Monday, April 07, 2008

NMBS #2 NOVA National Results

The full results links that were sent to me don't seem to be working but here is a writeup of this weekend's NMBS #2 in Phoenix:
U.S. Olympic hopeful Georgia Gould (Luna Chix) and Canada's Geoff Kabush (Maxxis) dominated the KENDA Cross Country, the finale of round two of the National Mountain Bike Series, the NOVA National, powered by SOBE Cannondale, held on a fast, technical, desert course at McDowell Mountain Regional Park.

These two also won the three-day stage race. Both won Friday's Super D time trial; and Kabush won Saturday's Short Track while Gould finished second in the women's race. Kabush and Gould now lead in the National Mountain Bike Series standings, with two of six rounds completed.

Kabush worked with a lead group of five over three fast laps of the technically challenging, yet relatively flat, 10-mile course. With an abundance of embedded rocks throughout, many riders with superlight tires on hard-tail bikes suffered flat tires.

Kabush was not troubled by rocks. The 2007 NMBS series champion went to the lead on the first lap, with four others. These were: Adam Craig (Giant), Barry Wicks (Kona), Santa Cruz, Calif., the 2006 US Under-23 champion, Sam Schultz (Subaru-Gary Fisher), Missoula. Mont., and Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Subaru-Gary Fisher), Boulder, Colo.

On the second lap, Schultz, riding a hard tail, followed Craig through an alternative line that turned out to be full of sharp rocks. Craig floated; Schultz flatted.

Craig was doing a lot of pace setting as the end of the race drew near. After working with him and others in the lead group for two laps, going into the final three miles, Kabush grew restless and started to attack the group as they crested the repetitive 15-second climbs that reared up from among the cacti. The first two times the group came back together on the following descent, but the effect of these repeated attacks took its toll as Wicks and Horgan Kobelski lost touch with the battling Craig and Kabush. Finally Craig could no longer pull back the Canadian on the descents and so the finishing order was decided.

Horgan-Kobelski took third at 50 seconds and Wicks rolled in fourth at 1:30. Another 45 seconds later, Liam Killeen (Specialized) of Great Britain outsprinted Canada's Mathieu Toulouse (Maxxis), and Carl Decker (Giant), Bend, Oreg. to claim fifth spot.

Georgia Gould, 28, of Missoula, Mont., blasted off at the start of her two-lap, 20-mile race and was not seen by her rivals until the end, which she reached one minute, forty-seven seconds ahead of her team-mate Katerina Nash.

Nash, 31, a Czech native who now lives in Truckee, Calif., might have ridden with Gould all the way had she not gone down hard at the first corner and done herself an injury to the left knee that required stitches after the finish.

A group of eight riders formed to chase Gould, which later reduced to four as the race progressed and riders succumbed to double flats. Canada's Willow Koerber (Subaru-Gary Fisher), was in fourth place when she double-flatted. Wendy Simms (Kona), and Catherine Pendrel (LUNA) were two other highly-placed riders stopped or delayed by flat tires - a spate of which came in the second half of the final lap.

Australia's Dellys Starr (Dale's Pale Ale) took third place, ahead of Kelli Emmet (Giant), Colorado Springs, in fourth and Kathy Sherwin (SOBE-Cannondale), Heber City, Utah, in fifth.

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