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Hillier Prevails at Singlespeed

23 November 2014

Pilarcitos and Tom Simpson’s experiment, of single-category racing, was spread across 2 days for the Candlestick event…and nearly everything was on show. The first day opened under rain and wind yet closed out under blue, sunny skies and the wonderful light of a setting sun. The following day saw Women’s B and C categories each on the course for their own, unfettered racing. There was another day of temperate climate in late November and Keith Hillier (Team Rambuski Law) slammed the door on the competition to take the Singlespeed A race.

On his Win, Hillier Salutes Team Rambuski Law

On his Win, Hillier Salutes Team Rambuski Law

On lap one, and with his gears zip-tied, Hillier was fourth wheel as the field raced out toward the backside of the course. As the field sped back toward the stadium, the Team Rambuski Law rider had made up one position. But then he attacked with sublime aplomb. Within a distance of 50m, and by the four-in-a-row plank barriers, Hiller took a lead he would never relinquish. With nowt but simple concentration on his face, Hillier turned his cranks and distanced himself from a very capable group.

In spite of the command on display by Hillier, much remained on tap in the race for second place. A train of four racers all vied for the second step of the podium with Stacey Sell (Family Cycling Center/Ibis) taking up much of the early pace. Behind him were Justin White (SuperPro Racing), Mark “Howie” Howland (Family Cycling Center/Ibis), and Alex Trevena (Velo Fratello p/b Bay Equity).

At this early stage of the race, Dan Hoeppner (6Fifteen Racing) was sitting in eighth. He would, by the second lap, join the train, racing for second, behind Howland. With the race fast approaching the bell lap, Sell, Trevena, and Hoeppner solidified the contest for second place amongst themselves, after first dropping Howland and then White.

Stacey Cell in the Train for Second

Stacey Cell in the Train for Second

A late attack put Sell out of the running. Trevana was behind Hoeppner coming up the finish straight. In the sprint that ensued, Trevena edged ever closer to putting his front wheel ahead. As both riders charged at full tilt down the long straightaway, Hoeppner drifted to his left and squeezed most of the space that Trevana had to pass. Hoeppner took the prize.

Hoeppner and Trevena Vie for Second in a Sprint-Finish

Hoeppner and Trevena Vie for Second in a Sprint-Finish

The disappointed Trevena settled for third, unexpectant he would progress in the standings by mana off the race course. Sell crossed in fourth with White taking the last podium-presentation place.

The race rounded off an excellent weekend of cyclocross for the region. Tom Simpson’s first impressions from executing the experiment were of gratitude for fiscal balancing and a long eye toward the future. It was curious to balance this quieter weekend against the boisterous night race at Sierra Point or the heady days of Golden Gate Park. At least on this second day, all the noise came almost exclusively from the race-course. Previous BASP events often had much as liveliness outside the tape.

Brems Cranks Out a Win as Cerrutti Out-Duels a Team Mate

22 November 2014

On the Saturday of BASP’s Candlestick weekend, Karen Brems (Team Rambuski Law) overtook and held off the hole-shot leader Amanda Schaper (Caletti Cycles) to secure another win in her season, though it was her first at BASP this year. In another first, Sam Cerruti battled his Family Cycling Center/Ibis team mate Ben Jacques-Maynes to victory as a mechanical failure scuttled Scott Chapin’s bid for a third win at BASP.

Brems Salutes Another Win and a First at BASP 2014

Brems Salutes Another Win and a First at BASP 2014

The day started out cold, wet, and windy. Those were idealized conditions for the cyclocross racer that appreciates the traditions of the sport, not to mention the realities of racing in the autumn and winter seasons. Much of the soft, sandy terrain at Candlestick Point turned to slippery mud for the early race categories, running the Clark Natwick course in reverse. Once the rains ceased, the wind and sun began to dry out the ground and the soil went through a transition of soft, tacky mud that was viscous enough to slow down racers. The worst muddy sections ran into the wind.

By the time of the Elite Women’s race, the sun was beaming and growing compacted lines meant only a few tough muddy sections remained a challenge, though they all required more power output.

Brems Working Hard Early

Brems Working Hard Early

Brems to the Fore
Under pressure from a clearly motivated Katie Styer (Team Jortz) and two others, Schaper was able to grab the hole-shot and the early lead. Lying in wait and true to form, Brems quickly caught Schaper, challenged, and took over the lead before the end of the first lap.

By the second lap, a growing gap between first and second suggested the race for the win could soon go out of contention. Brems was running a controlled race, picking her lines, and reserving her strength for the difficult muddy sections.

Although a little way back in second place, and picking a few different lines from Brems, Schaper nevertheless stayed in the race by keeping the gap on a rubber band. After the lap card had flipped over and over, a late-race bobble still could easily have changed the race’s outcome.

Brems, however, appeared as though she was racing in a good rhythm, thus making Schaper’s challenge a difficult ask. In the end, the winning margin was 31 seconds for the TRL racer as she rid herself of the slew of second place finishes this season at BASP.

“It was harder than it looked,” remarked Brems. “I had a bad start but got around everybody except Amanda [Schaper]. She was on a bad line so I passed her. I drilled the flats and got a gap but then all of a sudden, on the muddy sections, she was right on my wheel.

“I had to go hard again. I gapped her at the start-finish but then she almost caught me again on the second lap. I had to drill it on every straight-away but you need power in the mud too. I couldn’t rest in the mud so it was hard.

“[The mud] just took power and you had to stay on a groove. Some of the sections there really wasn’t a line, just a bunch of grooves from tape-to-tape. We don’t get much practice at that.”

Just behind Brems and Schaper in the field, Fresh Air/Hunter teammates Kathleen Bryan and Leah Plack contested third place with serious intent. Bryan had an early advantage but a bobble on one of the slippery changes in elevation handed that over to Plack. The pair would then race against each other for position. It took another couple laps but Bryan finally took control of the position all the way to the checkered flag.

Fifth place went to Janie Dalton (First Republic/Missing Link) who suffered an early seat post failure and a late challenge from Kristin Drumm (CX Nation). Drumm too had a poor early race but she did pass for position and closed the gap on Dalton. Were there only another lap or two then both riders would have to stake a claim for the last podium-presentation place.

Janie Dalton Stays Ahead of Kristin Drumm

Janie Dalton Stays Ahead of Kristin Drumm

Excellent Field for Men’s Race
Despite the draw of points down south, the race for Elite Men lined up a quite impressive field. Masters racers Murray Swanson (Pen Velo) and Justin Robinson (Cal Giant/Specialized) were amongst the starters. Everyone needed to keep in mind Robinson recently won both his Master’s race and Elite Men on the same day at CSU Monterey Bay.

Keith Hillier (Team Rambuski Law) added his pedigree to the race. Two other favorites included Ben Jacques-Maynes and Aaron Bradford (Family Cycling Center/Ibis).

In the first lap, Robinson led Jacques-Maynes but the Family Cycling Center racer took over the lead at the 180° up and back over a 1-meter ridge. Chapin was in an ominous third place vying for his third BASP win in a row yet he was to suffer a double mechanical. After switching bikes, the race seemed completely lost to Chapin with Jacques-Maynes out front. In coincidence, Chapin’s former Rock Lobster team mate Bradford also fell foul to a mechanical.

Ben Jacques-Maynes takes away the Early Lead from Justin Robinson

Ben Jacques-Maynes takes away the Early Lead from Justin Robinson

Robinson began to lose touch with the lead before, almost out of nowhere, Cerruti and Jacques-Maynes became the two leaders. It was experience versus youth and a tremendous amount of momentum and expectation for the former National Champion. And so it lends credence to the accomplishment that, with a couple of laps remaining, Cerruti put a gap between himself and Jacques-Maynes.

With the sun dropping below the San Bruno hills, Cerruti took his lead all the way to the chequered flag but only after Chapin added more excitement to the race. Recovering from his mechanical and very deep in the field, the Rock Lobster racer put in a brave and impressive effort to steal the win. He reached Robinson and Hillier, fighting for third place after Kurt Wolfgang slid on the course and out of contention. After passing those two, his sights were set on Jacques-Maynes and Cerruti before he ran out of laps.

Cerruti Wins at BASP with the Sun Setting

Cerruti Wins at BASP with the Sun Setting

Select Results
Elite Women
1. Karen Brems (Team Rambuski Law)
2. Amanda Schaper (Caletti Cycles)
3. Kathleen Bryan (Fresh Air/Hunter Cycles)
4. Leah Plack (Fresh Air/Hunter Cycles)
5. Janie Dalton (First Bank/Missing Link)
6. Kristin Drumm (CX Nation)
7. Emily McKissock (Team Caletti)

Elite Men
1. Sam Cerruti (Family Cycling Center/Ibis)
2. Ben Jacques-Maynes (Family Cycling Center/Ibis)
3. Scott Chapin (Voler/BMW/HRS/Rock Lobster)
4. Keith Hillier (Team Rambuski Law)
5. Justin Robinson (Cal Giant/Specialized)
6. Sen Estes (Muscle Milk/Specialized)
7. Scott Hooper (Bicycles Plus/Sierra Nevada)

Compete results are available at the BASP website.

Photo Gallery

‘Cross as ‘Cross Can Be

19 November 2014
Gibson Ranch Park
Sacramento Series 2014

By Thom Fox

Saturday was the Sacramento Cyclocross Series at Gibson Ranch Park in Elverta near Sacramento. The folks who run SacCX have worked hard this year to expand their series and add a few new venues at the same time. ‘Cross racing venues are hard to come by since they can take a very visible but most often temporary toll on the landscape it occupies for a day. Even in the driest of conditions this can beat down and scar hill and dale. Add seasonal rains to the recipe and things can be dramatic.

After the Race Gibson Ranch Park

After the Race Gibson Ranch Park

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Dezendorf Out Sprints Brems as Chapin Calls His Shot

8 November 2014

The BASP Sierra Point Night Race had a nifty race for Elite Women, with Caroline Dezendorf (Marin Bikes) taking a big victory. In the race for Elite Men, Scott Chapin (Voler/Steven’s Creek BMW/HRS/Rock Lobster) fulfilled a declaration from the previous week in a marvelous win.

L to R: Bryan, Brems, Dezendrof, Drumm, Schaper

L to R: Bryan, Brems, Dezendrof, Drumm, Schaper

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Judelson and Dalton Win at Bumpy Stafford Lake

2 November 2014

Janie Dalton (First Republic/Missing Link) executed her strategy to perfection in a dominating win for Elite Women at Stafford Lake Wildcat. In the race for Elite Men, team mates Max Judelson and Scott Chapin reprised their previous day’s race as Judelson led Voler/Steven’s Creek BMW/HRS/Rock Lobster to a one-two finish.

On Top of Her Game, Janie Dalton

On Top of Her Game, Janie Dalton

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Hallow’s Eve by the Sea

29 October 2014

Surf City Cyclo-X is many things. The oldest cyclocross series in the USA, a great place to race ‘cross in the Monterey-Santa Cruz Bay Area, and home to the district’s perennial Halloween Race. This past Sunday saw the 2014-version of costumed riders flaunting their fineries on bikes – and rags to Sunday best, the race proved another scene of color, ensemble, and the rrrrrrr of bicycles in motion. That sound is oft heard so here is a selection of images from the day that may never be seen again – or, perhaps even better, are never seen again!

What does the devil do at a 'cross race?

What does the devil do at a ‘cross race?

Cheat!

Cheat!

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Brems and Ortenblad Tame Surf City

26 October 2014

At it’s perennial Halloween Event, Ben Jacques-Maynes and Surf City Cyclo-X set out an exciting and testing course. The challenge was met as both Karen Brems (Team Rambuski Law) and Tobin Ortenblad (Cal Giant/Specialized) opened their accounts, in the three-race series, with wins at Aptos High School.

Brems Triumphs on a Challenging Surf City Course

Brems Triumphs on a Challenging Surf City Course

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