Swiss national champion Christian Heule (Rendementhypo) won the elite men’s race and British national champion Helen Wyman (Kona) won the elite women’s race at the 2009 FSA Star Crossed in Redmond, Washington, Saturday evening. Defending 2008 Star Crossed champions Jeremy Powers (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com) and Sue Butler (Monavie-Cannondale) each finished second in their respective races.
On Friday the sun was shining on full-blast, but Star Crossed wouldn’t be complete without a little moisture. As the course dried Saturday the conditions became ideal. But a light rain began to fall halfway through the women’s race and steadily became a heavy rain.
In the women’s race, Wyman (Kona), four-time British national cyclocross champion, scored the hole shot with Butler, Alison Sydor (Rocky Mountain), and Alison Dunlap (Luna) in hot pursuit.
Noticeably absent were Luna’s duo of Georgia Gould and Katerina Nash, and the U.S. national champion Katie Compton (Planet Bike).
It was clear from the start that Wyman had arrived at Star Crossed fully intending to win. It looked as if Sydor, the Canadian mountain biker, might be able to hold Wyman’s wheel, but once a small gap formed it just continued to grow. After a light rain began to fall, Wyman took a small spill and managed only to lose a few seconds off of her lead, which never dipped below 20 seconds.
The race for second place was a three-way battle between the recently Dunlap, Sydor and Butler. After Dunlap and Butler caught Sydor, who had lost contact with Wyman, the three formed what would eventually be the lead chase group.
“Dunlap did the brunt of the work, she was at the front quite a bit,” Butler said.
Butler bobbled during the last lap and a small gap formed between her and Dunlap and Sydor. But this gap is what saved Butler’s race, as Dunlap and Sydor crashed approaching the finish. “I gingerly went around them and took second,” Butler said.
But there was no beating Wyman, as Butler recalled, “I knew it was going to be hard … Helen was just on fire today.”
With Wyman heading back to Europe to race the world cup, Butler is the virtual leader of the NACT series.
The rain had no mercy for the men, as it fell heavily during their race. Powers took the hole shot with Ryan Trebon (Kona), Heule, and Tim Johnson (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com) right there. The heavy rain made for extra slick conditions as both Johnson and Trebon went down during the first lap. Powers was out to an early lead but was reeled back within a few minutes.
As soon as Powers was caught, Jonathan Page (Planet Bike) put in a counter attack that gave him a five-second advantage, which he held for only a short while before being reeled in by a large chase group. The chase group eventually became a lead group of Heule, Andy Jacques-Maynes (Bissell), Page (Planet Bike) and Trebon.
Numerous attacks were attempted and small groups of three and four formed, but nothing stuck in the slick conditions.
During the last few laps all of the leaders went down during separate occasions. After Troy Wells (Clif Bar) caught the front group he attacked, only to be chased down by Page. But Page, Wells and Trebon all went down separately, costing them precious time and energy.
With one lap to go, Heule, Jacques-Maynes, Page, Powers and Trebon were all together. Heule was the first to attack but he was reeled in quickly. It looked as if Powers would be able to repeat his 2008 win but Heule held off the bunch taking his second win at Star Crossed.
“Everybody brought their A-game today,” said Powers after the race.
The Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com team had trouble delivering everyone to the line but at the end of the day, Powers was happy that the team could get someone onto the podium. “We bring three guys to the races and each weekend it might be one of us on the podium,” Powers said.
Powers felt that he had made a bad tire choice beforehand — perhaps the reason that teammate Johnson had trouble staying up right.
“If I had chosen a different tire I would have had a very different race … I was constantly chasing,” said Powers.
After beginning the cyclocross season with a splash, the elite men and women will rest-up before racing again at the Rad Racing Gran Prix on Sunday.
Men’s Results: | Click for: (Women’s Results)
1. Christian Heule (Rendementhypo Cycling Team)
2. Jeremy Powers (Cannondale-cyclocrossworld.com
3. Jonathan Page (Planet Bike)
4. Ryan Trebon (Kona)
5. Andy Jacques-Maynes (Bissel Pro Cycling)
6. Troy Wells (Clif Bar)
7. Jesse Anthony (Jamis Bicycles)
8. Russel Stevenson (Benaroya Research Institute Cycling Team)
9. Aaron Schooler (Team H&R Block-Kona)
10. Tyler Trace (Trek Red Truck)
11. Craig Richey (Blue Competition Cycles-Neverblue)
12. Molly Cameron (Portland Bicycle Studio)
13. Jamey Driscoll (Cannondale-cyclocrossworld.com)
14. Logan Wetzel (Benaroya Research Institute Cycling Team)
15. Barry Wicks (Kona)
16. Sean Babcock (Team S&M)
17. Steve Fisher (Rad Racing NW-Hagens Berman)
18. Davy Yeater (River City Bicycles)
19. Shannon Skerritt (Trek-VW-Bikegallery)
20. Joachim Parbo (Ccv Leopard Cycles)
21. Kevin Bradford-Parrish (Emdesports.com)
22. Nick Weighall (California Giant Berry Farms-Specialized)
23. Jeremy Ferguson
24. Jake Wells (Mafiaracing.com)
25. Ryan Iddings (Lapierre USA)
26. Kevin Noiles (La Bicicletta Pro Shop)
27. Toby Swanson (Benaroya Research Institute Cycling Team)
28. Nathan Bannerman (Hagens Berman)
29. Brett Nichols (Bode)
30. Shaun Adamson (Juventus)
Women’s Results: | Click for: (Men’s Results)
1. Helen Wyman (Kona)
2. Sue Butler (Monavie – Cannondale)
3. Alison Dunlap (Luna Chix)
4. Alison Sydor (Rocky Mountain – Maxxis)
5. Kari Studley (Velo Bella)
6. Emily Van Meter (Hudz-Subaru)
7. Wendy Williams (Hudz-Subaru)
8. Sarah Stewart (Total Restoration Cycling)
9. Jenni Gaertner (Vertical Earth)
10. Kristi Berg (Redline Bicycles)
11. Megan Faris (River City Bicycles)
12. Barbara Howe (Vanderkitten)
13. Rhonda Mazza (Team S&M)
14. Lisa Curry (G.A.S.-Intrinsik)
15. Beth Lyndon-Griffith (Hagens Berman)
16. Joele Guynup (IRC)
17. Shannon Holden
18. Erin Playman (Gentle Lovers)
19. Kelly Jones (Sugoi)
20. Megan Elliot (Black Mountain Bicycles)
21. Serena Bishop (Sunnyside Sports)
22. Jadine Riley (Team Group Health)
23. Lee Smith (Team Group Health)
24. Lea Stralka (Byrne Invent)
25. Audrey Brown (Team S&M)