Sunday, January 19, 2014

CCCX final-Ft. Ord

There were lots of wins for the team today at the local many that I hope I get them all in print. First to hit the podium were Allan Bennett (2nd) and Benoit Dubuission (3rd) for the single speed B race.

Michael Schaller ended his season with a 4th overall in the men's 45-B race with some consistent riding.

Benoit also won the overall in the single speed B class for the season with high placings in all the races.
 The first win on the day was Mark Abele in the 55 open race. Mark pretty much dominated the class for the whole season and captured the overall season win as well. I was able to get 3rd in the overall thanks to showing up when it counted.Rick Ortenblad should have had the 3rd place in the series but was absent from the last race due to flu.

 Katie Jay Melina got 3rd in the women's elite race and also got 3rd overall in the series-capping off arguably her most successful season ever.

 Livia Perez ran away with the women's 35+ race overall winning over half the races in the series with the highest point total of nearly everyone.
 Areil Raymon and Alexis DeZubria got 3rd and 4th in the women's B race with Alexis winning the season overall .

Scott Chapin ended his season with a commanding win in the men's A race. The only rider within a minute of Scott at the end was Alex Work getting his first CCCX podium of the season. 

The big winner of the day in the overall was none other than Ben Dodge-his very first series win. Alex Work also got on the podium in 3rd. This great team performance happened even with many of the racers not able to compete in all or even most of the races in the series. Also, a good number of our team was not present at this last event and sacrificed their overall standings. That said, this edition of CCCX showed how deep this team is and that in spite of odds, the team can always make a great showing. I would like to thank Rod and Keith for putting on CCCX and to the team for showing up and making it a real race in this home town series.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Nationals report Boulder, Co.

 The trip to the Nationals this year involved going to yet another cold place-Boulder, Colorado at the foot of the Rockies. The previous weekend saw a record snowfall and cold temperatures to set up some epic CX racing conditions. Races were held over five days, starting on Wednesday with single speed racing-a specialty of this particular team. In the women's event we had only one entrant-Ellen Sherrill. Ellen rode a great race to get the silver medal , keeping the team streak of consecutive years of at least one national medal going for another year. In the men's event Scott Chapin rode to 7th with a showing of determination to get a front row callup for 2015. Alex Work came in at 31st and Kailin Waterman at 47th.
 Thursday saw the elderly masters take the course. We only had entrants in the 55-59 group and Mark Abele overcame a low starting position to ride to 20th while I stayed in the back finishing 49th. The snow had melted and turned the track into a mud-fest , something we rarely see in Calif.
After a day off on Friday, the master's racing continued on Saturday with team members in four events. At 9:00 a.m. we got to see Alex Work ride through at least half the field of 100+ to finish 10th in the 40-44 race-arguably one of the best rides of the week.  Brian Staby had to start in the back but rode up to 78th.
 The next race was the women's 35-39 where we had two entrants. Ellen Sherrill overcame a mechanical and a couple of bike changes to finish 8th and Katie Jay Melina rode to 11th after fighting the flu the previous month. Both would race again on Sunday. The next event was the men's 35-39 race where Kailin Waterman passed many people to finish 36th-another respectable ride. Ariel Brown, our local Colorado team mate had a great start but had to pull out of the race with painful leg cramps that put him on the ground for about 5 agonizing minutes. The final event of the day saw Scott Chapin riding to 11th in the men's 30-34 group as the sun was going down and the temperatures dropped .
The final day was filled by elite racing with some of our riders competing in their third events of the week. In the women's elite race both Ellen and Katie Jay had to start way back in the largest field in the history of the nationals. Both would finish on the lead lap-Ellen in 40th and Katie Jay in 46th with solid riding on the now mostly dry and bumpy course.The standard bearer for the team across the country, Courtenay McFadden had the bad luck of arriving for the race with the flu. Bravely starting the women's elite race , Courtenay could only go a short distance before having to pull out being much too weak to ride at the level that propelled her to many UCI podiums over the season.
 In the men's elite race the starting positions for Scott, Alex and Kailin were far back making for lots of traffic and difficulty with moving up. All the same, the three riders had decent showings with Alex in 51st, Scott 52nd and Kailin in 87th.
This was a great adventure with super exposure for the sponsors and the riders as well. I think that the team represented admirably and showed how a team can race seriously, compete on a national level and have fun at the same time-it is the fun aspect that humanizes the sport and makes it more inclusive to the public at large. That is who we are.....the team that people remember-that is the impact we have.

I would like to thank all of our sponsors for making this trip possible.
I would also like to thank the following people for helping the team: Greg Keller for hooking us up with our rental, Eric Brown, Matt Garcia, Kailin Waterman, Kelly Chang and Ariel Brown for helping in the pits
Chris Bondus and the WD-40 crew for cleaning and lubing our bikes and giving us a place out of the cold when we needed it.
Bill Nicol , Mark Abele and Julie Brothers for helping feed the team .
I would also like to that Shimano neutral support for lending me a tool to fix Ellen's bike.
I would also like to thank all the folks who cheered us on from the definitely makes a difference.
Last but not least I would like to thank the team for the selfless way they helped each other and myself make this trip go as smoothly as possible. Cheers until next season. Be sure and check the rock lobster facebook page for more photos of the event.

Monday, December 16, 2013

CCCX 6 Manzanita Park

 This was a really good showing for the masters at CCCX. In the 45 B race Alan Bennett overcame a pedal problem at the start and rode to 3rd place with Michael Schaller following in the top-10. Benoit Dubuisson rode to 2nd in the single speed B class and has a shot at winning the overall. The first win of the day was Mark Abele, seemingly in command of the 55 plus group. Rock Ortenblad raced strongly for 4th and I hung on for 5th. With lots of team people out with sickness or injury we still had a really dominant Sunday at the windy fast course.
 Scott and Drew were our only elites to make it down to the race-here's the start.
 Ellen Sherrill was our only entrant in the women's elite race and was in the lead group for the whole race. She would finish 3rd after being in contention for the win-a loose corner delayed her in the final sprint.

Livia Peres was unopposed this day but still rode hard as if everything was on the line. With many wins in the series she looks to have the overall win locked up. 
 Drew, taxed from the day before still riding strong and finishing 6th in the men's elite race.
 Kailin Waterman showing that he can beat the best in the men's single speed A race, coming in second after one solid hour at the front.
The  men's snigle speed A podium.
Scott Chapin rode to 3rd place in the men's elite race-holding off some of Nor-Cals best riders with a great solo ride. The elite field was perhaps the largest and most competitive of the day-only a couple races left before the nationals and Scott is looking prepared.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Bend UCI and Cross Crusade weekend

 Does this look cold to you ? Sub-zero conditions greeted us in Bend for the last big weekend race of the year. Clear skies on Thursday turned to Snow on Friday and dumped more than half a foot on the town and race course.
 Checking out the course on Friday was a cold business. The thought of racing in these conditions was insane.....but we raced nonetheless.
Rick and I were the first to go off at 10:30 A.M. -temperatures were said  to be just below zero.
Rick got a good start and wound up 10th for the day-
I was not as lucky , getting delayed by some crashes and finished in 11th.
 The trombone made its first trip north and the band played on the flyover much to the annoyance of the race officials-everyone else was into it though.
Katie Jay getting ready for the start of the women's elite race. She would finish 15th and earn her first ever UCI point.
Look carefully and you'll see the lime-green helmet of Courtenay McFadden. Our new team mate would race to 8th place on the day after getting caught in early race traffic. Courtenay has been at the front most UCI weekends-so much that she has earned a spot at /cross Eurocamp and will be in Belgium the remainder of December. She has a chance to make the world's team-this means a Bicycle Bluebook rider at the very top of the sport.......not bad for a small team with bikes pretty much built by one guy in a shed.
Scott Chapin getting psyched for the men's elite race. He would ride from the 4rth row on his single speed to 23rd , passing many riders in the process.
Another new elite team mate Kevin Noiles from Canada would start in the third row and finish 22nd in the men's elite race. Kevin handled the cold temps better than most-Scott would wind up with frostbite in both hands. Andrew Juiliano got caught in an early pileup and get stuck near the back of the field but made the most of it airing the flyover and giving the crowd and photographers something to cheer about.He would finish 36th. Kailin Waterman also rode a single speed and would finish 41st .
Here's the van loaded and ready for the trip back to California-ten bikes and  six riders definitely ready to leave the snow behind.
The tunnel at the end of the light.....making the last hour home.

Surf City final Aptos High school campus

 This was a really hilly and difficult end to a very challenging series. We had three series winners on the team, probably one of the best showings for the team at Surf City in many years. With a number of key folks out with injuries and illness the team showed its depth with some great riding on the day . I managed a truly rare win for the series-a first for me in 14 years. Rick Ortenblad overcame a flat tire to get 4th for the season.
 Mary Ellen Ash made the podium in 5th for the season with consistent riding in the women's A category.
Livia Peres competed a dominant season winning the overall in the 35 plus category.
Scott Chapin, Kevin Crossley and Alex Work took the top three places in the men's A category-leaving no room at the top for the other teams, just like in the old days.
Sarah Kerlin rode to a top-10 on the day in the women's A race.
 Kevin Crossley went 4th on the day, always near the front of the race.
Alex Work.......always winning. Also, Benoit Dubuisson, Craig Ball and Michael Schaller made the podium in the men's 45 B race 2nd,3rd and 4th with a great showing for the season. Allan Bennett had a strong race on the day in the front until the final laps.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Sierra Point BASP race

 While running around keeping my SH&() together I was unable to shoot photos except for the two here. Take my word for it-this was an exciting day/night of racing at arguably the biggest Nor-Cal CX race of the season. The team showed up in a big way and the tent had constant activity from the early afternoon until well after the last race. Tim and Frank provided the main buffet courses but lots of other folks contributed.
Two dominant rides were executed by Ellen Sherrill in the women's A race and Scott Chapin in the men's A race. Both riders won their respective races with dominant and tactically flawless riding. Ellen battled her way to the front with Katie Jay Melina in the first couple of laps with Mary Ellen Ash leading it out at a fast pace to string out the peloton and create some passing room. It worked and Ellen took over at the front and with some savage attacks got a gap that stayed for the duration. Katie Jay got 4th and a podium spot while Mary Ellen would finish 11th and Sarah Jordan 13th.
In the men's A race , Scott Chapin rode third wheel until an opportunity to attack developed and then rode away from the strong field-winning by a full minute from the second place rider. Alex Work overcame a crash and a broken handlebar to finish 5th-his best of the season. Aaron Bradford riding with a bad cold finished a strong 12th-all three of these riders were on single speeds. Ben Dodge rode a consistant and strong race to finish 22nd.
In the 35 A masters race Brian Staby rode well in the second group to finish 8th while Matt Jordan came in at 28th. In the 45 A race Tim Watson, also riding with a cold finished a strong 8th place with Frank Kalcic coming in at 24th.
In the masters 45 B race , Craig Ball on his single speed came in 10th , Allan Bennett 11th and Benoit Dubuisson 16th with Michael Schaller coming in at 37th in the huge group.
In the womens B race Ariel Raymon came in 18th with Alexis De Zubria coming in at 21st.
In the single speed B race Allan Bennett came in at 27th and in the open B race Benoit Dubuisson finshed 59th. I managed a 14th in the mens 55+ race.