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.

Monday, November 04, 2013

Stafford Lake wildcat race

This was race #3 in the Nor-Cal CX series and it would be a windy fast and dry course. The promoter threw in some gimmicks like a hay-bale maze and a 'Belgian wall" which was more hay bales with a 3' wall in the middle. I'm not a fan of this stuff but these items were probably the most interesting ( and irritating) features on the course. Traditional CX racing this is not, but it is racing-and hard racing at that.
The womens fields were pretty big, especially the B race where we had two entrants. Unfortunately the results were a bit of  a mess so I don't have all of the placings but I'll be able to confirm some:Ariel Raymon was top-10 in the womens B field with Lexi following. Katie Jay Melina got 4th in the womens A race-it was her birthday . Ellen Sherrill fresh off a win the previous day in Sacramento got 2nd in the same race. Scott Chapin also got 2nd in the mens A race with Ben Dodge following in mid-pack. 
 Tim Watson and Allan Bennett both got 4th places in their respective 45A and 45B races. I'm pretty sure I was 7th in the 55+ race but the officials actually asked me the names of the riders who came in ahead of me. Fortunately I knew  all their names as they always come in ahead of me. Check the Nor-Cal results when they come up .
 Here's Ellen after a hard day in the saddle.
Here's Scott on the mens A podium after a long, dusty race.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Surf City II Harbor High

 Without some key riders from the team able to make it to this race we were still probably the dominant team on the day. There were Bicycle Bluebook riders on nearly every podium. In the mens A race Scott Chapin got 3rd-definitely on his way up in the elite peloton. Andrew Juiliano was always near the front finishing 6th with both Kevin Crossley (9th) and Alex Work (10th) up there in the top-ten action. Zac Stanley finished on the lead lap in 22nd and Aaron Odell finished 26th.

 Katie Jay Melina rode a strong race at or near the front of the womens A race for seven punishing laps of the hilly course finishing 4th. Mary Ellen Ash finished with another top ten in 9th.
 Livia Perez got 3rd in the womens 35+  not missing a podium opportunity all season.
 Ariel Raymon seemed to like the diffcult and techincal track and finished 4th in the womens B race.
Here's the mens A podium.
Sean Coffey showed that he is one of the top Nor-Cal single speeders with a 3rd place in the single speed A race. We also had some great placings in the mens masters: Brian Staby in the mens 35 A race finished 9th, Frank Kalcic  in the 45 A race finished 21st, Mark Abele got the win of the day in the mens 55+ with me trailing in 9th, Brent Harris 12th and Rick Ortenblad having a mechanical that took him out of the race. One of the best rides of the day was Alan Bennett finishing 2nd in the mens 45 B race with Benoit Dubuisson following in 8th, Craig Ball in 12th and Michael Schaller in 25th.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Santa Rosa Cup I

 This flat bumpy race marked Matt Garcia's return to racing after a long summer of injuries. He would finishh 13th in the men's B field. In the men's 55+ field Brent Harris got 9th and I managed 7th. Frank Kalcic was our only other master rider and rode to 11th in the 45+ A field.
Ellen Sherrill had a strong race and used the turns to outdistance nearly all of the field finishing 2nd in the women's A race. Ariel Raymon would finish 5th in the women's B race.
 Brian Staby who normally rides in the 35+A field not only help put on the race but finished 12 in the men's A field.
 We had a visit from former team racer Joshua Snead , now sporting a beard much like Scott Chapin. Speaking of Scott, he would overcome a mid-pack start to finish 3rd for his best result of the season to this point.

Monday, October 07, 2013

Newest sponsor : Blackspire

 These chainrings and saddles will be on the elite teams bikes for 2013. I even get to try some and since my old chainrings were totally shot I was very happy when the box arrived.
I took off my old tattered saddle of the last four seasons:9 oz. I took out this new saddle: 9 oz. Well, I cna't blame extra weight from the saddle to explain not making the podium ! I'll be putting out a report on all this new stuff as will members of the team. Thanks, Blackspire !Glad that someone still makes a 130 BCD 46 ring !