One of the Cs in CCCX Must Stand for Competitive
7 September 2014
CCCX opened its 2014-15 season at Fort Ord today with a long two-miler course. A sand trap was deceptive in its ride-ability as both its left and right sides were sometimes negotiable but other times wheel-swallowers. There were also placed three unequally spaced plank barriers at the top of a climb to remind everyone that ‘cross is hard. A good turn-out of racers welcomed each other for the start of a season and competed under typical weather conditions for the locale in September – mid seventies on the Farenheit scale and a good breeze to stem any build-up of heat.
Along with some wheel-to-wheel racing in the Elite categories, competitive racing was present throughout the day and across many categories. A couple notable head-to-head races took place in the Master Mens races. Henry Kramer (Cal Giant Masters) and Don Myrah (ibis/Buy-cell.com) shook their championship stripes at each other as they exchanged places throughout the race. On course at the same time, Ana Flores (Cal Giant Masters) and Brock Dickie (ibis/Buy-cell.com) took their battle to a sprint finish. Kramer and Dickie took the spoils.
The race for Elite Women had a small field that worked hard. The first time through the sand trap, Caroline Dezendorf (Marin Bikes) was the leader with much of the field in very close pursuit. But it was Dezendorf with Karen Brems (Team Rambuski Law) setting the grade and the two gapped everyone else. As they put the race through its paces, a waiting game grew in anticipation of the outcome. Near the top of the climb at the start of the final lap, Brems attacked and did so decisively.
Dezendorf’s race-strategy and lack of aggression left her only able to remark out loud that she was wondering when the move would come. Brems went on to the race win with Dezendorf taking the second step of the podium. Putting in a solid and steady race, Amanda Schaper took third.
The last race of the day had the Elite Men cranking on the pedals. Youngsters Miles Lucas (ibis/Buy-cell/OTC) and Ben Gomez-Villafañe (ibis/Buy-cel.com) lined up with their senior counterparts and both acquitted themselves well. In particular, Lucas inserted himself into a lead group of five along with Scott Chapin (Rock Lobster), Alex Work (Rock Lobster), Keith Hillier (Team Rambuski Law), and Tobin Ortenblad (Cal Giant/Specialized). Lucas fought hard with Alex Work (Rock Lobster) including some side-by-side racing in tight quarters.
Midway through the race, Chapin and Ortenblad put their authority on the race and put some distance between themselves and field. Hillier took hold of third as Lucas and Work fought over fourth place. Both Chapin and Ortenblad have a good history at CCCX races with both recording wins at the Fort Ord courses. This day, though, belonged to Ortenblad and he gradually pulled away to take the win ahead of Chapin.
Although off the pace, Hillier continued to ride well to secure third place. Work finally shook off the attentions of Lucas to grab fourth place.
504 Karen Brems (Team Rambuski Law)
560 Caroline Dezendorf (Marin Bikes)
502 Amanda Schaper
559 Stella Carey (ibis/Buy-cell.com)
561 Campbell Steers (Rock Lobster)
500 Rebecca Siegel (Square One)
505 Michelle Monroe (ibis/Buy-cell.com)
465 Tobin Ortenblad (California Giant/Specialized)
463 Scott Chapin (Rock Lobster)
460 Keith Hillier (Team Rambuski Law)
461 Alex Work (Rock Lobster)
458 Myles Lucas (ibis/Buy-cell/OTC)
404 Brendan Lehman (Rock Lobster)
466 Sam Cerrutti (Family Cycling Center/ibis/Buy-cell.com)