Thursday, November 20, 2008

CCCX #4 Report

Post Wins at CCCX #4 While Summer Conditions Greet Hardcore Cross Racers!~

The CCCX Series would like to thank all the riders who took part in race #4 of the series contested in Ft Ord today. Summer like conditions made the racing into a battle of attrition, as well as a battle of speed and strength. Many of the true hardcore Nor-Cal Cyclocross racers were pulling double duty after working a night shift in San Francisco at the B.A.S.P. twilight and evening bash. The riders who competed in both races will surely be on form heading into next weeks USA Cycling sanctioned NCNCA District Championships to be ran at legendary Manzanita Park in Prunedale at CCCX #5.

Thanks again goes out to all the racers who pulled out their sunscreen and raced CCCX #4, especially those who raced the previous night!

There were many great rides by Nor-Cal riders at CCCX #4, and some riders had break-out performances on the day.
Here is a small re-cap of some of the race action from Sunday.

ELITE WOMEN- Karen Brems(Webcor Builders) found a genuine liking to the course layout on Sunday. Brems has been improving her Cyclocross skills each week, and all of her hard work paid off with a fine victory on Sunday. Brems established a solid gap early on in the Elite Women's race and was going so fast, she even took a fierce slide out on one of the pavement to dirt transition portions of the course. However nothing could slow her down on this day of racing, and Brems re-mounted her bike and continued to extended her lead. In the end it was a 46 second victory ahead of CCCX Series leader Stella Carey(Rock Lobster). For most of the race Carey had her hands full of hard charging Melissa Schultz(Kaiser Perm/ Team Oakland). All Carey could do was hang on while Melissa drove the chase to catch Karen Berms. Carey then was able to separate herself from Schultz and ride to 2nd place on the day, with Schultz in a fine 3rd place after placing 4th the previous night at the B.A.S.P. event. Berms was also a outstanding 5th place at the B.A.S.P. night race the previous day. Maryanne Hunter(Freewheel/Hunter) also had a solid race finishing about 1 minute out of the top three on the day claiming 4th place. Bev Chaney(Roaring Mouse Racing) rounded out the top 5.

ELITE MEN- Team Rock Lobster/HRS dominated the weekend of Nor-Cal racing on the men's side of affairs. Three Rock Lobster riders grabbed the top 3 placing at the B.A.S.P. night extravaganza. Then three Rock Lobster riders did the same at CCCX #4 fun in the sun race. It was Alex Work who stepped up big time on Sunday claiming his first CCCX Elite Men's division Cyclocross win. Work did just that, he worked seriously hard during the race, driving the pace and setting himself up with a stellar win. Scott Chapin and Aaron Odell followed Work across the line making it a 1/2/3 finish for Team Lobster. Odell was the overall winner the previous night in San Francisco. While fine riding Scott Chapin claimed 2nd place both days in what has been a break out race season for the talented rider from Santa Cruz. Alex Work's outstanding win fully establishes himself as a rider to watch in future Nor-Cal Cyclocross races. Fouth place on the day was Jason Rahlwes(Family Cycling Center). Rahlwes was involved in a major tussle with Team Scott/Ritchey/SRAM rider Gabriel Keck. Keck was searching for a podium spot in order to bring home the Cal Giant Inc. Strawberries to his wife and kids. Keck also was representing the Scott/Ritchey/SRAM team for the first time this season, and was hoping to get a solid placing for the team. In the end Rahlwes put seven seconds into Keck in what was some excellent Cyclocross racing between the two. Other riders to make the top ten were, Aaron Kereluk(Rock Lobster/HRS) & Pat Rocchi of Marina who had a wild sprint between the two at the finish, Brendan O'Brien(Specialized), Rich Maile(Specialized), and Salvador Borrego(Freewheel/ Hunter), who finished in that order.

MASTER MEN 35+ A- This stacked division came down to reigning Masters National Champion James Coates(Morgan Stanley/Specialized) and Gannon Myall(Cal Giant/Specialized) going for the win. The racing was extremely tight as past Masters National Champion Todd Hoefer(Cal Giant/Specialized) desperatly wanted to make the winning move, however was slightly slowed by his lack of bunny hopping skills over the board sections on the course. Hoefer's lack of big air jumping on his Cross bike, meant he lost a edge in these sections of the route. And when you combine the power and skill of Coates and Myall, Hoefer could not lose ground lap after lap in certain sections if he expected to stay with the lead pair. Also chasing the lead three riders was a tremendously strong group lead by Tim Thompson(Black Market Racing), followed another 30 seconds back by Brock Dickie(, Murray Swanson(Penisula Velo/Kondra Systems), Don Myrah(, and Matt Kramer(Team San Jose/ Sugar CRM). Mike Sooder(Wife says no more bikes) and Mark Howland(Black Market Racing) were also in contact for a while with the chase groups until they were assaulted by a psychopathic cowboy on amphetamines, and this freak happening seriously slowed their progress. Up front it appeared as if Myall and Coates were working together to hold off one of Nor-Cal's best Cross racers ever, the smooth as silk Hoefer. It took the two bunny hopping studs working together to deter the fast riding Hoefer and allow the win to be decided between possibly the most on form Masters racers during the 2008 season Myall & Coates. For Coates it has almost been a perfect season, his worst performance so far has been 2nd place in races he appears to give away as a token to other riders. For CCCX #4 Myall was the beneficiary of this gesture, maybe.......... In the end Myall outsprinted the relaxed Coates for a excellent win when all was said and done. Hoefer was third, while Tim Thompson and Brock Dickie rounded out the top 5.

MASTER MEN 45+- Steve Gile(HRS Rock Lobster) came into the event slightly injured with a strained calf muscle. However you could not tell of his injury from his practice sessions on the course leading up to the race. Gile zoomed around the race route in the days before the event, and even if he was hurt, his speed was there and the other riders were in for war. Gile was also the winner at his previous 2 CCCX races, but did suspiciously miss the climbing race at Laguna Seca. During the race the top four riders established superiority within 3 laps. Gile had a slight lead early. but the Norm Kriess(Cal Giant Inc.) did some serious work to bridge up to Gile bringing along Steve Hess(SCCCC Team Santa Cruz)& Mark Abele(Black Market Racing). This battle between the four riders then turned into one of the best races of the day. Kriess was foaming at the mouth wanting to upend the smooth riding Gile and claim the win. While Steve Hess was riding very controlled and was looking to snatch victory away from the other 45+ Master racers. Mark Abele had a outside shot at the win and was looking to be the spoiler and bring home the Gold medal to add to his large collection of cycling awards hardware. It came down to the 4 riders marking each other on the final lap, in what became a poker tournament on wheels. Toward the end of the half mile pavement section near the finish, Gile was the first to attack. This move appeared to be the right one as he led through the tricky turns leading to the finish area, then outsprinted the other four for the win. Kreiss was having none of that, and did not back down as the two riders went elbow to elbow in the sprint for the line. Gile seemed to deviate his sprint breaking up Kreiss's momentum, however the official revue gave the strong sprint between the two to Gile, and a clean victory for the Rock Lobster racer. Hess was next across the line with his best finish to date in this class with 3rd place. Abele had to settle for 4th place on the day. Brett Lambert(HRS Rock Lobster), who was also in contact with the lead group for most of the race limped across the line for 5th place another 30 seconds later. Lambert and Gile make a exciting duo to watch in this class, and they appear to be on form heading into the District Championships coming up Nov. 23 at Manzanita park in Prunedale.

SINGLE SPEED A- The Single Speed A Division set off at a blistering pace for lap one. Getting the whole shot was Mike Evans(SCCCC Team Santa Cruz) followed by team mate David Gill(SCCCC Team Santa Cruz). The pace shattered the front of the race and this high tempo start set off Keith DeFiebre(Scott/Ritchey/Sram) and Tim Cannard( on a mini break. These two riders were soon joined by Cesar Chavez(, Ruben Villarreal(Marciel Velo/2 Mobile), and John Cheetham(InfoVista). All of the early efforts from a mixed bag of riders turned into a five man break that stayed in close contact lap after lap. Doing most of the pace work was a super strong Cannard. Cannard basically drove the pack along the single track sections of the course and continued to pull on most of the flat pavement sections. DeFiebre would hit the uphill pavement hard, leading Cannard away from the others, and this put pressure on Chavez, Cheetham, & Vallarreal. Leading into the final lap it was obvious it was going to be a tight battle for the win between four riders from the early break as Chavez had dropped back off the lead group. DeFiebre appeared to give Cannard a huge lead out near the finish. Cannard was seemingly shouting directions as if setting up his final sprint with the help of DeFiebre. Vallarreal and Cheetham gave chase, but in the final portions of the course DeFiebre pulled Cannard into his winning position and then sat up, or seemed to suffer severe cramps. Either way, Cannard did a huge sprint on the pavement section on his way to earning a excellent Single Speed win. Defiebre was 2nd place and Vallarreal claimed the bronze medal in 3rd place. Cannard has had a excellent season of racing and this was his third CCCX win out of the four races contested.

CATEGORY B MEN- Brian Duke of the Salinas High School MTB Team posted his first Cross win in thrilling style. The division was full of experienced riders, yet Duke out hustled the entire group for the win. Duke looks set to have a strong MTB season for the High School league races, and his win against some very strong Croos riders shows that the Salinas resident is for real when it comes to racing his bike. Series leader Nico Cerna(VOS Racing) was second place seven seconds behind the motivated Duke. Tyler Frasca(SV Cyclesport) was 3rd place on the day about 35 seconds back. Making up the rest of the top 5 were Eric Highlander(Evil Cycling) in 4th and Mark Shaw(Vertical Pandas) in 5th place.

MASTER MEN 35+ B- Matthew Carinio(Art's Cyclery) of San Luis Obispo rode to a excellent win in a extremely tight race. Carinio was pressed severly during the entire race from Greg Galuppo(Infovista Cycling) and David Hopkins(SCCCC Team Santa Cruz). These three riders were in a shoot out for the win after gapping the rest of the riders early on in the 45 minute affair. Carinio simply had to much leg power and Cyclocross skill as the final laps came to a close. Carinio was able to get a small gap on Galuppo and Hopkins and hold it all the way to the finish for his first CCCX race win. Galuppo then out sprinted Hopkins on the line.

MASTER MEN 45+ B- Mike Bodge(Cal Giant Inc.) of Santa Cruz rode to a 23 second win over a very strong group of 45+ riders. Bodge topped Bob Skubis(Easton/ Sugar CRM) in what was a very strategic race combined with multiple attacks and constant surges. Third on the day was Tuolmne's Bruce Lodge(Black Market Racing) who finished around one minute behind second place Skubis. Next came one of the top Team Directors in all of California, Paul Sadoff(HRS Rock Lobster). Sadoff had a great ride on the day, while his team had eeven a greater weekend dominating the Elite Men's racing completely. Sadoff takes great care of his riders, and like all great teams, his riders enjoy riding together and seem to dig extra deep to pay back Sadoff for all his awesome team organizational skills.

MASTER MEN 55+ - Gregory Sage(EB Velo) of Oakland posted an outstanding win, beating one of the best 55+ racers in America into second place Frank Cuaresma(Cal Ginat Inc.)
Sage was the winner by a solid 53 seconds proving he is one of the most fit and most strong 55+ riders in Nor-Cal. Third on the day was "Jammin" Joseph Crabtree(Forest Hill Bike Shop) of Pacific Grove. Crabtree is a excellent rider who supports the local racing scene in a very strong way.

CATEGORY C MEN- Mathew Davidson( topped a very strong group of riders to pick up the gold medal in the wards ceremony. Davidson distanced the other riders early in the race and never looked back on his way to a win by just around 1 minute. Joseph Desante(Hwy 68 Hilbilies) was 2nd place finishing one minute ahead of 3rd placed Gary Johnson of Livermore. Johnson has been receiving coaching, nutrition information, power readings, massages, technique advice, and bike set up facts from super stud Shane Huntoon, and clearly all of this help has paid off for the fine riding Johnson.

JUNIOR MEN 14-18- Steven Crowley(SHS Cowboy Racing) showed fin form in winning this very crowded division. This group is dominated by the Bike Trip team, and it showed Crowley's strength and fight to take the win away from the powerful Bike Trip junior squad. Bike Trip placed 7 juniors inside the top 10 on the day lead by Dylan MacDonald. 3rd place was Carl Dawson of Santa Cruz.

JUNIOR MEN 13 & under- "Super" Samuel Cerruti(Cal Giant Inc.) keeps getting stronger on stronger as the seasons roll on. This kid has done many races, and his hard work is starting to pay off, it certainly did on this day with a fine win. Mathew Valenica(Sterling Sports Grp) was second place on the day, Valencia is a rider who is also showing improvement as the season progresses. His strong riding and smooth form over the boards has developed for all to see over the 2008 Cross season. I look for many more fine races from these two junior riders over the next few years.

CATEGORY B WOMEN- Beth Welliver(Velo Bella) is on fire. Welliver has ripped off multiple wins on the year, after opening her season with a 2nd place at Laguna Seca. Welliver is constant on all aspects of Cross and this steady riding leads her to great results. Next to finish in this fast group of skilled riders was Lainey Aldrigde(Bike Trip), Jasmins Parsins(Infovista), and Rita Celeste Leon(SCCCC Team Santa Cruz) finishing in that order.

Michelle Perez(Velo Bella) and Lauren Haughey(Kaiser Perm/ Team Oakland) are two of the most respected and admired female racers in Nor-Cal. Both ladies are fine riders who support many races and racers, as well as contribute to Nor-Cal cycling with photo work and writings of local happenings. Both ladies were division winners on the day, and the CCCX Series is honored to have these two fine women racing in the CCCX Series.

MASTER WOMEN 45+- Winona Hubbard(SCCCC Team Santa Cruz) claimed a strong win over a solid group of 45+ racers. Hubbard was the division winner by 1 minute over Amy Abele(Velo Bella Kona). Abele deserves huge props for her fighting spirit and determination. During the event Abele took a huge fall and suffered some serious grinding of the skin and road rash to the 3rd degree. Abele was not deterred and finished the event after picking herself up off the tarmac and riding on. This shows great guts from this racer, and Abele is awarded with the "MVP" for CCCX #4 for her non quitting style and toughness. Yvonne Walbroehl(Protech Racing) finished a scant 10 seconds behind the durable Abele to grab the bronze medal on the day.

JUNIOR WOMEN- For this division it is "like father like daughter", as Madeline Myall(Cal Giant Inc.) follows in her fathers footsteps by winning Cyclocross races. Myall Jr. is silky smooth on the Cross bike, and just her strong dismounts and hops back on the bike put time into other junior riders. Myall is also extremely fit and seems to be one of the fastest juniors in california at the moment. Another fast junior who keeps getting better and better while time moves on is Brenda Mai(Velo Bella). Mai is in her first year of Cyclocross, but shows amazing strength and skill for a first year racer. Mai gave her all to chase Myall, but on this day Myall was the superior racer. Gabriela Crowley(Cowboy Racing) was 3rd place on the day, with Emily Cerna(Cowboy Racing) in 4th place.


Here is a link to the complete list of results..........

And here is a link to Rick Rasmusen's excellent photos........

Thanks again for racing!


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