Sunday, November 8, 2009

Trebon, Van Meter take muddy Cross Crusade #7

PHOTO: The mud was plentiful Sunday for Cross Crusade #7.

PORTLAND – The same storm that soaked the OBRA Cyclocross Championships Saturday in Salem hung around to turn Cross Crusade #7 at Portland International Raceway into another slip-and-slide battle against gravity. But the penultimate event of the eight-race series was just a warm-up for the real show: the SSCXWC09 Thunderdome spectacle to follow.

Morning rains eased as the day wore on but dumped enough to saturate the grass for the early categories tearing through the course. And just when the mud started getting tacky, the skies opened again to freshly tune the fast, slippery course with some really technically difficult muddy sections.

National champion Ryan Trebon (Kona/FSA) made it back to the Crusades to claim his second win of the series ahead of teammate and last weekend’s double winner Barry Wicks. In the women’s race, Hudz-Subaru’s Emily Van Meter took her second series win ahead of teammate and series leader Wendy Williams.

As he did for the series opener at Alpenrose Dairy, Trebon warmed up for the men’s A race by cruising away to a solo win in the Crusade singlespeed event. But by the time the A race started about an hour later, Trebon had more company at the front.

Wicks, who won the OBRA championships in torrential rain and gusting winds the day before in Salem, joined Trebon in the lead with Portland’s Molly Cameron in tow. The trio started building an advantage when Cameron decided to press the issue.

“I had the brilliant idea to up the pace on a flat section, and when they counter attacked it put me into real trouble,” Cameron said. “Then I was just sucking wind the rest of the race. Felt pretty run down, wish I had a little more fight in me.”

Cameron, who’s in a tight race for the overall with Team S&M’s Sean Babcock, slowly drifted back to fifth as Shannon Skerritt (Vanilla Workshop) eventually picked up the chase in third after some shuffling.

Meanwhile, Wicks and Trebon drilled it at the front of the race and built a sizeable lead before Trebon left his teammate and rolled easily across the line for the win. Wicks held on for second, finishing ahead of Skerritt and Babcock. Cameron held on for fifth.


The women’s race started out with a trio of riders gaining a little traction on the rest of the field midway through the second lap. River City Bicycles’ Megan Faris and Brigette Brown jumped off the front with Van Meter, while Cross Crusade #6 winner Alice Pennington, (Veloforma), Alalia Berry (Gentle Lovers) and Seattle’s Kari Studley (Velo Bella) chased not far behind. Series leader Wendy Williams (Hudz-Subaru) lagged in ninth.

Van Meter, who won Cross crusade #4 in Hillsboro, shed her two lead companions on the lap and focused settled in to hold her advantage all the way to the line

Her teammate Williams, meanwhile, was riding back through the field and was soon chasing in second, building an advantage she held to the finish. Faris fought off all challengers except Williams and held onto third overall, while Pennington rode a smooth and steady race for fourth.

The 2009 Cross Crusade winds up next weekend with the final race in Barton Park near Estacada. Scoring for the series is based on the top six finishes over the eight-race series. Portland’s cyclocross scene stays alive with more local racing before the USGP comes to town Dec. 5 and 6 for the Stanley Portland Cup, the final weekend of that series. It’s all building toward the USA Cycling National Championships a week later in Bend Dec. 10-13.

Check HERE for more photos.

Cross Crusade #7
Portland International Raceway
Sunday, Nov. 8

Senior Men A
1. Ryan Trebon (Kona/FSA)
2. Barry Wicks (Kona/FSA)
3. Shannon Skerritt (Vanilla Workshop)
4. Sean Babcock (Team S&M)
5. Molly Cameron (Portland Bicycle Studio)

Senior Women A

1. Emily Van Meter (Hudz-Subaru)
2. Wendy Williams (Hudz-Subaru)
3. Megan Faris (River City Bicycles)
4. Alice Pennington (Veloforma)
5. Rhonda Mazza (Team S&M)