Monday, October 31, 2011


Trick or Treat....

Keeping it fun was the continuing theme over the weekend for Nor-Cal Cyclocross with two races in Fresno and
the Surf City event at Aptos High School.

Special thanks to Aptos High Principal, and stellar all- around cyclists Casey O'Brien for his commitment to Cyclocross racing for both Juniors & Adults.

The Surf City courses at Aptos High School are always memorable and demanding! David Gill, Jeff Clark, Mike Evans, Team Santa Cruz, and a host of other volunteers keep Surf City fun and challenging for all.
Congratulations on a great event!
Below are the names of a few stellar division winners from Surf City #1, plus some photos from the Halloween Costume race.

Elite winners at Surf City/Aptos High were
Karen Brems(Team Rambuski Law)
and Aaron Bradford(Bay101/HRS/Rock Lobster).

Amy Goldstein(Bicycle Trip) was the Women's 35+ race winner.
While Don Myrah(Ibis/ was the 35+ "A" Masters Men winner.

45+ "A" race victories went to Teri Reilly from Clayton
 and John Mundelius(Cal. Giant/Specialized).

Daniel Valesco won the "A" Single Speed division.

Junior race winners were Maddie Ortenblad(Family Cycling Center),
Jackson Rhodes(Freewheel/Hunter), and
Matt Schaupp(Spokesman).

Fresno's "Lou-Fest"
$500 Cash payout for Elite Men riders at the famous "Lou Fest" Night Cyclocross Race equals big smiles for the top 5 overall...
Bruno Pitton, Jeremiah Root, Steve Ray, Keith DeFiebre, John Stewart.

The "Lou Fest" truly is a classic Cross race in the NCNCA. 
It is with out a doubt one of the most
technically demanding courses on the Nor-Cal circuit. 

Mix in darkness, heckler crazy drama, Belgium Beer flowing, mandatory lights required for each racer , and more off camber sections then you can shake a Witches Broom at, and you get a real night Cyclocross race where good times are had by all.

Friday, October 28, 2011


Halloween Theme Cyclocross Racing & Festivities Take Center Stage For NCNCA With
At Aptos High School On Sunday.

 Fresno's Homegrown Series Kicks Into Gear
With Races Saturday Night & Sunday.
The Classic "Lou Festival" Night Race Is The Feature Event For Fresno's Two Days Of Cyclocross Celebration.

Let The Partying Begin!

The Surf City Series has trademarked and claimed a patent on Halloween Cyclocross.  They own one of the very best events on the Cross calender with the always fun and freaky Halloween Cyclocross extravaganza.  This year's version will be held at Aptos High School and is sure to be a instant classic.
Aptos High School brings out the very best in Cross craziness! 

The "Lou Fest" Night Cyclocross race in Fresno at Woodward Park is one of the best night races in America.  Lights, camera, action!  The racing is truly epic as lights are mandatory- as are the good times!  Fun is a must, in what is part race & part full on party!  Sick promotions invites you to come to race hard, and enjoy the lights in motion, because the "Lou Fest" night race is legendary.

Halloween Cyclocrss racing in Nor-Cal is a time to rejoice and recharge your batteries.  The first 1/3 of the Cross season is done and now the racing gets down right serious leading to the NCNCA District Championships on Dec. 4 at Toro Park.  There is also the Single Speed World Cyclocross Championships in San Francisco. on Nov. 20.  The Santa Rosa Cup fires up on Nov. 26.

But for this Halloween weekend it is time to race and party!

The Surf City costume race is by far one of the highlights to the Northern California Cyclocross race season.  Aptos High School has hosted this event in the past and it really brings out the best in creative costumes and wild themed racers dressed in scant and scandalous clothing. 

 Pure Fun!

2011 NCNCA Cyclocross race season is passing by so quickly, with the best action still on the horizon.  November, December, and January bring mud and slop conditions to Nor-Cal.  This makes the racing have quite a different style then early season dry dirt Cross in Nor-Cal. 

The Halloween theme Cross races are a turning point in the season, and I highly recommend you get out and race & have fun in the warm sun this weekend.  The true winter racing is nearly upon us, but for now it is party time in the Sunshine. 
So get your costume dialed in and go crazy!

Ride Safe & Have Fun!

Other Cross Races For Halloween...

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Video #1 is some very cool aerial footage from this past Sunday's Bay Area Super Prestige race at CanddleStick Point.  What a awesome day for mini helicopter camera action it turned out to be.  If you ever wanted to know how Cross racers looked to the seagulls flying over head watch this video below!

Video #2 is the 2011 Plzen World Cup Cyclocross race from the Czech Republic.

Nice to see American racer Katie Compton(Rabobank-Giant Offroad) ride away solo to the Women's Elite Victory.  Compton is looking very fit to start the World Cup season, and appears to be the very best female Cross racer in the world today.  Also you can see Katrina Nash(Luna) take a slide out in one of the slick corners on course.  Slips and falls can happen to even the best technical riders in the group, of which Nash clearly is one of the best female bike handlers on the planet.  Watch Nash over the board section and you can see her smoothness and Cross skills equate to speed very clearly.

The Men's race is very much worth a watch!  The start is a mess as a cameraman is blocking Neils Albert( BKCP-Powerplus) as the start lights are set in motion. 

 2/3's of the front row get a clear start while Albert is set back. 
His facial expressions are worth a second look as he goes from handsome world class Cross racing stud waiting for the start, to pissed off Belgium boy ready to fight any UCI official who he could find right away!  Ha!

Check out how steep that staircase run up is... makes the legs hurt just watching!

Lastly, watch Sven Nys(Landbouwkrediet-KDL) answer some furious attacks from Zdenck Stybar(Quick Step-Innergetic) and out maneuver the reigning world champion into the final corners with some bar banging moves to get a clean run into the uphill sprint finish and the win!  Nys is a pure bad ass when it comes to finishing races off, and this is what it takes to top Stybar when he is on form & racing Cross in his home country in front of thousands of his homeland fans!

Video #3 is the 2011 Tabor World Cup Cyclocross race from the Czech Republic.

Katrina Nash maybe a Czech citizen, but she lives and races often in the NCNCA region.  She was the Women's Elite District Cross Champion in the NCNCA last year when the Districts were held in Reno!  Ha!
So it is nice to watch this clip below and see the talented Czech/American win the World Cup race in Tabor.  Watch at the beginning of the clip as Nash and Daphny van den Brand(AA do some bumping and elbow jostling as they fight for a line in a tight section of course.  If your not bumping and trading paint...your not racing!

In the end Nash just rides away from the other Elite Women toward a very popular victory in Tabor.

The Elite Men's race is very fast, and you can see the pace is non stop full gas.  One thing that stands out is Zdenck Stybar having bike trouble, but also having the best legs in the group.  Stybar just looked super strong on course and his 2 bike changes set him back and opened the door for race
winner Kevin Pauwels(Sunweb-Revor). 
Watch as Stybar accelerates up some of the sections of course near the end of the race, and it just appears as if he has incredible power to spare up the rolling hills.  It really is amazing to watch the very best riders surge up hills and make them look tame, when you know a common racer would struggle on that exact section of course. 

 Stybar is on form right now, and I do look for Stybar to continue to have outstanding rides the next month or so, as long as he stays healthy.

Monday, October 24, 2011


Giant Weekend Of Cross Racing Is Held Under Blistering Temperatures & Matched With
 Stinging Hot Racing In All Fields-
Men, Women, Masters, & Juniors.
Cross Is King In Nor-Cal!

CandleStick Point was back in the mix thanks to Tom & Alec Simpson's Bay Area Super Prestige events.  A super cool fly-over was introduced into the fray, and created some very memorable moments for both racers and spectators alike...

Blue sky & sunshine was the name of the game for Cyclocross races in all regions of the NCNCA over the weekend. 

Saturday it was the CCCX Series with near 90 degree temperatures in the Salinas Valley

Sunday the BASP Cyclocross stage was set(photo below) and used for hundreds of racers at CandleStick Point. 

Beautiful Condon Park in Grass Valley with its perfect dirt content and tree filled acreage hosted the Sacramento Series. 

Woodward Park in Fresno hosted the Homegrown Series on a very cool course with many twists, turns,and off camber sections, that favored technical skills.

  I can personally say, having raced at all of the above mentioned venues at one time or another over the years, that the racing action was full speed ahead and fun filled at each event over the weekend.

The photograph below shows the Women's Elite race getting the start gun at the Bay Area Super Prestige Cyclocross at CandleStick Point.  Full fields are the name of the game at the BASP races, and as you can view in the photo below the racing is elbow to elbow in all groups.  So enjoy the tight action as it really improves overall skill set and patients on the Cross bike.

Team Rambuski Law racer Devon Gory(pictured below)- was on fire under the scorching hot sun at CandleStick Point.  The reigning National Masters Cyclocross Champion put the hurt on the rest of the Elite Women's field on her way to a well deserved victory near the home of the
current first place S.F. 49ers. 

Red Racing's Cheryl Shwe(pictured below)- was one of the many division winners at the CCCX race held at Toro Park.  The race route at Toro Park proved to be brutal with a 17% pavement pitch that sent riders skyward and then into one of the best downhill sections of single track used for Cross in Nor-Cal.  It was pure pain up the hill followed by pure pleasure on the ripping descent.

Other female race winners at CCCX-Toro Park were:
Courtney Van Dimple- Team Rambuski Law- Elite Women
Janel Lodge- Bay101/HRS/Rock Lobster- 35+ Women
Misha Scovill- Cycles Fanatic- B Women
Daninique Vanleudries- Yeti Grassroots- C Women
Isabella Myrah- Jr. Women

Aaron Bradford(Bay101/HRS/Rock Lobster) is seen below on the top step of the CCCX #5 podium after putting an end to Andy Jacques-Maynes(Cal. Giant Inc/Specialized) winning streak that went for 7 races over the past two years.  The Men's Elite race at Toro park was a real firecracker, with lead changes happening nearly every lap. 
The NCNCA- USA Cycling California State Championships will be held this season December 4th at Toro Park. 
That event is sure to be a full on shootout in all divisions as Toro Park simply invites great Cross racing to go off for all who take part. 

Isabella Myrah(pictured below) on her way to victory at Toro Park.

Congratulations to Marja-Liisa Magnuson & Cody Kaiser on their Elite victories in Grass Valley.

Team Rambuski Law had quite the successful weekend with Elite Women's wins on Saturday at CCCX & Sunday at BASP.

Photo below- Courtney Van Dimpel in fight mode on her way to 1st place at Toro Park.

Thursday, October 20, 2011


It is "Game On" for Nor-Cal Cyclocross racing this weekend with the CCCX Series at Toro Park Saturday.  Then on Sunday, the first race of the Bay Area Super Prestige Cyclocross at CandleStick Point in San Francisco.  Also on Sunday is the Sacramento Series at Condon Park in Grass Valley, and the Fresno Homegrown Series at Woodward Park. 
Let the games begin!

Cool video below of the racing at Candlestick Point from year 2008.  The return to CandleStick Point is going to be great!  The course might be dry, a little dusty in some spots, and a little rugged and rough in others.  Yet the racing at CandleStick Point will be awesome.

Certainly, Tom & Alec Simpson and crew will do their very best to dial in the race course at CandleStick Point.  Good times will be free flowing during the day, as the BASP races bring out so many racers that fun and frolic is the name of the game.  Yet the BASP races are the highest level of competition in all of California.  Be prepared for huge fields and elbow to elbow racing throughout.  Enjoy the tight action, because the BASP races are all about big time Cross racing with a back drop of the Bay Area.  They have very solid cash payouts, they bring in announcing and music to highlight racing and podium presentations.  They are so popular that pre-registration is now key to getting a spot on the start grid and a guaranteed race number.  The Bay Area Super Prestige is awesome Cyclocross racing and this Sunday the home of the San Francisco 49ers, and the beautiful S.F. bay shores will be the scenery that riders will admire when charging full speed on course.  Good luck to all, and always remember to enjoy the tight racing & keep it fun!

The rest of the racing action this weekend features outstanding courses for all events.  Saturday's CCCX Series race is held at Toro Park near Salinas.  This park is a cycling destination for locals, as well as out of town visitors.  Toro Park has miles of fun trails to ride or hike, and the park itself is very beautiful.  The Cross course which will be used on Saturday is a true jewel for Nor-Cal Cyclocross and boasts some of the best single lane trails of the season.  The riding is fun and the slight elevation changes really can be selective.

Sacramento's race at Condon Park in Grass Valley is a keeper for sure!  The course is nestled in the middle of a beautiful forest section of the city, and the park is full of outstanding trails and paths.  The course has distinct elevation changes with climbs and descents that always keep the racers on edge and at their limit.  The Condon Park course is very good racing!  If your near Grass valley on Sunday, this is a must do race!

The Fresno Homegrown Series is held at Woodward Park, which is also the home the the famous "Lou Festival Night Race".  Woodward Park has a long history of Cyclocross racing.  Before they had a plethora of MTB jumps and a BMX track, they had Cyclocross racing in full effect.  Woodward park is a terrific cycling destination and the folks in Fresno are always ready for a bike race.  If your in the Central Valley on Sunday, put on your helmet and go race Cross at Woodward Park, you will not be disappointed!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Monday, October 17, 2011


Manzanita Park delivered thrilling war on course between past Masters National Cyclocross Champions Alan Coats, Justin Robinson, Don Myrah, and Todd Hoefer this past Sunday.  Please read previous post below for re-cap of the turf tussle in Prunedale. 
Nor-Cal has the very best Masters racers in America, this is a fact!

National Champion Alan Coats(Cal. Giant Inc/Specialized) delivered a knockout move in the toughest portion of track to score a victory in this week's round of Masters pride fighting.

National Champion Justin Robinson(Cal. Giant Inc./Specialized) and National Champion Don Myrah(Ibis/ locked horns in a beautiful display of ballet on the bicycle super slug-fest on Sunday in Prunedale. 
In the end Robinson strong armed his way past Myrah to claim 2nd spot on the podium behind his high flying team mate Coats, with Myrah in 3rd.

National Champion Don Myrah will not be denied, and his form will only improve as the best riders from the Cal. Giant Inc. Masters tag team him at the front of affairs.   Myrah loves this challenge and knows the only way to be the very best, is to race the very best each weekend. 

National Champion Todd Hoefer(Cal. Giant Inc./Specialized) was 4th at the Masters brawl of Manzanita Park on Sunday.  Hoefer is guaranteed to increase his form and power during the season and is known as a "big race" rider who can hit out when the going gets extra tough. 



The Central Coast Series at Manzanita Park was some of the very best racing of the season in Northern California so far in 2011.  What a tremendous day of racing it turned out to be!
Congratulations to Karen Brems(Rambuski Law) &
Andy Jacques-Maynes(Bissell Pro Team) on their Elite victories at Manzanita Park.

The most amazing race of the day at CCCX #4/Manzanita Park was
the Masters Men 35+ Cat. 1/2/3/4 division. 
This group came down to the top four riders on course all being past USA Cycling Cyclocross Masters National Champions! 
This only demonstrates the true talent that the CCCX races, and other Nor-Cal events have on the Masters start grid. 

National Champions Alan Coats(Cal. Giant Inc.), Justin Robinson(Cal. Giant Inc.), Don Myrah(Ibis/, and Todd Hoefer(Cal. Giant Inc.) separated themselves from the others and put on quite the battle for those lucky enough to witness the racing. 
In the end it came down to Myrah being squeezed out by the Cal. Giant duo of Robinson & Coats. 
Myrah could only watch as the high flying Coats bunny-hopped a board section at the top of a 15% grade hill and sailed away for the win, while Robinson claimed next best. 
These four riders simply up the stakes for other Masters racers in Nor-Cal. 
 If you want to hit the front in this pack, you better come prepared! 

Congratulations to Devon Gory(Rambuski Law) for her strong riding down south at the Los Angeles UCI Cross races.  Gory cracked the top 5 and represented on a stellar podium of Elite Women.

Other Elite Women racers from Northern California to make the top 10 in Los Angeles were Sarah Maile(Ventana Mountain Bikes),
Courtney Dimpel(Team Rambuski Law), and Emily Thurston(STEVENS).

Cody Kaiser(Cal. Giant Inc./Specialized) is showing some very strong form this season!  The past Junior National Cyclocross Champion is hitting on a cylinders so far in 2011. 
At the UCI race in L.A. Kaiser just missed the podium on day 1, settling for a super strong 6th place, only 4 seconds behind Chris Jones(Rapha Focus).  Kaiser is sure to gain momentum as the season progresses and build from a ride like this toward even greater results...

Another Nor-Cal sensation in the making has got to be
Tobin Ortenblad(Cal. Giant Inc.). 
Ortenblad used the CCCX races the past few weeks to find his groove and the High School student then turned those race sessions into a outstanding ride down South at the UCI race.
  Ortenblad was the next best placed rider behind Kaiser in the Men's Elite race with a stellar 14th place finish. 
This is a High School student taking on established racers and holding his own!  Tobin Ortenblad is now a very serious contender for the Junior National Championships held at the end of the season, if he can stay healthy during the long Cross campaign.

Lastly, one rider who very much seemed on form for 2011 and was
solidifying himself to be back to his best was
past Masters National Champion Kevin Merrigan(Rambuski Law). 
Merrigan was victorious at CCCX #1 and posted another strong ride at CCCX #2.  However Merrigan's season was derailed by a horrible accident on a training ride. 
I hope Kevin Merrigan can make a complete comeback to his winning ways soon!