October 4, 2005 – After a solid week of Interbike festivities in Las Vegas, NV, Team Maxxis patted off the dust, pumped up the tires and hit the barriers at the FSA/Tona Cerveza Star Crossed Cyclocross extravaganza. This event is undoubtedly one of the finest cross races in the country – great athletes, great venue and huge crowds. Held at night under the lights at the Marymoor Velodrome, thousands of spectators enjoy top level racing built on a creative course that snakes its way up, down, around and through the grounds of Seattle’s only velo track.
With the inevitable delays associated with cross parts and equipment, mechanic extraordinaire Gary Wolff was able to cobble a bike for star Geoff Kabush – all while walking the show floor in Sin City. Hitting the line for the start, K-Bomb had enjoyed less than seven hours of training for the month of September, including the show, holiday in Italy and World Champs. To say the least, fitness was a large question mark. Of course that question mark was erased immediately as the starting pistol blasted into the night sky.
Joining Kabush at the head of the race, Barry Wicks and Ryan Trebon (Kona), Tim Johnson and Jonny Sundt (Jittery Joes-Kalahari) and Carl Decker (Giant) pushed the pace and easily accelerated away from the remainder of the peleton. For the first four laps, Decker chased just off the pace with Wicks off the front and the rest of the group working through a decidedly difficult par course. The ground itself had been churned into peanut butter after hundreds of amateur riders braved an incredible thunderstorm complete with hail, sleet, rain, lightning and thunder. A commonly yelled phrase heard around the venue was “Really, it NEVER rains like that here”. Nearing the fifteen minute mark, Wicks was alone at the front with Kabush and Johnson chasing hard while Trebon spent his time either sitting in and resting, tipping it over in the corners or rocketing down the straight away like an NHRA funny car, entertaining to one and all.
With only eight laps remaining Wicks, Kabush and Johnson had been caught by the hard charging defending champ Carl Decker. Without wasting time, Decker sliced through the lead group and launched an impressive attack. Wicks closed down the real estate leaving Kabush dangling just off the two leaders pace and a fading Johnson further in arrears. At three laps to go, Decker surged once again leaving Wicks behind once and for all. Kabush struggled through lapped riders and was just able to close to the Kona riders rear wheel. With half a lap remaining, Decker was able to sit up and start celebrating his victory. Over the run up, over the barriers and into the final set of corners, Kabush and Wicks were wheel to wheel with each fighting to take over the other. Down the final fifty-meter finishing straight the two riders were elbow-to-elbow and knee-to-knee. At the line it was nearly a photo finish with Wicks just edging out Kabush for the silver medal. After a four year hiatus from cross racing, Jittery Joes-Kalahari rider Tim Johnson crossed the line for fourth with BRI rider Russell Stevenson taking the final podium position for the day.
1. Carl Decker – Giant
2. Barry Wicks – Kona
3. Geoff Kabush – Team Maxxis
4. Tim Johnson – Jittery Joes-Kalahari
5. Russell Stevenson – BRI