SONOMA, Calif. (IMMEDIATE RELEASE) — A pair of Colorado riders dominated things at Infineon Raceway on Thursday at the 2006 USA Cycling National Mountain Bike Championships, brought to you by X-Fusion.
The four-day event began on Thursday in the Sonoma Valley, with Melissa Thomas and Travis Brown taking the wins in the Marathon National Championship, contested on a challenging and rugged 7.7-mile course at Infineon Raceway. The championships are part of the Infineon Cougar Mountain Classic.
This marks the first year Infineon Raceway has hosted the most prestigious mountain bike race weekend in the country — the championships were originally planned for Mammoth Mountain but had to be relocated after a record amount of snowfall this winter.
Brown, from Durango, Colo., pulled away from Trek/Volkswagen teammate Chris Eatough on the last lap Thursday to win his second consecutive Marathon National championship in 4:38.55. Eatough was second (4:39.08), with Jay Henry of Vail, Colo., riding for 3D, third (4:46.10). Brown covered nine laps and 69.3 miles over the grueling 7.7-mile course to take home the coveted stars and stripes jersey.
“Our strategy coming into the race was to get as many Trek riders in front as possible,” Brown said. “I took the gloves off when I knew one of us (Brown and Eatough) would win. I was able to save enough energy so that I could attack hard on the last lap. This race has been the focus of my whole season.”
It was the first Marathon National Championship for Thomas, from Boulder, Colo. She is a regular in the Xterra World Championships (combination of mountain biking and running), but had never contested for a marathon title. She led wire-to-wire on Thursday, covering eight laps and 61.3 miles in 5:29.36. San Jose’s Louise Kobin (X-Fusion) was second at 5:50.20, with Hawaii’s Monique Sawicki (Sho-Air) third at 5:56.11.
“This course was good but rough at times,” said Thomas, sporting her stars and stripes jersey. “It was a really long, fast course, which I prefer to courses where all you do is climb, climb, climb. It was a power course, a fast course.”
Action returns on Friday at Infineon Raceway with the Cross Country National Championships for both men and women. More than 2,500 competitors are expected for the entire weekend, which will see 12 national mountain biking champions crowned.
There will also be road cycling on the raceway’s 12-turn, 2.52-mile road course, as well as many activities in the main paddock for both adults and children. The weekend will also feature the Tour de France Lounge, which will show a loop of all the action from the Tour de France. The lounge opens daily at 6:30 a.m. and features coffee, pastries, spin-bikes for athletes and massages.
Tickets for the race weekend are $10 per day per vehicle, or $20 for a three-day parking pass. Call 800-870-RACE or visit www.cmclassic.com.
USA Cycling National Mountain Bike Championships
SONOMA, Calif. – Final results Thursday from Infineon Raceway for the professional men’s and women’s categories at the 2006 USA Cycling National Mountain Bike Championships, brought to you by X-Fusion. Team and hometown in parenthesis:
Marathon National Championship
Pro Men (69.3 miles, 9 laps)
1. Travis Brown (Trek/Volkswagen, Boulder, CO)
2. Chris Eatough (Trek/Volkswagen, Elliot City, MD)
3. Jay Henry (NA, Avon, CO)
4. Michael Lee (Trek/Volkswagen/JB, Mission Viejo)
5. Michael Janelle (Tokyo Joe’s, Avon, CO)
6. Nat Ross (Subaru-GAR, Vail, CO)
7. Troy Barry (Cal Giant, Victor, ID)
8. Yuri Hauswald (Soulcraft, Petaluma)
9. Karl Etzel (Ride424.CO, San Jose)
10. A.J. Ataie (Pegasus Bicycles, Danville)
DNF Chris McGovern (Sierra Nevada, Nevada City)
DNF Richard Nielson (Gilroy)
DNF Clint Muhlfeld (Sportsman, Whitefish, MT)
Pro Women (61.6 miles, 8 laps)
1. Melissa Thomas ( Tokyo Joe’s, Boulder, CO)
2. Louise Kobin (X-Fusion, San Jose)
3. Monique Sawicki (Sho-Air/TE, Mililani, HI)
4. Josie Beggs (Starbucks, Capitola)
5. Kristy Lanier-Mantz (Dirtbean, Marlinton, WV)
6. Rebecca Rusch (Specialize, Ketchum, ID)
7. Many Eakins (NA, Newport Beach)
DNF Timar Prius (Gardnerville, NV)
DNF Christy Murphy (Soulcraft, Novato)
DNS Kote Driscoll (Chumba/Boo, San Luis Obispo)
VP of Media/Community Relations
Highways 37 &121, Sonoma, CA 95476
Results 1 to 1 of 1