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Waiting nets win for Stevenson at Boulder Cyclocross Series race #4

November 18, 2012

Russell Stevenson gaps Spencer Powlison, followed by Brandon Dwight, and Zane Godby

[updated 11/28/2012]

Russell Stevenson of Boulder Cycle Sport celebrated a win in the men’s open race at the Boulder Cyclocross Series race #4 yesterday at Valmont Park. The day ended with multiple celebrations, one of which would continue later over a racing couple’s dinner table.

Kate Powlison (Panache Cyclewear – Horizon Organic) won the women’s open race for a second time in this year’s series to maintain the series lead over second place Kristin Weber of Boulder Cycle Sport. Powlison’s husband, Spencer Powlison, went home as series leader as well. He finished second in the men’s open race, gaining enough points to steal the series lead from Robin Eckmann (California Giant Berry Farms / Specialized) who didn’t start race #4.

Zane Godby (Clif Bar) contested the men’s open race too; he turned eighteen on Saturday and marked the occasion by pulling a wheelie as he crossed the finish line in eighth place.

Zane Godby’s finish line wheelie

Just ahead of Godby, Gage Hecht (International Christian Cycling Club) ended his race seventh, behind Pete Webber of Boulder Cycle Sport who at age 42 is three times older than Hecht. Webber and Hecht rode for most of the race together or as part of a group of five or six who proved the strongest after Stevenson and Powlison.

Spencer Powlison defends his lead over the chase group

Men’s open race action

Powlison took an early lead on a warm day for November with Stevenson on his tail. Just behind them Godby and Stevenson’s teammate Brandon Dwight tried to catch on.

Stevenson said after the race that he shadowed Powlison for the first two laps because he was “playing the teammate,” waiting for Dwight to bridge up to them. “And then as soon as they were essentially on our wheel,” Stevenson said, “I punched it on the climb because that was really where you could get separation, the two up-and-backs on the climbs.”

Dwight unfortunately crashed, and Godby lost his early speed, leaving Powlison to chase Stevenson. Powlison’s efforts couldn’t close the gap to Stevenson, which grew to thirty seconds by the end of the race, but was sufficient to hold off the chase group less than 20 seconds behind him.

With two laps to go Hecht accelerated to the front of the chase group to take third position on the course behind Powlison. He couldn’t hold off the others, especially Ken Benesh of Feedback Sports. Benesh finished third, celebrating with a smile as he crossed the finish line with Taylor Carrington on his wheel.

Ken Benesh leads Taylor Carrington near the end of the race

The first Boulder Cyclocross Series race this year also took place at Valmont Park. Some of the best Colorado-based riders in the discipline lined-up to race. Ben Berden and Allen Krughoff of Raleigh-Clement rode away from the field for first and second places and Benesh completed the podium with third. Other events have vied for riders’ attention on the days of the subsequent series contests, which has varied the depth of the field from race to race.

Stevenson still enjoyed his win while acknowledging the absence of several heavy favorites. “When you take [Danny] Summerhill and Ben Berden, even Allen Krughoff, and Yannick [Eckmann], you take those guys out of the equation it kind of leaves guys like me and Spencer and Brandon to fight it out,” Stevenson said. He didn’t seem to miss those guys on Saturday, agreeing that their absence could be considered positive. “It’s a good thing,” he said, laughing, “because you’re excited that you might be able to win.”

Describing himself as a stay-at-home dad, Stevenson works as a sales rep for Voler clothing and has a six month-old son. He plans to race at cyclocross nationals and worlds. Stevenson celebrated a second win in one weekend by winning Alpha Cross today.

One race remains in the Boulder Cyclocross Series. It’s scheduled for December 8 at Boulder Reservoir.

Russell and Nikole Stevenson and son

Top ten, men’s open race #4

1 56:33.2 Russell Stevenson Boulder Cycle Sport
2 57:04.9 Spencer Powlison Evol Elite Racing p/b Pharmaca
3 57:07.1 Ken Benesh Feedback Sports
4 57:07.3 Taylor Carrington
5 57:20.7 Michael Robson Moots
6 57:27.0 Peter Webber Boulder Cycle Sport
7 57:47.7 Gage Hecht International Christian Cycling Club
8 58:12.1 Zane Godby Clif Bar
9 58:38.4 Josh Whitney Evol Elite Racing p/b Pharmaca
10 58:42.0 Ward Baker Team Kappius

xxx

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