Posted by Editoress on 11/6/07
Sheppard takes Round 5 of "Cross Crusade" November 4th, Carver (Barton Park) OR
Yet another weekend of unseasonably dry conditions greeted 850 racers at round 5 of Oregon's Cross Crusade. Organisers once again showed their course design skills by making a fast, challenging track that included long gravel drags, two huge run-ups, pavement, puddles and mud.
In the 42 man A group, Chris Sheppard (Santa Cruz Bicycles/CMG Mortgage) notched his second victory in the series after attacking a group of five on lap two. From the gun, the Vanilla Bicycles duo of Solomon and Shannon pushed the pace through the end of lap one before being overtaken by Mark Blackwelder(Gentle Lovers). Sheppard (Santa Cruz) bridged and then attacked on the run up quickly building an eight second lead that seemed poised to disappear at any momment.
Chasing was a motivated Carl Decker (Giant Bicycles) sporting some fine looking Dura Ace carbon tubulars, Ben Thompson (Sunnyside Sport/Bend Elite), Shannon and Solomon. After a half hour the lead was 15 seconds until Sheppard ramped up three sucsessivly faster laps in a row. This act ballooned the time gap to a minute as the chasers seemed unsettled with who was going to take up the chase. Thompson would crash with three to go while Shannon and Decker posted a photo finish in that order behind the Santa Cruz rider.
Asked why he didn't make the effort to chase UCI points this weekend Sheppard smiled and said, 'My budget didn't really warrent travelling to race in Boulder. The best part about the Cross Crusade is that I can drive two and half hours, eat waffles, race fast guys on great courses, and have people stay to watch the show!' Job well done in Oregon!
Of note 17 year old Jacob Rathe (Redline) posted an impressive 6th place with the A's. Watch out for this name in the future.
Men A - 10 laps
1. Chris Sheppard (Santa Cruz/CMG Mortgage)
2. Shannon Skerritt (Vanilla Bicycles)
3. Carl Decker (Giant)
4. Solomon Woras (Vanilla /Stumptown coffee)
5. BenThompson (Sunnyside Sports)
6. Jacob Rathe (Redline)
Women A - 5 laps
1. Emily VanMeter (River City Bicycles)
2. BridgetteStoick (River City Bicycles)
3. Dani Dance (River City Bicycles)
4. Patty Buerkle (Vanderkitten)
5. Tina Brubaker (Vanilla Bicycles)
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