Hillier Prevails at Singlespeed
23 November 2014
Pilarcitos and Tom Simpson’s experiment, of single-category racing, was spread across 2 days for the Candlestick event…and nearly everything was on show. The first day opened under rain and wind yet closed out under blue, sunny skies and the wonderful light of a setting sun. The following day saw Women’s B and C categories each on the course for their own, unfettered racing. There was another day of temperate climate in late November and Keith Hillier (Team Rambuski Law) slammed the door on the competition to take the Singlespeed A race.
On lap one, and with his gears zip-tied, Hillier was fourth wheel as the field raced out toward the backside of the course. As the field sped back toward the stadium, the Team Rambuski Law rider had made up one position. But then he attacked with sublime aplomb. Within a distance of 50m, and by the four-in-a-row plank barriers, Hiller took a lead he would never relinquish. With nowt but simple concentration on his face, Hillier turned his cranks and distanced himself from a very capable group.
In spite of the command on display by Hillier, much remained on tap in the race for second place. A train of four racers all vied for the second step of the podium with Stacey Sell (Family Cycling Center/Ibis) taking up much of the early pace. Behind him were Justin White (SuperPro Racing), Mark “Howie” Howland (Family Cycling Center/Ibis), and Alex Trevena (Velo Fratello p/b Bay Equity).
At this early stage of the race, Dan Hoeppner (6Fifteen Racing) was sitting in eighth. He would, by the second lap, join the train, racing for second, behind Howland. With the race fast approaching the bell lap, Sell, Trevena, and Hoeppner solidified the contest for second place amongst themselves, after first dropping Howland and then White.
A late attack put Sell out of the running. Trevana was behind Hoeppner coming up the finish straight. In the sprint that ensued, Trevena edged ever closer to putting his front wheel ahead. As both riders charged at full tilt down the long straightaway, Hoeppner drifted to his left and squeezed most of the space that Trevana had to pass. Hoeppner took the prize.
The disappointed Trevena settled for third, unexpectant he would progress in the standings by mana off the race course. Sell crossed in fourth with White taking the last podium-presentation place.
The race rounded off an excellent weekend of cyclocross for the region. Tom Simpson’s first impressions from executing the experiment were of gratitude for fiscal balancing and a long eye toward the future. It was curious to balance this quieter weekend against the boisterous night race at Sierra Point or the heady days of Golden Gate Park. At least on this second day, all the noise came almost exclusively from the race-course. Previous BASP events often had as much liveliness outside the tape.
Full race results available at the BASP website.