Oakley MTB Battles Heat

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National Mountain Bike Series #3 (NMBS) – 2

We had a hot weekend in the trenches of MTB racing this past weekend. Oakley pretty much dominated the weekend ande proved Enduring and Radar are becoming a top choice of performance eyewear among the best of the best.

Race 3 – May 17: Semi-pro Men Cross Country

Results
| 1 | Ty Kady | (Sho-Air/Ro) | 1.34.32-Oakley |

Race 5 – May 17: Elite Women Cross Country

Results
| 1 | Kelli Emmett | (USA) | Giant MTB Team | 1.45.08 |
| 2 | Catherine Pendrel | (Can) | Luna Womens MTB Team | 0.11-Oakley |
| 3 | Lea Davison | (USA) | Trek/VW | 2.05-Oakley |
| 4 | Jennifer Smith | (NZl) | Trek/VW | 3.04-Oakley |
| 5 | Mical Dyck | (Can) | Trek/Terrascape Racing | 5.30-Oakley |
| 6 | Heather Irmiger | (USA) | Subaru-Gary Fisher | 5.53-Oakley |
| 7 | Katerina Nash | (Cze) | Luna Womens MTB Team | 5.55-Oakley |

With 110 degree temperatures at the Chamberlain Ranch in the California’s Santa Ynez Valley, the heat was a bigger obstacle for the athletes to overcome than the race course itself.

Georgia Gould (Luna MTB/ Oakley) led for three quarters of the race but succumbed to heat exhaustion and had to be taken to the hospital. Catherine Pendrel (Luna MTB/Oakley) battled Emmett for the lead but could only manage second place while the Trek/VW women rounded out the podium with Lea Davison (Oakley), Jenny Smith, and Mical Dyck (Oakley) filling the remaining sports.

The race started like so many other NMBS races, with Gould (Oakley) quickly going to the front, followed by team-mate Katerina Nash (Oakley). Nash seemed to uncharacteristically falter and fell back a few positions, leaving fellow Luna MTB rider Catherine Pendrel(Oakley) to chase Gould (Oakley).

For most of the race Gould seemed to be riding another solo time trial. She had put a two minute gap on the other racers when she was forced off her bike on the last lap due to nausea and heat exhaustion. While Gould is leading the competition to qualify for one of two United States Olympic Team positions, the heat exhaustion brought an end to her streak of NMBS wins that dates back to 2006.

Trek/VW’s women had their best day in recent history with the trio of Smith, Davison, and Dyck holding fourth through sixth up until Gould’s retirement, when they all moved up a spot. The trio were never really able to work together as a team as each had different strengths on the hot, hilly course.

Smith compared the heat during the race to her experience in Africa’s Cape Epic mountain bike event which she race earlier this season. “Honestly it was hotter today and faster,” she said. “I started at the back and I tried to be really patient. Once I got to fourth or fifth position around the first feed zone I tried to ride conservatively.”

“It was like riding in a frying pan,” added Davison. “I know heat is not my strength but then my legs came around and I started picking them off.”

Four of the women on the podium, with the exception of Smith, enjoyed their best ever NMBS finish today. Absent from the competition today was United States National Champion Mary McConneloug, Wendy Simms (Kona), Willow Koerber (Subaru/Gary Fisher), and Shonny Vanlandingha (Luna MTB).

The elite women will compete on Sunday in short track cross country event. With Gould unlikely to start, Nash will be difficult to beat. In Sunday’s Super D race, United States National Champion Rachael Lloyd will be on hand to give Emmett a serious challenge.

Race 7 – May 17: Elite Men Cross Country

Results
| 1 | Sid Taberlay | (Aus) | Avanti Sram | 1.43.38 |
| 2 | Geoff Kabush | (Can) | Team Maxxis | 0.36-Oakley |
| 3 | Barry Wicks | (USA) | Kona Les Gets | 1.00 |
| 4 | Todd Wells | (USA) | GT Bikes | 1.59-Oakley |
| 5 | Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski | (USA) | Subaru-Gary Fisher | 2.26-Oakley |

Race 8 – May 17: Dual Slalom Finals

Results

Pro Men
1 Rich Houseman (USA) Yeti/Fox Shox Factory Team 182
2 Chris Powell (USA) 172-Oakley
3 Eric Carter (USA) Mongoose Bicycles 163
4 Mike Haderer (USA) Fox/Yeti 155-Oakley
Pro Women
1 Melissa Buhl (USA) Khs Bicycles 182 pts
2 Leigh Donovan (USA) Gt Bicycles 172-Oakley

Race 16 – May 18: Elite Women Short Track

Results
| 1 | Katerina Nash | (Cze) | Luna Womens MTB Team | 25.17-Oakley |
| 2 | Kelli Emmett | (USA) | Giant MTB Team | 0.07 |
| 3 | Heather Irmiger | (USA) | Subaru-Gary Fisher | -Oakley |
| 4 | Mical Dyck | (Can) | Trek/Terrascape Racing | 0.08-Oakley |
| 5 | Catherine Pendrel | (Can) | Luna Womens MTB Team | -Oakley |
| 6 | Lea Davison | (USA) Trek/VW | 0.40-Oakley |

In dusty 100 + degree heat Katerina Nash (Luna MTB/Oakley) again proved she is the queen of short track cross country by winning the women’s event in Los Olivos, California. Without team-mate Georgia Gould in the race, due to the effects of the heat exhaustion she suffered in Saturday’s race, Nash was challenged by a host of other competitors.

Kelli Emmett (Giant MTB) continued to have a fantastic weekend by taking second in an exciting sprint with Heather Irmiger (Subaru/Gary Fisher/Oakley). Mical Dyck (Trek/VW/Oakley) was fourth, followed by Catherine Pendrel (Luna MTB).

The short track course at the Chamberlain Ranch in Los Olivos was one of the flattest that the racers will face all year. The only hill was the scene of virtually every attack in the race, but significant headwinds forced the racers to ride in packs, making any sol <<astx106tn.jpg>> o breakaway very difficult.

Nash said it was unusual racing without team-mate Gould present. Gould had been leading yesterday’s elite women’s cross country event when she was forced from the bike and taken to hospital suffering from heat exhaustion in the 103 degree temperatures.

“Usually we would set a faster pace in the beginning, and today, as you saw, it was a big group,” said Nash. “It was kind of unusual but the course and the wind sort of favored the group staying away.”

Nash now has a commanding lead in the NMBS short track series with two wins and a second place. Notably absent today were United States of America National short track champion Mary McConneloug (Kenda/Seven), Wendy Simms (Kona), Willow Koerber (Subaru/Gary Fisher), and Kathy Sherwin (Cannondale/Sobe). McConneloug had opted to stay in Europe after the first three rounds of the World Cup.

Kabush wins in a sprint finish

Geoff Kabush (Maxxis/Oakley) rode a very tactical race and beat Barry Wicks (Kona) in a sprint to the line in the blazing heat of Los Olivos, California. At least five racers had a shot at victory with only a lap to go, with Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Subaru/Gary Fisher/Oakley) finishing a strong third followed by Todd Wells (GT Bikes/Oakley) and Sid Taberlay (Avanti), who had been the surprise winner of Saturday’s cross country race.

With temperatures over 100 degrees and a stiff wind, the racers knew that it was not going to be a day in which a breakaway would survive. Conservation of energy by drafting was a key tactic practiced by all the leaders and as a result, more riders actually led in this race than in any other short track in recent memory.

Results
| 1 | Geoff Kabush | (Can) | Team Maxxis | 26.02-Oakley |
| 2 | Barry Wicks | (USA) | Kona Les Gets | 0.13 |
| 3 | Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski | (USA) | Subaru-Gary Fisher | 0.22-Oakley |
| 4 | Todd Wells | (USA) | 0.27-Oakley |

Race 18 – May 18: Super D

Results

Pro Men
1 Geoff Kabush 5.39

Author

Steve Blick

Date

May 20, 2008