team|
|4||Megan||Chinburg||Corsa Concepts Cycling Team|
|6||Beth Ann||Orton||Team S+M|
|7||Brenna||Lopez-Otero||Bend Memorial Clinic Total Care Racing Team|
|13||Rachel||Bagley||IRA Ryan Cycles|
|14||Alexandra||Burton||Upper Echelon Fitness Women's Cycling|
|18||Lana||MacNaughton||Upper Echelon Fitness|
|20||Meagan||Masten||Upper Echelon Fitness Women's Cycling|
|23||Amy||Campbell||River City Bicycles|
|25||hannah||moore||Green Submarine Records|
|27||nissy||Cobb||Tempo Cycling and Pilates Studio|
|28||Hilary||Billington||Half Fast Velo|
|31||Marylynn||King||Ironclad Performance Wear|
|34||Stephanie||Chase||Upper Echelon Fitness Women's Cycling|
Photo Gallery – Pat Malach