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.
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 !
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.