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‘Cross at Lange Twins – this Year and Before

Lange Twins Winery
Sacramento Cyclocross Series • 17 November 2013

Fresh back from traveling to races East, Emily Kachorek (ghetomoto) grabbed the hole shot, held off an early challenge from Felicia Gomez, and went on to win the Women’s A race at the Lange Twins Winery. Later in Men’s A, Jeremiah Root (SBRacing) and Mitch Trux (Streling Sports) thrilled the spectators as they fought each other to the last lap. Trux used his big ring to take the victory.

Lange Twins Wine at the Lange Twins Venue

Lange Twins Wine at the Lange Twins Venue

The Lange Twins
The Lange Twins Winery venue is fast becoming a signature event for the Sacramento Cyclocross Series. It receives great support from the Winemakers themselves and has featured in the series since 2010. That year was the renowned mud bath that has since gained folklore-like stature. The depth of one muddy puddle swallowed up whole wheels if not the riders with them. Three years on, one can still find remains of the ruts.

The 2010 Mud Bath

The 2010 Mud Bath

The venue, and the series, has seen Master’s World and National Champions racing at The Twins: Don Myrah (ibis/Buy-cell.com) raced in 2010 just days after becoming a National Champion. Perennial Master’s Champions, in many forms of bicycle racing, Linda and John Elgart are frequent visitors to the winery.

Myrah Shortly After becoming National Champion in 2010

Myrah Shortly After becoming National Champion in 2010

This year, Cody “Kid” Kaiser is designing courses as he continues as one of the best young cyclocross racers in the United States. There are also the series volunteers like Gene Redmon of TimeYourRace.com and announcer William “George” Dunkum III to contribute to the character of SacCX at Lange Twins.

A SacCX Fixture - George

A SacCX Fixture – George

The course this year was bumpy and dusty but utilized a good number of the available embankments. These were treacherous obstacles and a good number of racers fell foul to their loose soil. Elsewhere, the course could flow and there was a good portion of technical sections. The winery’s delivery ramp was put to use again as a flyover. It spilled out into a fast hard left turn that could have presented problems with close fields flying down the ramp.

Dusty for 2013

Dusty for 2013

The Big Dude
In the Men’s A race, big Jude Mayne (ibis/Buy-cell.com) fought hard with Chris McGovern (cycleutioncoaching.com) going up the flyover for the firs time. Mayne took the hole shot and led the field away. Heading to the far side of the course, Mayne had the lead but it was Jeremiah Root in first place as the racers headed back to complete their first lap.

There was a new leader again on the second lap as McGovern led the slowly stretching field out and back again. McGovern’s grab was short lived as he crashed early in the third lap on one of the loose embankments, completely ruining his race for the day.

The Big Ring
This left Root out front. In high pursuit was Mitch Trux and the pair kept spectators highly entertained as the leader’s battle failed to give any indication as to which racer would cross the finish line first. Both riders took turns leading. Trux’s early spell was short lived and, after relinquishing the lead back to Root, the gap between first and second hinted at growing in Root’s favour. However, Trux did stay in touch.

Root swept through the boisterous cheering and heckling crowd ahead of Trux on the bell lap and they raced out to the back of the course. Then it was Trux cresting the flyover in front after putting in the fastest lap of the race on his big ring. It was enough to take the win away from the hard working Root. After a slow start to his season, following the birth of his new son, Trux was well pleased with a tactical win and a deserved result.

After falling away from his first lap lead, Jude Mayne rode a solid rest-of-the-race to capture third place. Curtis Smith (Team Bicycles Plus/Sierra Nevada) crossed the line in fourth whilst Nick Schaffner (Marc Pro-Strava) came home in fifth place.

Ain’t No Sunshine When She’s Gone
The Women’s A race had a small but quality field. Sarah Maile (Ventana Mountain Bikes) was on hand and continues to improve her racing following time away for family. Felicia Gomez (Pinnacle p/b Argon 18) also lined up at the start alongside series leader Hollie McGovern (Real Wheels/cycleuetion.com).

The clear favourite was the returning Emily Kachorek (#Ghetomoto). After several weeks in the East for UCI races, Kachorek was keen to put to the test her recently gained technical skills.

Kachorek exited the flyover in front on the first lap. Yet, after the first time over the plank barriers, less than 10 seconds covered the five-racer field. On the start of lap two, Kachorek still only had small gap as Gomez and McGovern were racing hard to not let the race get away from them. This complexion changed very quickly, however, as Gomez tripped over the plank barriers.

Kachorek then set the three fastest laps of the race settle matters, then going on to cement her win.

Gomez would later suffer a flat to drop her down to fifth as McGovern took over second place. Sarah Maile put in a hard charge late in the race to solidify her third place ahead of Maureen Kunz.

Photo Gallery – Lange Twins through the Years

Nash Tunes Up for Cincy

Sagebrush Cyclocross Series
26 October 2013

The affable Kateřina Nash (Luna Pro Team) cruised around the Clayton Middle School circuit to win the Women’s A race today. The anticipation was palpable at the event upon hearing Nash’s intention to race. After mounting a good lead part way through the first lap, Nash put on a display of speed and grace that only a fireball hand-up threatened to spoil.

Nash Swiftly Remounting after the Far-Side Plank Barriers

Nash Swiftly Remounting after the Far-Side Plank Barriers

Summer-Like October
As a resident of Truckee, Nash has raced at a number of area races from the Sacramento and Sagebrush Cyclocross Series, including a win at the snow-ridden District Championships on this very same course in 2010. To the riders credit, everybody today that spoke of her presence at the event mentioned Nash’s immense approachability.

“[I am] just having an opportunity to have a race at home in this beautiful fall weather,” said Nash, “and getting ready for some UCI races next weekend. I wanted to have a good warm up. You can train as hard as you can but never really simulate the same conditions as race day.

“I am psyched that Reno Wheelmen puts on a really good race series and that I could jump into it.”

Gliding Across the Grass

Gliding Across the Grass

The Women’s A field was small with Ellen Sherrill (Rock Lobster) and Erika Greif (Reno Wheelmen) the only other competitors. Nash took control early and reached the plank barriers on the backside of the course well ahead. The rest of the race saw Nash face the course’s differing terrain: tarmac, hard-packed dirt, sand-lot dirt, and grass.

The racers saw three sections with off-camber on grass plus a stair run-up and barriers on the side of a berm. By far the most difficult portion of the course, described as brutal by many, was the 200m stretch of ever changing sand. Even this section saw Nash glide over the surface at speed.

Waiting for the Bar Tender
“It’s a really good course,” continued Nash, “it has a lot of variety. Pretty short lap and you get a little bit of everything.

“I think the sand is always a challenge. I’ve definitely gotten a lot better over the years and I’ve ridden this one several times. I know how to tackle that one but it still get’s your heart rate up, that’s for sure.”

Nash’s display was terrific and good preparation for her upcoming races. Though one potential hiccup occurred when Nash took a whiskey laden hand-up. “There were a couple of super fans out there with some cinnamon whiskey. I couldn’t say no but I waited for the last lap.

“It actually was quite tasty but right after I took it I almost ran into the cement wall. It was a good thing I waited until the last lap.”

The NorCal cyclocross community may have another opportunity to see this accomplished cyclocrosser race again. Nash acknowledged she will look for other times to race locally again this season.

The ‘Cross so Far

The ‘Cross so Far
Cyclocross in Northern California
23 October 2013

It is now the second half of October and the NorCal ‘cross season is at full tilt. Racers have had nearly twenty events to fulfill their bent, not to mention the maverick races. Of the multi-event series in Northern California, only Homegrown has yet to hold a race; they begin their season on the weekend before Hallows’ Eve.

In what has become a September-heavy series over the past 2 years, Central Coast Cyclo•Cross has already held five events. Cal Giants tuned up at both Fort Ord season openers. The C.S.U.M.B. course was the usual sand trap whilst Toro Park produced the goods with grass, dirt, road, and a natural barrier in the form of an enormous tree-root. Meanwhile, nearly rating as an out-of-nowhere chronicle, and fulfilling the mantra of participating to win, Monica Harris is grinding out the points to lead in Elite Women.

Monica Harris is Racing, Racing, Racing

Monica Harris is Racing, Racing, Racing

True ‘cross weather unexpectedly appeared at Lagoon Valley Park, part of the Sacramento Cyclocross Series. It turned a comparatively tame course into a slippery mud-rink and added to that spectator-racer interaction only seen at ‘cross races. The unpreparedness of many involved led to wild yet outstanding racing as well as a handful of those much sought-after images of cyclocross.

Eric Bustos Proudly Sports his 'Cross Face

Eric Bustos Proudly Sports his ‘Cross Face

NorCal CX had an excellent event at San Jose Cougar with the best rider-turnout, outside of a BASP event, along with very tough racing. The begrudging compliments made on the field of battle reflect its status as a challenging yet worthy ‘cross course. The Murphy Mack and Crew produced series is a welcome addition to the local scene even though Fairfax is not where it’s supposed to be.

Jude Mayne Trekked Down from Reno to Truck up and Over the Two Bitches of San Jose Cougar

Jude Mayne Trekked Down from Reno to Truck up and Over the Two Bitches of San Jose Cougar

Although there is a Northern California further north, a future assignment for Fit and Filthy, on the outskirts of the NCNCA is the Sagebrush Cyclocross Series. Many of their regular racers reach deep into Bay Area territory and race at CCCX and Surf City. The series’ recent event, at the Truckee Bike Park, produced a most peculiar course employing both a BMX and Pump track. There were more traditional ‘cross components in the circuit but other novelties were playing dodge with soccer balls and the sprinkler-rain.

‘Cross-purists may clear their throats in disgust but the event drew an extraordinary number of juniors; introducing a plethora of youngsters to cyclocross is a potential outcome. In any case, Jared Kessler was sited racing in Marc Pro-Strava kit, prematurely announcing his road plans for 2014.

Stace Cooper Battles Altitude in Dress-Style

Stace Cooper Battles Altitude in Dress-Style

Northern California Cyclocross has more in the store for its 2013-14 season. Surf City’s Hallows’ Eve race is at a changed venue on 27 October; the loss of UCI standing at Spooky Cross may instead see more top local riders costume their way to Santa Cruz. Stafford Lake is up next for NorCal CX on 3 November. Then there is Sierra Point Night Cross from BASP on 9 November. For a more complete schedule, consult the NCNCA Calendar.

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