- by Christopher Jones
- Published: 10 June 2009
Press Release: This past weekend’s third round of the US Cup series in Birmingham, Alabama saw a lot of focus on the Subaru-Gary Fisher squad. First, it was the official unveiling of the Team’s new ten-speed SRAM XX group. Second, the new full-suspension carbon 29er, Superfly 100 was debuted, and Sam Schultz opted to race it. Third, JHK celebrated his 100th National series podium (Congratulations).
Held in Oak Mountain State Park just south of Birmingham, Alabama, the race course featured some great single track trails and punchy technical climbs. These same course conditions also made it difficult to race, as the trail was just wide enough for single file racing. With limited passing opportunities, long trains of riders streamed through the woods. And often gaps opened as slower riders blocked trailing racers. Determined not to miss any race opportunities, JHK was consistently driving the tempo. Despite JHK’s best efforts he could not drop the five rider group on the final lap and ended having to battle all the way to the finish line in a two-man, and ended up with the consolation prize of second place. He also now stands second overall in the Tour standings, just five points outside of first place.
Sam opted to debut the new Superfly100 full-suspension bike at the race as well. He felt it helped to float over the handful of rock gardens and really rail the turns in the woods. Despite a less than stellar day with a sixteenth place finish, Sam still retains his fifth place standing in the series.
Like the men’s the race, the women also saw several small groups of riders break away. Both Heather and Willow had positioned themselves well after the fast start, however, Willow’s day came to a crashing end when she wiped out on a high speed section on the first lap. She suffered some minor cuts, bruises and a slight concussion.
Heather rode a good race, despite losing contact with the lead group of three riders after having been slowed by Willow?s crash in front of her. She finished in sixth within the chase group of riders. She still stands fourth in series rankings.
Next up for the squad is the fourth round of the US Pro XC Tour in Colorado Springs, Colorado in two weeks. In the interim, JHK and Heather will race the Teva Games in Vail, while Willow tackles the Ashland, Oregon 12-mile SuperD race.
Website: Team Subaru Gary Fisher