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Sid Taberlay
USA MountainBike National Series Round #3

The third round took place in Birmingham Alabama, with a tight twisty single track course designed for spectators and close racing.  In the front row was the “who’s who of North American mountain biking”: 6 Olympians, 2 previous World Champions and multiple current and past National Champions.

The race started with a ½ mile drag race along the road before entering the dirt.  Newly crowned Costa Rican National Champion, Manny Prado, (Taberlay’s teammate) got the hole shot off the starting line and lead before our Athletic Advisor, Sid Taberlay, attacked leading into the first off-road section.

“I just wanted to be at the front and stay out of trouble, with the crashes that happen when the race goes from 5 riders wide to single file on the track.”

Not wanting the lead and the job of pace setting, Taberlay, was happy to see Canadian, Geoff Kabush (Highest all-time race winner in North America), take over the lead.  By the end of the first lap a strong group of 10 had broken away from the rest of the field, Taberlay had 2 teammates, Plaxton and Jurekovic, in the lead group.

“It was really good having Sammy Jurekovic up in front early on to set the pace; it really took the pressure off myself and Max Plaxton.”

Come the end of the second lap many riders tried lifting the pace, trying to get away from the group.  By the end of the second lap, the group was down to five riders: Taberlay, Horgan-Kobelski (Olympian / previous USA National Champion), Mcgrath (Olympian / Commonwealth Medalist), Wells (2x Olympian) and Plaxton (Former World Championship Gold Medalist).  The group of five stayed together until the last half of a lap, where Taberlay attacked up the final climb.

“It was great having teammate, Max Plaxton, in the front group. With Max having the series lead it was up to me to go for the race win, while Max defended the series lead against Horgan-Kobelski.”

Taberlay was quickly joined off the front by Horgan-Kobelski; this was not a good situation for Plaxton but ideal for Taberlay.

“I couldn’t work with Horgan-Kobelski as he would take the series lead away from Max, I just had to sit on Horgan-Kobelski hoping Max could come back across.”

Unfortunately this didn’t happen and Taberlay was paced to the finish line by Horgan-Kobelski, where Taberlay was able to sprint to victory.

Max Plaxton finished 3rd and retains the series lead by one placing over Taberlay and Horgan-Kobelski.