Central Coast Cyclo•Cross, Fort Ord
Race Coverage – 19 September 2012
Last Saturday’s conditions remained typical for cyclocross at Fort Ord in September. Temperatures were comfortable and the sun eventually broke through the early morning fog and clouds. Dry and dusty as it was, nothing deterred the racers from taking to the field. The CCCX course was quicker this time but equally challenging with a teeth-chattering, bumpy downhill in an early section and a late fast downhill leading to a sharp reverse and a trip around the gazebo.
Winners from the CCCX opening weekend, Elle Anderson (Ladies First Racing) and Andy Jacques-Maynes (California Giant/Specialized) were victorious for a second week running.
Anderson started off the front row for Elite Women. “I was able to really go for the hole shot this time, which was fun,” reported Anderson, “So right out of the gate, first corner, I told myself I wanted the hole shot and I got it.”
Anderson wasted little time in establishing her lead and was 10 seconds ahead mid-way through the first lap at the triple plank-barriers. She would eventually finish the race 29 seconds ahead. “I never felt comfortable,” continued Anderson, “I pushed myself the whole race. I’d look behind me every once in a while but from the gun just went as hard as I could. That was what it was all about for me.”
Anderson described the course saying “There were some technical sections that were fun and I took [one] turn wide and ran into one of the poles. It was OK and I was back and going soon. [It was a] very fun, challenging course [with] some cool, tricky descents and twisty turns. I had a blast.” Regarding the teeth-chattering descent, Anderson reported seeing something new each lap as she resorted to taking a different line each time.
Behind Anderson, Karen Brems (Team Rambuski Law) and Meredith Miller (California Giant/Specialized) battled each other. Brems held the early advantage but Miller finished in second less than 10 seconds ahead of the World Masters Champion, finishing in third on the day.
Further back, Ellen Sherrill (Bicycle Blue Book/HRS/RockLobster) and Josie Jacques-Maynes (California Giant/Specialized) had their own battle, passing each other on the course. Eventually, Sherrill pulled away late to secure a 1-minute advantage for fourth with Josie Jacques-Maynes coming home in fifth.
For the Elite Men’s race, the California Giant Berry Farms/Specialized team was out en masse and fielded seven riders. By the close of the race, the scarlet-clad racers took four of the top five places with Scott Chapin (Bicycle Blue Book/HRS/RockLobster) splitting the Berries with his third place finish. Two “young guns” followed behind Chapin with Tobin Ortenblad in fourth and Cody Kaiser in fifth.
Second place went to Yannick Eckman. Andy Jacques-Maynes was a further 50 seconds ahead for the win. “The race last weekend blew me out,” said Andy Jacques-Maynes, “I was able to recover this week and got a lot of training in. I could feel that that [previous week's] race soaked in a little bit so I felt a lot better going hard this time. I was intimidated at the start because all the Cal Giant guys, the Elite squad, came out. I was pessimistic at the beginning.”
Going up the second hill in the early laps, it was Chapin following immediately behind Andy Jacques-Maynes with a slew of other racers a short distance back. “With the wind and the two hills, I felt if I just sat on the front [at] tempo then it was a lot easier to follow,” continued Andy Jacques-Maynes, “I didn’t want to give guys a free ride so I lit it up on two hills in a row. On the second one, I got a little of a gap and I just buried myself to make it stick. Luckily it did because, if it had come back to me, by then I was toast.”
As with Anderson for the Elite Women, Andy Jacques-Maynes also explored different lines through the bumpy downhill early in the lap. “The very first lap, it was my first time doing it at race pace, I was all over the place. I was off in the weeds on the left and the right and I thought ‘I didn’t do that very well.’” described Andy Jacques-Maynes, “Towards the end, the last three or four laps, I found a little sneaky line off in the weeds so there [were] no bumps. I was comfy going through it. You just have to look for the little secret lines nobody else can see and use it to your advantage.”
Andy Jacques-Maynes celebrates a birthday this coming weekend. Soon after, he will head to Utah for the 24 Hours of Moab. After Cross Vegas, Elle Anderson will return East for the Grand Prix of Gloucester and Providence Cyclocross Festival.
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