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Brush and Dezendorf, Right-Angles and Smoke

14 November 2015

The 2015 Santa Rosa Cup CX got off to a great start yesterday with its Friday Night Race. The Sonoma County Fairgrounds venue is a mostly grass course crammed into a small area of less than 10 acres. The start-finish straight-away is paved. The terrain was mostly flat with plenty of turns separated by long straights. A couple of off-camber embankments and a pair of plank barriers offered up their difficulties. It was a good course to establish a rhythm.

By far the barrier of import was a right-angled flyover the height of a freight container. With ramps on both angles, it spilled out into an array of kegs forcing riders to control their speed on the down ramp and choose between going to the right or left. The whole section was corralled by two large, inflatable tubes, each in an arc, arranged to allow only one outlet. It was a small maze of sorts with smoke to foil the vision and lasers to add to the spectator’s entertainment.

Although the kegs were set up as a wall near the bottom of the ramp, riders soon understood dismounting and jumping over the barrels could earn them seconds and a position or two. With a short, fast course, and the finish line so close after the flyover, getting through this barrier first, on the last lap, was tantamount to a win.

A Quite Unique Barrier for 'Cross at the Santa Rosa Cup

A Quite Unique Barrier for ‘Cross at the Santa Rosa Cup

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NorCal Nevada ‘Cross Continues Aplomb

11 November 2015

The season is hurtling full tilt toward the NorCal Nevada District Championships later this month at the Cal Fire Training Facility. After more than 2 months of racing, cyclocross in the region is starting to see the cream rise above the crop, particularly after BASP’s Sierra Point weekend. Even so, racing across all categories has been terrific and is boosted by good numbers for race-entries. The West Sac Cyclocross Grand Prix drew close to 400 riders after nearly 300 racers turned out at The Lobster Cup, this season’s early opener. The Sacramento Cyclocross Series has approached the 400 racer mark for nearly all of their five events and often sees more than 70 racers in the Women’s categories. Of course, BASP’s opener drew over 500 race-entries.

And from the youngest of Juniors, to the most tarnished of Cat C fodder, to the well burnished top category racer, excellent cyclocross and bike handling skills have been quite apparent.

Nate Thalhamer (Rad Racing) Smoothly Remounts

Nate Thalhamer (Rad Racing) Smoothly Remounts

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Santa Rosa Cup CX to Head Another Busy Weekend

9 November 2015

This coming weekend’s cyclocross racing, in the NorCal Nevada region, will take place far and wide. The Sagebrush Cyclocross Series holds its event at Davis Creek Park, New Washoe City on Saturday, 14 November. Both the Surf City Cyclo-X and Sacramento Cyclocross Series hold races on the Sunday.

Another big event is the 3-day Santa Rosa Cup CX. In part to find a formula for providing an attractive event for cyclocross racers, and following the lead of other 3-day events such as Jingle ‘Cross, the race for the Cup begins on Friday, 13 November. Juniors kick the weekend into gear with a 5pm start at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds. Racing continues into the night with the last start for All A Men at 8:15pm.

Saturday sees the same County Fairgrounds venue but with a course change. The finale on Sunday moves to Spring Lake Regional Park, a return for the venue last used for cyclocross in 2011. Racing on the Saturday and Sunday begins at 8:30am. Series crowns go to entrants of all 3 days with the tie-breaker going to the highest placing on the last day. The recent rains will dampen the dust and bring in new conditions for terrain and traction. This will be more so as the locales are certain to receive a good share of the rain.

Ron Riley at Spring Lake Regional Park

Ron Riley at Spring Lake Regional Park

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Lobster Bake at Sierra Point – Updated

8 November 2015

Yesterday, under dry and dusty conditions, BASP began its 2015 season with the Sierra Point Night Race. As the last time for this race under the management of Tom and Alex Simpson it almost failed to get underway. With thousands of dollars invested in lights, portable toilets, and fencing, a late request to alter the insurance for the race almost scuppered the entire event. Surely down to their prowess as event promoters, the problem was resolved late on Friday afternoon; spectators and racers got to have their fill of the Sierra Point Night Race.

Podium for Women A, L-R:  Christina Peck, Campbell Steers, Caroline Dezendorf, Karen Brems, Caitlin Bernstein

Podium for Women A, L-R: Christina Peck, Campbell Steers, Caroline Dezendorf, Karen Brems, Caitlin Bernstein

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Wet and Tough at Lembi Park

2 November 2015

The first of the NorCal Nevada season with rain during the races played out this past Sunday in Folsom. The Sacramento Cyclocross Series moved along Riley Street to the other side of Blue Ravine for the second event of the weekend. The Lakeside Church venue was hot and dusty but Lembi Park proved to be another climate altogether. In proof again that the forecaster is unable to predict yesterday’s weather next week, the threatening skies became rainfall some four to 6 hours before the prognostications.

As always at Lembi Park, the course went through the volleyball sand pit with its ever changing race lines. Once the rain did come down, the already difficult traction along other portions of the course became even more challenging. Off-cambers on green and dry grass and packed dirt featured heavily along the 1.7-mile circuit. The downhill off-camber sections threw down the gauntlet in front of racers as did one steep run-up and a second run-up populated with four plank barriers, though somewhat less steep. With sharp turns into and out of the off-cambers, technical skills and good bike handling were the order of the day.

Julie Young Wins Another SacCX Race

Julie Young Wins Another SacCX Race

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Hand Ups Hand Backs

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.

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Judelson Survives as Young Thrives

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.

Judelson Squeezes Out a Win at SacCX Lakeside Church

Judelson Squeezes Out a Win at SacCX Lakeside Church

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