Tuesday, November 25, 2008

NCNCA Cup Sunday: Golden Gate Park

Howdy 'cross fans -- Congratulations to Sarah Maile and Justin Robinson who prevailed in the elite categories at last weekend's District Championships in Prunedale - see the race report here.

With Thanskgiving this week, we have only one race on calendar to go and burn off all those calories -- but it's a great one. Sunday is the Golden Gate Park race - round 4 of the Bay Area SuperPrestige and also round 4 of the NCNCA Cup. The Golden Gate Park has quickly become one of the region's most popular venues, with fun challenging courses and a great spectator turnout. With some wet weather also forecast in the next few days (but sun on Sunday), conditions should be just about perfect as well...

While last year's GGP event was the finals of the NCNCA cup, this year it's the fourth out of five races in an expanded series. Check out all the details for Sunday's race here. Next up is the NCNCA cup finals at Peak Season on January 4th, after USA Nationals and everything else. Stay tuned!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Districts This Sunday, Howe and O'Dell take Sierra Point Night Race

Howdy folks! Quick reminder here that the NCNCA District Championships will be held this Sunday at the CCCX event in Prundale (Manzanita Park). Look for a Districts preview from Dusty Downs shortly.

Wowsers! Even though I can't race, I couldn't keep myself from checking out the first nighttime cyclocross race ever to be held in the Bay Area on Saturday night. Tom Simpson and the Pilarcitos crew had Sierra Point lit up like Christmas, and racers and spectators were treated to a wonderful evening of racing. The course was (as expected) short, flat, fast, and twisty with a few fun up-and-downs. Blinky lights, disco balls, and glow sticks kept the atmosphere festive with parties raging in the tent and run-up areas...

Barb Howe was stomping her authority on the Women's Elite race when I arrived, with Kathleen Hannon and Sarah Bamberger just behind duking out the remaining podium spots.

Barb Howe stomping in the Women's Elite race (photo: Cyclocross Magazine)

In the M35+ race Steve Reaney (CalGiant/Specialized) made a valiant effort and reeled in a huge gap to reigning Masters National Champ James Coates (Morgan Stanley/Specialized), but couldn't seal the deal as Coates prevailed in the final corner.

James Coates, 35+ Winner (photo: Cyclocross Magazine)

In the Men's Elite race, fellow HRS Rock Lobsters Aaron O'Dell and Josh Snead broke away from an 7-man group that formed early in the race. O'Dell took top honors over Snead with teammate Scott Chapin coming in shortly after.

Elite Men Winner Aaron O'Dell (photo: Cyclocross Magazine)

See the pilarcitos site for full event results from all categories.

Here's hoping the "night race" becomes a new tradition in the Nor-Cal scene.

Good luck at Districts!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

This Week: Sierra Pt. NightCross & CCCX Fort Ord

Howdy 'cross fans -- Hope everyone is having a great time and injury free this season, and enjoying our spell of warm weather to keep the fitness to a razor point -- of course we 'cross purists grumble at the sun and wonder why it's not raining.

Last week's NCNCA Cup doubleheader was by all reports a great success. Saturday's Reno race saw a solid turnout including many riders from the Bay Area and beyond, who were rewarded with a nice heap of points for the series. Sunday's Sacramento race saw the largest fields ever for the 916 series -- over 250 racers for the day. This kind of response is exactly what the cyclocross central committee here at the NCNCA Cup hoped to achieve in setting up this series -- glad to see the efforts are paying off.

This week the focus turns back to earning bragging points in your hometown series. On Saturday we have the Bay Area Superprestige at Sierra Point, with a twist... night racing under stadium lights. If you have ever attended the races at Starcrossed or Cross Vegas, you know that the night race format is something special -- bright lights, fast action, and probably more than a few adult beverages consumed on the sidelines. Check it out and bring your cowbells.

Sunday brings the next round of the Central Coast series, returning to the Fort Ord DOD venue from the season opener. The race will feature a new course layout, as Keith DeFiebre notes: "This area of Ft. Ord is a cycling playground so be sure and enjoy the trails and closed roads on what looks to be an awesome weekend for riding." See you out there.

Looking ahead, next weekend we have the District Championships with CCCX at the awesome Manzanita Park venue, then the following week you can burn off your turkey day excesses at the BASP Golden Gate Park event, the fifth race in the NCNCA Cup. Remember that every time you race any category at the NCNCA cup you are entered into the season end raffle for killer prizes from Santa Cruz Bicycles, Timbuk2 and others.

Keep on 'crossin'!

Monday, November 03, 2008

This Week: NCNCA Cup Doubleheader

Hey 'cross fans,

Did we say "mud" or what? Those lucky riders who came out to Santa Rosa on Saturday were treated to epic mud conditions - this was a Portland style mudfest that is rarely seen in NorCal, even less so in early November. Check out the pictures compiled by BikeMonkey to get an idea for it. Nice stuff.

Up next week is the much anticipated NCNCA Cup doubleheader in Reno and Sacramento, paired up to make travel easier for riders who want to do both. On Saturday, the Reno Sagebrush series serves up their first-ever contribution to the expanded NCNCA Cup with a course in the Dorothy McAlinden Park. Please note the race times have been modified for the NCNCA Cup -- see details here.

On Sunday we have the second leg of the doubleheader and it will be a good one. The Sacramento Cyclocross crew is pulling out all the stops with a new course at Discovery Park on the banks of the Sacramento River. As noted on the Sac CX blog, the event will feature neutral tech support, food and beverage, DJ music, and complimentary warm-up tents... You can also check out a video of the race venue here or click the embedded video below. Sacramento has a great 'cross scene, kids, so no excuse not to make the trip up from the bay or the coast for this one. Note this race also has start times modified for the NCNCA Cup, so pay close attention to the details on the race flyer.

Sacramento Cyclocross - Race #3 from Sporza Intern on Vimeo.