October 10, 2005 – With only one bit of elevation on the course to separate the strongest riders in Sunday’s second stop of the 2005 Crank Brothers US Grand Prix of Cyclocross, the 80-meter long Kona Knapp Time Run-Up proved a pivotal point in Sunday’s Rad Racing Gran Prix of Cyclocross at Fort Steilacoom Park in Tacoma, Wash. While the Elite Women’s race went to Canada’s Lyne Bessette (Cyclocrossworld-Louis Garneau) for the second day in a row, a tactical 60 minutes of racing unfolded in the Elite Men’s event, with cyclocross veteran Mark McCormack (Team Clif Bar) getting the best of the argument in a sprint finish.
Showing top form for the opening of the season, Bessette soloed off the front of a bewildered women’s field, chalking up her second win in as many days and her third win in the last week. While unable to put a dent into Bessette’s margin a chase group of four materialized Ã± Barbara Howe (Velo Bella), Ann Knapp (Kona), Wendy Simms (Kona), and Georgia Gould, winner of the FOCUS First Lap prize. With Bessette long gone, the chasing quartet lined up to sprint out the final two spots on the podium. Howe came over the top of Knapp and Simms for second, her best-ever finish in a US Gran Prix race. Knapp rounded out the podium.
While Saturday’s winner, Ryan Trebon (Kona Les Gets), tried another off-the-front effort in Tacoma, a better prepared Elite Men’s field was having none of it. A high end group of seven chased down Trebon before the halfway point, turning the race into a series of tactical attacks, thrusts, and parries. With nearly 20 years of cyclocross racing to his credit, McCormack used his accumulated wile in concert with legendary brute strength to push the pace and weed out the pretenders the second-to-last time up the Knapp Time Run-up. With the other riders back on their heels, McCormack drove home an impressive sprint to win the race ahead of Trebon and Tim Johnson (Cyclocrossworld-Louis Garneau). Andy Jacque-Maynes (Specialized) won the Elite Men’s FOCUS First Lap prize as the race’s fastest rider on the opening lap of the Fort Steilacoom Park. Elite Men
1. Mark McCormack (Team Clif Bar)
2. Ryan Trebon (Kona Les Gets)
3. Tim Johnson (Cyclocrossworld-Louis Garneau)
4. Geoff Kabush (Maxxis)
5. Barry Wicks (Kona Les Gets)
1. Lyne Bessette (Cyclocrossworld-Louis Garneau)
2. Barbara Howe (Velo Bella)
3. Wendy Simms (Kona)
4. Ann Knapp (Kona)
5. Georgia Gould