Butler bests Rusch at Echo Red to Red; Birtch tops men
ECHO, Ore. — Portland pro Sue Butler won her second consecutive Echo Red to Red XC race Saturday, this time taking down 2010 Mountain Biker of the Year Rebecca Rusch on her way to the victory. A record 450 racers hits the grassy slopes outside of Echo southeast of Hermiston for the third running of the race and the first event of the 2011 Oregon XC Series.
Niner Bikes’ Dejay Birtch was the fastest man, riding his singlespeed over a 30-mile course that featured more than 2,200 feet of climbing. Kevin Bradford-Paris won the Pro Men’s category, with Nick Gibson second and Nelson Snyder third.
The win is Butler’s first of the 2011 season, which will also see her compete on the road as part of her preparation for cyclocross. Rusch, from Ketchum, Idaho, is a three-time 24-hr Solo World Mountain Bike Champion and back-to-back Leadville Trail Women’s Champion. She set a new record for the women’s Leadville race in 2010, shaving nearly eight minutes off the previous mark. She is also the reigning USAS Masters XC World Champion. Singletrack.com, a sister publication of VeloNews, awarded her the Mountain Biker of the Year Award. Bend rider Serena Bishop finished behind Rusch and Butler to take third in the Pro Women’s category.
The next race of the Oregon MTB XC Series is Hornings Hustle on April 10.
Echo Red to Red
1. Sue Butler (River City Bicycles)
2. Rebecca Rusch (Specialized/Red Bull)
3. Serena Bishop (Swell Velo/Sunnyside)
1. Kevin Bradford-Parish
2. Nick Gibson (Shimano/Pro/Pearl Izumi)
3. Nelson Synder (Cyclepath Racing)
Complete OBRA results are HERE.