Thursday, January 26, 2012



Nor-Cal's Superstars of Cyclocross traveled to Bakersfield this past weekend to respond to the challenge of the Nor-Cal vs. So-Cal California State Championship showdown...

It turned out to be one of the more incredible performances ever by Northern California Cyclocross with complete domination in the top divisions from our regional riders.  It was fantastic and incredible how Northern California simply stuck it to So-Cal, showing no mercy and completely controlling the podium spots in the highest level groups in Bakersfield!

Gina Hall(Cal Giant Inc.) & Andy Jacques-Maynes(Cal Giant Inc.) won
Elite divisions.
Gannon Myall(Cal Giant Inc.), John Kammeyer(Peninsual Velo),
Norm Kreiss(Cal Giant Inc.), Janel Lodge(Bay101/HRS/Rock Lobster),
& Julie Bates(Roaring Mouse), won "A" level Masters divisons. 
Sophia Gomez Villafane( won the Jr. Women division.
Aaron Bradford(Bay101/HRS/Rock Lobster) was Single Speed king. 
And team Fun Sport Bikes Craig Chaney was the 35+ "B" division winner.

It truly was compete domination as these race winners were backed up on the podium buy numerous other racers who found success in Bakersfield and hail from the NCNCA Cross region.

I offer a huge congratulations to all the riders who took part in the Nor-Cal vs. So-Cal challenge! 
Simply awesome everyone! 
Way to show your class and the true class of
NCNCA Cyclocross!

NCNCA District Cross Champion for 2011 Andy Jacques Maynes owned the Nor-Cal vs. So-Cal Elite Men's race.  Jacques Maynes has had a super stellar Cross season, and I am sure he will roll right into the Road Race season holding
very fine form indeed...

National Champion Gina Hall leads Nor-Cal's Ellen Sherill(Bike Station Aptos) in this photo below.  Nor-Cal went 1-2 in the Women's Elite division at Bakersfield thanks to these two talented racers.   Hall showed tremendous form toward the final portions of the race season, especially in her National Championship race win.

Pretty Boy!   Gannon Myall is pictured below all styled out in his freshly cleaned pro Cross kit, and flashy Specialized Cross bike, with clean shaved legs, on his way to the Masters 35+ win at Bakersfield.  Myall is also styling his UCI sanctioned Masters World's podium medal to all races he attends now, just to show who is boss of Masters Cross for 2011/12 in Nor-Cal.

John Kammeyer continues the Nor-Cal tradition of outstanding Masters 45+ racers in winning the Men's 45+ division in Bakersfield.  Certainly the on form Kammeyer does not want this Cross season to end, as he keeps getting better, stronger, & faster as the year has progressed.

Norm Kreiss is another rider who found his best form of the season in just the right moments.  Kreiss is the main man in the 55+ division for Nor-Cal, America, and the World!  And Norm did not disappoint in Bakersfield, winning big in this division to close out his great 2011/12 Cyclocross year.

Junior sensation Sophia Gomez Villafane was another rider who came into tiptop shape as the season wore on for Nor-Cal Cyclocross.  Constant racing delivered the amazingly talented Villafane toward numerous outstanding rides to end her Cross season.  She was NCNCA District Champion, Nor-Cal vs. So-Cal Junior Women Champion, and also won her first Elite Women's race at the CCCX Series final.  Villafane has a bright future ahead in her Cycling career, and I do hope she keeps getting better and has fun always on the bike while chasing her cycle sport future.

Single Speed USA National Cyclocross Champion Aaron Bradford went to Bakersfield and did what he does best- win a Cross race!  Bradford showed So-Cal what's up when it comes to Single Speed skills and won his race in fine fashion after a 2 up effort with team mate Scott Chapin.

Janel Lodge shows the eye of the tiger on her way to the Masters Women 35+ race win in Bakersfield.  Lodge was the CCCX Cyclocross Series Champion this season, and backed that up with her super strong ride in Bakersfield.  Lodge is a great individual and a fan favorite among the Nor-Cal Cross family.  Lodge is a inspiration to many and a true fighter on her bike in competition.  Her determination on the Cross bike makes for great results and this was evident on the hard course in Bakersfield at the North-South challenge.

Julie Bates is a Bay Area Cyclocross legend.  She excels in all types of cycle sport, Road, MTB, & Cross, and her athletic ability and fire under race pressure leads the way to her success.  Bates made Nor-Cal super proud in winning the Masters Women's 45+ division in Bakersfield.

Craig Chaney pulled off an outstanding race win in Bakersfield topping the Men's 35+ "B' division.  This group was the largest pack of the day with over 35 riders taking the start grid.  Chaney was on form going into the Bakersfield showdown, after posting a very solid ride the weekend before in winning the overall championship in his division at the CCCX Series the week before Bakersfield.  Chaney & his Team Fun Sport Bikes played a leading role in Nor-Cal Cross this year, and their team deserves great praise for their continued development of their riders.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012



The city of Bakersfield has a Cyclocross classic on their hands. Northern California racers are now rallying the troops in order to support this event, and bring the full force of Nor-Cal talent to square up against Southern California during a weekend long Cross festival of good times and fast racing.

Some of my most memorable & favorite races have been traveling South and matching up with riders from the Southern region of California
who I was not familiar with. 
Nor-Cal has the deepest talent pool for Masters racing in all America.  Nor-Cal has Junior talent, Elite riders who are super skilled, and Women racers who fight tooth & nail for placing during the competitions.  This weekend Bakersfield hosts an opportunity for Nor-Cal's most dedicated Cross racers to represent their region and go to war against riders they rarely will
face over seasons of racing. 
This is a chance I highly recommend you take!
Bakersfield and the North/South Challenge will not disappoint!

Simply scroll down the So-Cal Cyclocross web site and they do a little bragging about beating Nor-Cal in points during the North/South Challenge last year!  Funny because they get all the riders from the host town of Bakersfield counted to their score, and then claim victory in the end!  Ha!
The only option for the NCNCA region of Cyclocross is to Man & Women Up!~  and get your team mates, friends, and family members together in a big push to...
Conditions are going to be awesome.  The course is worthy, and the on form NCNCA racers who are fresh off of competing in the Surf City Series & CCCX Series in early Jan. are sure to be prepared to brawl big time against any rider from the So-Cal region who dares to step in the ring with Northern California's top guns.  This weekend is going to be incredible for good times and fond memories.  So good luck to all from Nor-Cal who participate!  Our riders are clearly prepared to fight the good fight in honor of our region. 
Ride like the wind and have fun doing it!

Clearly not a bad forecast at all,
and it would be nice if the storm was much greater...
But it looks like Sunday could be really good for drama and spectacle!

Monday, January 16, 2012


Northern California Masters Cyclocross racing is ranked #1 in America after another amazing USA Cycling National Championship
performance in Madison Wisconsin....

Now Nor-Cal Masters own the World Championship Stage, as
Karen Brems(Team Rambuski Law), Don Myrah(Ibis/,
and Ron Riley(Bike Station Aptos) all earn the coveted Gold Medal at Masters World Championships in Louisville Kentucky.

Northern California is now Cyclocross capitol of the World for Masters racing as John Elgart(Webcor), Norm Kreiss(Cal. Giant Inc.),
Henry Kramer(Cal. Giant Inc.) & Gannon Myall(Cal. Giant Inc.)
 all rise to the occasion of a World Championship event and bring home
Silver & Bronze UCI medals back to family & friends, and the NCNCA region.

More on Nor-Cal Success at Masters Worlds Coming Tomorrow.

King of America, now King of the World!
Don Myrah wears #1 and the USA National Championship jersey on his way to dominating the 45+ race at Masters World Championships!
Congratulations Don!

Karen Brems has been the leading lady of Northern California Cyclocross this season!  Brems rattled off a very impressive winning streak to close out her year in regional Nor-Cal racing.  One of the those victories was a dominating win in the Women's Elite division at the NCNCA District Championships at Toro Park.  Brems was one of my top picks for a USA Cycling National Cyclocross Championship in her age group. 
Yet Brems bypassed that event and played all her cards on a Masters World title.  Brems rose to the occasion by tearing apart her field in one of the more masterful rides at Masters Worlds, on her way to a awesome victory salute on the line and a Gold Medal on the podium!
Congratulations Karen!

 Ron Riley is a class act, and in my opinion one of the most inspirational athletes in all of Northern California Cyclocross!  Riley is now the 75+ Masters World Champion for Cyclocross and is a prime example of how cycle sport keeps riders young at heart and fresh in mind and soul.  Riley does not let anything deter his quest for competition.  His age only makes him wiser, while inspiring others to chase their dreams in the same fashion and with the same passion as Riley has over the years. 
Congratulations Ron!

Andy Jacques Maynes leads Cal. Giant Cyclocross team mate USA Cycling U23 Silver medalist and past Junior National Champion Cody Kaiser
at the CCCX Series finals near Monterey. 
Jacques Maynes won the CCCX final race and overall series title on Sunday.
Jacques Maynes posted a dominating 2011 Nor-Cal Cross race season
losing only one event during the year,
while earning a plethora of race victories.
The on form Jacques Maynes would have been a major contender at Nationals & Masters Worlds had he chose to participate.

Sophie Gomez-Villafane continued her stellar riding at the CCCX Series final winning the Elite Women's race and taking home some cash for her fast riding efforts in that group.  Villafane is the NCNCA Junior Cyclocross champion, and has been ripping off some incredible rides as the Cross season concludes.

Bay101/HRS/Rock Lobster sponsored athlete Mark Howland showed some steady power and determination in his comeback from injury six weeks ago after a racing crash.  Howland was forced to skip Masters World's after his mishap, but found himself back on the CCCX podium in the super tough 45+ division at the Central Coast Series final race on Sunday.

Thursday, January 12, 2012


Is "Game On" For Northern California Racers
This Sunday Near Monterey.

Masters Worlds In Louisville, Kentucky.

The CCCX Series hands out season long awards as racing
continues on another fast and dry course in Nor-Cal. 
The 2011/12 Cross campaign goes down in history for
least rain ever in Northern California during Cyclocross winter racing!

The CCCX Series final is always fun times as the Cross season still burns bright with sunshine.  The course is going to be speedy & railing, and the friendly atmosphere combined with competitive action is sure to be
flowing fast in Monterey on Sunday! 

Cyclocross racing continues during the month of January with Bakersfield's North/South State Championship Challenge at Hart Park next weekend
Then the Surf City Series closes out the amazing
Nor-Cal Cyclocross year on January 29.
Now is time to rally the troops!  Get out and race Cyclocross! 
Because come February the dream of Cross racing full speed ahead
will have to be put on hold for 8 months...

CCCX, the
What an awesome way to end the year~

Across the country some of the most talented Cyclocross racers from Northern California are contesting the Masters World Championships in Louisville Kentucky.  This is the first time ever the Masters World Championships are held in America.  The fields are stacked with "World Class" talent, yet North America clearly has the advantage with the racing taking place on our home soil for the first time.  Looking at the start lists, many European racers did not make the trip over seas, providing the greatest chance ever for Nor-Cal racers to earn World Championship Medals.  The fields are stacked with riders from the USA and European racers are simply not here in any numbers at all.  A World Championship in the Masters division is very possible for a racer from Nor-Cal this weekend!

The first day of action went down today, and already the on form racers from Northern California made their mark.  Fresh of his USA National Championship, Don Myrah(Ibis/ just earned a front row spot in the main event by claiming his seeding run contested under brutal conditions in Louisville.  Cold, rain, sleet, mud, and ice is greeting the racers who have traveled to Kentucky for this premier event.  Other racers from Nor-Cal to earn top 10 status in their seeding runs were
Gannon Myall(Cal. Giant Inc.), Alan Coats(Cal. Giant Inc.),
 Edwin Rambuski(Team Rambuski Law), and Joe Fabris(Plus 3 Network).

I look for both the Women & Men from Nor-Cal to be in
for a good chance at Medals. 
In fact, it would be a major upset if the Masters riders from Nor-Cal who are in Louisville do not rise to the occasion and make their mark in history with a outstanding ride to a Gold, Silver or Bronze medal at Masters Worlds. 
Go Team! 

Monday, January 9, 2012


Northern California Cyclocross Continues On Throughout January As The Surf City Series Kicks Off The Month With Great Racing!

John Kammeyer(Peninsula Velo) celebrates an outstanding win in the super competitive Masters 45+ "A" division at Sunday's Surf City slugfest...


Saturday, January 7, 2012


Northern California Cyclocross Show The Rest Of America Who Is Boss Of Cross With Giant Saturday Of Race Domination At USA Cycling National Championships In Madison Wisconsin!

Myrah, Coats, Myall, Ortenblad, Kaiser, and Robinson
all make podium appearances in a complete & total show of force and power for the NCNCA region of Cyclocross racing.

Northern California cycling legend, USA Olympian & San Jose resident
Don Myrah(Ibis/ put out one incredible ride for the Gold Medal in the Masters 45-49 division.  Myrah rode solo for almost the entire race, while a thrilling chase went on behind him, and won his second
Masters Gold Medal in as many years on Saturday! 
Congratulations Don!

California Giant Berry Farms racer Alan Coats showed skill, strength, and pure determination in his ride for the Bronze Medal in the Masters men 45-49 division.  Coats was always near the front of the action, on a course that was brutal to say the least.  Just look at the mud and mess Coats is powering through in the photo below.  This was a epic day of racing, and Coats proved himself to be one of the best Masters racers in the recent history of USA Cyclocross with another National medal to add to his large collection from past Masters Championship events

Gannon Myall(California Giant Berry) has had a dream season in the Masters division.  Myall, pictured below, put together some dominating rides during the NCNCA Cyclocross season and had multiple wins on the year.  Myall backed those rides up with an outstanding 4th place finish on Saturday to join Myrah & Coats on the podium in the Masters Men 45-49 division.

In a field that boasted 75 of the top Masters 45-49 Cyclocross racers in America, Northern California placed 3 riders in the top 5 showing the freakish depth of the 45+ Cross racing Nor-Cal has to offer.  This was one of the big stories of Cyclocross Nationals 2012, Northern California owning the Men's 45-49 division.  The National podium looked like one of our local series races.... Amazing!
Congratulations Don, Alan, & Gannon!

Tobin Ortenblad(California Giant Berry Farms), pictured below, rose to the occasion of the USA Junior Cyclocross Championships and claimed the Silver Medal in very difficult conditions on Saturday.  Ortenblad continued the tradition of outstanding Juniors rising to the top of the National talent pool in Cyclocross.  Ortenblad has compiled an outstanding Cyclocross season, and he tops his year off with the Silver Medal at USA Nationals. 
Congratulations Tobin!

Ortenblad fights for the hole shot in a stacked group of Junior racers at the USA Cycling National Championships.  Over 50 Junior racers from across America contested the Championship event and Ortenblad was 2nd overall!

Ortenblad responds to the pressure of the big race and rides to the Silver Medal at Nationals.  The Santa Cruz resident is the real deal,
and in the end he let his riding do his talking...

California Giant Berry Farms star racer Cody Kaiser, shown below, added another National Cross Medal to his collection with a super great Silver Medal in the ultra fast U23 division.  Kaiser grabbed the hole shot and threw down some serious power on course during the 50+ minute contest.  The conditions were tremendously demanding, and Kaiser excelled while
others failed, to earn the Silver Medal. 
Congratulations Cody!

Kaiser is a true champion of Cross, and Nor-Cal is proud to watch this man develop from the USA Junior Champion in Cyclocross, to now one of the very best in the U23 group.

Justin Robinson(California Giant Berry Farms), pictured below showed tremendous grit and determination to ride to another podium at USA Cyclocross Nationals in the 35-39 division.  Robinson has a multiple year streak going on of making the podium at the USA Championships in the Masters division, and 2012 the streak continued. 
Congratulations Justin!

Robinson on the podium again at Nationals! 

Alan Coats, pictured below, was one of five California Giant Berry Farms Cyclocross team members to make the podium at Nationals on Saturday!  The awards announcer must be dreaming of strawberries tonight in his sleep after the fantastic Saturday Watsonville's Cal. Giant had in Wisconsin.

Kaiser, photo below, on his way to Silver in the U23 race.

Friday, January 6, 2012


Northern California Cyclocross Earns Another Precious Gold Medal At Nationals Day 2.
 California Giant Berry Farms Standout Gina Hall Takes No Prisoners And Claims
Gold In the Women's 45-49 Division.

Hall found her best form of the season at the most important race of the year!  Hall rode the very front of the race throughout, showing her rear wheel to the rest of the group from the start. 

Hall has now won multiple USA Cycling National Championships in the
sport of Cyclocross and can be considered one of the
NCNCA's greatest Cross athlete's ever.

California Giant Berry Farms Norm Kreiss snatches the Silver Medal in the Masters Men 50-54.

Kreiss put up a super fight for the Gold with racing legend  Paul Curley.  In the end Kreiss could be satisfied with his second Silver Medal from Cross Nationals in as many years! 

Kreiss was all smiles after the podium presentations where he added another Silver Medal to his National Championship hardware collection.

Team Rambuski Law's Katrina Baumsteiger delivered a tremendously strong performance in racing to the 5th spot on the podium in the Women's 45-49 division.  Baumsteiger & Hall made Nor-Cal Cross fans very proud with two
representatives on the podium for this group in what was one of the biggest fields of the day in all Masters competitions.

Henry Kramer(California Giant Berry Farms) missed the Masters Men 55-59 podium by a mere 5 seconds.  Kramer will surely be back to Cross Nationals another year to have a go against the best Masters racers from across America.

Northern California was huge in the Masters 55-59 division on Thursday!  Some are calling it one of the most dominating performances in recent years for a region in one division at Cyclocross Nationals.  Kreiss & Kramer were joined in the top 10 finishers in that group by Jim Gentes(Giro) who was 8th & Webcor/Alto Velo racer George Smith who finished 9th place.  Nor-Cal thus put 4 riders in the top ten of this division!  The soggy fields of Wisconsin ended up showing just how strong the Masters Cyclocross racing is for the NCNCA region.  Congratulations to Kreiss, Kramer, Gentes & Smith!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

January The Best Time Of Year For Cyclocross Racing

Surf City Series & CCCX Series Keep Dream Alive For Nor-Cal Cyclocross In January.
Surf City In Action At Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds This Sunday!

Northern California First To Strike Gold at Cyclocross Nationals In Madison Wisconsin..... AMAZING!
Nor-Cal puts 2 riders on the podium in
Single Speed division.
Bay 101/HRS/Rock Lobster racer Aaron Bradford red hot in frigid cold Wisconsin claims Gold Medal on Day #1 of National Championships.  Another Lobster strongman Scott Chapin also on podium with fine 4th place finish.

Bradford was a man possessed during the Single Speed race!  The Santa Cruz resident outlasted a stellar field of super talented racers to claim the top step of the podium and own a Gold Medal for Nor-Cal Cyclocross!

The slick course in Madison Wisconson became very technical as the race wore on during the Single Speed event.  Many of the Northern California Cyclocross series the past 2 years have featured bunny hopping obstacles, or specific board sections that allow riders who can bunny hop opportunities to use that skill.  Having these sections picks up the skill level of all who race, plain and simple.
At Nationals Nor-Cal's Aaron Bradford used a last lap strategic bunny hop over the boards to solidify his lead and earn the Gold Medal in the Single Speed race.....Amazing!  Bradford has been a force the past few years in Nor-Cal Cross, always fighting the good fight at the front of the Elite races. 
His hard work and dedication to Cyclocross has paid off with a
Cross National Championship today, to go with his
"Super D" MTB National Championship he won a few years ago.

I personally know the riders who finished 2nd & 3rd place in the Single Speed race behind Aaron Bradford.  Both riders are legends in the sport of cycling from Idaho and have a long history of winning big races.  J.T Fountain and Michael Gaertner are true champions of cyclesport, and both riders at the end of the day were forced to look up to the top step of the podium and see
 Nor-Cal's Aaron Bradford put on the coveted Stars & Stripes winners jersey. 
Congratulations Aaron!

Bradford's team mate Scott Chapin also deserves huge respect for his 4th place finish in the Single Speed race.  Rock Lobster made a giant statement on the first day of Nationals for Northern California and I do hope that this performance motivates others to great results as well....

USA Cycling Cross Nationals Schedule & Start Lists.

Thursday I look for Henry Kramer, Norm Kreiss- both California Giant Berry Farms sponsored, and Katrina Baumsteiger- Team Rambuski Law, to battle for podium positions and Medal honors in their respective divisions...

One other note on Wednesday's racing...- Rock Lobster fully owned the Single Speed event.  They had team racer Alex Work, the NCNCA District Champion is the Single Speed division, ride to 7th place at Nationals- joining Chapin & Bradford in the top 10.  So Lobster placed 3 riders in the top 10 in Wisconsin... Fantastic!