• Cherry Pie & Hellyer Early Bird

    by  • February 7, 2011 • norcal scene, race coverage • 7 Comments

    jonocherry.JPGWhat makes a difference between Ronde and Cherry Pie? Maybe California riders like food, maybe they just want to hang out in Napa, maybe the thought of standing on a barrel as you receive your accolades draws the crowds. What ever the reason Cherry Pie is the denoument of the Pre-Season races.

    Women 123

    Thankfully a better crowd showed for Sunday’s race.  The field included a full Webcor team, multiple Peanut Butter 2012 riders, and assorted hammers like Rachetto and Drumm.  The race was dominated by a solo break driven by a random ‘pro’ swiss rider, Pascale Schnider. If my research is right Schnider has spent some time in the big leagues with the likes of the Cervelo Test Team.  Without any knowledge of her track bona fides, she’s got some world cup medals, she was labeled Swiss Miss for her distinctive skin suit and marked by the pack as a potential threat. Swiss Miss is an awesome nickname.

    After Schnider escaped the attacks continued but the only rider to make progress on reeling in Swiss Miss was Mary Maroon. Maroon jumped, for the second day in a row, hoping to take some of the other big guns with her but failed to find any playmates and packed in in with three to go.  Webcor and Rachetto threw in some last minute attacks to wrap up second place but the finish came down to a drag race led by Maroon who had recovered enough to manage fourth in the field sprint behind Ruth Winder (3rd) and Kristen Drumm (2nd).  Schnider, who was racing in her national teams kit, has got to be loving the ideal NorCal weather we have going right now.  What we don’t have in precision watches and tiny cute milk chocolates we make up for in ideal riding conditions.

    Cherry Pie Women Reports

  • http://vanderkittenracing.com/2011/02/07/420/
  • http://avbridge.blogspot.com/2011/02/cherry-pie.html
  • Men P12

    The Pre-season race scene is currently being dominated by two ambitious youngsters.  Logan Loader and David Benkoski have won a majority of the early season events.  Loader, riding for the Verizon Wireless Squad, has been riding with no teammates, aside from a few Santa Cruz hoodlums that help him out,  and has relied on his euro experience and national team training to out-break, out-wit, and out-sprint some of the more stacked teams like Webcor, McGuire and Yahoo.

    The other dominant rider has been David Benkoski who proved he was no flash in the pan after winning one Early Bird off the front on the heals of two pro-like riders, and then after being the only guy that could manage to hold Fast Freddie’s wheel, which is not a nick name that is holding up well to repeated reference, in the very next Early Bird Crit.

    Anyways… I need to get men’s race details. What i know is Logan Loader (Verizon Cycling Team) took yet another victory ahead of Fast Freddie (Specialized), Sam Bassetti (Lombardi), and David Benkoski (Specialized) in a drag race down the finishing stretch.  That’s a lot of U23 guys clogging up the finish line. Fast Freddie is going to need some master playmates from the Yahooligans, Cal Giant, and other local power squads if we want him to keep showing up! To check out some legit media coverage of the event go to the Napa Valley Register 

    Hellyer Early Bird

    The Cherry Pie hopefuls were spared the antics of local crit legend Dave McCook this weekend after McCook decided to get an early start at his true passion, track racing! Yeaaaa Cookie! Promoter extraordinaire Rick Adams put together an early season track race to help Hellyer-ites get the cobwebs out and the energy flowing back down at Hellyer.

    Results and picks from the race can be found on the Hellyer Results Blog.  To make a long story short… McCook took the early bird trackies to school.



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    Former NorCal resident now residing in Madison,Wisconsin. I race cross, but I'm named after a velodrome. Support your local bike shop, NorCal race promoters, and go learn to race on a track. Hellyer Velodrome - http://www.ridethetrack.com


    7 Responses to Cherry Pie & Hellyer Early Bird

    1. clm
      February 7, 2011 at

      Lots of brand new, first time racers out at the EB Track race on Sunday. And lots of new officials getting a taste of how this track thing works.

    2. February 7, 2011 at

      I was one of those new faces and a lot of helpful folks made it a success. So thanks to everyone for there helpful advice.

    3. Nick T
      February 7, 2011 at

      Cherry Pie does have a 37-year history and a somewhat challenging course, and Brisbane has a practice crit feel about it. I’ve done Brisbane the last two years because I can ride to it, but it’s just not a good course. The big loss was the circuit race, though that’s because ex-pros could not follow the rules and stay within the cones at the bottom corner.

    4. February 8, 2011 at

      Practice Crit? Please. The Brisbane Crit is technical, narrow, and demanding; in other words, it’s awesome. I always assumed it was poorly attended because it’s usually raining…but this year argues otherwise. I don’t get it.

      Well-attended bike racing has nothing to do with a “good course”: look at Timpani. That thing is more boring than watching a Masters race with Steve Reaney in it, yet fields are chock full of racers in every category.

      I do agree that the Brisbane Circuit Race was one of the finest races this district has ever seen. I hope it comes back some day.

    5. sluggo
      February 8, 2011 at

      “that’s because ex-pros could not follow the rules and stay within the cones at the bottom corner.”

      What did you expect at 35mph downhill into a single lane? I wouldn’t blame ex-pros as much as the dumb-ass riders that think that turn was where i’m gonna “make my move” & go 2 or 3 wide through it. Happens every time.

      It was a challenging course. We don’t get many like it.

    6. Nick T
      February 8, 2011 at

      Yes, Timpani has a practice feel about it as well. We’ll have to disagree about Brisbane, but some things come down to preferences. Certainly nothing against the promoter. I like the pint glass I won while going around in circles in the rain last year chasing Reaney and an ex-pro (not the Brisbane circuit race violator).

      And my comment stands on the circuit race closure about an ex-pro, as it was in the p12 race where it happened often, though likely happened in some other categories as well. You put the same traffic markers with police tape strung between them at the bottom of the hill, instead of cones, and the single lane rule would have been followed. Give a perceived option of going between cones, and even accomplished riders will look for an advantage, like certain ex-pros who should know better. It’s the same ex-pro that ignored a call to neutralize at the end of a masters race early in last season, looking for past glory with the old guys.

    7. February 8, 2011 at

      w.r.t. the old circuit race, I’d be surprised if that one comes back. I worked flags on that course for 2? 3? years and traffic control was horrible. There are semis coming through for deliveries all the time, and that’s somewhat difficult, but okay. The real hard thing was that there is some sort of cut-rate foreign produce market at the bottom, and with one-way traffic the only way to get there is to send people all the way around the other way. But they can *SEE* it! and they don’t speak ENGLISH! and they’re in a HURRY! I can’t tell you how many cars would say “okay” with head nodding, start up the way we’d sent them, then u-turn through the cones and head down the race course towards their beloved groceries. I don’t want to exaggerate, but let’s say every 30 minutes or so it happened, all day. Total nightmare.

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