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NorCal versus SoCal Moves to January

1 October 2014

An important post on the NorCal vs SoCal California State Cyclocross Championships social media site announces SamBarn Promotions is moving the NorCal versus SoCal race to 24-25 January 2015. This eliminates the conflict with several events that weekend incuding BASP, SacCX, Homegrown, and NCCX.

More details to follow soon…

The ‘Cross So Far 2014

1 October 2014

Is this the face of a future cyclocross rock star? Ben Gomez-Villafañe

Is this the face of a future cyclocross rock star? Ben Gomez-Villafañe

The first month of the season’s weekend racing is complete and Northern California Nevada has been witness to terrific cyclocross. The big opening began with the West Sac Cyclocross Grand Prix, presented Cedaron, a mighty affair next to the California State Capital. Later in September, Pilarcitos Cyclesports put on the Clif Bar Grand Prix Clark Natwick; an event reflecting some of the rich tradition from the region’s cyclocross whilst at the same time leading NorCal into the future.

Ellen Sherrill (Rock Lobster) and the Iconic Golden Bridge at West Sac

Ellen Sherrill (Rock Lobster) and the Iconic Golden Bridge at West Sac

John Mundelius (Cal Giant/Specialized) racing with the Candlestick Park Backdrop

John Mundelius (Cal Giant/Specialized) racing with the Candlestick Park Backdrop

A long running regional series, CCCX, began its eighteenth season and by month’s end had already four of its races in the book. Two of the smaller regional series, Sagebrush Cyclocross Series and Fresno County County Cyclocross, opened their seasons. Sagebrush made a both a literal and figurative eleventh-hour venue change but pulled off the logistics with equanimity.

Jim Pappe (Spy Giant) Negotiates a Sandy Sharp Turn on the San Joaquin at FCCX

Jim Pappe (Spy Giant) Negotiates a Sandy Sharp Turn on the San Joaquin at FCCX

Tobin Ortenblad (Cal Giant) Racing through Soggy Grass

Tobin Ortenblad (Cal Giant) Racing through Soggy Grass

Alex Work (Rock Lobster) Earns another Top-Five Finish at CCCX

Alex Work (Rock Lobster) Earns another Top-Five Finish at CCCX

Both Sagebrush and Fresno County, inadvertently for at least one of the series, laid out quite difficult courses. Racers with their shoulder’s hunched was a common enough site toward the latter laps. Watering the grass at Sagebrush’s Clayton Middle School made portions of the terrain soft and taxing. Near 180°C turns into off-camber climbs on soft ground took it out of racers at the Fresno County San Joaquin venue.

Through it all, the racing has risen above the individual course challenges. The camaraderie, through stretched on the field of racing, remains part and parcel a great reflection of the cyclocross community. And, without doubt, the regional season is off to a great 2014-15.

Rachel Lloyd (Cal Giant/Specialized) raced to wins at the West Sac and Clark Natwick Grands Prix whilst Karen Brems (Team Rambuski Law) took three wins at CCCX to boost her sixth place at West Sac and the second step of the podium at BASP. Tobin Ortenblad (Cal Giant/Specialized) is in fine form so far this season; after a fourth place finish at the West Sac, the Santa Cruz rider has raced to three wins at CCCX races along with second places at Sagebrush and the GP Clark Natwick.

Ryan Rinn (Vive la Tarte/Huckleberry Bicycles) has taken Single Speed Men by the scruff of its neck by finishing either first or second in all his races so far. Meanwhile, Ben Gomez-Villafañe (ibis/Buy-cell.com), at racing age 14, has mixed it with the big boys. The youngster has raced the top Men’s category at CCCX and the GP Clark Natwick; finishing 34th out of 49 and only a lap down against that field at Candlestick Point is a solid indication of Gomez-Villafañe’s potential.

Lloyd Dominates WSCXGP Elite Women

Lloyd Dominates WSCXGP Elite Women

Karen Brems (Team Rambuski Law) continues to exhibit her racing prowess

Karen Brems (Team Rambuski Law) continues to exhibit her racing prowess

Ryan Rinn (Vive la Tarte/Huckleberry Bicycles) Racing Extremely Well in Single Speed Men

Ryan Rinn (Vive la Tarte/Huckleberry Bicycles) Racing Extremely Well in Single Speed Men

Chris Neher (Off the Chain) and Mark Manning (DODOcase) on Suffer Bridge

Chris Neher (Off the Chain) and Mark Manning (DODOcase) on Suffer Bridge

Lee Slone (SuperPro) at the Grand Prix Clark Natwick

Lee Slone (SuperPro) at the Grand Prix Clark Natwick

Sagebrush Omnium

29 September 2014

The Sagebrush Cyclocross Series holds a two-day omnium on 4-5 October 2014. The first day’s venue is Hidden Valley Park in Reno with the follow-up at the Truckee Bike Park, Truckee. For those seeking points, the event does have USAC sanctioning.

With the recent weather moving in and out of Northern California, dropping rain in them thar’ hills, these races promise to be significantly less dusty. Perhaps even the weather deities will look down with those same eyes that a cyclocross racer yearns for the wet and muddy…after all, deities can certainly produce weather tomorrow that weatherpersons could not predict next week.

Noah Silverman Carrying on the Big Run-Up at Hidden Valley

Noah Silverman Carrying on the Big Run-Up at Hidden Valley

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Enter Fresno County CX on the San Joaquin

28 September 2014

The inaugural season for Fresno County Cyclocross (FCCX) kicked off yesterday on the San Joaquin River at Lost Lake Recreation Area. Race promotor Justin Morgan set up one of those challenging courses that racers hold a begrudging satisfaction in even finishing. Yet, by Morgan’s own admission, too little promotion had the result of a poor turnout. Even with USAC points on the line, fields were small, though Morgan remains optimistic for the remainder of the FCCX season. But, those that did race were able to enjoy (suffer) a course that was cerebral, technical, and gratifying.

The Very First Race Start for Fresno County Cyclocross

The Very First Race Start for Fresno County Cyclocross

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BASP Air

26 September 2014

Cyclocross racers finding a moment to enjoy the racing and “get some air” at Candlestick Point.

Troy Templin Called for this One

Troy Templin Called for this One

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Clark Natwick at the GP

25 September 2014

This past Sunday, the GP Clark Natwick returned to Northern California after last having run in 2005. BASP/Pilarcitos Cyclesports held this latest version at Candlestick Point as a step toward restoring the event to UCI status and bringing that level of racing back to the region.

Clark Natwick is a five-time National Champion in cyclocross and was on-hand for his namesake event. He once remarked he was proud to lend his name to such an effort. A strong relationship, as friend and bicycle racer, between himself and Tom Simpson, brought about the first so-named Clark Natwick Grand Prix.

Clark Natwick Himself

Clark Natwick Himself

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Lloyd Dominates as Kaiser is Crowned King

21 September 2014
Candlestick Point

Grand Prix Clark Natwick

With Clark Natwick himself on hand, Bay Area Super Prestige began their 2014 cyclocross season with the Clif Bar Grand Prix Clark Natwick, presented by Summit Bicycles. It was a splendid affair commensurate with Tom Simpson’s aim to return UCI racing to the region. Under overcast skies and on that typical bumpy course out at the Point, spectators from the NorCal Nevada region were witness to a treat in cyclocross racing. Even before the Elite’s took to the course, already some terrific racing took place. One notable accomplishment was that of Brian Finnerty (Cal Giant Specailized) who proceeded to win both the Master Men 35+ and 45+ races against strong competition…back-to-back.

In the race for Women A, Rachel Lloyd (Cal Giant/Specialized) stole away from her competitors for a dominating win. Nevertheless, behind her saw two competitive battles for second and fourth places. In the Men’s A race, Tobin Ortenblad (Cal Giant/Specialized) and Cody Kaiser (LangeTwins) raced wheel-to-wheel out front for most of the race. Kaiser took the prize after showing a little bit of ruthlessness yet throughout the race there was the ominous racing from the Jacques-Maynes, both Ben and Andy.

Lloyd Rides Away with the Race

Lloyd Rides Away with the Race

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