Monday, August 23, 2010
Thursday, August 19, 2010
The days seem to be quickly ticking past, leading up to the first few races of the NCNCA Cyclocross season for 2010. Looking at the NCNCA calendar, it shows a full five months of Cyclocross racing which will fire up in early September and run non stop into January. This full schedule of races allows Nor-Cal riders ample opportunity to find their best form leading up to the 2010 USA National Championships, where our most talented local racers have shined so brightly year after year. The full schedule of events also allows for Cyclocross racing on a local level to be run during the peak season of Cross, the true Winter months, where conditions can become epic during December and January in Northern California. The early season races are usually contested on fast & dry courses where speed is plenty, and dust is prevalent. While the late season competitions favor the true "mudders' and hardened riders who can handle the most brutal conditions Winter racing can bring to the table. The two most dominate Cyclocross teams in Northern California, California Giant Inc./Specialiazed and Bay 101/HRS/Rock Lobster, have their lineups set for 2010. The on course battles between these two top tier Cross teams have been outstanding the past few years, and this season should be more of the same. Anthony Gallino's Cal Giant Inc. team features three of the top male Elite riders in Nor-Cal, Justin Robinson, Cody Kaiser, and Jeremy Ferguson. These three riders are serious studs and can contend for the win in any race they enter. They are backed by the very best Masters team in America. The Cal Giant Inc. Masters team is stacked and raises the bar extremely high for anyone trying to race for victory in events like the BASP Series, the CCCX Series, & the Surf City Series. The Cal Giant Masters team consists of Gina Hall, Carmen D’Aluisio, Josie Jacques-Maynes, Alan Coats, Todd Hoefer, Gannon Myall, Steve Reaney, Ana Flores, Rob Meighan, Norm Kreiss, Dave Anderson, Don Langley, Eric Bustos, Jessie Moore, Jordi Cortes, Frank Curesma, and Tom Ryan. Cal Giant Inc. Masters have brought home 6 National Championship Medals along with 11 top five National Podium finishers over the past 5 years. Nor-Cal's other top Cross squad is Bay 101/HRS/Rock Lobster. Bay 101 will now be co sponsoring the HRS/Rock Lobster team, which is sure to boost this high flying unit which competes on the beautifully crafted Rock Lobster Cross bikes. Leading the charge of this team are three of Nor-Cal's most consistent high finishers over the past few seasons, Sarah Kerlin, Stella Carey, and Josh Snead. Kerlin and Carey are guaranteed to throw down at the front of affairs in the Women's racing. While Snead has been the regions top male Elite performer in local racing the past two seasons. The other extremely high caliber Lobster racers are Dave Wyandt, Scott Chapin, Aaron Odell, Alex Work, Brett Lambert, Aaron Kereluk, Brian Staby, and Jon Mason. This fast group is backed by team owner Paul Sadoff and mechanic Ryan Bontrager, making for a strong and well organized team that races hard and still keeps it fun. 2010 is shaping up to be a very special year for Cyclocross racing in the NCNCA region I must say...
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
CYCLOCROSS SEASON RAMPS INTO ACTION IN ONE MONTH
The Cyclocross season is just around the corner and racing begins in only a few weeks time. Nor-Cal's Cross teams are starting to come together, with rosters filling out, solo and group Cross workouts firing up, and the NCNCA Calender of races becoming just about totally complete. The Scaramento Cyclocross Series dates have been added to the calendar, as has the Bike Monkey Santa Rosa Series event dates. The CCCX Series, the Surf City Series, and the BASP Series, all have dates claimed in what looks to be a awesome season of Cross racing ahead. Classic events like the Folsom Cyclebration Cross, and the Lion of Fairfax Big Swingin' Cycles race only highlight what a great schedule of racing Nor-Cal Cross athletes can pick and choose from. Most of the best riders in Northern California race virtually each weekend to dial in their fitness and practice their chosen craft of cycling's most athletic discipline- Cyclocross. I highly recommend all racers keep a sharp eye on the the NCNCA calendar, as race dates can change and nothing is set in stone with regards to the current calendar listings. Each race season in Northern California brings new surprises. Established teams always seem to add new riders, thus making for fierce competition just in each team, let alone on course racing against other squads. Certain riders step up and deliver great and surprising performances during the year. Ranked riders from other regions relocate to Northern California making the Nor-Cal racing even more competitive. Like Scott/Ritchey rider Kerry Barnholt last season, who dominated Nor-Cal racing in 2009, then went on to win a National Masters Championship in Bend Oregon. New teams form each season, which keeps the Cyclocross energy high and introduces this great sport to new riders of all ages, gender, and cycling ability. One new team which is sure to have a impact on race days is Ciclista Bonita. Women Cross racing overall in Nor-Cal is stellar, the fields in all divisions are large, and the Nor-Cal ladies dominated the USA National Championships in 2009. Ciclista Bonita is a new women's Cross team that is sure to bring more female racers to the table while showing that a healthy lifestyle can be achieved by taking part in the sport of Cyclocross. Bike Station Aptos is backing this group of Women led by Mary Perez. Other riders on this new team are Goldi JM, Winona Hubbard, Rachel Wolff, Livia Peras, and Karen Kefauver, Jenny Meyer Feix, and Dionne Ybarra. I am all for more Women racing Cross and Ciclista Bonita is leading the charge in this realm. Another team note regarding one of Nor-Cal's leading ladies is Karen Brems, who was one of the best Elite Women racers in the NCNCA for 2009 Cross, joining up with Trina Baumsteiger at Team Rambuski Law. These two fine riders are sure to find success in 2010. This race team is also strong on the Masters Men's side with Kevin Merrigan being a new recruit, and set to join Tim Thompson, Jim Gentes, Logan Kelsey, and Edwin Rambuski. I hope to track down more team info to share and continue the build up to the first race of the 2010 Cyclocross season. Cross is King in Nor-Cal, and each and every year I see growth in participation and the level of competition on course. However, please always remember to keep it fun...
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
CROSS CLINIC ACTION ON THE HORIZON
It is that time of the year for people to start thinking about Cyclocross & preparing themselves for the Cross Season ahead. Velo Girls & Lorri Lee Lown already sent out some great info on their Velo Girls Cross Clinic. Velo Girls always put on outstanding clinics and the group sessions they run are super informative and very fun to participate in. I highly recommend this clinic to all levels of racers. First time Cross riders, as well as Elite level athletes can benefit from these clinics. Matt McNamara & Sterling Sports Group definitely have Cyclocross fever, and they are focused on sharing their joy and passion of the sport with Northern California competitors. The Sterling Sports Group offers advanced clinics, weekly training series, plus an awesome CX Webinar that is sure to highlight all aspects of racing and training for Cyclocross. The Sterling Sports Group coaching staff will share their excellent knowledge of basic Cross fundamentals, equipment selection, training plan designs, plus race tactics & strategy. Information on the Sterling Sports Group Advanced Cyclocross Clinic is here. The Sterling Sports Group Fall Cyclocross Training Series here. And the Cyclocross Webinar information is here. There is sure to be more Cyclocross Clinic activities that will take place over the next few months leading up to the first races of the season. Clinics are fun, informative, rewarding, and lead to a great season of racing...
Friday, July 09, 2010
2010/2011 NCNCA CYCLOCROSS CALENDAR COMING TOGETHER
The 2010-2011 NCNCA Cyclocross calendar is slowly but surely coming together. The last few years I have worked hard to get the regions race organizers more active in establishing a calendar of Cross races as early as possible. Each season presents different challenges, however the 2010-2011 Cyclocross season appears to be taking shape right on time. The BASP Series, the Surf City Series, the Central Coast Series, Folsom Cyclebration Cyclocross, and the Lion of Fairfax event have all locked down some dates. Please check the NCNCA Cross calendar for complete details. Most likely there could be a change or two as the racing action fast approaches. I am still waiting to hear back from the Santa Rosa Series & Sacramento Series regarding their selected dates. Plus other Nor-Cal events will be added as the schedule solidifies. 2010/11 is going to be a huge year for Cyclocross in the USA as the build up for the 2012 Master World Championships in Louisville Kentucky grows. Then the big daddy of them all- with the UCI World Championships coming to the USA in 2013 held at the Eva Bandman park, just a mile from the centre of Louisville. The entire USA 2010/2011 Cyclocross National Calendar has been posted already. Nor-Cal played a major role in the Master racing at the 2009 USA Nationals for both the Men & Women, with multiple riders gracing the top steps of the awards podium. Odds are definitely in favor of a Nor-Cal Master racer making the podium at the World Championship race in 2012 Louisville, Kentucky. As a promoter and a racer myself, I know the demands of putting on a race series while trying to compete in Nor-Cal's extremely talent filled Cross races. For 2010 both Shane Huntoon- Livermore Series, and Rich Maile- Sacramento Series, have informed me of their plans to not be involved with promotion of their respective Cross Series. I know both of these riders will now be racing with a little extra hop in their step this coming season. Rich Maile has turned the Sacramento Series over to Brian Joder and his crew who will continue Rich's outstanding work in putting Cross racing at the State Capitol on the map. Meanwhile, Shane Huntoon will be charging at the head of the field now as a competitor while he focuses more on racing and his family- after the LARPD has decided not to allow him to run the LARPD CX races . I imagine Velo-Promo will now put together some solid East Bay Cyclocross races. I would like to personally thank both Shane & Karen Huntoon, and Rich & Sarah Maile, for their efforts in promoting Cyclocross & it has been a pleasure working with them! News from the BASP Series has Tom & Alec Simpson working on some new venues that will compliment their already strong Cross locations such as Golden Gate Park, Coyote Point, and Sierra Point. The CCCX Series is rumored to have two new locations in store for NCNCA racers. The Home Grown Cross Series in Fresno makes for great racing. I have always enjoyed the courses and atmosphere for racing Cyclocross in Fresno, and I am sure their efforts to keep the Central Valley fast in Cyclocross will succeed. While with out a doubt the Halloween Cyclocross race of the Surf City Series is one of the best times out in Northern California Cyclocross and a must do/must see event for all! The 2010-2011 NCNCA Cyclocross season is going to be huge...
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Lars Boom & The 2010 Cyclocross Season
I spent some time this afternoon sprinting around the Laguna Seca Raceway track with a past World Champion of Cyclocross Lars Boom(Rabobank). Lars was in town doing some publicity work for Rabobank, and he was kind enough to take part in the twilight track circuit race we have once a month at Laguna Seca Raceway, this week hosted by Ghost Tree Racing club. Lars was throwing down some serious flyers in the Circuit race and he looks very ready for the Tour of California. He did mention that this was his first trip ever to California and he was enjoying the people and places. However he did say he felt a little jet-lag and he hopes to snap out of it before Sunday's first stage of the T.O.C. I was able to ask Lars a few quick questions on Cyclocross, as a past World Champion I really wanted to hear his thoughts on some Cyclocross related subjects. The 2010 NCNCA Cyclocross Calendar is already coming together. I must say that the upcoming season is going to be excellent for racing and there will be changes on the schedule that will shake things up just a little for Nor-Cal racers. One thing that all NCNCA racers can count on is some great racing week after week from mid September to the end of January. Also, please keep checking back to this site each week for 2010 schedule updates and other NCNCA Cross updates. I do recommend you keep a constant check to Andrew Yee's CX Magazine web site for daily updates on the great sport of Cyclocross and all things related. Please read on for a few quick thoughts on Cycloross from World Champion Lars Boom, who has been training and riding in Nor-Cal getting ready for the Tour of California...
Boom on Cross Courses: The harder the better! I showed him some of the brutal hills on the Laguna Seca Cross course I used 2 years ago, and he loved it. He muttered that Cross courses should be so hard that riders should feel trashed and fully spent after the competitions. He asked if it was muddy for the races, and he seemed genuinely disappointed when I said it was dry and fast in Nor-Cal for most Cross events except for late season races.
Boom on Sand Riding: Sand is fun! He likes natural sand sections and thinks beach sections or natural sand pits are first class. Man made sand pits can be hazardous.
Boom on Bunny Hopping: It is what it is! If there is a section that requires bunny hops, so be it. He said all racers should be able to handle their bikes and bunny hopping is a skill that should be practiced. He did say hopping is awesome for the fans, but he would not like each and every course to have sections that have boards or obstacles that require this move.
Boom on Run Ups: Bring it on! Run ups are part of the game of Cyclocross. If a venue has this option then it should be used in competition. Running in Cyclocross is very traditional and should be part of the sport in the future as well.
Boom on His Future in Cross: As of now his future is the Tour of California! That is his focus. So it seems to me he will be spending a little more time on the Road bike then his Cyclocross bike.
Lars Boom is a great race animator. He would always challenge Sven Nys and Bart Wellens and the rest of the Belgium Cyclocross stars. I admire him for his fight on the bike. I personally hope he steps back into the ring when the Cross season kicks up in the winter. Lars Boom definitely will have a impact in the racing if he decides to race Cyclocross full on in 2010.
Thursday, February 25, 2010
The final Best All-round Rider(BAR) rankings are complete! Please review- https://sites.google.com/site/barncnca2009/current-results. It has been an amazing journey tracking the NCNCA Cross racers and Joe Miller deserves huge praise for his effort to adhere to my demands of a complete BAR rank system that tracks all division from nearly every race of the season. Joe Miller is a true mastermind of the BAR spreadsheet, and his tenacity to establish the most complete BAR rankings is exactly what I requested. In the end there were over 1800 different rider entries, and over 8000 different race scores. Congratulations to Juniors Madeline Myall(Cal Giant Inc.) & Tobin Ortenblad(Bike Trip Cyclo-Cross Team) who both claimed Junior high honors in the BAR rankings. The Elite Women's division was a run away win for Karen Brems(Webcor). Brems was on the front in every single race she entered during the year and was a deserving BAR champion. Josh Snead(HRS Rock Lobster) backed up his outstanding season last year with the overall BAR title for Elite Men this season. Snead was the B.A.S.P. Series champion and placed high in seemingly every other race he entered during the 2009/2010 season. Don Myrah(IBIS BuyCell.com) was possibly the biggest story of the 2009/10 Cross season. Mryah had the most combined points of any racer during the season. Myrah was the 35+ Masters A division BAR winner, and also finished 6th in the Elite Men's division. Brett Lambert(HRS Rock Lobster) won the 45+ Masters A division going away. Lambert posted race wins in almost each of the major Cross Series around Nor-Cal on his way to his 1st place BAR status. Kathleen Bortolussi(HRS Rock Lobster) was the Masters Women's 35+ BAR winner, and Soni Andreini-Poulsen(Velo Bella) the Masters Women's 45+ BAR champion. Joe Miller(Taleo Racing) had the most combined points in the B division. Miller scored his points in the B Men's group and the 35+ B division. The most combined points from the C division turned out to be the Aldrich couple- Angela & Doug. Congratulations to those BAR champions and the rest of top ranked BAR riders. Here are the top 10 BAR riders from all the "A" divisions- Elite Men- Josh Snead,David Wyandt(HRS Rock Lobster), Scott Chapin(HRS Rock Lobster), Chris McGovern(HRS Rock Lobster), Justin Robinson(Cal Giant), Don Myrah, Aaron O'Dell(HRS Rock Lobster), Cody Kaiser(Cal Giant), Jeremy Ferguson(Cal Giant), Aaron Kereluk(HRS Rock Lobster). Elite Women- Karen Brems, Stella Carey(HRS Rock Lobster), Kerry Barnholt(Scott/Ritchey), Jill Fattor(HRS Rock Lobster), Katrina Baumsteiger(Team Rambuski Law), Kathleen Hannon(Hunter / Freewheel), Carmen D'Aluisio, Bev Chaney(Roaring Mouse), Sarah Maile( Ventana Mountain Bikes), Gina Hall(Cal Giant). Master Men 35+ A- Don Myrah, Gannon Myall(Cal Giant), Todd Hoefer(Cal Giant), Tao Bernardi( Van Dessel Factory), Jesse Scatton(Bullseye/E Sac Bike), Henry Kramer(Cal Giant), Anastasio Flores(Cal Giant), Keith Defiebre(Scott/Ritchey), Steve Reaney(Cal Giant), Brock Dickie(Buy-cell.com/IBIS). Master Men 45+ A- Brett Lambert, Robert Meighan(Cal Giant), Logan Kelsey(Team Rambuski Law), Norm Kreiss(Cal Giant), Steve Hess(SCCCC Team Santa Cruz), Mark Howland(Black Market Racing/Family Cycling Center), David Anderson(Cal Giant), Richard Stone(Sterling Sports Group), Thomas Feix( Peninsula Velo / Pomodoro), Don Langley(Cal Giant). Coming soon- season ending awards compiled from an all star panel of Nor-Cal cross dignitaries...