Lloyd Dominates as Kaiser is Crowned King
21 September 2014
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 grabbed the hole shot for the Women’s A race but almost wasted the accomplishment after her bike stuck in loose terrain around a corner. Many throughout the day were caught-out at the some spot and Lloyd came to a near-stop. It was very early in the first lap and the large field was still a continuous train immediately behind her. In the end, Lloyd neither benefited nor lost out as all other racers also slowed in that mêlée of concertinaing bicycles. Coming out of the soft dirt, Lloyd already stretched ahead by a few lengths of a bike over the other recovering racers.
Lloyd had a favourable call-up along with many of the region’s top cyclocross racers. The front row included Ellen Sherrill (Rock Lobster), Karen Brems (Team Rambuski Law), and Emily Kachorek (Squid Bikes) along with Dorothy ‘Dot’ Wong (Team SoCal Cross). Brems took up the chase to Lloyd but very quickly suffered a mechanical that forced a bike change. This left Kachorek and Caroline Dezendorf (Marin Bikes) getting stuck into a tête-à-tête over second place whilst they attempted to keep Lloyd from racing away.
Brems slotted back into the race in fourth but quickly made her way back to a challenge for second with Kachorek. Dezendorf fell off the pace slightly and that quickened the race of a fifth-place Sherrill.
As many are, it was to be Lloyd’s day. But, developing behind her were two battles for position. Kachorek and Brems both eyed second place whilst Sherrill caught up to Dezendorf’s wheel in an attempt to claim fourth place. As the remaining race laps dropped off, Brems began to slowly pull ahead of Kachorek. Meanwhile, Dezendorf and Sherrill traded places with each other for the final three laps.
Brems eventually solidified her second place finishing 27 seconds ahead of a tiring Kachorek. Sherrill and Dezendrof were wheel-to-wheel taking the bell but the Rock Lobster racer slid out deep into the course. The anxious wait at the finish line, to see which of the two would crest the Bridge of Sighs first, saw Dezendorf claim fourth place. Sherrill remained in fifth.
Region’s Favorite Sons
Another good field took to the course for the Men’s A race. Keith Hillier (Team Rambuski Law), Chris McGovern (Reel Wheels), and Justin Robinson (Cal Giant/Specilaized) lined up at the start with youngsters Tobin Ortenblad and Cody Kaiser. Now on the same team of Family Cycling Center, Andy and Ben Jacques-Maynes were on hand to race but received a less than promising call-up, the latter with it’s emphasis on USAC points and rankings.
The start of the course zips out and then quickly turns back on itself before riders turn out of view opposite the start/finish area. Though he raced on soggy grass the previous day at Sagebrush, Ortenblad powered into the hole-shot and led the field away, Walton Brush (MashSF) in close tow. Kaiser and Chapin joined the pair to form an early lead group. They had a good and growing 6-second gap on fifth place, fought over between Robinson and Justin Abbott (URS Corporation).
Brush and Chapin would falter first as two of the best and popular youngsters, to come out of the region in recent times, took control of the race. Lap after lap one or the other would lead the race as Ortenblad and Kaiser saw their lead grow. Despite this, first Ben Jacques-Maynes began to make up some ground, reaching fourth place, and then his brother Andy came into the sharp end of the fray.
To shed more doubt over the final outcome of the race, Chapin switched from his single speed to a geared bike. The Rock Lobster racer began eating up ground and was soon racing alongside Ortenblad and Kaiser. Behind the three, Andy Jacques-Maynes now sat in fourth whilst his brother Ben made a Jacques-Mayniac sandwich with the fifth-place Brush. The complexion of the race was changing and, even though Andy Jacques-Maynes still had a significant gap to close, he is one not to count out.
In the space of a few laps, the race’s complexion changed once again. Chapin flatted and fell out of contention and back down to thirteenth place finish. This left Ortenblad and Kaiser with a 33-second gap over Andy Jacques-Maynes in third. Coming up to the bell lap, Ortenblad came together with another rider. Kaiser was not about to let the situation slide and, with a certain amount of ruthlessness, took advantage by attacking. Crossing the line for the bell, Kaiser had 5 seconds on Ortenblad and would turn that into 33-seconds at the finish.
Women Category A
1. Rachel Lloyd (Cal Giant/Specialized)
2. Karen Brems (Team Rambuski Law)
3. Emily Kachorek (Squid Bikes)
4. Caroline Dezendorf (Marin Bikes)
5. Ellen Sherrill (Rock Lobster)
6. Kristin Drumm (CX Nation)
7. Janie Dalton (Missing Link)
8. Tanya Grossman (LGBRC)
9. Colleen Wanty (Delore Grotta)
10. Campbell Steers (Rock Lobster)
11. Christina Peck
Men Category A
1. Cody Kaiser (LangeTwins)
2. Tobin Ortenblad (Cal Giant/Specialized)
3. Andy Jacques-Maynes (Family Cycling Center)
4. Ben Jacques-Maynes (Family Cycling Center)
5. Walton Brush (MashSF)
6. Justin Abbott (URS Corporation)
7. Justin Robinson (Cal Giant/Specialized)
8. Keith Hillier (Team Rambuski Law)
9. Max Judelson (Rock Lobster)
10. Jordan Anderson (Ownes Healthcare)
11. Sean Estes (Muscle Milk/Specialized)