Here's the wrapup from the East Coast National at Windham Mountain Resort:
The fifth round of the US National Mountain Bike Series, the East Coast Nationals, hosted by Windham Mountain Resort in the Catskill Mountains of New York state, concluded today with foreign riders announcing their presence in the U.S. with resounding wins, and the newly selected U.S. Olympic team members confirming their talent and form. Mathieu Toulouse, Adam Craig, Jeremiah Bishop, Georgia Gould and Katherina Nash starred in the Kenda Tubes and Tires cross country races, while Joanna Petterson and Kieran Bennett claimed victory in the Fox Racing Shox gravity races.
Canadian Mathieu Toulouse (Team Maxxis) grabbed the biggest result of his career when he got the better of U.S. Olympic Team member Adam Craig (Giant) in a thrilling sprint finish that concluded the Men's Pro XC race at Round 5 of the National Mountain Bike Series at Windham Mountain, NY. Rounding out the podium was the ever-consistent Jeremiah Bishop (Trek/VW), a mere 18 seconds adrift of Toulouse and Craig.
The race finish time of 1 hour, 35 minutes reflected the heated action on a hot summer day in New York's Catskill Mountains, an hour south of the state capitol of Albany. Toulouse, a Quebecois from Montreal, used his knowledge and familiarity with regional terrain to steadily pursue and eventually catch early leaders Craig and Bishop near the beginning of the 4th and final lap.
Once he caught Craig and Bishop near the beginning of the final lap, Toulouse displayed the tactical nous of a seasoned competitor, holding the wheels of the two Americans- surprised at his sudden appearance - for the first half of the 4th lap before applying the coup-de-grace at the summit of the climb, just before the quick descent to the finish.
In the Women's Pro XC race, Georgia Gould (Luna Women's MTB) won the start and never looked back for the entire race, staying away to win in 1 hour, 21 minutes on a hot, 87-degree New York afternoon. When a lone competitor did catch her briefly, at the top of the first climb, it was Luna teammate Catherine Pendrel. Pendrel's attempt at shared race leadership fell apart on the quick, technical descent back to the start/finish line. Still, the 28-year old Canadian held the runner-up spot all the way to the race finish, a further 2 laps away. She finished only 1 minute 20 seconds adrift of Gould.
Rubber stamping the Luna team's dominance of Round 5 was teammate and NMBS Series Leader Katerina Nash, who rounded out the podium with a 1 hour, 24 minute ride for 3rd place.
Men Short Track
Newly-selected 2008 U.S. Olympic team member Todd Wells (GT) won the start at Saturday's Pro XC race, before it all started to go wrong. He later retired with a mechanical issue. Sunday's Short Track event offered a chance at revenge for the multiple cyclocross National Champion. He got revenge on the mechanical gremlins and the race win, with the help not of a teammate, but of his brother Troy (Tokyo Joes). Another cyclocross head-of-state, Ryan Trebon (Kona), made his trademark attack in the short track event. With Trebon going clear on the first lap, Troy Wells took up the chase behind.
Towing his brother along for the ride, Troy eventually caught Trebon several laps later, while behind, Jeremiah Bishop (Trek/VW) was putting in a tremendous ride, moving up from 23rd slot at the start to 4th, and closing in on the lead quickly. After the Wells brothers caught Trebon, Troy attacked again, forcing Bishop and a resurgent Adam Craig to lead the chase. As the catch was made, brother Todd attacked for the win. Bishop and Craig reversed their finish order from the previous day's XC race, with the Virginian taking 2nd place just ahead of Craig, both at 4 seconds to Wells. Trebon finished fourth, a further 2 seconds back.
Women Short Track
Team Luna continued its domination of the NMBS series with team rider Katerina Nash riding most of the race with Georgia Gould, only to better her teammate at the finish. Gould, who won Saturday's Women's Pro XC race, again won the start, and Nash was put in the unusual position of chasing a teammate in order to preserve her series lead. This round, the non-Team Luna women's contenders were not content to race against each other, and they mounted a vigorous pursuit of Nash and Gould. While not able to completely close the gap, Michal Dyck (Trek/Terrascape), Wendy Simms (Kona), and Heather Irmiger (Subaru-Gary Fisher) took places 3-5, respectively.
New Zealander Kieran Bennett (Odi), won the Men's Downhill finals in similarly slick condtions as the women faced. Bennett finished 2 seconds faster than Garrit Beytagh (Morewood), and 5 seconds faster than fellow countryman Cameron Cole (Maxxis).
Finally the rains came. Just in time for the Women's Downhill finals to start! Navigating the slick, treacherous and foggy conditions with trademark precision was South African Joanna Petterson (Maxxis), who prevailed over New Zealander Amy Laird by 2 seconds. Delivering the goods for U.S, fans was Alexis Wruble (Vitamin Water), who finished third at 13 seconds.
Men's Super D
Cross-country Pro Adam Craig (Giant) won the Super-D in 9 minutes, 18 seconds on a course that clearly involved a lot of pedalling. Cross-country riders dominated the results. Second was Samuel Koerber (Gary Fisher), and third was Brian Fawley. Both riders were nearly even on time, 8 seconds behind Craig.
Women's Super D
Canadian Wendy Simms (Kona) won the Women's Super-D with a time of 11 minutes, 1 second. Second place was Lindsey Bishop (Mafia Racing) at 1:14 behind Simms, and third was Danae York (Velobum.com) at 1:26.