• And So it Begins – Cal Cup 2012

    by  • August 6, 2012 • Cal Cup, norcal scene

    6 August 2012
    Preliminary report and photos.
    Alex Chiu and Bill Nicely contributed to this report.

    Velo Promo’s 2012 California Cup began this past weekend with the Warnerville Time Trial and the Patterson Pass Road Race. Torey Philipp (California Giant/Specialized) won the time trial for Men Pro-1-2 with a near 37-second gap over team mate Jesse Moore. Justin Rossi (Marc Pro-Strava) finished in third place. For the top category Women 1-2-3, Jane Despas bested second place Aimee Baker (Mellow Motors) by 25 seconds with Lauraleen Fenech (Los Gatos) taking third place. The winner for Master 35+ 1-2-3 was Michael Buckley (Morgan Stanley) while Oliver Ryan (R4R – Make a Wish) earned the top spot for Men Category 3.

    The Patterson Pass Road Race took place on a cool Sunday morning close to the home of the Wente Road Race. With a breezy morning, the racers took to the climbs facing the winds that drove the windmills on the nearby hills. Starting with the biggest climb first, one could feel the temperature drop as the elevation increased, the racers would then descend only to climb back up nearly the same elevation gain as the first climb. There followed a long descent, filled with some slight rollers, finishing off with a slight downhill that ended in a near U-turn to a straightaway finish. With Bariani-like winds and rolling terrain similar to Wente, it would prove a challenging course for all.

    For the Men’s Pro-1-2 field, it was a pairing of Cal Giant-Specialized and Marc Pro-Strava that made up the breakaways during each lap, with Fremont Bank and Mike’s Bikes working to chase them down. In the second lap, there was a breakaway of two, a chase group of three (Cal Giant-Specialized, Marc Pro-Strava, and Muscle Milk), and the main peloton trailing behind. In the end though, it was a sprint between Philipp and Justin Rossi (Marc Pro-Strava) with the 19-year-old Philipp crossing the line first.

    Ten women lined up for the Elite Women’s 1/2/3 race that started with fog at the start of the day and very warm temperatures at the finish. The field was light as Patterson Pass served as the State Masters Championships; several women opted into those categories. Representing were two racers from Steven’s Bikes, Touchstone Climbing, and Red Racing; there were also individuals for Metromint, Clover, and PWR. At the top of the first climb there was a break of six including Amy Thornquist and Fiona Strouts from Steven’s Bikes, Felicia Gomez (PWR), Tanya Tamguney (Red Racing), Mari Hunter (Clover Racing), and Heather Nielson (Touchstone Climbing).

    During the second climb of lap one, Nielson was dropped but tried for many miles to chase back on unsuccessfully. Nielson must have been having a bad day as she has been riding well of late in the wake of recovering from a collarbone injury. The five remaining stayed together until the next climb where a stiff pace was set by Thornquist, that dropped Strouts, Tamguney, and Hunter until the base of the second climb on lap two. During this climb, Hunter was dropped but stayed within reach until the second time past the start/finish line.

    About one mile into the third ascent of the main climb, Thornquist made a decisive move that the other three let go, settling into their own pace up the climb. By midway up the next climb, Thornquist had a three minute gap that she extended out past four minutes by the finish. Gomez organized the chase but with only two pulling (Strouts didn’t chase her teammate Thornquist) the break was staying away. Strouts took advantage of a teammate up the road by outsprinting a fatigued Gomez at the line for second. Tamguney was fourth with Hunter finishing fifth.

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    "Quod nomen mihi est?" Cranking the glass to capture photographs at bicycle races.