Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Oregon's Elite 'crossers carve up Washington results at Star Crossed and Rad Racing GP

Oregon riders flooded the ranks the of the Elite men's and women's races at the big kick off to the national cyclocross season in Washington last weekend. Results of the women's race Saturday read like a who's who of Oregon cyclocross racing.

The big winner was Portland's Sue Butler, who walked away with the lead in the North American Cyclocorss Trophy series. The MonaVie/Cannondale.com rider kicked off her pro season in style with a second place finish Saturday night at Star Crossed in Redmond. Kona's new rider Helen Wyman, the current British national champion, won that race, but Butler stormed back Sunday to win the Rad Racing GP and take the overall NACT lead when Wyman finished fourth.

Beyond Butler's podium finish on Saturday, Oregon riders Emily Van Meter and Wendy Williams, riding this season for Hudz-Subaru, finished 6th and 7th, respectively. Megan Faris (River City) was 11th, Team S&M's Rhonda Mazza was 13th, Gentle Lovers Erin Playman was 18th, Serena Bishop (Sunnyside Sports) was 21st, and Audrey Brown (Team S&M) was 25th.

Butler climbed to the top podium spot on Sunday's Rad Racing GP course under sunny skies and bone-dry conditions in Lakewood. Riding away with Wyman after getting a gap on the "Knapp Time" run-up, an 80-meter ascent into Hell, Butler benefited from an untimely flat for her British breakaway companion.

"I heard her say 'I believe I've punctured,'" Butler said after the race. The MonaVie/Cannondale.com rider continued to pour on the pace and crossed the line with plenty of room to spare. Luna's Alison Dunlap, who finished third at Star Crossed, was second. Local rider Kari Studley finished third.

Williams, of Hudz-Subaru, finished sixth in a close two-up sprint. Oregon riders Alice Pennington (Veloforma), Mazza and Van Meter rounded out the top 10, taking 8th, 9th, and 10th, respectively. Faris was 12th, Bishop was 18th and Brown crossed the line 20th.

Portland's Molly Cameron (Portland Bicycle Studio) finished 12th Saturday night in the rain-soaked Elite Men's Star Crossed, won by Swiss national champ Christian Heule. Cameron and Bend's Chris Sheppard (Santa Cruz/Shimano/Wtb/Giro) avoided a first-lap crash that took out Bend resident and current national champ Ryan Trebon. Trebon toughed out his road rash and battled back for fourth. His Kona teammate Barry Wicks finished 14th. Team S&M's Sean Babcock, who went down in the same first-lap crash that took down Trebon -- caught fabulously on YouTube -- finished 16th. Shannon Skerritt (Trek-VW-Bikegallery) came in 19th, with the rest of the Oregon riders sprinkled liberally throughout the remaining spots.

Trebon's hard fall in Saturday's race caught up with him Sunday, when he dropped out of the race after finding himself unable to hold the leaders' pace. Jonathan Page and Heule went on to finish first and second in that race.

Sheppard was the top Oregon finisher Sunday, crossing the line 8th. Wicks was 9th. Babcock was 13th. Bend's Cody Peterson (Hutch's) finished 18th. Gentle Lovers' Mark Blackwelder was 33rd. Scotty Carlisle (Therapeutics Associates/Genr8) was 34th. Capitol Subaru Cycling's Brett Luelling was 36th. Vanilla Bicycles' Kevin Hulik crossed the line 38th. Ryan Weaver was 39th. Matt Fox of Sunnyside sports was 44th.

Complete Star Crossed results for all categories are HERE.

Complete Rad Racing GP results for all categories are HERE.