• Swedberg and Justice Victorious at San Ardo

    by  • August 18, 2012 • Cal Cup, race coverage

    San Ardo Road Race
    San Ardo • 18 August 2012

    The 2012 California Cup saw racers take to the the San Ardo-San Lucas course at the southern edge of the Salinas Valley. Conditions were near ideal for racing on the 35-km (22-mile) loop; a layer of high clouds kept the sun at bay and temperatures in a reasonable range. There were some drops of water from the forecast thunder-showers but nothing in the way of full-on rain. Despite re-paving of some sections of the course, flats were still common place. One unfortunate racer had a flat each of the laps he rode although another reported pulling 10 goatheads out without flatting at all.

    Going into the San Ardo Road Race, the Cal Cup leaders were Justin Rossi (Marc Pro-Strava) for Men Pro-1-2, Amy Thornquist (Steven’s Bikes p/b Pactimo) for Women 1-2-3, Trevor Gomes (Delta Velo/Michael David Winery Cycling Team) for Men Cat 3, and Michael Buckley (Morgan Stanley) for Master 35+ 1-2-3. On the strength of wins at the Warnerville Time Trial and the Dunnigan Hills Road Race, Buckley had already built an 14-point series lead over his closest rival, Matthew Carinio (ArtsCyclery.com/Wild Horse Wines).

    In the day’s racing, Benjamin Swedberg (California Giant/Specialized) took the sprint to win the race for Men Pro-1-2. Daniel Katz (Stage 17 Racing) finished in second place ahead of Anton Blake (Team Clif Bar Cycling) in third. “There [was] a group of eight of us that started rolling on the bridge of the first lap,” described Swedberg, “Then, going up the hill, there was another selection and we ended up with six at the top. From that point the six of us stayed away for the rest of the race. One was dropped after a lap and a half. We ended up getting a big gap and rotated the entire time. The last three miles was like a track race.”

    Six-Racer Break for Men Pro-1-2 before the Steel Bridge of the First Lap

    Six-Racer Break for Men Pro-1-2 before the Steel Bridge of the First Lap

    Swedberg reported the sprinting started after the left-hand turn and went on to say “Once I kicked it and looked back, I saw I had a gap. I was confident because I had more in the tank.” Although Swedberg’s win moves him into a tie for fourth in the Cal Cup standings, San Ardo was his last event of the series and he now heads back to Washington State. Justin Rossi maintains his lead in the Cal Cup series with Torey Philipp also holding on to his second place in the overall standings. Christopher Harland-Dunaway secured a seventh place finish at San Ardo and enough points to move him into third place for the Cal Cup.

    Swedberg Comfortably Wins the Three-Racer Sprint

    Swedberg Comfortably Wins the Three-Racer Sprint

    For Women 1-2-3, Nicole Justice (Steven’s Bikes p/b Pactimo) exhibited her prowess to cross the finish line well out of site of her competitors. Kristina Seley (Cynergy Cycles-Missing Link Coaching) won the sprint for second in front of Maura Kinsella (Vanderkitten-Focus) in third and Jane Despas in fourth. Fifth place went to Fiona Strouts (Steven’s Bikes p/b Pactimo).

    Kristina Seley (Cynergy Cyces-Missing Link Consulting) Wins the Sprint for Second

    Kristina Seley (Cynergy Cyces-Missing Link Consulting) Wins the Sprint for Second

    With 11 miles remaining in the race, Justice made the final turn onto Cattleman along with the main group but eventually won the race with a 90-second gap. “It was a flat race; there was one somewhat steep hill,” remarked Justice, “I’m more of a climber so I knew I wouldn’t have the best chance in a sprint. My team mate Fiona [Strouts] and I tried to fake everyone on the last climb. We set a fast pace but didn’t attack and we knew everyone would be tired. Eventually I went solo for the last 10 miles.” Justice continued to say she had some down time after Cascade and it was nice to come back with another win, having also won at the Leesville Gap Road Race.

    Nicole Justice Crosses the Finish Line Well-Ahead of her Competitors

    Nicole Justice Crosses the Finish Line Well-Ahead of her Competitors

    With third today, Jane Despas now holds the Cal Cup lead for Women 1-2-3. Steven’s Bikes presented by Pactimo have racers holding the next three positions in Strouts, Amy Thornquist, and Mary Ellen Ash. There strength as a team shows as they hold five of the top ten places for the Cal Cup standings.

    Mary Ellen Ash Points Out the Team in Charge

    Mary Ellen Ash Points Out the Team in Charge

    Elsewhere in the Cal Cup categories, Ben Albrecht (GNARLUBE/LANDSHARK Racing) was the winner for Mater 35+ 1-2-3 with Randall Tinney (CA Pools/CFS Mortgage) finishing in second. Keith Szolusha (CyclesFanatic.com) came home in third place. The Cat 3 winner was Jacob Gerhardt (Dolce Vita Cycling). Oddvar Kaarboe (Webcor/Alto Velo) came home in second place whilst Naveen Molloy (Freewheel-BRITEsport) took the third spot.

    In the overall standings, Trevor Gomes extends his lead in Cat 3 to 16 points over the new second place racer, Michael Kopp (Taleo Racing). Kopp came home in seventh at San Ardo to move out of a third place tie. Oliver Ryan (R4R-Make A Wish) drops back to third.

    In the Cal Cup series for Master 35+ 1-2-3, the top three position are the same with Michael Buckley leading over Matthew Carinio (ArtsCyclery.com/Wild Horse Wines) in second and Anders Gil (Michael David Winery Cycling Team) in third.

    This years San Ardo Road Race was also the venue for the NCNCA Junior Road Championships. Congratulations to the following winners:

    Josie Nordrum (Whole Athlete/Specialized) – Junior Women
    Grover Rozek (Team Bicycles Plus/Sierra Nevada) – Juniors 10-12
    Garrett Marking (Chico Corsa Cycling Club) – Junior Men 13-14
    Matt Valencia (Team Specialized Racing Juniors) – Junior Men 15-16
    Tim Aiken (SJBC) – Junior Men 17-18

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