For the first time in five years, a World Cup race made it to the shores of America, as Windham, New York hosted the final round this past weekend. This ski resort in this Catskill town had hosted US series events the past two years as a lead up to the World Cup finale. Organizer, racers and spectators alike were looking forward to the race for titles.
One person looking to grab a title was Willow Koerber who headed into the event in third place in the overall. Expectations were also high for her to have a strong finish, since she won her first national series cross-country event last year at Windham, since 2004. With the organizers just adding only a bit more climbing and new technical descent to the previous course version, the 5.5 kilometer course with its intermittent climbs followed by fast technical descents suited her talents. Unfortunately, the stars were not aligned for Willow, as she could only muster a sixth place result for the day. It did allowed her to capture the silver medal position for the World Cup overall, which is the best overall placing by an American in the past three seasons. While disappointed she did not capture the World Cup overall title, Willow was very pleased with her finish, as evident by these remarks. “I am super excited to be second overall in the world cup. Now all my focus can go to my biggest dream. . . to be the world champion.”
After struggling to find her legs at the beginning of the race, Heather found her rhythm and began passing riders on the both the undulating climbs and fast rocky descents. She finish just outside of the top-10 in eleventh, which was her second best podium since the opening round at Dalby Forest, UK. Heather also managed to finish in the top-20 in the overall in seventeenth.
Sam’s twenty-second place finish was the top-American for the event. After having gotten caught up in a crash in the opening 500 meters he managed to move up during the six laps of the course. With his confidence boosted after some disheartening results at the last two European rounds, Sam had these comments. “I focused on steadily moving up and having a lot of people to pass was good for my morale. I chose to race the Superfly 100 and it was awesome. I felt like I saved a bunch of energy throughout the course and was able to rail the descents.”
You can see his post race interview and report here, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0uFRhoNHNYA&feature=player_embedded
JHK had a clean start and found himself inside the top-30 for most of the race, before a punctured rear tire on the descent with two laps remaining forced him to pull into the pits for a replacement. With the technical dropping him back, he finished the day in forty-second. JHK rounded out the World Cup series in 32nd overall with Sam just a few places behind in 36th.
The team now turns it’s attention north to Quebec, Canada and the world mountain bike championships this weekend at Mont-Sainte-Anne. Stay tuned for more news as the 2010 Subaru-Trek team races around the globe.