Chris Sheppard, Sue Butler win 2010 Cross Crusade opener in Portland

The series kickoff at Alpenrose Dairy draws more than 1,500 riders and breaks a one-day participation record

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Race 1, 2010 Cross Crusade, Chris Sheppard
Chris Sheppard went solo with about 40 minutes remaining in the men's race. Photo: Pat Malach |

Rocky Mountain Bicycles’ Chris Sheppard made the most of a long-distance double weekend Sunday by winning the Cross Crusade series opener at Alpenrose Dairy in Portland. Sue Butler (Hudz-Subaru) decided to stay close to home for the weekend and easily won the women’s race.

More than 1,500 riders showed up for the first event of the 2010 Crusade series, breaking the one-day participation record set just last year at the same race. The official tally of 1,506 doesn’t include the 256 cutthroat racers who battled for glory in the Kiddie Kilo.

Sheppard, of Bend, raced Saturday at the UCI Kross-toberfest in San Dimas, California, where he placed seventh, and then flew back to Oregon for the Sunday afternoon race in Portland.

Sheppard had an eventful day Saturday, making a solo attack before crashing and injuring his left thumb.

“Yesterday I decided to do the middle half of the race off the front, and it was really stupid,” Sheppard said. “So today I was willing to sit back and watch a little bit.”

A “little bit” is about all the time Sheppard spent watching. Fellow Bend rider Damian Schmitt (Sunnyside Sports) powered off the front of the race from the starting gun and built a small lead on the field. Sheppard paused and then powered up to and past Schmitt about 20 minutes into the 60-minute race. From there, he set about the business of staying upright and maintaining his advantage.

With teammates Donald Reeb and Ben Thompson positioned in the first chase group along with Shannon Skerritt (Corsa Concepts), Erik Tonkin (Kona), Brett Luelling ( and Schmitt, Sheppard was able to benefit from some team dynamics despite not feeling smooth on the bike.

“I just kept steady, but really inefficient, like 70 rpm,” he said. “It seemed like I was humping my bike today.”

Sheppard fought his bike all the way to the line to win by 18 seconds over Skerritt, who won a two-up sprint for second over Reeb. Tonkin crossed the line about six seconds later for fourth. Thompson finished fifth, putting Rocky Mountain riders in three of the top five spots.

Butler rides carefully, commandingly

Race 1, 2010 Cross Crusade, Sue Butler
Sue Butler (Hudz-Subaru) wasted little time taking a big lead in the women's race. Photo: Pat Malach |

Portland’s dynamic pro Butler decided to skip this weekend’s UCI events in California and Massachusetts in favor of racing one of her favorite events in her own backyard. The Hudz-Subaru rider started building her advantage almost immediately and was quickly catching the tail end of the Masters A field, which had started the course minutes before the women.

“I was just picking my way through traffic,” Butler said of her early effort. “I saw Alice (Pennington) back there in every corner, and then finally I didn’t see her so I figured I was good.”

Like Sheppard, Butler focused on being steady and careful once she was off the front.

“I saw plenty of wipeouts on the back part of the course,” she said. “Guys were doing head plants because they went too fast into the bumpy stuff.”

Butler sailed over the course and by the finish had built a lead of several minutes over Team S&M’s Pennington, who scratched out a second-place finish ahead of last year’s overall winner Wendy Williams (River City Bicycles).

Williams’ teammate Brigette Brown crossed the line fourth, with Sunnyside Sports’ Serena Bishop grabbing fifth.

The win and the series lead went to Butler, who probably won’t be around enough this year to contest the overall series battle. Butler said she’s in the middle of a training block for the upcoming UCI races in Ohio and then a planned trip to Europe for the World Cups.

“I didn’t know how I’d feel today,” she said. “But I felt really good, so that’s encouraging.”

The Cross Crusade continues next Sunday, October 10, at Rainier High School.

Men’s A

  • 1. Chris Sheppard, Rocky Mountain Bicycles P/b Shimano
  • 2. Shannon Skerritt, Corsa Concepts
  • 3. Donald Reeb, Rocky Mountain Blues
  • 4. Erik Tonkin, Team S+m
  • 5. Ben Thompson, Rocky Mtn Bicycles
  • 6. Damian Schmitt, Sunnyside Sports
  • 7. Brett Luelling, Buy Local Cycling
  • 8. Michael Gallagher, P/t Blue
  • 9. Eric Sheagley, Veloce Racing
  • 10. Ian Brown, River City Bicycles/tonic Fab
  • 11. Brett Nichols, Scott Usa
  • 12. Ben Chaddock, Rubicon-Orbea Benefiting The Lance Armstrong Foundation
  • 13. Steven Hunter, Embrocation Cycling Journal
  • 14. Patrick Jackson, Buy Local Cycling
  • 15. Michael Benno, Veloce Racing
  • 16. Benjamin Kubas, Therapeutic Associates Cycling/genr8
  • 17. Tony Kic, Gentle Lovers
  • 18. Matthew Wills, Courage Cycles
  • 19. Eirik Schulz, Specialized River City Bicycles
  • 20. Ryan Weaver, River City Bicycles
  • 21. Seth Patla, River City Bicycles
  • 22. Neal Bibler, Team S+m
  • 23. Matt Fox, Sunnyside Sports
  • 24. Chad Swanson, Team S+m
  • 25. Steve Carwile,
  • 26. Ian Leitheiser, Cyclepath Racing
  • 27. Jeff Curtes, Embrocation/speedvagen Racing
  • 28. Jeremy Dunn, Embrocation Cycling Journal
  • 29. Scott Bradway, Team S&m/sellwood Cycle Repair
  • 30. Andrew Bennett, Team Specialized Racing
  • 31. Doug Wilmes, Portland Bicycle Studio
  • 32. Brennan Wodtli, Hutch’s
  • 33. John Leonard, Rapha Racing
  • 34. Alex Wentz, Team Oregon Presented By Laurelwood Brewing
  • 35. Brad Winn, Primal-First Bank
  • 36. Brendon Gallant, Guinness Cycling Team
  • 37. Colin Rowan, Corner Cycle
  • 38. Ross Brody, Capitol Velo P/b Lifesource
  • 39. Landon Masterfield, Revolver-Cascadia
  • 40. Cary Miller, Team S+m
  • 41. Patrick Means, Team S+m
  • 42. Ross Bowden, Specialized/dumonde Tech
  • 43. Adrian Olmstead, Portland Bicycle Studio
  • 44. Dave Messenheimer, Team Oregon Presented By Laurelwood Brewing
  • 45. James Cecorulli, Team Dirt/mudslinger Events
  • 46. Mathew Hall, Ira Ryan
  • 47. Nat Johnson, Green Submarine Records
  • 48. Paul Lacava, Giant Bicycles
  • 49. William Warburton, Therapeutic Associates Cycling/genr8
  • 50. Joshua Liberles, Corsa Concepts
  • 51. Kolben Preble, Clif Bar Development Cyclocross Team
  • 52. Spencer Moersfelder, River City Bicycles
  • 53. Russell Williford, Fulcrum
  • 54. Brian Schultz, Gründelbrüisers/stewie Bicycles
  • 55. Andrew Willis, Ironclad Performance Wear
  • 56. Erik Fabrizius, Montage-Veloshop
  • . Garrett Mcallister,
  • . Mike Kath, Cyclepath Racing
  • . Dan Menscher, Gentle Lovers
  • . Tim Joslin, Cyclepath
  • . Jonathan Myers, Team S+m
  • . Aaron Tuckerman, Corsa Concepts
  • . Conner Burck,
  • . Joel Madrone, Courage Cycles
  • . Christopher Bagghletes Lounge
  • . Jeremy Garbellano, Life Cycle Bike Shop
  • . Branden Taggart, Team Lazy Tarantulas

Women’s A

  • 1. Sue Butler, Hudz Subaru Cycling Team
  • 2. Alice Pennington, Team S+m
  • 3. Wendy Williams, River City Bicycles
  • 4. Brigette Brown, River City Bicycles
  • 5. Serena Bishop, Sunnyside Sports
  • 6. Tina Brubaker, Veloforma
  • 7. Julie Browning, Cyclepath Racing
  • 8. Renee Scott, Sunnyside Sports
  • 9. Anne Davis Usher, Bridgetown Velo
  • 10. Heather Clark, Bend Memorial Clinic Total Care Racing Team
  • 11. Abby Watson, Embrocation Cycling Journal
  • 12. Becky Bjork, Bend Memorial Clinic Total Care
  • 13. Anona Whitley, Ironclad Performance Wear
  • 14. Colleen Mcclenahan, Sorrella Forte
  • 15. Rachel Bagley, Motor Dome
  • 16. Anna Vaughn, Hammer Velo
  • 17. Christy Love,
  • 18. Lindsay Jones, Htfu
  • 19. Kim Forte, Sorrella Forte
  • 20. Laura Winberry, Elite Endurance
  • 21. Sarah Tisdale, Sorrella Forte
  • 22. Audrey Brown, Team S+m
  • 23. Karen Oppenheimer, Bend Memorial Clinic Total Care Racing Team
  • . Marila Alvares, Signal Cycles
  • . Heather Willis, Embrocation Cycling Journal
  • . Brenna Lopez-Otero, Bend Memorial Clinic Total Care Racing Team
  • . Jennifer Schweitzer, Veloforma

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