Friday, January 23, 2015

CCCX final , Ft. Ord

 These are the overall series totals for the team riders in the lion CCCX series of nine races. If like me, you did all nine events you would be rewarded for your efforts to be there. I got 2nd overall in the 55 +, not for stellar racing but for showing up and not being the worst. Rick Ortenblad had a couple of crashes that took him out of the last race but he finished up 6th overall with Brent Harris getting 18th. Not in the photos, Benoit Dubuisson rode strong to 2nd in the single speed B category with Michael Schaller getting 7th in the mens 45 B category.
 Our women 45 series winner was Michelle Perez with a huge point total. Her husband Michael Saccone won the mens 45 C category as well. Alexis De Zubria was not at the race that day but accumulated enough points to wind up 3rd in the womens B races. Our elite women missed the last day but figured in on the overall tally with Cambell Steers at 9th, Ellen Sherrill at 11th and Kelly Chang at 16th.
Our mens elite team had to split its time between traveling and the local scene so we didn't dominate CCCX as in years past but still had a big presence in the top-10 with Kailin Waterman at 2nd, Alex Work at 4th, Max Judson at 5th, Brendan Lehman at 9th, Ian Stowe at 11th, Ben Dodge at 12th and Dean Poshard at 40th.
 Here's Max on the last day, nearly pulling off the win coming in at 2nd.
Kaitlin coming across the line knowing that he would be on the podium for the overall in 2nd for the series.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Nationals report 2015 , Austin Texas.

 The nationals headed south this season for a rare trip to Texas. In spite of the southerly location the weather was cold and rain came for the weekend races. With the rain came the mud and cyclocross racers rejoiced. Some of the people in Austin did not rejoice.....more on that later.
Scott Chapin commandeered a van from his employer and shuttled nearly all of the team bikes to the rented house in Austin. This house was the former residence of Tommy Shannon, bass player in Stevie Ray Vaughan's band 'Double Trouble'.  There were numerous portraits on the wall of famous musicians. The house was overcrowded with team folks but it served us very well.
Te first day was all about single speeds and Ellen Sherrill rode a great race to finish 3rd with the bronze medal. In the mens race nearly all of our riders had to start in the back half of the field so getting onto the podium would be nearly impossible. This said, they all rode strong with Max Judson coming in 21st, Scott Chapin 27th, Alex Work at 39th and Kailin Waterman at 49th out of a field of 135 starters.
 The next day saw some masters racing with Kelly Chang riding to 19th in the women's 40-44 group. Rick Ortenblad and I lined up on the back row of 52 60-64 aged riders with Rick riding strongly up to 29th and I was able to do a bit of passing to finish 38th.
On Friday the masters racing continued , first with Scott Chapin finishing 15th in the mens 30-34 race, Kailin Waterman finishing 45th in the mens 35-39 race and Alex Work finishing 35th in the mens 40-44 race. Again, the riders had to battle poor starting positions and traffic .
Not a team member but always an inspiration, Ron Riley on his way to the bronze medal in the masters 80+ division.
 supposedly because of erosion on the course and potential damage to heritage oak trees, the race was shut down for about 30 hours. This was local politics at work and I can't really go into it but the team used the time constructively in other activities-the giant outdoor chess set was one example.
 Example # 2, bowing.....a team tradition since 2009. There's something very satisfying doing a sport where everybody is lousy, even the top athletes. The drinks are very affordable, too.
 Another tradition-the team dinners. Austin is home to many great eateries and watering holes. This was the last night and the entire crew got out to an excellent  Tex-Mex dinner and reflections on the week away from home.
 The next morning a battered and weary crew got the van loaded to work the final day at the course with three elite riders still to race in the main events. First to go was Ellen Sherrill, getting 37th in the women's elite race and finishing on the lead lap. Next were Andrew Juiliano finishing 36th and Max Judelson finishing 43rd, both of whom started from the back row. These back row starting positions are a byproduct of the lack of USAC races on the west coast. This is likely to change for the next season.
 Immediately after the last race the van was re-packed and driven the 30 hours through the southwest rain and sleet to Santa Cruz. Others on the team saw the southwest out of the window of a 737.
We came home to this......it is especially good to be home and for some of us , the end of a long and fruitful CX season. The season would not have been possible without our title sponsor Voler sports apparel, Capital sponsors Steven's Creek B.M.W., H.R.S. with Karen and Larry Bullard, the Jeff Traugott guitar company. Material sponsors kept us rolling and styling' were Chris King precision, Paul Component engineering, Buckler embrocation, Knog lighting, a huge thanks to WD-40 Bike for the lube and support at the nationals, Ritchey design for help with new components for the new team members bike builds. A shout out goes to Kalcic family wines for a box of some great red wine used at team gatherings here and in Austin. Thanks also to Amanda Schaper, Eric Brown, Rick Ortenblad and Eric Nelson for helping the team when you were not competing. A final thanks in a big way goes to Bob's Red Mill for keeping us fed and fast with the best stuff on earth. Cheers and happy new year !

Sunday, January 04, 2015

Nationals bound

Thanks to our generous sponsors : Voler sportswear, Steven's Creek B.M.W. , Human Resource Solutions and the Jeff Traugott guitar company we are en route to Austin , Texas and the Cyclocross National championships. We have a strong roster of athletes and there will be some fast racing. Our team is small and grassroots but we always have a big impact at big events. We hope to do proud by all the many folks who make this possible. Check the Rock Lobster Facebook page for updates.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Surf City final Watsonville fairgrounds

 The rain finally arrived the day after Thanksgiving and the long awaited mud came with it. The Watsonville fairgrounds has been the site of epic CX racing for the last 15-odd years and today was one of the best. Kelly Chang rode tough in the series to score third place overall.
Michelle Perez did what she does most seasons-dominate the womens 45 plus group. She won the series.
With consistent strong finishes in the three race series Benoit Dubuisson and Craig Ball got 5th and 4th overall in the series.
 The racing all day started fast but within a lap folks found out that the slippery deep mud would slow their progress and the races wound up being extremely difficult, especially the running sections.
Even without good finishes Rick Ortenblad and myself wound up 4th and 5th overall for the series. In my case, it really pays to show up.
Max Judelson showed that he is a contender in every race and rode to a 5th place in the mens A event. 
Scott Chapin was near the front for the duration of his race finishing in 3rd on the day.

 Ariel Raymon got a 5th on the day in the womens B race showing that as the season progresses, she gets faster.
The bikes and riders needed a thorough cleaning after the race-mus was everywhere. Pit duties were ably handled by Ellen Sherrill and Eric Brown. We kept the racers on fresh bikes as much as possible.
 A visitor from down south Eric Nelson don's last years kit for the single speed race and gets 2nd. Kailin Waterman would crack the top 10 and finish 9th in the mens A race with Brendan Lehman coming in top-20.In the mens B race Javier Valencia overcame traffic and crashes to finish 12th. Nearly everyone from the team who raced today got on the podium........winning !

Sunday, November 16, 2014

BASP Sierra Point night race

 This is the biggest event in the bay area in cyclocross and our small team made an impact. First to get on the podium was Benoit Dubuisson in the single speed B race in 5th place.
 Craig Ball also came in 5th in the men's 45 B race . In the open B race Javier Valencia placed 37th, just ahead of Matty Garcia in 38th in a filed of 73 riders.
Big winner on the night was Scott Chapin winning the mens A race for the second year in a row and the third time in the last five years. This year he tried something different-a headlight that was provided by the sponsor Knog lights. I guess it worked very well and made it easy to pick out Scott coming down the course.
Also in the mens A race were Alex Work in 18th, Brendan Lehman in 26th and Ben Dodge in 38th. In the womens races Campbell Steers finished in the money in 8th place it the A race. Alexis De Zubria finished in 15th in the womens B race followed by Areil Raymon in 18th. In Masters racing Rick Ortenblad finished 12th in the 55+ rce followed by me in 15th and Brent Harris in 18th. It was a fun night with very large fields and many spectators.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Stafford Lake race

This series always has tough courses and really goofy obstacles. This one is called the 'Belgian farm wall'. It looks pretty scary but it is well constructed and angled for a quick approach. Here's Scott, finding the wall a bit too tall to jump on the bike.
 Here's Alex showing his style , making quick work of the wall. Below is the podium-a repeat of the day before with Max Juelson getting the win with Scott Chapin coming in second. The two would ride away from the field in the first three laps of the race and never get caught.
Alex Work wound up 10th and Ian Stowe overcame a mechanical and a crash to finish 19th. In the masters Michelle Perez used the womens C race for training and got 3rd. In the mens 55 plus I had a good run coming in 5th with Brent Harris feeling the previous days effort coming in at 7th.Craig Ball had a decent race in the mens 45 B group and came in 12th.

Santa Rosa cup final, Sonoma

 We only fielded six riders total in this event. Lots of folks were either at a Sacramento race or out of state. Three of our riders were in the money and all finished in the top five so I would say that this was a very successful day for the team. Brent Harris rode strong to finish in 3rd on the day and second for the series. I was close behind in 4th.
 In the mens A race it was all Max and Scott, riding away from the filed and showing some speed that none of the other riders could match. Within a few laps they were by themselves trading pulls. In the end Max Judelson got his first win on the west coast with Scott Chapin in 2nd. Alex Work would have a pretty spectacular crash but fought back up to finish 5th.
Kelly Chang had a good start but a knee injury caused her to fade late in the race. She still finished in 5th in the womens A race.
Here's Alex-riding well, not knowing that soon he will be visiting the forest not of his choosing.
The mens A podium with Scott getting down to Max's level for the photo.

Surf City I, Aptos High School.

 This race is always very hard and this day was probably the toughest of the season so far. Ariel Raymon did well to finish 8th in the womens B race without injury.
 Kelly Chang and Campbell Steers represented the team in the womens A race finishing 7th and 8th-Kelly managing 7th in spite of three crashes.
 Ian Stowe fought hard to finish 18th while Brendan 'Shredlox' Lehman had a good race finishing in 13th in the mens A race.Javier Valencia did a good ride coming in 12th and  Matty Garcia came in at 22nd in the mens B field of over 50 riders.
In the masters Benoit Dubuisson finished at 6th in the large field with Michael Schaller coming in at 28th. Rick Ortenblad had a good race to finish 6th and I had not so good of a race to come in at10th in the mens 55+ race.
Our sole rider on the podium was Alex Work , 3rd in the mens 35 A race-a fine showing against former national and world champions. While this race was going on Scott Chapin and Ellen Sherrill were off in Kentucky at the CX single speed worlds. The pinkbike video tells all-check it out.