August 18, 2009 – Windham, New York
For the first time this season Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain captured four wins in the same weekend with Geoff Kabush taking both the pro men’s cross country and short track, Lea Davison winning the pro women’s short track, and Cameron Cole winning the pro men’s downhill. Windham was recently awarded a World Cup for 2010 and many racers and spectators were there to check out the course and venue for next year.
Coming off a record setting fifteenth US Series cross country win the prior weekend in Vermont, Geoff Kabush was certainly the man to beat at Windham.
It was Kabush who led the charge up the first climb from the start, but Sid Taberlay (Sho-Air) got by Kabush and led the race on the descent. Sam Schultz (Gary Fisher- Subaru) managed to stay with Taberlay and Kabush, but faded after the second lap. After that it was the Sho Air duo of Max Plaxton and Sid Taberlay as well as Kabush dropping the hammer on the rest of the field.
Though they outnumbered Kabush, it was still a surprise that Plaxton and Taberlay came through the start/finish area with Kabush no where in sight. After the race, Kabush revealed that he had a spectacular crash in which he caught his bar on a stump and his bike went flying down a ravine. He had to climb down to retrieve his bike and lost between 30 and 45 seconds in the process.
By the top of the climb on lap four, Kabush caught back on to Plaxton and Taberlay and on lap five he launched the race winning attack, beating second place Plaxton by 1:07. Taberlay was passed on the last lap by a surging Todd Wells (Specialized) who took third.
In the men’s short track, usual contenders Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Gary Fisher-Subaru), Wells, Plaxton, Kabush, and Taberlay massed at the front and each rider tried an attack. Kabush launched a massive attack on lap six, but was caught by the chasers. Fifteen minutes later, Kabush attacked again with only Schultz on his wheel. Both took turns pulling at the front to avoid getting caught by the other riders. Schultz took the lead on the final descent into the finish and had a small gap on Kabush, but Kabush, known for his sprinting abilities, managed to come by Schultz right at the line.
After finishing fourth the day before in the cross country, Maxxis-Rocky Mountain’s Lea Davison was set to battle the formidable Luna team of Catharine Pendrel, Georgia Gould, and Katerina Nash.
As expected, when Davison went to the front of the pack, she was immediately swarmed by the blue jerseys of the Luna team. A lead group formed of Davison, Gould, Pendrel, Willow Koerber (Gary Fisher-Subaru), and Amy Dombroski (Healthnet). Koerber led for much of the race with Dombroski falling off the back.
Nash attacked several times in the latter stages of the race and while Luna had the numbers to beat Davison, it appeared that each Luna member was racing for themselves. Nash launched an attack that only Gould and Davison could respond to leaving a group of three. Yet another attack by Nash shed Gould and it was then a two woman race between Nash and Davison.
On the last lap Davison got by Nash and they sprinted to the line with Davison narrowly edging Nash for the win.
In the pro men’s downhill, it was Maxxis Rocky Mountain’s second win in as many weekends. Luke Strobel took the win in Vermont and Cameron Cole took second, but this weekend it was Cameron’s turn to take the win, his first of the season. Yeti/Fox team rider Joey Schusler took second and Alejandro Ortiz (Morpheus/Hayes/Nema) took third.
For team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain, Windham was extremely successful and a perfect lead in to World Championships in Canberra, Australia in two weeks.