With US Mountain Bike Championships wrapping up this past weekend in Granby, Colorado. The Subaru-Trek team raced their Gary Fisher Collection Superfly 100 and Superfly hardtails to all but the top step of the podium.
All total the team scored eight podium finishes among the five riders in five separate events. Call it fate or just being symbiotic couple, but husband and wife team members both captured silver in the cross-country competition. As defending champions they were under pressure to repeat and to bookend their recent marathon championship titles. Unfortunately, in both scenarios, stronger riders managed to out ride Jeremy and Heather to capture the crown.
JHK had these comments after the race. “Winning a sixth XC National Championship was one of my goals heading into the 2010 season. And, while I didn't quite manage it - I came as close as I could - and nonetheless turned in satisfying performances yet again at the National Championships. I showed up at the start line prepared, fit and healthy, and left my best effort out on the race course. Despite being good for second place, I'm happy with my effort, and I rode a nearly flawless race both climbing and descending. I chose to race the Superfly 100 again, and the bike was incredible virtually everywhere on the challenging course.”
Like her husband and teammate, Heather had no real regrets about her silver medal ride.
“Warming up, I new that if someone was going to beat me, they would have to have a truly outstanding ride. Another repeat national title was certainly my goal - I rode very strong to a second in a very talented US women's field. Turns out that winning such a prestigious title is no small feat and I'm proud to say I've done it...and will certainly do it again in the coming years!"
Willow complimented Heather’s second place with a third place of her own in the cross-country. She rode a very consistent, calculated race to avoid any major issues. Granted she and Heather both managed to flat their front tire in the same spot on the course just in separate laps. Luckily, they were near the technical assistance zone, so avoided any major time losses to competitors. Sam had tried to hang with JHK and the race winner for the first two laps, but didn’t realize that he had gone a bit over his limit. About a lap later the heat, altitude, and blistering pace of the leaders took their toll as he struggled across the line in eight place.
The previous day, the elite riders had cheered on Russell as he raced to a third place in his first under-23 championship. He had been in the mix for most of the five lap race until heading into the second to last lap when the paced set by more senior riders forced him to loose contact. He was still super excited about his third place result in his freshman year both of college this fall and U23 competition.
Sunday’s short-track saw the squad duke it out again for the stars-n-stripes jersey. Willow lead the charge for a few laps before cracking a bit from the altitude and heat. She regained composure and mounted a late charge to regain the final podium spot of fifth. Heather crossed in third to give her a 1-2-3 in national championship races between marathon, cross-country and short-track championships.
After Saturday’s result, Sam was fired up for redemption in the short-track. He had a great start and lead the opening lap, before more attacks began. He and JHK both took pulls trying to reel in the leading rider, as the Superfly 29er train tore around in hot pursuit. JHK tired one last ditch attempt to close down the gap but was unsuccessful. Forcing him to accept defeat and second place. A surging rider caught Sam on the final lap, relegating him to fourth. Russell rounded out the day in thirteenth.
The team now travels to Champery, Switzerland and Val di Sole, Italy for the next two World Cup rounds. Stay tuned for more news as the 2010 Subaru-Trek team races around the globe.