Sunday, December 27, 2015

Nor-Cal district championships-Cal Fire, Bonny Doon

 This race draws most of the best of Nor-Cal CX racers, even if the course is well off the beaten track.The fields were pretty big and the course was one of the bumpiest, most punishing tracks of the year. Some fared well in spite of the hammering the body and bike took during the race. Since the weather had been dry for most of the month there was no mud anywhere on the course and plenty of pinch flats were had.
 In the women's A race Ellen Sherrill rode strongly to get 3rd and the district bronze medal. Campbell steers started strongly but suffered in the second half of the race to finish 7th.

 Another casualty of the race was Justin Abbott, starting with the lead group but having to withdraw after 5 laps with a back injury.
 Max Judelson was the strongest of the team riding with the leader until late in the race and hanging onto 2nd place, outwitting a strong chase group. Kaitlin Waterman was one of the riders getting stronger as the race progressed , finishing 18th.
 Brendan Lehman rode the single speed A race as preparation for the nationals and in spite of two bike changes and a long run after a flat tire rode to 4th on the day and a bronze district medal.
 Finshing 15th on the day after a flat tire and a slow wheel change, Scott Junker still had enough points to garner 5th overall in the series in the single speed A race.
In master's racing the fields were some of the biggest of the season. Ken Dick had another strong ride int eh 35 A race coming in 11th. In the 45 B race Frank Kalcic led the team standings getting 13th with Michael Schaller coming in 20th and Deter Adam coming in 22nd.   In the 55 + race, Rick Ortenblad raced well to finish 15th while I became a casualty to a bad back limping in at 21st.
 In the single speed B race Benoit Dubuisson had mechanicals and finished well back his usual spot in 18th. Javier Valencia was our only entrant in the men's B race , finishing 27th.
This was not our best race of the season but certainly not a bad showing with three district medals and some impressive riding.

BASP final, Coyote Point

The weather was sprinkling on and off for some of the races on this day so the result was constantly changing conditions on the course. This made for some crashes as the course got slicker later in the day. Early races were pretty wet as well-in the morning Michael Schaller navigated the huge 45B field to finish 32nd. Our two entrants in the 35A field did well with Ken Dick getting 8th and Zac Stanley finishing 14th. Brendan Lehman showed that he's definitely getting ready for the nationals finishing 2nd in the single speed A race.

In the women's A race Campbell Steers made the podium with a great ride, coming in 4th with Kelly Chang having a decent ride finishing 10th.
 The men's B field was one of the biggest of the day and Javier Valencia had to start near the back. A bike change and a crash made his race far more difficult but he finished 32nd , riding the last laps on someone else's bike that was hopelessly too small !
 In the men's A race we had four riders, all of whom finished on the lead lap. The big winner was Max Judelson , winning his 3rd BASP event in the series. Ian Stowe rode very strong late in the race to finish 15th as did Kailin Waterman coming in at 20th. Recent So-Cal transplant Eric Nelson rode to  31st starting from the very back of the group.
Here's Max winning the race in a display of confidence and great tactical riding.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

SLO weekend-CX So-Cal style

Getting out of town to chase USAC points is something that the team's not done much of in 2015 but this weekend sounded too good to pass up. Dorothy Wong always puts together a great race and this small but well run event was no exception. The team did not bring a large group as there was a local Santa Cruz race on Sunday that was a classic local event. This kept our traveling team lean but still very potent as there were wins and podiums both days. 
In the men's A race Andrew Juiliano and Max Judelson went 2nd and 3rd both days. Ben Dodge got 5th in the 35 A race pretty much off the couch and David Crum got 5th in the single speed B race. The big star of the weekend had to be Ellen Sherrill who won both days convincingly. 
Saturday saw a larger group from the team with Javier Valencia getting 8th in the men's B race,Craig Ball getting 7th in the men's 45 B race , Alexis De Zubria getting 6th in the women's B race and David Crum getting 15th in the men's 45 B race, his second of the day. 
The Saturday race was dry, dusty and very bumpy so a lot of folks were happy to leave and skip the Sunday race. This was unfortunate as the rain came in early Sunday morning and made for a terrific classic muddy track-a complete change from the day before. Even I managed to get 5th Sunday so that all of the team racers on that day were on the podium. 
Saturday night we were in downtown SLO for a team dinner-the experience reminded me of earlier trips - this was a great gathering and this is really a great group of racers......the good riding only being part of what makes this team very special. A big thanks goes out to our sponsors, the folks that provided host housing and especially to Dorothy Wong and Tyler Wertenbruch for putting on a great event. 
CX is alive and well in So-Cal !

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Sierra Point weekend races

 Saturday was the epic night race at Sierra point-this usually marks the mid-point of the season and is a race where traditionally the team has had some great victories over the last 6-7 years. This night was no exception as Max Judelson captured the men's A race in an exciting sprint and Caroline Dezendorf got the win in the women's A race. With David Kalcic getting 3rd in the junior race and Benoit Dubuisson getting 4th in the single speed-B race along with Campbell Steers getting 3rd in the women's A race there were plenty of podiums for the team.
With David and Frank Kalcic manning the BBQ the tradition of food and drink trackside was in full force. Nobody left the team tent without getting something good. This was pretty much an all-day event and some folks camped to race the next morning.
 Other placings on the day were good as well-we had some pretty bad luck in the men's A race but all riders finished, even if it meant running the last half a lap which was the case with Brendan Lehman-he led the first lap and was always in the top-10 until a mechanical in the last lap made for a long run and a 37th place finish. Alex work had a dramatic crash on the last lap that also took him out of the top-10 to finish 17th. Kaitlin Waterman had to start on the 5th row but managed to claw his way up to 22nd at the finish . Eric Brown had to start in the back and with a heavy crash finished 42nd. Dean Poshard starting in the back finished in 50th.
 In the Women's A race Kelly Chang was rolling in the top-10 until a flat tire and brake trouble caused her to have to do a bike change. She did hang onto 15th with Mary Ellen Ash coming in just ahead at 13th .
 In the men's B race Javier Valencia started in the back of the 70+ field and rode all the way up to 32nd-remarkable considering all the traffic. In the 35 A race Ken Dick rode strong to a 13th place with Zac Stanley finishing at 30th. In the 45 B race Craig Ball led the team coming in at 17th with Frank Kalcic coming in 20th and Michael Schaller at 33rd. In the 55 plus Rick Ortenblad cracked the top-10 coming in 9th while I dragged myself in at 14th.
 After the race there was the team party-or something like that, basically a small fire with some battered and tired bike racers around it trying to stay warm. All in all, the showing for the team was excellent-carrying on the tradition of a really strong presence at this , arguably the biggest and best event of the Nor-Cal season.
The next morning the racing continued-this time with a stripped down version of the team as most of the folks had gone home. Max Judson won again, even more convincingly with a breakaway in the las lap. All others improved on their placings with Mary Ellen Ash getting 7th in the women's A race, Benoit Bubuisson 3rd in the single speed B race , Kailin Waterman getting 14th in the mens A race and Ken Dick getting 11th in the men's 35 A race.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Surf City Halloween race Harbor High

 Large companies make the bulk of bicycles out on the road and in racing there are few venues for handbuilt bikes. Cyclocross used to be the domain of specialty built custom bikes but the big companies got the idea that cyclocross is the growth sport and an opportunity for a new market. This is a great thing for the majority of racers as the production bikes are easier to come by and in some cases more affordable. What this does is make it difficult for a small builder to keep viable in the sport-small builders have to offer something better and with the Chinese produced light carbon CX bikes becoming the norm it is difficult to say that the custom bike made from steel, aluminum or titanium is better. I just let the racers tell me what is good and what isn't about my bikes and hope that I have a better idea and a more immediate way to respond to requests.
 We have some really great talent on this team and they provide not only great results but valuable feedback for me. There are many reasons to have a team-sell bikes , help support the sport , create a group of like minded folks that can all go out and have a good time and realize goals in their life. The reason I value is that fielding a team allows me to try to build better bikes-everyone including me can benefit from that.
 Now to the race report. As the results are not posted yet on the internet this will be as complete of a report as I can do based on what I saw today.  The first podium of the team on the day that I was told of was Benoit Dubuisson placing 5th in the single speed B race. I did get to see the women's elite race and Caroline Dezendorf continued her great season with a second place. Campbell Steers nearly made the podium in 6th and Kelly Chang rode to 12th.
 In the men's A race we had a full squad but most of the crew had to start from the back. This made for a difficult race for some-Matthew Tracy Cooke came to grief at some point early in the race and had to run a long ways to get on a borrowed bike while his race bike was repaired. Ian Stowe wound up steadly picking off riders eventually finishing 10th. Alex Work was nearly as successful riding up to the top-15. Another unfortunate was Brendan Lehman, riding strong early only to flat and have two bike changes but still he powered to finish just in front of Work.  Max Judelson showed some serious speed riding from the back all the way up to 4th place and a podium spot. The one rider with the good start was Justin Abbott who rode at the front aggressively and finished 3rd.
 In the single speed A race Kailin Waterman had a great race and finished 3rd against the largest and best single speed A field of the season so far.
 There were other team riders at the event, David Crum , Detlef Adam, Michael Schaller and Frank Kalcic in the 45 B race as well as Tim Watson in the 45 A race and Javier Valencia in the open B race. These placings will be up soon on the Surf City CX site, along with Single speed A rider Scott Junker. I hope that's everyone ! All in all, a good showing on the day -a very competetive day at that.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

CCCX Toro Park

With other races happening the same day the turnout for this challenging race was pretty small. Even though the numbers weren't there the competition was fierce in all classes. Our limited number of team riders made a pretty big impact on the day starting with Benoit Bubuisson getting 2nd in the single speed B race. In the mens 45 B race Michael Schaller rode to 12th and David Crum finished 18th.
 The next races were the mens master A and open age groups. In the 55+ Greg Foy , hobbled by a trained hamstring still finished 4th with Rick Ortenblad making the podium in 5th. In the new 60+ category I finally had some company-I managed 2nd while Hal Stanley finished in 3rd.
In the elite races we only had two riders in the men, none in the women's race. Our two racers were Brendan Lehman who rode at the front for the first few laps and held on for a podium spot in 5th. Matthew Tracy Cooke was in the front group when he lost his chain and had a lengthy delay dislodging the chain from the cranks. In spite of losing a lot of minutes and finding himself in last he was able to get up to speed and pass enough riders to get to 10th place. Without the mechanical I am pretty sure he would have been in the top-5. The consistent riding of Brendan Lehman , Benoit Dubuisson and others on the team will most likely result in high overall placings at the end of the series-a series that the team has always show well in.

Monday, September 28, 2015

CCCX III Manzanita park

 There have been many days in the history of this team where we brought about 3/4 of the team and at least 3/4 of them wound up on the podium. First of the day was David Kalcic racing the open C class instead of his 14-16 age group. He came in second. Next was Benoit Dubuisson getting second in the single speed B class adding to his two other podium spots in the series. Tim Watson rode strongly to third in the mens 45+ A race. Alexis De Zubria rode to third in the womens B race and Michelle Perez rode to third in the women's 45+ race. Greg Foy rode to third in the men's 55+ race , his fourth podium in as many races.
 In the Elite races the performance was even more dominant with Justin Abbott taking the win ( his first A win ever ) and 41 year old Alex Work coming in second. Rounding out the podium was Brendan Lehman riding a strong race finishing fifth. Ian Stowe came in eighth with a solid ride.The Womens Elite race was a similar story as Caroline Dezendorf rode an aggressive race for the win with Campbell Steers coming in third with a strong performance.
Other riders on the team had decent rides with Ben Dodge coming in tenth in the mens 35 A race, Rick Ortenblad 7th in the men's 55+, Frank Kalcic in twelfth in the men's 45 B race followed by Davind Crum in 18th, Detlef Adam in 22nd and Michael Schaller in 23rd.  Javier Valencia rode to 12th in the men's B field, one of the largest of the day.
 Ian Stowe in action riding well in spite of an earlier fall.
 Michael Schaller starting his race.
 Newcomer David Crum starting in the 45 B race.
 Campbell  Steers in full flight during the women's A race .
 Caroline on the front line starting a lead that she would not relinquish.
 The 45 A podium with Tim Watson.
The 55 + podium with Greg Foy.