This Sunday in Monterey will be the final event of the CCCX XC Series presented by X Fusion. For 2008 the series was 9 races in total, and going into the final many of the divisions will not be decided until the final race is contested, scored, and point totals are tallied. The course will be about 5.5 miles in length with Beg. riders doing 3 laps, Sport riders 4 laps, and Experts 5 laps. The trails and terrain of Ft Ord are not overly technical, however the riding is very fun and challenging.
Here is a look at the divisions where the final race will determine the outcome:
BEGINNER 19-34 has Luis Saldana of Salinas and David Macchi of San Jose separated by only 3 points going into the last race. The rider with the highest finish at the final is the determining factor if it comes down to a tie on total points. Each of these riders has pedaled to a win during the series and have posted results always in the top three. So this division will surely be one of the tightest battles on the trail this coming Sunday.Racing action starts at 9:00 a.m. with Beginners, then Sport at 11:00 a.m., and Pro/Experts at 1:00 p.m. Directions are available here.
In the CLYDESDALE division Daymon Prewitt of Marina has a outside shot at the series win. However, Scott Harper of Atascadero seems to have found his form toward the end of the year winning the past 3 races of the series. Prewitt would need to win the final with Harper fading to 3rd place or worse. Harper just seems to be on a mission to claim the series win showing he is one of the fastest big men in Northern California on a mountain bike.
The PRO-SEMI PRO division has come down to close friends fighting it out for the series win. Jason Rahlwes (Fox Racing Shox) and MTB living legend Larry Hibbard (Family Cycling Center) are separated by just a few points and the final race could determine series winner. Both Rahlwes and Hibbard constantly show up and compete at the CCCX series whether it is Cyclo-Cross or MTB racing. Hibbard now finds himself needing to make up a few points on the Fox Racing Shox sponsored Rahlwes. Hibbard is a true inspiration to all Nor-Cal riders as he is super strong and super fast year after year on all types of terrain and bikes.
EXPERT 19-34 division has one of the closest series battles of 2008. Greg Heinz of Salinas has had a stellar Expert season of racing. Heinz used the CCCX series to gain fitness early in the season. Heinz then rode to outstanding wins at the Sea Otter Classic and multiple USA Cycling National events. Heinz also has posted 4 solid wins during the CCCX series. Scott Chapin is the coach of the Harbor High Pirates MTB Team of the Nor-Cal High School MTB League. Chapin also has had a strong 2008 racing season besides taking part in coaching responsibilities for the Harbor High riders. Chapin has won 3 CCCX races and finished 2nd to Heinz on two other occasions. This puts him only 3 points behind the strong riding Heinz going into the final. Heinz just suffered a brutal crash while training this past weekend and will have to dig deep this Sunday to come up with a good race while slightly injured. The final race will be a true shoot out between the two 19-34 Expert riders.
The PRO/EXPERT SINGLE SPEED division has the closest battle going on for the CCCX series crown of all the divisions being contested. Cesar Chavez (Buy-cell.com/Poshard Con.) and Mark Howland (Black Market Racing) have each posted 4 wins during the 9 race series. Each rider has also claimed 2 second place finishes to put them dead even on ranking points going into the final. So which ever Single Speed rider crosses the finish line first will win the CCCX title and the CCCX series champion custom jersey and plaque. But even more important then the goods, is the bragging rights of a hard fought Nor-Cal win in the highly competitive Single Speed division. Chavez went virtually undefeated racing the Single Speed division in Nor-Cal Cyclo-Cross races during the 2007 cross season. While Howland was very close to claiming the Single Speed CCCX series win in 2007 in his first true attempt racing this division. Now it comes down to one race for all the marbles between these two highly talented all around cyclists.