Report courtesy of Eric Wallace team manager Volvo/Cannondale mtn. bike team
Telluride 360 Festival. 14/07/2002. Two stage MTB race.
Racing into Thin Air! Telluride 360 Festival
In the heat and elevation of Telluride Colorado, the 360 Degree Sports Festival
kicked off with Friday's Elite Men's long course cross country event. Although
small in stature with only 25 men, the racing itself proved to be fast, furious
and very competitive. With temperatures nearing 90 degrees at an elevation of
8750 feet the race battle itself was as much rider against themselves as rider
On the starting grid, both Volvo-Cannondale riders Christoph Sauser and Kashi
Leuchs enjoyed front line call-ups along with Ryder Hesjdal (Subaru-Gary
Fisher), Travis Brown (Trek-Volkswagen), Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (RLX-Polo Sport)
and Frank Mapel (Specialized). From the starting whistle, Sauser immediately
jumped to the front followed by Hesjdal and Leuchs with the rest of the field
strung out behind. The majority of the 5.1 mile course proved to be climbing
with nearly 1100 feet of elevation gain per lap. On the opposite side of the
course, the descent was extremely dusty with sharp rocks and fast, technical
switchbacks. At the end of the first lap, Sauser had gained a 48 second
advantage over hard charging teammate Kashi Leuchs. As the race progressed, both
riders continued to open up the gaps to third place.
It the line it was Swiss National Champion, Sauser with the victory. A time gap
of over three minutes later, an overjoyed Leuchs saluted the crowd with his
second place finish. A further two minutes down third place finisher Travis
Brown crossed the line.
Short Track Saturday dawned with the same beautiful blue skies and sunny weather
as the previous day. With a 3:30 start, the elite men had plenty of time for
autographs and a brief stint on the superb local single-track. Both Sauser and
Leuchs were looking to solidify their XC results and take home the overall
omnium prize. As per history, Hesjdal attacked from the gun opening a quick 10
second lead to the chase group of Sauser, Leuchs, Horgan-Kobelski and Frank
Mapel. The race progressed with Hesjdal maintaining his lead, Sauser dropping
back and Kashi Leuchs taking up the charge. At the final it was Hesjdal, Leuchs,
Horgan-Kobelski, Mapel and Sauser.
The omnium podium gave Leuchs the overall top position with Hesjdal in second
and Sauser third.
Final Standings Men
1. Leuchs, 4 points
2. Hesjedal, 6
3. Sauser, 6
4. Mapel, 10
5. Henry, 10
Vote for Kashi!!