Sunday, October 15, 2017

West Sacramento Gran Prix

There's only going to be one UCI weekend in Nor-Cal and this was it-lots of racing over the two days. There are UCI points at stake  in the elite fields so the fields were high quality. For the non-elite racers USAC points were of value for seeding at the nationals. This made each race fast and each field huge.

Day 1: Juniors started the day in the early morning.
Boys 9-14:Nate Vahlberg 3rd, Dan English 5th, Mac Tomkins 10th.
Boys 15-18: Brian Kalcic 5th, Conner Kredo-Brown 7th.
Girls 9-14: Grace Kredo-Brown 3rd , Shantalle Tupaz 7th.
Girls 15-18: Ciara Wing 1st.

In the men's 35 C race Carter Chappelle got 2nd . In the 45 C Ben Tomkins got 22nd.
In the women's A field Sarah Jordan got 8th.
Men's open B race: Max McFadden 2nd, Emmet Tuttle 3rd, Noah Hayes 10th ( they are all juniors) Damien McFadden 29th, Kyle Taylor 38th, Carter Chappelle 40th, Brian Kalcic 50th.

Men's A race: Ben Dodge 13th
35+A men: Ken Dick 5th.
55+ men : Paul Sadoff 37th.
Single speed men: Rick Ortenblad 20th, Eric Nelson 39th.  
In the Elite UCI Women's race Caroline Nolan crashed out, Campbell Steers came in 26th, Mary Maroon came in 28th.
In the Elite UCI men's race Max Judelson was in the points at 9th, Andrew Juiliano had two bad crashes but still finished at 25th, Brendan Lehman hit a tree but still came in 28th,Kailin Waterman finished at 40th with Dean Poshard finishing 52nd.
Day 2: The second day saw some great racing from the team again.

Girls 9-14: Grace Kredo-Brown 2nd, Shantalle Tupaz 3rd.
Boys 9-14 : Nate Vahlberg 3rd, Dan English 5th, Mac Tomkins 10th, Ayden Uusitalo 12th,Cullen Keefe 14th.
Boys 15-18: Dylan Gong 5th, Brian Kalcic 8th, Conner Kredo-Brown 10th.
Men's open C: Dylan Gong 1st.
Men's 45 C: Ben Tomkins 19th.

Men's open B: Kyle Taylor 23rd, Dylan Gong 45th.
Men's 35 B: Carter Chappelle 9th.

Single speed men: Ian Stowe 11th, Eric Nelson 12th, Rick Ortenblad 21st.
Singlespeed women : Mary Maroon 1st, Mei Peters 3rd.

Men's 55+: Greg Foy 5th, Paul Sadoff 28th.

Men's 35 A: Ken Dick 3rd, Ben Dodge 13th.
Men's 45 A: John Vahlberg 30th.

 Here's the single speed trophy won by Mary Maroon-something to remember the weekend with.
 Day 2 would see our UCI elite women fare better than day 1. Caroline Nolan bounced back from the previous days crash to ride to 7th and some UCI points. Campbell Steers had a strong race coming in at 17th. Mary Maroon doubled up and finished 33rd.
 In the men's UCI race Andrew Juiliano decided that the previous days injuries would keep him out of the day 2 race. Max Judelson rode another strong race finishing at 11th. Brendan Lehman had a breakthrough performance finishing 16th. Kailin Waterman came in 43rd. Dean Poshard was taken out by a crash.
 Brendan Lehman on day 2 in full flight. Below, Kailin Waterman also rides in the UCI race.
 A great showing from a great team. We are looking forward to more weekends like this where we can represent for the sponsors and the bay area.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

CCCX V Manzanita Park

 A hot day greeted us at the race course so the Chardonnay came out of the ice chest in the heat of the dusty afternoon. The team showed up in force and continued the tradition of strong performances at CCCX. Hard to believe that it has been 13 years since the team was formed. Names have changed over the years but the same vibe still exists-race your bike, empty the tank-have a good time and represent. That's what we do-if we are having a good time than everyone in attendance will notice that what we bring is a very positive energy to a very competitive sport.

 Early in the morning the juniors shredded like the have been all season long.
Boys 10-14:
Nathan Vahlberg 1st.
Dan English        2nd.
Boys 15-18
Dylan Gong         1st.
Nathan Horst       4th.
Manny Offonso II 7th.

Girls 10-14:
Shantalle Tupaz    3rd.
Girls 15-18:
Ciara Wing            1st.
 In the B mens Rick Ortenblad got 5th in the single speed race .
The 35 + A men saw some great riding from Ben Dodge who came in 3rd. Ken Dick is showing some speed as well , coming in 6th.
In the men's 45+ A race John Vahlberg continues his solitary journey coming in 27th. This season he's our only 45+ rider so I hope that he doesn't get too lonely out there.
In the mens 55+ A race it's the Greg Foy show again with another win. Detlef Adam had a great race coming in 4th with a podium.
In the 60+ A race we had a trio of riders with me in 4th, Rick Ortenblad doubling up in 7th and Mark Brown in 8th.

I the women's races we had some great rides with Sarah Jordan coming in 6th in the elite race, Ciara Wing doubling up in the B race coming in 4th and Kathleen Bortolussi winning the 45+ and getting a bottle of wine for her efforts.

 The men's elite field was large again with over 30 racers. We had 5 from our team with riders present in all parts of the dusty peloton.
Max is back !  Max Judelson in his second race of the season showed why he is one of Nor-Cal's most strongest coming in 2nd. Kailin Waterman might be nearing 40 years old but he rides like one of the youngsters-he came in 16th. Eric Nelson improved greatly from last week to come in 24th followed by Ben Dodge in 26th and Eric Brown in 30th.
We are now about 1/2 way into the season and already the team has had much success. We owe much of that to our great sponsors-at this race we distributed the goods from Bob's Red Mill that will feed the team for the rest of the season and beyond. Clif Bar has provided us with great pre-race energy food. The Chardonnay ? Well, that just fell out the back of a truck-or something like that.

CCCX IV Manzanita park

This edition of CCCX was a very fast, dry course with some  fairly large fields. Our team was arguably the largest at the race with riders in nearly every category. The early races were dominated by our juniors.
Boys 10-14: Nathan Vahlberg 1st.
                     Dan English 2nd.
Boys 15-18: Nathan Horst 2nd.
                     Brian Kalcic 3rd
                    Manny Offonso II  4th.
Junior girls 10-14:
                    Grace Kredo Brown 1st.
                    Maya Fors      1st.
In the mens B open race some of the juniors decided to participate with some impressive riding.
Max McFadden  1st.
Emmet Tuttle     3rd.
Caleb O'Hare     7th
Nathan Vahlberg 21st.
Dan English        22nd.
Kyle Taylor DNF'ed with a mechanical

 Our women's team was equally impressive with Campbell Steers coming in 4th in the elite race followed by Allison Peck in 7th.
Eleanor Mendoza crashed out of the B field while in the top-5.
Kathleen Bortolussi looks to have the 45+ sewn up with a win .
 In the master's men we are lucky to have some really solid riders. In the 45+ A field John Vahlberg continues to improve coming in 25th in the largest field of the day.
Greg foy is very much the man setting the pace in the 55+ A race with another win. Detlef Adam continues to solidify his overall podium spot with an 8th place.
In the 60+ I had a decent ride coming in 5th with Mark Brown coming in 7th.

The 35 A race had no less than 3 of our riders with Kailin Waterman leading the charge in 7th, Ken Dick in 8th and Ben Dodge in 10th. This was another very large field.

There was a good sized single speed A field and Ian Stowe was always in the action finishing a strong 4th with Kailin Waterman doubling up and still coming in 9th.

The men's Elite race was a real breakthrough for Brendan Lehman. He led the race in a small group that got smaller as the race went on. Brendan pretty much pulled pace until two laps to go. He still finished 3rd, his best showing in at least 5 seasons of racing CCCX. Max Judelson's debut race was this day and he finished 10th in the large field followed by juniors Max McFadden in 17th, Emmet Tuttle in 23rd. Eric Brown continues to ride strong at CCCX with a 26th place followed by junior Caleb O'Hare in 31st and Eric Nelson in 32nd.

Friday, October 13, 2017

History in the making !

Yes, this is our home race that the team will put on for the third year in a row-the Rock Lobster cup III at Wilder Ranch, Santa Cruz, Calif. go to and sign up or just get to Wilder on Sunday the 22nd. to check out the festivities. It will be a really challenging loop with 288 feet of climbing per lap. You'll have to bring your 'A' game for this one-the ground is really bumpy and descent is sketchy-all the things that make for a great race. Hope to see you there !

Sunday, September 24, 2017

CCCX roundup races II & III

 CCCX II was a hot and dusty affair-for some reason I did not get many photos of the day but there was a lot to be happy about.
Starting with the Junior boys, Nate Vahlberg and Dan English continue their dominance going 1st and second.
Manny Affonso got a podium with a 5th place in the junior boys 15-18
Lindsay Schmidt won her class in the junior girls 15-18.

In the master men John Vahlberg got 20th in the 45 A race.
In the 55 A race Greg Foy showed that he is the man making the pace with another win. Detlef Adam got a podium at 5th.
In the mens's 60+ I was able to squeek onto the podium at 5th and Mark Brown came in at 7th.
In the women's A race Campbell Steers rode to an impressive 4th in spite of just flying back from China a couple of days before.
 The Men's A race was a huge turnout.  Brendan Lehman got a great start but was very jet lagged and had to pull out of the race after a few laps. We still had representation with Eric Brown coming in 15th, Kailin Waterman in 16th , and Ben Dodge doing his second race coming in 17th.
 CCCX III was not as hot or dusty but it was typical bumpy and dry early season Nor-Cal cyclocross.
The racing was tough and the fields were pretty big.We had a lot more representation at this race than the week before.
 The juniors stared the day with some great racing.
In the boy's 10-14 we had a mob with Nate Vahlberg in 2nd, Dan English in 3rd, Coleman Renfro at 5th and McEwan Tomkins at 7th.
In the boy's 15-18 Manny Affonso had a great race finishing in 2nd with Peter Vahlberg coming in 6th.
In the girl's 10-14 Brook Horvai rode to 2nd and Ciara Wing had a win in the girl's 15-18.
 In the women's A race Campbell Steers got on the podium in 5th with Sarah Jordan coming in 8th.
In the women's B race, new addition to the team Eleanor Mendoza came in 2nd with Ciara Wing coming in 5th.

 The open B men's race also saw a new addition to the team-Kyle Taylor came in 11th in a very large field.
In the 45 B race Michael Schaller also got 11th.
The Masters A men also saw some great results with Ben Dodge leading the charge in the 35+ coming in 5th.
In the 45 A race John Vahlberg came in 22nd.
In the 55 A race Greg foy and Detlef Adam continued with their podium performances with Greg in 2nd and Detlef in 5th.
in the 60 + I just made the podium in 5th.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

CCCX 1 a grand adventure

Locked and loaded the blue bus transported us to the dust bowl of the east garrison for the first race of the season. The warm windy day and long hilly lap made for a tough but fun race.
 In morning we had a mob in the masters with Greg Foy and Detlef Adam in the mens 55+. In the 60+ field we had even more with Mark Michel and Mark Brown making a return to racing. Rick Ortenblad had the best race coming in 5th and I was 6th about 30 seconds back. John Vahlberg was our sole representative in the men's 45+ A field.
The juniors were out in force with Manny Affonso ,  Lindsay Schmidt , Dan English and Nathan Vahlberg  ( hope I got the first name correct....)

 Kathleen Bortolussi returned to racing after a few years off. She got a nice 2nd place in her age group.
 Campbell steers really made it a race in the women's elites , leading the chase group in pursuit of a lone leader. This lasted until the last lap. She still hung in there for 4th place. Also in the race was Allison Peck and Sarah Kerlin. Former team mate and olympian Shelly Olds just beat out Campbell for 3rd. New team member Amanda Schaper was in the mix eventually finishing 7th.

 We had a real mob in the men's elite race with Eric Brown, Josh Vahlberg, John Vahlberg and Brendan Lehman. Brendan led the race for at least 6 laps showing some early season fitness. He eventually faded to 7th in the last two laps.

Ian Stowe elected to race single speed and showed that he's one of the best in Nor-Cal finishing 2nd.
The Chardonnay was flowing and the horns were honking-the van was smoking and the racing season  had officially started. So begins the long and crazy 2017 edition of Nor-Cal coastal cyclocross.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

CX is almost here !

Lots of exciting developments for the upcoming season and the Voler/Clif/HRS/Rock Lobster CX team. First thing, we will have Campbell Steers, Brendan Lehman and Ian Stowe joining Andrew Juiliano on a trip to China for the big UCI series in early September. Second, looks like Rock Lobster cup III will take shape in the form of a challenging loop in Wilder Ranch on Oct. 22nd. This race will feature the hardest climb in west coast cyclocross with 288 ft. climbing per lap ! The team will welcome returning sponsors of Voler , Clif bar, HRS, Dave Keefe real estate, Greg Foy construction, Jeff Traugott guitar company, Easton sports, Santa Cruz Aleworks, Buckler embrocation, Rock Lobster cycles. We will also welcome new sponsor.....Vans !  Yes-this is true.
The team will have a big focus on the Nationals that after many years will back on the west coast at Reno , Nv. Ben Dodge has a goal of bringing 25 juniors ! All in all, this season might be a real opportunity for the team to reach new heights.

Friday, January 13, 2017

2017 Nationals, Hartford

The team, a small group of six this time made the cross country trek to Hartford, Ct. for what promised to be a real winter cyclocross event. The week lived up to the promise in a big way. This is the house where we stayed during the race, the six of us all in the first floor crammed into three rooms ! We economize  when possible-it is bike racing, after all.
 First to arrive and race were Rick Ortenblad and myself. We did the pre-ride on Tuesday in the rain. Th course was very slippery and we both wondered if we would be able to survive the next day's 60-64 race . The next day was sunny and much warmer so the soupy mud of the previous day turned sticky and in spite of a great start from the last row both Rick and I had mechanical issues that slowed us and occasionally stopped us, me for several minutes trying to free a jammed chain. I'll have to fire the mechanic....wait, thats my job ! Rick finished 40th and I came in 53rd.
 Max had arrived so it was time for the first big team meal. Campbell and Brendan arrived and we ate well for the next days would be taxing for racers and support alike.
 Thursday we did not have any of the team racing but Friday we did and we woke up to a very steady snowfall. This was the day of the relay race and Brendan , Campbell, guest riders Ben Gomez-Villefane and Amanda Schaper would hit the course for a four lap contest between about a dozen teams.

 Brendan opened up the race with a strong ride putting the team into second place. Here's Campbell turning on the speed solidifying the second place.
 As you can see the day was snowy and the temperatures were below freezing by a good margin.
 Here's the team on the National podium getting the silver medal, two places better than last year.
 The team celebrating near the starting grid after a medal winning performance. Now we would go home with some hardware for the sixth year in a row..
 Nothing like a big team dinner to celebrate the medals and replenish the calories before the elite and single speed races.
 Both Campbell and Max Judelson had front row starting positions so we had high hopes for more medals or at least top-ten finishes in the men's and women's single speed events. The conditions were changing from hour to hour and as the races went on the course got slippery and the lapped traffic was an issue. Max got tangled up with a lapped rider and crashed hard while in the top-5. He eventually finished 7th which will give him a first row start in next years single speed race. Campbell Steers rode in the top-5 for along time but crashes slowed her in the final laps but she held on for 7th and another front row call up at the next nationals.Brendan Lehman had to start near the back of the 148 man field and did his best to move up. He had a crazy fast first two laps and was probably up to the top-35 when the traffic and icy conditions took their toll. He would eventually finish 44th after passing over 80 riders, a super human feat.
 Nor-Cal representing !
 Max, out suffering in the frozen conditions.  the next day would be even colder.
 Sunday morning we loaded up the rented mini-van for the last day-the elite races. We had Campbell in the women's race and Andrew Juiliano with Max Judelson in the men's race. Brendan and I would be working support in the pit.
 Andrew was hoping to improve on last year's 25th place and Max just wanted to survive after getting pretty banged up the day before in the single speed race.
 The start was murderously fast and both Max and Andrew had starting positions pretty far back. Both riders did well to move up as the race went on. There were many crashes and lots of mayhem during the race as nearly 50 riders worked frantically to try to not get too far back and get pulled before the last lap. Max was doing much better than last year but the fast pace of the leader meant that he and many other riders were pulled with a few laps to go. Max would get 29th.
Andrew was able to survive a bit longer and moved up into the top-15 for a time, eventually getting pulled with a lap to go. He would get 18th and have his best nationals finish to date. Both riders greatly improved over last year and although this time they did not make it to the finish before getting pulled, neither did 3/4 of the field. It was that fast. All in all, with a smaller crew and difficult conditions I would consider this trip a great success-medals coming home, two top-ten single speed finishes and nobody DNF'd.  The team was great.