Round 2 of the 2013 Kenda Cup West Series — also the kickoff for this season’s Cannondale Triple Crown presented by Muscle Milk — made tracks yet again at Bonelli Park in San Dimas, California, on a typical spring day in the sprawl of L.A. It was cool, overcast and foggy early, then cleared and warmed to almost summerlike temperatures just in time for brunch.
This was not your father’s Bonelli Park, however. The Kenda/Cannondale U.S. Cup crew worked overtime to cut in a significant amount of new singletrack that presented Pro and Category 1 riders with numerous teeth-rattling descents and tricky, rocky, off-camber turns. This course was also punctuated with an abundance of man-made “features” to help make it similar to contemporary World Cup layouts. It was punchy, technical terrain.
Photos By Phil Beckman/PB Creative
The man of the hour was the versatile veteran Jeremiah Bishop (Sho-Air/Cannondale), who made the sponsors proud by flying away from the early leader, Canadian Raphael Gagne (Rocky Mountain), and former National Champion and Olympian Todd Wells (Specialized). These three had built a substantial gap on a field of more than 75 Pro Men by mid-race, and by that time is was just a matter of which podium steps they’d be occupying at the end. Bishop’s attack was stunning, and at the line he had pulled ahead of Gagne by over a minute. Bishop’s winning time was 1:25:28. Wells rolled in more than a minute after the impressive Gagne.
The earlier Pro Women’s foray had a number of athletes shuffling the top of the order early, but after a half hour it had settled down to a lead trio of Lea Davison (Specialized), Emily Batty (Trek) and an entry that had many mountain bike fans scratching their heads: Lesley Paterson (Scott Bikes). Paterson is a native of Scotland now living in San Diego who spends most of her energy winning big-time triathlons (she’s a two-time XTERRA World Champion). Paterson came from well back to reel in Batty and Davison, then moved clear on the last lap to claim gold by 20 seconds.
For more on the US Cup Kenda Cup West Series and other upcoming mountain bike events please visit SoCalCycling.com’s Mountain Bike Calendar.
Reports & Photos By Phil Beckman/PB Creative