2 November 2015
The Gheto CX crew have now become a staple at Sacramento Cyclocross events, adding to the vibe of the series with music, heckling, and hand-ups. They also bring their brand of support to WSCXGP, Rodeocross, Gheto Pick-Ups, and may soon feature at Sagebrush events. This is not some staid, stiff-upper lip chap handing out golf claps as racers slice through the corners. They are noisy and lively and take to the limit some of the enjoyable absurdity that is ‘cross.
At yesterday’s SacCX Lembi Park event, the day was bolstered by rain turning sections of the course to severe traction challenges. Through all the weather, the crew stood firm, continuing to pour on the insults and hand out dixie cups of refreshing juice. Here are select photos of the action with some of the hand-ups and hand backs from the last race of the day: Master Men B.
1 November 2015
It’s a rarity for one to go to a regional ‘cross meet without a positive outcome but some events can raise the bar higher. NorCal Nevada’s SacCX, at Lakeside Church yesterday, produced an excellent day of ‘cross racing as Jen and Clint Claassen continue to grow a marvelous series in the central valley. A Beer Garden serving terrific stout, food truck serving good food, and Gheto music from Woy and Hargrove, beginning, no less, with reggae Dark Side of the Moon, were simply outstanding. Yet these were still a precursor to the great racing throughout the day.
A small but exciting field lined up for Women A with Julie Young (Roseville Cyclery) deviating from her previous race strategies to storm away from the field. Behind Young, Holly McGovern (Real Wheels) and Colleen Wanty (Dolore Grotta/Big Swingin’ Bicycles) took the decision for second place to the final lap.
The race for Men A was one of those much sought-after fields with competitors from across the region. Spectators could drool over the line-up of Real Wheels team mates Curtis Smith, Scott Hooper, and Gareth Feldstein alongside Rock Lobster riders Kailin Waterman and Max Judelson. Add Mike Larson (Velo Reno) and AJ Snovel (HiFi CX) and one has themselves a race and a half.
29 October 2015
It’s a time to smile wider and laugh louder, to scream, and yell, and shout, and heckle. It’s a time share with others that have the same bent for cyclocross, to hand up little dixie cups with fermented liquids, or stack thin metal cans as a faux barrier. Anyone that has been to a ‘cross night race understands. Once the sun goes down, the lights go up and so does the revelry. Rodeocross held its final event for 2015 yesterday and the evening was all that and simply electric: many racers raced in costume, as opposed to a costumed race; Marty Woy and Matt Hargrove spun the vinyl, without a dulcet note throughout the night; Woy himself revved up the crowd as the Master of Heckles; Nathan Powell went a pair of tidy-whities short of nudity; and the Shoemakers closed out their Rodeocross series for this season in fine form. One is hard pressed to celebrate halloween any better.
25 October 2015
It’s SuperPro CX. It’s Murphy Mack. One should expect the challenges of a hard course from any ‘cross race with the mark of Murphy Mack and Frank Shoemaker. And today’s “Vallejo Day Race” proved again the wicked bent from the pair. From the carnage of transitions between terrains and over concrete curbs, to odiferous stream crossings, to a tough climb within a long course, to “features” that should have warnings that only 5’4″ and below need register, the racing today at SuperPro CX was simply severe. There had to be an exceedingly high percentage of tired and pained faces or racers coasting for any respite late in the races.
There were big wins for Caroline Dezendorf (Rock Lobster) in Women’s A and Ryan Rinn (Viva La Tarte) in Single Speed A. To win in Men’s A, Keith Hillier (Herbalife p/b MarcPro-Strava) came from behind to put himself in a position and pounce on a flat for early leader Max Judelson (Rock Lobster). Murray Swanson (Pen Velo) was another racer to race to a win from a few places back early in the race. Swanson’s steady grind up the long climb was one of the key reasons he would take first place away, in Master Men A, from early leader and battling Eric Hill (Vive La Tarte).
19 October 2015
The Sagebrush Cyclocross Series continues to reflect cyclocross is a growing sport for the region. This past Sunday, the small but strong series hosted very close to 100 hundred race entries including a number of first-time ‘cross racers. The day saw excellent displays of racing across the board particularly by three comparative newcomers to the sport. Kara LaPoint (Team Luna) and Julie Young (Reno Wheelmen) went head-to-head for a terrific battle in the race for Women’s A. Later in the day, Mike Larson (Velo Reno) hammered an impressive win for Men A.
Archie Clayton Middle School is one of those venues with an advocate that welcomes cyclocross events on the grounds. The site hosted the 2010 district championships and is an ever-present in the Sagebrush CX Series. Yesterday’s course took every advantage of the terrain and elevation changes available at the locale. The start was a slight uphill paved road that, after running through a stair run-up, spilled out between hard-packed sand and grass. The latter in places was often deep and power-sapping from the overnight rains. Portions of the course ran through the school’s playground including a wood-chip section amongst the swings and climbing wall.
A long stretch of sand brought racers over two closely spaced plank barriers after first turning them through a 180° turn and then returning them back to the same direction through another sharp turn. At the start of the day, the sand was loose on top but otherwise firm. As the day wore on, the dismount, running, and re-mount sections tore up and became very loose. To add to the challenges, there were off-camber sections on grass including a sharp-170 and a fast length with a forced jog down and then back uphill to run between trees. With the fastest lap times around 5 minutes, racers had to hold their concentration to traverse the course several times for the durations of their races.
12 October 2015
For the Sacramento Cyclocross Series, Julie Young (Roseville Cyclery) and Gareth Feldstein (Real Wheels) picked up where they left off at Orangevale 2 weeks ago. Both came out winners for the Elite races in the heat and dust of Maidu Regional Park. As before, Young battled with Hollie McGovern (Real Wheels) before pulling away late in the race. Feldstein’s task was more taxing for this race after a strong ride from Liam Dunn (Clif Bar) kept the race’s outcome in doubt until the final lap.
Jen and Clint Classen, and their entire SacCX crew, made it another well executed event complete with a now standard beer garden and food truck plus music from the Gheto crew. It was another good turn-out for the series with 379 race-entries including 71 in Women’s categories.
SacCX also laid out a terrific course, taking advantage of everything available at a city park. The terrain included grass, hard-packed dirt, gravel, and paved pathways. In amongst some of the technical sections under tree cover, plenty of plant debris and off-camber made for challenging riding. There were plenty of transitions between surfaces that required acute attention. And, for an area that is mostly flat, the course had plenty of elevation changes from a soft, sand-pit shallow mound to two difficult run-ups. The second of the latter followed a left-hand turn at the bottom of a decline that rose up, into, and over three plank barriers. This was the reward racers saw after a short climb leading into this section.
The big, steep run-up, some 7m high, had a loose top layer to the racer’s right that invited riding the bike to the top. To the left was a shallow, dry gully perfect for foot holds except for a couple of tree roots exposed by erosion from long-ago rains. Riding this big run up was certainly a huge expenditure of energy and certainly faster than most could run. However, the penalty for failing to ride all the way to the top was a difficult slide back down and plenty of lost time. To make the run-up that much harder, it too was situated after a turn at the bottom of a downhill to spill the momentum of racers.
6 October 2015
by Josh Constantino Tabije
The depth of talent in cyclocross racing for NorCal Nevada went on full display at Toro Park: veteran racer and World Champion emeritus Karen Brems (SunPower Racing/Alto Velo) won the race for Elite Women; recent transplant and bass player Max Judelson (Rock Lobster/Voler) took the top step of the podium for Elite Men; and Ben Gomez-Villafañe (Muscle Milk/Specialized) chased down the second step, 5 seconds behind Judelson. Gomez-Villafañe’s racing age is 16 and the youngster is earning enormous renown against the “big boys”.