The fit race 'cross and 'cross gets 'em filthy!

Introducing Young and Feldstein

28 September 2015
Orangevale Park, Sacramento Cyclocross Series

The two-miler course at Orangevale Park sports plenty of grass and is fast moving. Men A put in the fastest lap times at seven and one-half minutes. With temperatures in the low to mid-nineties, on this cloud-covered muggy day, the racing proved relentless. In a long sand-pit, a plank stretched across the course had a deceptively short height. Wheels could sink into the soft sand and raise the effective height of the barrier. Along with two other plank barriers and a stair run-up, the racing was very staccato: peddle hard on the firm terrain, stop for a barrier, repeat.

The turn-out for the first SacCX event of 2015-16 had very good numbers, particularly for Junior and Women fields. Top-notch skills were on display by youngsters and experienced riders alike. The well-organized event kept the racing and awards running close to clockwork efficiency. And, had results on-line and posted at the venue with lightning speed after each race. All the other features for ‘cross were in place: food truck, beer garden, the Gheto crew’s music, and heckling.

Two new winner’s names to the region’s cyclocross appeared in the results for both the Women’s A and Men’s A races. After holding off challenges from teammates, Bakersfield-SoCal transplant Gareth Feldstein (Real Wheels) broke away from Nick Schaffner (Herbalife p/b Marc Pro-Strava) to take the Men’s podium. Winner of the 1992 Tour de l’Aude, Julie Young (Roseville Cyclery) found enough cyclocross skills to take a 67-second margin of victory in the Women’s race.

Julie Young (Roseville Cyclery) Showing Good 'Cross Skills

Julie Young (Roseville Cyclery) Showing Good ‘Cross Skills

No Longer Dabbling
With the fast course, the top Women’s category saw close racing for the early laps. Tanya Grossman (Los Gatos Women’s Elite Team), Colleen Wanty (Dolore Grotta/Big Swingin’ Bicycles), and Audrey Biehle (Dirt Birds) took a spell of the early lead up to the long sand pit. They were followed by Hollie McGovern (Real Wheels) and Young. The second lap in, Wanty, Grossman, McGovern, and Young raced away from the rest of the field before Wanty was dropped and a 10-second gap was established to Jessica Culnane (Vive La Tarte). Grossman, McGovern, and Young each took turns running out front in a see-saw battle.

McGovern Leads Young through the Plank Barriers

McGovern Leads Young through the Plank Barriers

Late in the race, Young was out front and slowly pulling away from Grossman and McGovern. In the difficult conditions, the successful attack proved too much to recover.

“They’re far more experienced and adept technically,” remarked Young. “I also think these are great opportunities to learn. So I just settled in for the first few laps. We settled into a good rhythm. I knew I could go harder so I just attacked at the start-finish with two laps to go.”

“They were dangling back there,” continued Young. “Tanya and Hollie would change. It would be Tanya or Hollie. I don’t know if they were working together or not but the gap never really changed. I just managed to maintain it.

“I’m really new to cyclocross. The first one I did was West Sac and then I did CrossReno. Those allowed bigger stretches where you could actually pedal. I found this one was always changing. It was a little bit trickier to be a pedal cyclocrosser. This course seems much more technical than pedaling.

“I dabbled in [cyclocross] but I didn’t know there was technique. I had no idea there was actual technique to dismounting and mounting. This is the first time I’ve done it with actual technique.”

Although McGovern had a small edge over Grossman on the penultimate lap, it was the Los Gatos racer that took the second step of the podium. McGovern’s deficit was just 11 seconds. Vive La Tarte’s Jessica Culnane grabbed fourth place with Amanda Siegle (Jakroo Racing) crossing in fifth.

“I’m just doin’ what coach says.”
The race for Men A had a strong contingent from Real Wheels and all four racers were at the front leading away from the start line. Chris McGovern rolled his tyre later in that lap relegating him to the back of the field. Scott Hooper took a turn in the lead ahead of Feldstein and AJ Snovel (Jakroo Racing). Schaffner remained in close contention. The first break was with Feldstein, Schaffner, and Hooper as they established a 20-second gap on Curtis Smith (Real Wheels).

A Disappointed McGovern Running after a Mechanical

A Disappointed McGovern Running after a Mechanical

After losing Hooper to a mechanical, Feldstein and Schaffner had a commanding lead. Then, at mid-race, Feldstein put in a lap 11 seconds faster than Schaffner. Although both racers later slowed their pace from the first half of the race, Schaffner’s claim on the top podium step was done and he rolled across the finish line in second.

“I’ve never ridden against Nick [Schaffner] or any of the other guys because I’m new,” said Feldstein, “so I just wanted to test and see if [Schaffner] could react and he didn’t. I was committed at the time which kind of sucked.

“I went hard in a few sections to build it a little bit and just kept an eye on him to make sure he wouldn’t come back. I didn’t know where my fitness was or know any of the racers and their fitness. It’s the first race of the season for me. I went out hard for the first lap and just sat in for a little bit. When Nick and I rode away I decided we were fit and could handle this.”

Feldstein and Schaffner with a Commanding Lead

Feldstein and Schaffner with a Commanding Lead

“McGovern’s my coach,” continued Feldstein. “He said, ‘You’ve got to do the Sac series. It’s the best around. Best courses. Competitions pretty solid, too.’ Being new I said OK. I’m just doing what coach says. It’s great and the course was awesome. It’s a little warm but being from Bakersfield, I’m use to that.”

Smith took the final step of the podium nearly 2 minutes adrift. Ten seconds further back, Erik Nelson (Bicycles Plus/Sierra Nevada/Reliable) finished in fourth place whilst Phillip Violett (Auburn Ski Club/SQUID) crossed the line for the fifth spot.

Men A Podium (L-to-R): Smith, Feldstein, Schaffner

Men A Podium (L-to-R): Smith, Feldstein, Schaffner

Women A
1. Julie Young (Roseville Cyclery)
2. Tanya Grossman (Los Gatos Women’s Elite Team)
3. Hollie McGovern (Real Wheels)
4. Jessica Culnane (Vive La Tarte)
5. Amanda Siegle (Jakroo Racing)
6. Emily McDonald (Jakroo Racing)
7. Jennifer Teerlink (Dirt Birds)
8. Colleen Wanty (Dolore Grotta/Big Swingin’ Bicycles)
9. Aubree Watkins (Happy Trails)
10. Audrey Biehle (Dirt Birds)
11. Anna Poehlmann (Dirt Birds)

Men A
1. Gareth Feldstein (Real Wheels)
2. Nick Schaffner (Herbalife p/b Marc Pro-Strava)
3. Curtis Smith (Real Wheels)
4. Erik Nelson (Bicycles Plus/Sierra Nevada/Reliable)
5. Phillip Violett (Auburn Ski Club/SQUID)
6. Andrew Nelson (Vive La Tarte and Cykel)
7. Chris Namba (BEERxSQUID)
8. Nicholas Terzakis (BEERxSQUID)
9. Ryan Gallagher (TCB x LOW)
10. Scott Hooper (Real Wheels)
11. Antonio Miranda (SGW)
12. Robert Terra (Bikes and Bites)
13. Bailey Eckles (The Team SoCalCross)
14. Brad Handel (Fresh Air/Hunter Cycles)
15. Chris McGovern (Real Wheels)
16. Travis T (Fresh Air/Hunter)
17. AJ Snovel (Jakroo Racing)

Full results for the event’s races are posted at the series website and TimeYourRace.

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