Oakley Sweeps Podium at US Cup Triple Crown Bonelli Park
After the first weekend of cross-country, short-track and Super D racing in the H2O Overdrive Triple Crown, Oakley’s Max Plaxtonis now the overall series leader.
Oakley’s Plaxton won the men’s cross-country race as well as the Super D in the Triple Crown’s second race at the Chalk Creek Stampede, in Nathrop, Colorado, May 14-16.
The pro cross-country race was held on Saturday at Southern California’s Bonelli Park followed on Sunday by the short-track and Super D. Plaxton (ShoAir-Specialzied) and Emmett took the wins on Saturday.
Sunday’s format started with the 15-minute-plus-one-lap short-track. Plaxton took an early lead but hit the deck hard on lap three and was trampled by Kona’s Ryan Trebon and others, who had no where to go but over Plaxton and his bike.
Plaxton would managed to work his way back to the top five.
Out front it was a check list of North America’s top cross-country racers, with Todd Wells (Specialized), Jeremy Horgan Kobelski (Subaru-Fisher), Jeremiah Bishop (Cannondale Factory Racing), Sam Schultz (Subaru-Fisher), Sid Taberlay (ShoAir-Specialzied) and Geoff Kabush (Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain) drilling the pace.
With one lap to go, the riders began to size each other up, looking to set up an opportunity to lead into the races final chicane into the finish.
Taberlay, the newly crowned Austrailian National Short Track Champion, jumped out of the field with an eighth of a lap to go and made the move stick with the win.
The stage was now set for a Sho-Air-Specialized shootout, as both Plaxton and Taberlay went into the Super D event with one win each. The Super D Time Trial consisted of a 2.1-mile course with 500 feet of descending, which would be a sub-10 minute effort at threshold.
Riders left the line in 20-second increments based on current standings on the weekend. A beat-up Plaxton went off first with teammate Taberlay second. Wells, Kabush, Schultz, JHK, Bishop, Morka and others were soon to follow.
Despite a crash, Plaxton took the Super D win over Kabush and Trek regional rider Dana Weber.
The Super D win cemented Plaxton as the leader of the H2O Overdrive Triple Crown, with Taberlay in second. The top five overall include Kabush, Wells and Schultz.
WOMEN’S STXC & SUPER D
The 10-minute-plus-one-lap women’s short-track saw Oakley’s Heather Irmiger (Subaru-Fisher) top Specialized’s Lene Byberg and Giant’s Kelli Emmett. Pua Sawicki (Okole Stuff.com) was in the mix, but eventually dropped to fifth.
Sawicki, however, rallied in the Super D where she topped Emmet, Byberg, Rock N Road’s Allison Mann and Tokyo Joe’s Chloe Forsman. At the end of the weekend, Emmett was first overall. Byberg and Sawicki tied, but the tie-breaker was the better cross-country.
Because Byberg placed second in the cross-country and Sawicki third, second overall went to the Norwegian Byberg, who scored a silver medal in the 2009 mountain bike World Championships.