19 October 2014
Carolina Dezendorf (Marin Bikes) and Scott Chapin (Rock Lobster) grabbed Elite category wins at the second event for the Santa Rosa Cup CX. The result is two from two for Dezendorf whereas Chapin joins Michael Hosey as event winners in the series produced by Bike Monkey and CX Nation.
The course at Place-to-Play Park was flat and long with embankments for off-camber changes in elevation. There were few opportunities to recover and the race pace was fast. Corners with soft terrain and one particular short climb were places along the course that could change a race’s outcome. The latter had a 12cm concrete lip at the top; it required skill at bike handling as well as good timing to overcome. Racer’s could lose ground by failing to get their bike cleanly onto the concrete pathway and hinder the progress of others.
First and Second Decided Early
In the race for Elite Women, Dezendorf and Kristin Drumm (CX Nation) took the early lead. Kelly Chang (Rock Lobster) was a short distance back in third with Sarah Bamberger taking up the challenge from fourth. By the second lap, Dezendorf and Drumm were consolidating their positions in first and second, respectively.
This left third place to be decided. Chang came under some pressure only to see Bamberger slip out on a loose corner. Up stepped Fresh Air/Hunter riders Leah Plack and Kathleen Bryan after they quickly rounded the stricken rider. Once Bamberger caught back up, four racers were vying for third place. Chang, Plack, Bryan, and Bamberger pushed hard for a couple of laps before losing Bryan. Chang’s resistance finally gave way as a rejuvenated Bamberger took over third place for good. Later, Plack would take fourth ahead of Chang.
At the sharp end of the race, Drumm was putting in a steady race-pace but Dezendorf’s was solid. The Marin Bikes racer was unrelenting as she built up a 68-second winning margin.
Two Against One
The Elite Men’s race started off at a ferocious pace. Kurt Wolfgang led the field for most of the first lap in front of a long line of riders in close pursuit. The character for the remainder of the race appeared on the second lap; Brian Finnerty (Cal Giant/Specialized) and Chapin were out front. Continuing to add to his success this year, Max Judelson (Rock Lobster) was chasing hard in third just a few bike lengths back. The Cal Giant rider had two Lobsters to contend with.
Wolfgang fell back to fourth and for much of the race looked as though he had the position sown up. Charging hard from fifth, Andrew Nelson (Vive la Tarte/Huckleberry Bicycles) was gradually edging closer to Wolfgang. It appeared for a while the two may come together late in the race to decide fourth, but, Wolfgang stiffened up his gap nearing the bell lap, eventually securing fourth by 26 seconds.
Once Judelson made full contact with Chapin and Finnerty, the three protagonists exchanged leads and continued their fast pace. Each took turns in attacking; Finnerty put his head down about half-distance into the race in a move that only held a brief promise. Later, Judelson bobbled at the concrete-lipped climb, causing both himself and team mate Chapin to lose ground. They nevertheless caught back up to Finnerty as the three raced toward the checkered flag.
Very late attacks came from Judelson first but then a deciding move from Chapin. This time Finnerty would lose control of his bike in an entanglement. The damage was done and Chapin would never relinquish his lead. On his second day of racing, the Rock Lobster rider would hold his 20-second gap for the remaining three laps.
Finnerty took over sole possession of second and was unable to narrow the gap to Chapin. Judelson added to a slew of good finishes this season with another podium.
1. Caroline Dezendorf (Marin Bikes)
2. Kristing Drumm (CX Nation)
3. Sarah Bamberger
4. Leah Plack (Fresh Air/Hunter)
5. Kelly Chang (Rock Lobster)
6. Sarah Powers
7. Laurel Larson
8. Kathleen Bryan (Fresh Air/Hunter)
1. Scott Chapin (Rock Lobster/HRS/Voler)
2. Brian Finnerty (Cal Giant/Specialized)
3. Max Judelson (Rock Lobster/HRS/Voler)
4. Kurt Wolfgang
5. Andrew Nelson (Vive la Tarte/Huckleberry Bicycles)
Full results are available at the series web site.