Brems and Ortenblad Again at CCCX
14 September 2014
CCCX at Fort Ord today had a repeat of the winning results from last week. Karen Brems (Team Rambuski Law) was victorious in the race for Elite Women, making it two from two in the CCCX series, whilst the win for Tobin Ortenblad (Cal Giant/Specialized) came with Scott Chapin (Rock Lobster) still breathing down his neck.
The course was another long, rangy two-miler for the second race of the CCCX season. A good potion of the course ran south of the Watkins Gate Road sweeping past the dried-up pond and through the dry mud-flats – a veritable Utah salt flats. Racers contended with barking great tree roots, big rodent-burrows, and numerous land mines from the indigenous wildlife population. A couple turns were prime to catch riders coming in too fast.
The big obstacle, on the “south-forty”, was a short sharp run-up through iceplant, perhaps more appropriately referred to by its taxonomy as Hottentot Fig, stressing the fast and loose meaning. Before the morning’s races tore up the ground at the bottom of the run-up, both riding and running were equally fast. As the day wore on, riders had to contend with the loose ground and find one of the few treacherous lines.
Staying Out of the Fray to Win
The winning move from Brems came at the end of the first lap after a difficult start for the TRL racer, including a bad clip-in and a bobble at the run-up. Returning to the gazebo-bowl area, no longer with its gazebo, Katrina Baumsteiger (Team Rambuski Law) lead Brems to the first of the plank barriers. Amanda Schaper was a close 3 seconds behind with another 10-second gap to Janie Dalton, wearing Missing Link kit, and the rest of the field.
Coming out of the plank barriers, the attack came with a notable advance in speed and position. Brems took to the front to stay out of the fray and increased her gap from then on. By the second lap, Brems’ lead was 10 seconds on Schaper with Baumsteiger now in third. The next lap, Brems had a 25-second lead and the dominant racer never needed to look back.
Schaper took second whilst Baumsteiger was happy with an impressive third, having found her legs. Stella Carey (ibis/Buy-cell.com) put in a steadily improving race, the second in her return to cyclocross. In the space of a lap, Carey moved up from sixth, at the end of the first, to fourth, overtaking first Campbell Steers (Rock Lobster) and then Dalton. Dalton fought back to reclaim fourth place as Carey still made the podium photograph.
Elite Men’s Race
The race again showed the competitive aspect of events at CCCX. An early lead group of nine stayed in the game with Alex Work (Rock Lobster) and team mate Max Judelson putting in plenty of time up front with the likes of Sean Estes (Muscle Milk/Specialized), Devon Vigus (Vigus Coaching/Sharp Bicycles), Jett Chandler (DC-10 Racing), Scott Chapin (Rock Lobster), Keith Hillier (Team Rambuski Law), and Tobin Ortenblad (Cal Giant/Specialized).
The lead group whittled down to five again with the Rock Lobster pair of Work and Judelson showing resolve. Their companions up front, Hillier, Ortenblad, and Chapin, were the same three riders that took the podium steps the week before at Fort Ord. And that result would repeat itself as Work and Judelson became the next racers to drop off the lead group.
On the final lap, Hillier dropped back but Chapin was just behind Ortenblad at the final, single plank-barrier. This time Ortenblad got off his bike but Chapin chose to bunny-hop. It was the difficult next uphill turn that kept Ortenblad out front, and like Karen Brems, the berry-red racer now has two wins from two in the CCCX series.
Work took fourth ahead of Judelson and that placed three Rock Lobster racers in the top five.
1. Karen Brems (Team Rambuski Law)
2. Amada Schaper
3. Katrina Baumsteiger (Team Rambuski Law)
4. Janie Dalton
5. Stella Carey (ibis/Buy-cell.com)
6. Campbell Steers (Rock Lobster)
7. Beverley Chaney (Roaring Mouse)
8. Micelle Monroe (ibis/Buy-cell.com)
1. Tobin Ortenblad (Cal Giant/Specialized)
2. Scott Chapin (Rock Lobster)
3. Keith Hillier (Team Rambuski Law)
4. Alex Work (Rock Lobster)
5. Max Judelson (Rock Lobster)
6. Devon Vigus (Vigus Coaching/Sharp Bicycles)
7. Sean Estes (Muscle Milk/Specialized)