Dezendorf Out Sprints Brems as Chapin Calls His Shot
8 November 2014
The BASP Sierra Point Night Race had a nifty race for Elite Women, with Caroline Dezendorf (Marin Bikes) taking a big victory. In the race for Elite Men, Scott Chapin (Voler/Steven’s Creek BMW/HRS/Rock Lobster) fulfilled a declaration from the previous week in a marvelous win.
Brems and Dezendrof Again
Dezendorf grabbed the hole-shot on a calm, warm night at the regions popular night event. In an oft repeated scenario this season, Karen Brems (Team Rambsuki Law) sat a few lengths behind as the pair set out to control the race.
Without any wind, a shroud of dust covered the area as cyclists moved about the venue. Reminiscent of many previous years, third-time grandfather-to-be Tom Simpson and his crew laid out the all too familiar features for the course. There were two long paved sections, at the front and back, sandwiching the dirt terrain and its elevated “table-top” section to one side. Many of the changes in elevation were in play, particularly as off-camber sections, as well as the flyover Suffer Bridge. One muddy section appeared early in the lap but with plenty of room either side to avoid getting wet.
Once clear of the mud on lap one, Dezendorf and Brems quickly established a good lead over third-placed Kristin Drumm (CX Nation). This race has played out several times this season, most recently at the Surf City Hallow’s Eve race. A few exchanges in the lead took place but, at two-to-go, Brems eventually attacked to put a serious gap between herself and Dezendorf. This time, however, Dezendorf remained in the hunt. Shortly after clearing the pavement on the backside of the course, Brems slid out at a sharp turn giving some impetus to the Marin Bikes rider.
On the final lap, the same mishap happened again to Brems putting Dezendorf in with the opportunity for the win. “It was definitely a cat and mouse race,” described Dezendrof, “I knew I needed to get out early in the beginning so I tried to maintain a hard pace. Karen [Brems] got me on the pavement in the back and I knew I had to hold my own and get back into it. I kept it steady and caught back up to her.
“I knew going into the last lap I had to be in front of her and I had to come into the last turn in front of her on the pavement. Right now I am riding strong and I can get her in a sprint as long as I come in a bike length in front of her coming into the pavement. I raced smart and was able to get it out in the end.” The race did indeed come down to a sprint with Dezendorf eeking out the victory. Brems was somewhat frustrated with the mishaps but recognized this was a good race for the spectators and for Dezendorf.
At 21 seconds adrift, Drumm held onto third place. Four seconds separated fourth to sixth as Kathleen Bryan (Fresh Air/Hunter Cycles) crossed the finish line next ahead of Amanda Schaper (Caletti) and then Colleen Wanty (Dolora Grotta). Christina Peck out sprinted Campbell Steers (Rock Lobster) for seventh place.
Chapin’s Words Ring True
At Stafford Lake Wildcat, Scott Chapin revelled in his team’s second one-two finish in as many days. It was a conciliatory tone, however, as he finished on the second step of the podium on both of those days. And so, with warranted self-confidence, Chapin declared he would win the BASP Sierra Point Night Race.
In the race, Chapin’s prophecy looked early to be an errant wish. An animated Justin Abbott (URS Corporation) grabbed the hole-shot. Chapin did assume the lead the first time reaching the table-top but Abbott was the much faster of the two bunny-hopping barriers just beyond the neutral pits. This allowed Abbott to set an outstanding sub 6-minute first lap.
For the next few laps the two racers remained at close quarters but then Chapin began to apply the pressure. A gap of a few bike lengths appeared that then grew to 13 seconds with four laps remaining. In another two laps, the lead established by Chapin was touching the 20-second mark and the Rock Lobster rider was able to “relate” to the spectators crowded onto the table-top. The home-run gesture to the outfield came to pass as Chapin had called his shot.
“I had drafted [Abbott] a couple times,” remarked Chapin, “but it wasn’t doing anything for me because he’s a buck twenty-five and I’m bigger than him. So I thought I might as well go by myself and solo the whole thing. I’ve done that before and it’s worked out really good.”
One wrinkle did appear late in the race. Andy Jacques-Maynes (Family Cycling Center) had sat in third for much of the race and is an ever-present threat even from deep in the field. “Andy Jacques-Maynes was coming on real hard at the end,” continued Chapin. “I was checking the gap and realized ‘oh, here comes Andy’. But then Andy was caught in lapped traffic.”
Right at the bell, Jacques-Maynes was battling Abbott for second place. “In cyclocross racing, you’ve always got to save it all for one to go,” said Chapin. “When it’s one-to-go, that’s when you leave it all out on the track. At two to go I was checking everything out and chillin’. Then all of a sudden [I saw] Andy Jacques-Maynes’ calf’s were bulging out. So I got on it for the last lap.”
Jacques-Maynes was unable to steel away second from Abbott, instead crossing in third place. Kirt Fitzpatrick (ornot) won a race-long contest for fourth over Justin Robinson (Cal Giant/Specialized).
With the festivities over for the 2014-night race. Just a few more hours will see racing begin again for day two of the Sierra Point Weekend.