Canadian Cyclist


March 30/07 10:11 am - Nova National

Posted by Editoress on 03/30/07

Horgan-Kobelski and Gould Take First Wins of U.S. MTB Season


The Nova National opened the North American mountain biking season on Friday, with a couple of U.S. Olympic hopefuls showing that they are building their form nicely with the World Cup season less than a month away. Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Subaru-Gary Fisher) took a nine second victory over Adam Craig (Giant) to win the men's time trial, while Pan Am champion Georgia Gould (Luna Chix) was 20 seconds in front of team mate Katerina Nash in the women's race. Canada had only one rider in the men's race - Matt Hadley (Rocky Mountain-Haywood) who finished 23rd - and two in the women's - Mical Dyck (Trek) in 8th and Melanie McQuaid (BMC) in 10th.

The Nova National has a long history as the season opener for North American mountain biking, stretching back to the early Nineties, when John Tomac and Alison Sydor (Rocky Mountain-Haywood) were racking up wins in the Specialized Cactus Cup. Held at the McDowell Mountain Regional Park, the organizers have access to a network of permanent trails through the sage brush and cacti.

The time trial took the riders on a twisty loop that included one longer climb of two minutes and lots of rollers. Of equal difficulty was the dusty gravel on the trails, which could send a rider off into the nasty, barbed Cholla cactus if they weren't careful. It was just as important to be smooth on this course as it was to be fast.

Horgan-Kobelski was first off in the men's field, sporting the Number 1 plate of defending champion. It proved to be prophetic, as he powered to a convincing win ahead of Craig with a time of 19:44. Horgan-Kobelski and Craig would prove to be the only two riders to go under 20 minutes. Ross Schnell (Trek) took third with a time of 20:12, followed by two U23 riders - Sam Schultz (Subaru-Gary Fisher) in fourth (20:29) and U23 USA team rider Sam Jurekovic a couple of tenths further back.

The Subaru-Gary Fisher rider had something to prove, after a sub-optimum performance at the Pan Am Championships in Argentina a couple of weeks ago (he finished 5th).

"Yeah, this makes me pretty happy; I was sick at the Pan Ams and couldn't have the race I wanted. These races, Nova and Sea Otter, build towards the World Cup (in Houffalize, Belgium), so I am happy with where I'm at; it means I have a pretty solid foundation."

"I just wanted to race the time trial for fun, for training", Horgan-Kobelski explained. "So I eased into the effort, but I hit the climb as hard as I could. It felt good; I was cornering well, riding it smooth. This was a good test today."

Horgan-Kobelski also made an interesting equipment choice - a Gary Fisher 29er with a single chain ring. "The 29er was definitely the right choice. There were a bunch of difficult, drifty corners where you could get into a lot of trouble, but I was able to do some two-wheel drifts. It also smoothed out the rough trail sections, especially on the climb. I did blow one corner, and hit a cactus but, all things considered, it was a clean run."

Gould, looking mid-season fit, was the only woman to go under 23 minutes. Despite being a little more tentative than some of the other women on the drop off descent before the climb, Gould rode powerfully.

"It was a good ride for me; I felt consistent all ride. It was a bit of a funny course - you can only go so fast or you overcook the turns. There were a couple of times that I had to slam on the brakes in the middle of a turn, but overall I felt pretty smooth. I tried to be steady, because even the 'long' climb was only a couple of minutes."

The Nova National continues on Saturday with a fat tire criterium downtown in neighbouring Fountain Hills, followed by the cross-country on Sunday.

Race Notes

- A number of top competitors passed on the time trial, because the Nova National is not a stage race, and only the cross-country awards UCI points (UCI C2). Among those not racing the time trial were a strong Canadian contingent, including Rocky Mountain-Haywood riders Alison Sydor, Max Plaxton and new signing Seamus McGrath. The Canadian Maxxis duo of Geoff Kabush and Mat Toulouse skipped the event, as did Wendy Simms (Kona). Other's missing the event were Subaru-Gary Fisher's Heather Irmiger (under the weather) and Willow Koerber, Trek's Sue Haywood, Kenda's Michael Broderick and Mary McConneloug, and GT's Todd Wells


1. Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Trek) 19:44
2. Adam Craig (Giant) 19:53
3. Ross Schnell (Trek), 20:12
4. Sam Schultz (Subaru Gary Fisher), 20:29
5. Sam Jurekovic (USA U23), s.t.
6. Jeremiah Bishop (Subaru Gary Fisher), 20:35
7. Travis Brown (Trek) 20:39

23. Matt Hadley (Rocky Mountain Haywood), 21:54


1. Georgia Gould (Luna Chix), 22:47
2. Katerina Nash (Luna Chix), 23:07
3. Jenna Zander (Cannondale), 23:36
4. Kelli Emmit (Giant) 23:39
5. Jennifer Smith (Trek), 23:40

8. Mical Dyck (Trek) 24:14
10. Melanie McQuaid (BMC) 24:14

1. Georgia Gould (USA) Luna Womens MTB22:47.52
2. Katerina Nash (USA) Luna Womens MTB Team23:07.76
3. Jenna Zander (USA) Bear Naked/Cannondale23:36.73
4. Kelli Emmett (USA) Giant23:39.31
5. Jennifer Smith (USA) Trek-VW23:40.41
6. Zephanie Blasi (USA) Kenda/X-Fusion/Titus23:47.50
7. Nina Baum (USA) Bear Naked/Cannondale23:54.33
8. Mical Dyck (Can) Trek/Terrascape Racing24:14.41
9. Chloe Forsman (USA) Luna Womens MTB Team24:17.53
10. Melanie McQuaid (Can) Bmc/Natures Path24:18.16
11. Shonny Vanlandingham (USA) Luna Womens MTB Team24:35.56
12. Megan Monroe (USA) BMC-Sports Garage25:03.06
13. Carolyn Popovic (USA) Trek-VW East Coast25:05.81
14. Jennifer Gersbach (USA) Bmc/Sports Garage25:07.65
15. Sara Bresnick-Zocchi (USA) Lynskey Performance25:12.45
16. Sue Butler (USA) Bear Naked/Cannondale MTB Tm25:17.99
17. Monique Sawicki (USA) Ergon/Ellsworth25:28.79
18. Stacey Scanlan (USA) Team Tamarack25:42.95
19. Sarah Barber (USA) Titus/Kenda/X-Fusion25:52.73
20. Sonya Looney (USA) Tough Girl Cycling25:54.84
21. Jennifer Sica (USA) Deft Cycling/Schampa26:02.04
22. Mandy Eakins (USA) Pass Physical Therapy26:34.71
23. Kristina Maier (USA) Bmc/Sports Garage26:38.42
24. Jana Repulski (USA) Team Tamarack Resort26:55.81
25. Patricia Buerkle (USA) Tahoe Northstar/Giant27:14.18
26. Natasha Cowie (USA) Velo Bella/Kona27:19.66
27. Alexandria Fabbro (USA) Velo Bella27:38.41
28. Christie Pleiss (USA) Pass Physical Therapy28:10.26
1. Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (USA) Subaru-Gary Fisher19:44.10
2. Adam Craig (USA) Giant19:53.72
3. Ross Schnell (USA) Trek-VW20:12.53
4. Sam Schultz (USA) Subaru-Gary Fisher20:26.37
5. Sam Jurekovic (USA) U23 National Team20:29.93
6. Jeremiah Bishop (USA) Trek-VW20:35.15
7. Travis Brown (USA) Trek/FRS20:37.96
8. Colin Cares (USA) U23 National Team20:45.78
9. Jeff Schalk (USA) Trek VW- East20:47.21
10. Andy Schultz (USA) Bear Naked/Cannondale20:54.97
11. Jay Henry (USA) Ind21:04.02
12. Nick Martin (USA) Trek-VW21:06.88
13. Keiitchi Tsujiura (JPN) Bridgestone Anchor21:14.18
14. Ryan Woodall (USA) Premier Mortgage Fundin/Titus/21:14.60
15. Bart Gillespie (USA) Mona Vie/Cannondale21:19.89
16. Michael Janelle (USA) Tokyo Joes/Catlin21:29.63
17. Thomas Turner (USA) Bear Naked/Cannondale21:33.86
18. Brian Fuentes (USA) Waltworks/Fuentes Designs21:38.41
19. Damion Calvert (USA) Bear Naked/Cannondale21:42.40
20. Grant Kier (USA) Redbarnbicycles.Com21:42.90
21. Brig Brandt (USA) Bend Elite21:48.92
22. Troy Wells (USA) Tokyo Joes21:52.09
23. Matthew Hadley (Can) Rocky Mountain -Haywood21:54.16
24. Nat Ross (USA) Subaru-Gary Fisher21:54.49
25. Eric Ransom (USA) Team Tamarack Resort21:55.03
26. Travis Woodruff (USA) Momentumendurance.Com21:57.10
27. Noah Singer (USA) Mercy Development Cycling21:57.49
28. Bruce Muhlfeld (USA) Trek-VW21:57.51
29. Cody Peterson (USA) Scott Bicycles21:58.94
30. Rick Wetherald (USA) Tamarack Resort21:59.37
31. Michael Tobin (USA) Georges22:01.87
32. Bryan Fawley (USA) Kenda/X-Fusion/Titus22:03.04
33. Raita Suzuki (Jpn) Bridgestone Anchor22:06.36
34. Aaron Snyder (USA) Ind22:06.71
35. Keith Hickerson (USA) Tamarack22:07.87
36. Kelly Magelky (USA) BMC/Sports Garage22:09.24
37. Yuki Saito (USA) Fuentes Design/Walt Works22:11.33
38. Leonardo Sandoval (USA) Socal Specialized Team22:15.86
39. Ryan Lynch (USA) James Frames/Mafia22:16.39
40. Glenn Fant (USA) Ind22:16.57
41. Trevor Downing (USA) Bear Valley Bikes22:16.90
42. Paul Hanson (USA) Bear Naked/Cannondale22:27.58
43. Eric Neat (USA) Deft Cycling/Schampa22:34.06
44. Andrew Freye (USA) Bikeman.Com/Salsa Cycles22:41.74
45. Daniel Corum (USA) Inland/Btd22:43.40
46. Bryan Alders (USA) Mona-Vie/Cannondale22:47.32
47. Scott Keller (USA) Deft Cycling22:47.76
48. Michael Raney (USA) Voo-Doo22:53.20
49. Brandon Dragelin (USA) Bear Naked/Cannondale22:57.76
50. Kyle Hammaker (USA) Ind23:06.10
51. Shun Matsumoto (Jpn) Trek Japan23:10.07
52. Charlie Pendry (USA) Inland - Btd23:32.20
53. Mcconnell Franklin (USA) Devo23:51.95
54. Sloane Anderson (USA) Clifbar/Smith24:30.87
55. Dave Harrison (USA) Reddrox/Tamarack Resort25:51.88


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