BASP Cast-Off UCI Race
25 July 2015
“Damn the Torpedoes”
The Clark Natwick Grand Prix returns for 2015 however as a non-USAC event. Tom Simpson and Pilacitos had laid out some lofty goals of bringing back a UCI race to Northern California. Bringing over top cyclocross racers after CrossVegas, luring talent to the fine City by the Bay, would have made a terrific addition to the Northern California community.
However, a Cross Vegas follow-up fell by the wayside as UCI gave a World Cup license to Montreal. That race was to run on the same date as the Natwick and left Simpson with little choice but to shelve his plans for another season. And, in what Simpson describes as a “great irony”, the Montreal event never came to the fore as Provincial funding failed to materialize. The timing of the Montreal non-event left too small a stretch to complete the original plans. As Simpson deplored, the “torpedo sunk us anyway”.
“Full Speed Ahead”
For the upcoming cyclocross season, nevertheless, the Clif Bar Bay Area Super Prestige Series, presented by Summit Bicycles and SRAM, will repeat part of their experimentation from last year; there are two-day weekend events. However, the second day of the Candlestick Point double-header will not see single-category races as before.
Both Sierra Point and Candlestick Point courses are to be reversed for each of their second days. Tom Simpson reports Pilarcitos is rebuilding their fly-over to facilitate entrance from either direction. One day will see stairs whilst the other day presents a ramp toward the oncoming racers.
There are plans to cut different trails at Candlestick to avoid over use of specific areas and add new variety.
“We’re racers. We compete. Everybody competes all the time and it raises the level of presentation for everybody,” remarked Simpson. “If you want to have big numbers then you gotta do whatever it takes to attract riders with good courses and other good features. So [that] they’re going to have a good time and find something that they like at an event and want to come. That’s good for everybody. It’s good for the sport.
“We don’t race on steel bikes with toe-straps. With new introductions all the time, everybody is looking for whatever that edge can be so that both their event and their performance at races [improves]. We do that at our races all the time whether its investing in new and different equipment or replacing worn-out equipment. Whatever the investment, it’s all there to try and make the race experience best possible.
“In Northern California we have all kinds of people who want to put races on. Hallelujah! Thank goodness they do because it gives riders huge numbers of choices to make.”
BASP opens on 4 October with the Clark Natwick GP. The Sierra Point weekend is 7-8 November. Candlestick runs on 21-22 November and the traditional closer, Coyote Point, takes its usual first weekend of December. More details are available at BASP and the Fit and Filthy calendar.
Partial List of BASP Sponsors:
Palo Alto Bike Shop
Kick Ass Coffee
Castelli (Jersey Presentations)