Thursday, July 31, 2008

Sand Hill Closing ?

Wow. This is not totally unexpected but still a bit of a shock. From a letter over at Lee Likes Bikes:
" I have just recently heard that the good folks at Sand Hill Ranch might be considering shutting down the bike section because of unknown reasons. I personally consider this a horrible thing to happen. If I had the opportunity to help them keep the area open or help maintain the park, I would."
For those of you unaware of Sand Hill, they are a gravity park devoted to dual slalom (mostly) in the East Bay. Luckily, Lee delves a little deeper into the issues for us:
According to co-owner Renee Anderson, there are no easy answers. The problems include (ed: I am paraphrasing here):
  • The owners don’t have the time or resources to run the park the way it needs to be run.
  • Attendance and income are very low.
  • Liability insurance is hard to get. And expensive. USA Cycling only covers races, not practice sessions.
  • Business has been declining over the past several years.
  • Good volunteers are impossible to find.
You can and should read the entire article (it is quite in depth) over at Lee Likes Bikes.

While I agree with everyone said in the article, I also believe that the rise of community MTB skills parks (like the ones in Folsom and Fresno) have cut into their audience. A lot of people want to practice the skills but not everyone wants to race (this is obviously wrong on many levels :) ).

Thanks to Brian B for pointing this out.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

2008 Northstar XC #2 Results

Results have been posted for last week's XC race at Northstar (Race #2 PDF). Congrats to Linda Eckhart (Female Expert) and Kurt Schoemig (Male Expert) for their wins.

The next race in the series is tomorrow night at Northstar at Tahoe.

Tahoe Sierra 100 Update

A short update on the upcoming Tahoe Sierra 100 race in September:
After reviewing the course this weekend with friends we've decided to shorten the team category course to 33 miles of the best stuff we could utilize. The reason for this was decided that the pre-existing 46 mile loop would be too tough for team competitors, and the spirit of enjoyment would be lost. It's all about having a good time, and afterwards we want you to have enough juice left over to pour over the days accomplishments with friends and family alike - otherwise it just wouldn't be racing!

For those of you racing one-speeds, make sure to choose your gearing appropriately. This is the High Sierra, and conditions are dependent on ones ability to handle altitude. The terrain is going to be favorable, but at the end of the day with 14,000 feet of vertical gain that gear ratio is going to make a big difference."
Via Global BioRythm Events. There are also some more updates on the course at the website.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

New Northstar Trail

This actually opened this weekend, but thought it was still worth mentioning:
Northstar-at-Tahoe Resort in Lake Tahoe, California today announced the opening of a new downhill mountain bike trail geared toward those interested in getting started in the sport of downhill mountain biking, as well as a new jump park designed for riders who want to progress their skills.

The new beginner trail, named “Easy Rider,” is nearly 1.75 miles in length, maintains an average width of four to six feet, and an average grade of five percent. The trail begins at mid-mountain, near the top of the Gondola Express chairlift, and ends in the Village at Northstar™. Designed to give beginners and families interested in riding together suitable terrain, Easy Rider is a welcome addition to the bike park and brings Northstar® Resort’s beginner mountain bike trail count to five. With this addition, the resort is also offering a new beginner package that includes an afternoon lift ticket valid beginning at 1 p.m. providing access to the Gondola Express lift only and rental bike. The cost is $49 for ages 13+, and $29 for children ages 9-12.

Monday, July 28, 2008

2009 Amgen Tour Route

No, not MTB related, but certainly a few NorCal stops:
"The Amgen Tour of California will be expanded in 2009, covering more than 800 miles over nine days and visiting 16 host cities, race presenter AEG announced Wednesday.

Stages for the 2009 Amgen Tour of California include:

Stage 1, Saturday, Feb. 14 – Sacramento
Stage 2, Sunday, Feb. 15 – Davis to Santa Rosa
Stage 3, Monday, Feb. 16 – Sausalito to Santa Cruz
Stage 4, Tuesday, Feb. 17 – San Jose to Modesto
Stage 5, Wednesday, Feb. 18 – Merced to Clovis
Stage 6, Thursday, Feb. 19 – Visalia to Paso Robles
Stage 7, Friday, Feb. 20 – Solvang (individual time trial)
Stage 8, Saturday, Feb. 21 – Santa Clarita to Pasadena
Stage 9, Sunday, Feb. 22 – Rancho Bernardo to Escondido

For more information on the 2009 Amgen Tour of California, see"
Via VeloNews.

NorCal HS League MTB Jobs

And I'm back. Sorry for the inadvertent weeklong outage folks, but I was overseas and found myself without Internet access for a few days. I'll be trying to make it up to you with a deluge of stories that I have queued up on my laptop.

And I start with something that should interest everyone: cold hard cash. Well, at least a job, that pays cold hard cash. And a job that involves both NorCal and MTB racing, at that:
The NorCal High School Mountain Bike Racing League is pleased to announce two new job openings:
Assistant Executive Director
Starting Salary: $45,000 plus benefits
Job Description:

Administrative Assistant
Starting Salary: $30,000 plus benefits
Job Description:
Submit resume and a cover letter to Vanessa Hauswald at
vanessa.hauswald AT gmail DOT com.

Cover letter should include a paragraph describing how this job fits into your current career path. The cover letter and resume must be submitted in PDF format.
Hurry on over and apply if you think you qualify. The NorCal HS MTB league seems like a quality organisation that is really leading the nation to create MTB racing opportunities for young people.

Monday, July 21, 2008

2008 Northstar DH #2

Results have been posted (in PDF) for this weekend's second race in the Northstar at Tahoe DH series. Congratulations to Tasa Herndon and Jon Wilson, who won the Women's Open and Men's Pro divisions, respectively.

Photos are posted over at RIck R's SmugMug site.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Santa Cruz Bicycles Garage Sale

So this isn't really racing related per-se, but it certainly is NorCal:
Yes, the coastside purveyors of sweet MTB rides are blowing out some inventory.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

2008 Northstar XC #1 Results

Results have been posted for the first race in the Northstar at Tahoe XC series.

Congrats to Emma Garrard and John Hulley, who won the Expert's Women and Men divisions.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Lake Sonoma Special This Weekend

logosmall.jpgJuly is usually the month where it is simply too friggin hot to race up in the North Bay, so the Lake Sonoma Series skips it and picks back up in August. Not this year. Instead of going sans July, they've moved it to an evening start. Here are some of the high points:
THE COURSE: At 14 miles, this is going to make the Series Loop feel like a ride around Lake Ilsanjo. If you doubt your fitness level please consider bail out options when they present themselves. There will be a point of no return half-way through the race where you will be commited to a singletrack trail that is a few miles long with no alternate or easy way out."
You'll have to click over to BikeMonkey to get the full 411. Hey, and while you're over there -- why don't you subscribe to Bike Monkey Magazine, Sonoma County's new magazine and our newest sponsor.

2008 MTB National Championships This Weekend

Although we don't cover it much anymore, USA Cycling is holding their MTB National Championship on the East Coast this weekend. Ever since they moved after the somewhat disastrous 2006 championship at Cougar Mountain, it's just hard to get excited about. However, in the interest of fairness, here is the press release:
"The 2008 USA Cycling Mountain Bike National Championships will return to Mount Snow Resort in West Dover, Vt. for the second year in a row, July 17-20.
2008 Olympians Adam Craig (Bend, Ore.) and Mary McConneloug (Chilmark, Mass.) will be on hand to defend their 2007 national titles in the pro Olympic-style cross country contest, along with Todd Wells (Durango, Colo.) and Georgia Gould (Fort Collins, Colo.) who have also qualified for Beijing. Fresh off the 2008 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships, Cole Bangert (Twin Lakes, Colo.) and Kathy Pruitt (Santa Cruz, Calif.) are set to defend their Stars-and-Stripes jersey in the pro downhill races on Sunday.
Utilizing largely the same routes as the 2007 competition, athletes can expect demanding and technical courses that will challenge even the sport’s best. This year’s cross country competition will cover the same five-mile loop as in 2007 with race lengths from five miles for the 12 & under juniors, to 25 miles for the professionals. The 2008 downhill competition will feature two different courses with one specifically suited for the beginner and sport classes and the other designed to challenge the skills of the nation’s top pro gravity riders.
In addition to the various off-road cycling competitions, USA Cycling is set to present the four U.S. Olympic mountain bikers with their official Olympic jersey during a special ceremony at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 19. At that time, the national governing body will also be announcing the dates and host venue of the 2009-10 USA Cycling Mountain Bike National Championships.  "
Via USA Cycling.

Northstar XC Series Opener (Take 2)

I think with the smoke abating throughout the region, last week's smoke-out of the Northstar MTB XC series will not be repeated. So I think that means everything is on for tonight. And as a special bonus, Northstar is adding a race:
"The race [series] has been extended one week due to the July 10 cancelation. The series will now begin on July 17 and go through August 28"
Via Northstar at Tahoe Mountain Bike Events

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

2008 Downieville Classic Results (Final)

Results from the 2008 Downieville Classic have been posted (all links are in PDF):"Packer Saddle XC Split and Complete All Mountain Times will be up soon"

2008 East Coast NMBS Results

Here's the wrapup from the East Coast National at Windham Mountain Resort:

The fifth round of the US National Mountain Bike Series, the East Coast Nationals, hosted by Windham Mountain Resort in the Catskill Mountains of New York state, concluded today with foreign riders announcing their presence in the U.S. with resounding wins, and the newly selected U.S. Olympic team members confirming their talent and form. Mathieu Toulouse, Adam Craig, Jeremiah Bishop, Georgia Gould and Katherina Nash starred in the Kenda Tubes and Tires cross country races, while Joanna Petterson and Kieran Bennett claimed victory in the Fox Racing Shox gravity races.

XC Men
Canadian Mathieu Toulouse (Team Maxxis) grabbed the biggest result of his career when he got the better of U.S. Olympic Team member Adam Craig (Giant) in a thrilling sprint finish that concluded the Men's Pro XC race at Round 5 of the National Mountain Bike Series at Windham Mountain, NY. Rounding out the podium was the ever-consistent Jeremiah Bishop (Trek/VW), a mere 18 seconds adrift of Toulouse and Craig.

The race finish time of 1 hour, 35 minutes reflected the heated action on a hot summer day in New York's Catskill Mountains, an hour south of the state capitol of Albany. Toulouse, a Quebecois from Montreal, used his knowledge and familiarity with regional terrain to steadily pursue and eventually catch early leaders Craig and Bishop near the beginning of the 4th and final lap.

Once he caught Craig and Bishop near the beginning of the final lap, Toulouse displayed the tactical nous of a seasoned competitor, holding the wheels of the two Americans- surprised at his sudden appearance - for the first half of the 4th lap before applying the coup-de-grace at the summit of the climb, just before the quick descent to the finish.

XC Women
In the Women's Pro XC race, Georgia Gould (Luna Women's MTB) won the start and never looked back for the entire race, staying away to win in 1 hour, 21 minutes on a hot, 87-degree New York afternoon. When a lone competitor did catch her briefly, at the top of the first climb, it was Luna teammate Catherine Pendrel. Pendrel's attempt at shared race leadership fell apart on the quick, technical descent back to the start/finish line. Still, the 28-year old Canadian held the runner-up spot all the way to the race finish, a further 2 laps away. She finished only 1 minute 20 seconds adrift of Gould.

Rubber stamping the Luna team's dominance of Round 5 was teammate and NMBS Series Leader Katerina Nash, who rounded out the podium with a 1 hour, 24 minute ride for 3rd place.

Men Short Track
Newly-selected 2008 U.S. Olympic team member Todd Wells (GT) won the start at Saturday's Pro XC race, before it all started to go wrong. He later retired with a mechanical issue. Sunday's Short Track event offered a chance at revenge for the multiple cyclocross National Champion. He got revenge on the mechanical gremlins and the race win, with the help not of a teammate, but of his brother Troy (Tokyo Joes). Another cyclocross head-of-state, Ryan Trebon (Kona), made his trademark attack in the short track event. With Trebon going clear on the first lap, Troy Wells took up the chase behind.

Towing his brother along for the ride, Troy eventually caught Trebon several laps later, while behind, Jeremiah Bishop (Trek/VW) was putting in a tremendous ride, moving up from 23rd slot at the start to 4th, and closing in on the lead quickly. After the Wells brothers caught Trebon, Troy attacked again, forcing Bishop and a resurgent Adam Craig to lead the chase. As the catch was made, brother Todd attacked for the win. Bishop and Craig reversed their finish order from the previous day's XC race, with the Virginian taking 2nd place just ahead of Craig, both at 4 seconds to Wells. Trebon finished fourth, a further 2 seconds back.

Women Short Track
Team Luna continued its domination of the NMBS series with team rider Katerina Nash riding most of the race with Georgia Gould, only to better her teammate at the finish. Gould, who won Saturday's Women's Pro XC race, again won the start, and Nash was put in the unusual position of chasing a teammate in order to preserve her series lead. This round, the non-Team Luna women's contenders were not content to race against each other, and they mounted a vigorous pursuit of Nash and Gould. While not able to completely close the gap, Michal Dyck (Trek/Terrascape), Wendy Simms (Kona), and Heather Irmiger (Subaru-Gary Fisher) took places 3-5, respectively.

Men's DH
New Zealander Kieran Bennett (Odi), won the Men's Downhill finals in similarly slick condtions as the women faced. Bennett finished 2 seconds faster than Garrit Beytagh (Morewood), and 5 seconds faster than fellow countryman Cameron Cole (Maxxis).

Women's DH
Finally the rains came. Just in time for the Women's Downhill finals to start! Navigating the slick, treacherous and foggy conditions with trademark precision was South African Joanna Petterson (Maxxis), who prevailed over New Zealander Amy Laird by 2 seconds. Delivering the goods for U.S, fans was Alexis Wruble (Vitamin Water), who finished third at 13 seconds.

Men's Super D
Cross-country Pro Adam Craig (Giant) won the Super-D in 9 minutes, 18 seconds on a course that clearly involved a lot of pedalling. Cross-country riders dominated the results. Second was Samuel Koerber (Gary Fisher), and third was Brian Fawley. Both riders were nearly even on time, 8 seconds behind Craig.

Women's Super D
Canadian Wendy Simms (Kona) won the Women's Super-D with a time of 11 minutes, 1 second. Second place was Lindsey Bishop (Mafia Racing) at 1:14 behind Simms, and third was Danae York ( at 1:26.

Monday, July 14, 2008

2008 Downieville Pics

Pictures of this weekend's 2008 Downieville Classic are starting to appear online. This is one from Flickr (here), it basically sums up Mark Weir's DH:
Some other photos can be found at:I'll post more as I see them.

Preliminary 2008 Downieville Results

UPDATE: Probably the closest to official results we'll see today are some photos of the results over at MTBR.

I haven't seen anything official posted, but Trek's Ross Schnell beat local heros Mark Weir and Jason Moesher to claim this year's All Mountain Crown at the Downieville Classic. It appears Mark Weir's hopes of repeating as downhill champion succumbed to some wheel issues. Unofficially, I am seeing the following results for the Pro All-Mountain (combined XC and DH) categories:

Men's Pro DH (All Mountain)
1. Ross Schnell
2. Jason Moeschler
3. Nathan Riddle
4. Myles Rockwell
5. Brian Lopes
6. Ariel Lindsley
7. Chris Sheppard
8. Mark Jordan
9. Harlan Price
10. Dain Zaffke
41. Menso de Jong

Men's Pro XC (All Mountain)
1. Ross Schnell
2. Jason Moeschler
3. Mark Weir
4. Chris Shepard
5. Mike Vine
6. Menso de Jong
7. Tim Olson
8. Sean Donovan
9. Harlan Price
10. Nathan Riddle

Women's Pro XC (All Mountain)
1. Rachel Lloyd
2. Susan Hayward
3. Sarah Maile
4. Jamie Stamps
5. Maureen Kunz

Women's Pro DH (All Mountain)
1. Rachel Lloyd
2. Susan Hayward
3. Abby Hippley
4. Tiffany Allmandinger
5. Jamie Stamps
6. Maureen Kunz
7. Sarah Maile
8. Jackie Baker
9. Corina Bigham
10. Niki Gudex

I will post a link to the official results as soon as I see them posted. There are some race report over at MTBR.

2009 Fat Cyclist Jersey Unveiled

T6_FatCyclist08_B_thumb.jpgI am kind of sucker for cool jerseys (especially from those rascally Twin Six folks). And good blogs (with people who can actually write entertainingly day after day). So when I saw the newest Fat Cyclist jersey design, I was smitten:
"I can’t stop myself from looking at this jersey. I love the big Clydesdale silhouette in the back. I love that Twin Six found a way to put both the ‘201″ and the ‘WIN’ on the sleeves. I love the pink accent stitching.

I really, really hope you are as much in love with this jersey design as I am.

And now, here are the questions I think you might have and the answers I have for the questions I think you might have.

When can I pre-order one? You’ll be able to pre-order these jerseys next week: July 14 - July 20, from the Twin Six site. I will provide links and reminders as the time gets close.

How much will it cost? Jersey prices (along with everything bike-related) are going up across the board, but we’re holding the price at last year’s price — US$70.00 — for folks who pre-order.

Where does the money go? My profits from this jersey go toward my wife’s cancer treatment, as well as toward doing fun stuff with her and the kids."
Cool threads and a worthy cause (for those of you who don't follow the blog, Elden's wife is battling cancer). You can find out more over at Fat Cyclist.

NMBS Windham Preliminary Results

Preliminary results from the NMBS event back East this weekend:
"After racing four laps of the newly constructed course at this first-time venue in New York’s Catskill Mountains, Toulouse took the win by a wheel over Craig. Both finished within a second of each other, stopping the clock at 1:35:10.7 and 1:35:11, respectively. Jeremiah Bishop (Trek-VW) was third.

Earlier in the day, Team Luna dominated the women’s cross country. Canadian Olympian Catherine Pendrel took the hole shot to lead onto the single track climb up the mountain. Her teammate and U.S. Olympic Team member Georgia Gould was close behind, and took control of the three-lap race on the first descent.

Gould kept her lead for the rest of the three-lap race, finishing in 1:21:20. Pendrel took second, with teammate Katerina Nash rounding out the top three. Pua Sawicki (Ellsworth) was fourth, and Heather Irmiger (Subaru-Gary Fischer) fifth. "
Via VeloNews.

Friday, July 11, 2008

More Non-Biking Smoke Cancellations

Wildfires claim another NorCal legendary ride/race, this time for the horseys:
"After much deliberation and careful assessment, the Western States Trail Foundation Board of Governors regrets to announce the cancellation of the 2008 Tevis Cup Ride."
Via Tevis Cup Ride Home Page. And this one for the humans:
"It is with deep regret that I write to inform you that the 2008 Donner Lake Triathlon has been canceled due to poor air quality caused by the recent and ongoing fires in the Sierras and Butte County."
Via Donner Lake Triathlon 2008

Northstar MTB Park Expands

Not all the news is bad coming from up the hill this week:
"Thanks to the hard work of the Northstar Bike/Hike Park Staff, Easy Rider will open this Friday and the jump park is scheduled to open Friday, July 18th. We are all very excited about these new park features. For those of you who don’t know, Easy Rider is Northstar Resort's new family specific beginner trail that goes from Mid-mountain to the Village. The Jump Park is exactly what it sounds like. An area with a lot of jumps, 3 lines, a Small. Medium and Large set of jumps."
Via Lake Tahoe Mountain Biking.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Northstar XC Opener Cancelled

I just got word from the folks up at Northstar at Tahoe that tonight's Cross Country series opener has been cancelled due to smoke. More information as I get it.

If the smoke up there is anywhere near as bad as it has been down the western slope, this is definitely the right call.

Trek Tests Bike Park Vending Machine

trekstand.jpgThis is far sweeter than the iPod vending machines that I always see in SFO when I am leaving the country:
"For the next few weeks in Madison, Wisconsin, Trek is testing out a new vending machine aimed a bikers, called ‘Trek Stop’. The vending machine sells basic bike repair parts, water bottles, and energy bars. It also has an air compressor so you can put air in your tires. People are reporting that it also has a kiosk with how-tp videos to help you fix your bike."
Via CrunchGear but more info and pictures at Treehugger.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Win Entry to Downieville's All Mountain Race

crank_joplin.jpgI am sure some people might want to head over to MTBR to enter this one:
"Didn't get to register for the best all-mountain race in North America? Crankbrothers wants you to have another chance.


Here's how to enter:
  1. Tell the world why you need to race Downieville. Write it down in 5 short lines below. Post it by the deadline: Friday at 9am.
  2. The winner will be announced at the Crankbrothers tent at Downieville on Friday at 2pm. You MUST be present at the Downieville race to win!
The prize: One winner will receive a free entry for the all-mountain race this coming Saturday and Sunday July 12th and 13th, 2008 (a $185.00 value), AND a Crankbrothers Joplin Seatpost of your choice (30.9 or 31.6), up to $275.00 value.

Why do YOU need to race Downieville this year (5 lines or less!)"
Go to this Forum to enter. A Downieville All Mountain entry gets you into the famed Downieville Downhill as well as the XC point to point race.

Tahoe Sierra 100 Update

There's fresh details posted on the Tahoe Sierra 100 race, with a lot of information about the course and race itself:
"Free camping is 95% full! If you have not reserved a spot by e-mailing Jim (see website).

The Tahoe Sierra 100 is not a ‘technical’ course
It is composed of fire roads, double-track and single track with about two miles of pavement. But DO NOT TAKE THE DESCENTS LIGHTLY. There are rocky areas, and with the moon dust that builds late in season the rocks are hard to make out as you are racing in the High Sierras. There will be at least 14,000ft of climbing or more--the course may undergo a few last-minute changes due to the wildfires that have affected the area."
See the rest of the info at Global BioRythm Events

Monday, July 07, 2008

2008 TBF Racing Friday Night XC #3

I must have missed this during my laptop outage, so here are the links to the final TBF Friday Night XC Race from a week ago: Overall and Divisional.

I don't see any series final standings -- leave a comment if you know where these got posted.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

NorCal HS MTB Goes to Deer Valley

Cool news from the folks at the NorCal High School MTB league.

Seven of the top riders from the NorCal High School Mountain Bike Racing League, who were selected from a special invitational camp, traveled to Park City, Utah, to compete in the Deer Valley stop of National Mountain Bike Racing Series. The team was hosted by the Subaru-Gary Fisher professional mountain bike team, giving the young riders the first hand experience of preparing to race alongside top American pro’s, such as Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski, and Heather Irmiger, and Sam Schultz.

Early Saturday was the expert cross-country race and in the boy’s race were two sophomores, Bjorn Fox (Redwood) and Ben Sukys (Contra Costa), and Junior Will Curtis (San Rafael). The thin air and a 300-foot climb made for an intense battle to be first on the single-track. All three riders reached the single-track in good position and Bjorn decided to attack early but over-powered the tight single-track and ended up crashing out of the race with some bruises and trail rash. Will and Ben kept up the pressure and Will edged out last year’s winner by a bike length. Ben rolled in minutes later for 3rd place. “That was such a close race – I’ve never had a finish be that close and it made for a very exciting race for me” commented Will. Christine Weir (Nevada Union) overcame pre-race worries to take a 2nd place. “I wasn’t sure I was ready for the expert class and was nervous racing against Dierdra.” Chirstine ended up beating Dierda York, who recently raced at the world championships in Italy.

The remaining NorCal representatives competed in Sunday mornings sport-class race. 11th grader, Nick Newcomb (Drake) settled into what looked like third place and overtook one rider in the final lap when they began to fade. At the end of the race he learned he’d been chasing a rider in an older category. When he learned of his win he lifted his bike over his head and exclaimed “beast mode!” His teammate, Alec Kassin (Drake, 11th grade) sprinted to the line for a strong third place finish. Lauren McQuinn (San Marin, 11th grade) raced uncontested for 1st place – also beating many of the older riders in that start-wave.

This first-ever travel team raised a lot of eyebrows around the Deer Valley race venue as interest seems to grow for the concept of scholastic mountain biking in other states. “The team concept fits our mission for growing the sport in schools, as well as gives some of our top riders an opportunity to reach higher levels; the victories were an added bonus. We plan to return next year – the Deer Valley race is an exceptional event, the trails, the accommodations, and the scenic town made for luxury racing. I predict many more NorCal riders attending next year,” stated Fritzinger.

2008 Tour de Granite Cancelled

Another race falls victim to cancellation:
"NO TdG (Tour de Granite) Race this August"
Via Tour de Granite Race website.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

2008 MTB Marathon National Results

Bishop_crosses.jpgResults are in from yesterday's Firecracker 50 in Breckenridge, CO, which was this year's Marathon National Championship:
"More than 800 off-road racers gathered on a picturesque July 4th day to compete for one of a dozen stars-and-stripes jerseys awarded at the 50-mile marathon distance at the Firecracker 50. Last year’s national championship runner-up in Olympic-style cross country, Jeremiah Bishop (Harrisonburg, Va.) came away with the overall victory after completing the marathon event in less than four hours. In the women’s pro/open category a relative newcomer to the mountain bike scene, Sari Anderson (Glenwood Springs, Colo.) took home her first USA Cycling National Championship, besting a packed women’s field.

With numerous riders forced out of the competition, including several pre-race favorites, the story of the day was the slew of flats and mechanicals that riddled the dry, rocky course. From the start, Evan Plews (Salem, Ore.) soared to the front of a talented pack of riders on the first of the two, 25-mile laps. After riding conservatively out front for the majority of the contest, Plews suffered an untimely flat with Bishop on his heels on the final steep descent. Riding the flat through the closing kilometers, Plews was also passed by a surging Mike McCalla (Santa Fe, N.M.) who earned the second spot in a true race of attrition.

The women’s pro race was led out by a four-pack of some of the nation’s strongest off-road riders. Pua Sawicki (Maliani, Hawaii), took off out of the gate to lead Jenny Smith (Gunnison, Colo.), Gretchen Reeves (Edwards, Colo.) and Anderson who rode together in front for the majority of the first lap. An experienced adventure racer, Anderson was able to get around Reeves and sneak away on a steep climb and never looked back. The first woman to cross the line, Anderson recorded a time of 4:29:12 as two-time national champion Reeves took the silver more than five minutes later. Jennifer Gersbach (Avon, Colo.) used a late-race surge to take third.

Men’s Pro/Open
1. Jeremiah Bishop (Harrisonburg, Va.) 3:49:37
2. Michael McCalla (Santa Fe, N.M.) 3:50:47
3. Evan Plews (Salem, Ore.) 3:51:03

Women’s Pro/Open
1. Sari Anderson (Glenwood Springs, Colo.) 4:29:12
2. Gretchen Reeves (Boulder, Colo.) 4:34:13
3. Jennifer Gersbach (Avon, Colo.) 4:36:52"

Racer Jeff Kerkove also has posted his race report.

2008 Shannon Ridge Showdown Cancelled

I don't see any detail on the website, but I am assuming that this is due to the wildfires:
"Due to unforeseen circumstances, Shannon Ridge Vineyards & Winery has cancelled the Showdown event that was scheduled for October 18, 2008. We appreciate your support and your understanding."
Via Shannon Ridge Showdown website.

Friday, July 04, 2008

2008 Bear Valley Grizzly Challenge

This is a bit off the beaten path, but looks like it could be a lot of fun:
Saturday August 16th, 2008 delivers the "Grizzly Challenge" with steep climbs, pine forests trails and fast single track. It's a challenging course that will test your riding skill and fitness. Riders choose between 1 to 3 laps and cash prizes will be awarded to top finishers. Afterwards you can enjoy other festival happenings, join an afternoon ride, or simply chill-out. Then at the end of the day everybody is invited to join the festival barbeque dinner for a tasty meal, awards and good times.
Via Bear Valley Adventure Sport Festival website.
It looks like the XC race of 8.75 mile laps with ~1500' climbing per lap. Registration is $15 - $30 depending on category and there are payouts for podium finishes. Course map and elevation profiles are posted here.

There is also a host of other sporting events like kayaking, rock climbing and road cycling on tap for the Festival that runs all weekend.

And for those of you wondering -- Bear Valley Mountain Resort is located about 25 miles northeast of Arnold, CA.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

2008 CCCX XC Series Winners

Looks like a quite weekend of MTB racing in Northern California. This will only build the anticipation of all the thrills and spills coming up the following weekend at the epic Downieville Classic. Here is a report from Dusty Downs covering this past weekends series final of the CCCX XC races near Monterey.

The nine race Central Coast XC Series finished this past weekend, with all division winners receiving a Hot Shoppe custom winners jersey and some tasty Cal Giant Inc. strawberries signifying their series win. Many fine race stories developed throughout the series of races and here are a few notes and info.

Congratulations to CCCX XC Division Champions for 2008!
PRO/SEMI-PRO: Larry Hibbard (Family Cycling Center / Santa Cruz)
PRO/EXPERT WOMEN: Jamie Stamps (Another Bike Shop / Santa Cruz)

EXPERT 18 & under: Davis Bentley (Team Specialized / Mill Valley)
EXPERT 19-34: Scott Chapin (Harbor High Pirates / Soquel)
EXPERT 35-44: Keith DeFiebre (Scott/Ritchey / Prunedale)
EXPERT 45-54: Billy Hall (VOS Racing /Monterey)
EXPERT 55+: Richard Latorraca (Santa Cruz Bicycles / Capitola)
PRO/EXPERT SINGLE SPEED: Mark Howland (Black Market Racing / Santa Cruz)
EXPERT WOMEN 30+: Michelle Monroe (Joselyn's / Salinas)

SPORT 18 & under: Nico Cerna (Cowboy Racing / Salinas)
SPORT 19-34: Chris Sallen (Hup United / Belmont)
SPORT 35-44: Tim Keller (Patullo Racing / Salinas)
SPORT 45-54: Russell G Carmick (Roaring Mouse / So. San Francisco)
SPORT 55+: Michael Simons (Monterey)
SPORT SINGLE SPEED: Colin Daw (Wheel Away Cycle Center / Saratoga)
SPORT WOMEN 19-34: Felicia Reis ( / San Jose)
SPORT WOMEN 35-44: Caryn Kralovansky (Castro Valley)
SPORT WOMEN 45+: Daphne Hodgson (Velo Bella/Kona / Monterey)

CLYDESDALE: Scott Harper (Atascadero)

BEGINNER 19-34: Luis Saldana (Salinas)
BEGINNER 35-44: Anthony Silva (Monterey Bay Builders / Marina)
BEGINNER 45-54: William Clevenqer (Cupertino Bike Shop / Salinas)
BEGINNING MEN 55+: Jim Zahraoka (AHS Cougars / Pt. Richmond)
BEGINNING WOMEN: Lesley Galloway (Code 3 Racing / Menlo Park)

JUNIOR MEN 14-18: Bryan Duke (Salinas)
JUNIOR MEN 13 & under: Samuel Cerruti (Cal Giant Inc. / Watsonville)
JUNIOR WOMEN 18 & under: Gabriela Crowley (Cowboy Racing / Salinas)

The Pro/Semi Pro division had Larry Hibbard riding to his third straight CCCX XC series win. Hibbard is super fit for his age and he had to battle riders far younger then him to claim the Pro/Semi Pro title for the third straight year. One of the riders who made a strong impression for the 2008 race series was Eric Ebberoth who rides for Team Joselyn's. Ebberoth, a strong single-speed rider as well, posted 3 solid wins during the CCCX series and proved himself to be a force on two wheels.

Scott Chapin saved one of his best rides of the year for the series final. Chapin claimed a strong win in the final and this result propelled him to series champion status as well. Chapin is also the coach of the Harbor High MTB Team of the Nor-Cal High School league and a excellent coach for his young squad. Chapin edged out Greg Heinz of salinas for the series win. Heinz gave all he could at the series final having suffered some road rash the previous weekend, and having to race with a large bandage on his upper arm at the series final event.

Keith DeFiebre was the Expert 35+ division winner. DeFiebre posted five race wins during the series and became a two time division champion having won the 35+ Expert crown back in 2003. DeFiebre also has claimed the CCCX Cycloross series Masters division in 2004 and won four divisions of the CCCX DH series this season.

Richard Latorraca completely dominated the 55+ Expert division. Latorraca rode to six wins during the season aboard his tricked out Santa Cruz bicycle.

Mark Howland backed up his 2007 CCCX Cyclocross series Masters division win by riding to the Pro/Expert single-speed division win. Howland had to out last Cesar Chavez and Nick Hanni to stand on top of the winners podium in the end in what turned out to be the closest points battle of all the divisions for the 2008 series.

Another Bike Shop of Santa Cruz proved to have two of the fastest female racers on the central coast. Sarah Kerlin and Jamie Stamps both posted multiple wins on the year with Stamps stamping out the series win with a final race victory.

Belmont's Chris Sallen started off the season by ripping off four race wins to open up his account of series points for 2008. Sallen then sealed the deal with a series ending race win to claim top honors for the highly competitive Sport 19-34 division.

Team Roaring Mouse's Russell G Carmick had one of his finest CCCX race series to date. Carmick blasted his way to five race wins on the year which lead to his twenty point advantage over second placed Daniel Crowley of Salinas. Crowley was amazingly consistant during the year finishing second place in five out of nine races.

The Sport Single Speed division was fully dominated by Collin Daw of Saratoga. Daw has a unique Single Speed set up and it was highly effective as the Saratoga based rider posted a perfect record of seven wins on the season.

Check the scales for Scott Harper who was this years Clydesdale division winner. Harper looks extremely fit for a big man and his fitness and strength led the way to five wins on the year and the series crown.

Felicia Reis was quite possibly the most improved CCCX racer for the season. Reis finished the year off riding very strong and fighting it out with many of the men riders out on the trails. Reis posted five wins on her way to winning the Sport Women 19-34 division.

Velo Bella/Kona's Daphne Hodgson always seemed to be riding with a smile out on the trails. Hodgson plays a strong roll in bringing the Tour of California to the city of Seaside each year, and is a local fixture on the trails of Ft Ord and the Monterey peninsula. Hodgson was the Sport Women 45+ division winner for 2008.

Bryan Duke of Salinas was the Junior Men 14-18 series champion. Duke's MTB skills have progressed at a rapid rate during the 2008 CCCX XC series. Duke will now set his sights on competing amongst the highly talented fields at the Nor-Cal High School league races.

Anthony Silva embarked on his first season of MTB racing and came away series champion of the Beg. 35-44 division. Silva was a true rookie when the first races of the year were contested. After winning the Beg. division Silva will now be testing out the Sport division in future races on the dirt.

Samuel Cerruti of Watsonville was the Junior 13 & Under division winner. Cerruti also is quite strong on the Cyclocross bike and his dedication to riding will surely lead to many fine performances in future races for this young talent.

Lesley Galloway had five race wins on her way to the CCCX Beg. Women's division win. Galloway is possibly the fastest starter of all the CCCX racers. She will charge full steam right from the start whistle putting all other riders under extreme pressure within the first 1/2 mile. Galloway will be moving up to the Sport division in future races and will use her hole shot tactics there.

Gabriela Crowley and Katy Kintz are two very fast Junior Female riders who have a very bright future in MTB racing. Both riders rode strong in many CCCX races during the 2008 series. Kintz finished the series off winning the final three races. While Crowley used consistant finishes to tally up enough series points to claim the Junior Women 18 & Under division title. Look for Crowley and Kintz to show strong at future Nor-Cal High School league events representing Salinas High race team and calvary Chappel race team respectively.

Deer Valley NMBS Roundup

Here is the official lowdown on last weekend's NMBS jamboree in Utah:
The fourth round of the US National Mountain Bike Series, the Deer Valley National, presented by Subaru Gary Fisher, concluded today at Deer Valley, Utah ... Ryan Trebon (Kona), of Bend, Or., outclimbed a determined Jeremiah Bishop (Trek VW), of Harrisonburg, Va., who announced his return to form with a second-place result in Saturday's Cross Country. Trebon rode a 29-inch wheeled bicycle to his win, making it the first time a '29er' has won a national series mountain bike cross country race ... It was no surprise to see the world's top women's cross country team sweep the top three places at Deer Valley, but Katerina Nash (Luna Chix), of the Czech Republic, scored the first National Mountain Bike Series cross country win of her career, which so far has been studded with victories in the Short Track.

The three world championships competitors who earned podium positions were New Zealander Justin Leov (Yeti/Fox Shox), who placed sixth in Italy, and Australia's Amiel Cavalier (Giant), who finished 18th, and Leov's compatriot and trade team-mate Sam Blenkinsop, who was 17th at the worlds. Today Leov was once again comfortably ahead of Cavalier, with a 3:01.41 compared to a 3:07.28. Cavalier was very narrowly ahead of another New Zealander, Sam Blenkinsop (Yeti/Fox Shox), who finished with a 3:07.33. Blenkinsop placed 17th at the world championsips.

Joanna Petterson, of South Africa, scored what is thought to be her first National Mountain Bike Series win [Women's Downhill], with a dominating ride of 3:53.21 that left her rivals a long way back ... Finishing second was Darian Harvey (Sobe/Cannondale), of Durango, Co., in 4:05.84, and Lisa Myklak (Spyder/Fox), of Boulder, Co., was third with a 4:09,23.
Full results are available here.

There is also a NorCal angle to the Deer Valley race, as the NorCal HS league sent a team along. I'll have more about that later.


Just a quick note from your editor:
Sorry for the blackout the past few days. My laptop got completely b0rked by Apple's latest service patch and it's taken two days to recover the data. Check back over the weekend as I clear the backlog of stories that I have in the hopper.