• Thurston and Ortenblad Run Riot at CCCX

    by  • October 7, 2012 • cx, norcal scene, race coverage

    Central Coast Cyclo•Cross, CSUMB
    7 October 2012

    Emily Thurston (Team Rambuski Law) held off a late charge by Ellen Sherrill (Bicycle Bluebook/HRS/Rock Lobster) to win the Elite Women’s race. Tobin Ortenblad (California Giant/Specialized) set an early cracking pace; there was only one serious challenge to his race but he took the victory in Elite Men.

    The beginning of the Elite Women’s race was tight with Sherrill and Karen Brems (Team Rambuski Law) among the leaders. Sherrill and Brems have raced each other several times this season and this race started to look like another head-to-head battle would ensue, as had taken place in their previous three meetings. As the race played out, however, Thurston took a lead she would never relenquish whilst Brems had a flat to ruin her chances.

    Karen Brems was Racing Amongst the Leaders before her Flat

    Karen Brems was Racing Amongst the Leaders before her Flat

    “At the beginning of the second lap, Ellen [Sherrill] had started to slow down.” said Thurston, “I was thinking ‘if we were on the road and Karen [Brems] was my road team mate, it would be time for me to attack.’ It’s just the rhythm so I just went. I didn’t even think it would stick, necessarily. I thought ‘I have to tire Ellen [Sherrill] out, in the least.’ That was the goal.”

    Sherrill’s strategy for the race was for team mate Stella Carey to rabbit and have Rambuski Law chase for as long as Carey could hold her pace. “Karen [Brems] closed the gap back up.” reported Sherrill, “I sat in on [her] wheel. We made our way around Stella [Carey] and then it was two Rambuskis and me. I rode pretty hard. I couldn’t shake them, though.”

    Ellen Sherrill Drops into One Technical Section She Enjoyed Racing

    Ellen Sherrill Drops into One Technical Section She Enjoyed Racing

    After her attack, Thurston’s was in a strong position in the lead. On the penultimate lap, Sherrill had made a push and was closing the gap as she took the bell. Further along the course, Thurston spotted Sherrill closing in. “I didn’t actually realise she was catching me until I got to the barriers,” continued Thurston, “I looked back and she was 20 seconds down. So, I put on a little overdrive to the finish.”

    Emily Thurston Finds Her Rhythm in Taking the Win

    Emily Thurston Finds Her Rhythm in Taking the Win

    In the race, Josie Jacques-Maynes (California Giant/Specialized) took third with Katie Jay Melena (Bicycle Bluebook/HRS/Rock Lobster) finishing in fourth place. Despite her mechanical, Brems managed to come home in fifth place.

     
    Ortenblad was first over the finish line at the end of lap one in the Elite Men’s race; he had a small gap over Scott Chapin (Bicycle Bluebook/HRS/Rock Lobster) in second and the pace was fast. Chapin managed to catch Ortenblad by the second lap but, on lap three, the young Cal Giant racer re-established his lead. From this point on in the race, Ortenblad simply increased the distance between himself and second place.

    “I kept hitting it hard,” reported Ortenblad, “I went out today to go super hard for the whole race. [I] didn’t really want Scott [Chapin] to come around me. The first two laps I wasn’t riding super smooth. [On] the third lap I finally found a good groove and got a little gap and opened it the rest of the race.” Ortenblad admitted his race strategy was to remain near the lead if not at the front.

    After losing touch with first place, Chapin ended up in a fight for second place with Walton Brush (MashSF). The two raced together for the last two or three circuits around the course. Crossing the finish line, however, Chapin took second place well ahead of Brush. Mitch Trux (Sterling Sports Group) had a steady race to come home in fourth place. Don Myrah (ibis/Buy-cell.com) finished in fifth.

    Scott Chapin Going Over the Plank Barrier

    Scott Chapin Going Over the Plank Barrier

    Ortenblad’s win followed up a fourth place finish at BASP the week before. ‘[My season] is going well,” continued Ortenblad, “Chris McGovern is my new coach and so far everything is going great. I’ve been training hard and eating well. I am really excited for a month or two from now [to] see what happens. So far, at the USGPs, I’ve been feeling good and being consistent. I think I can [get] a top-five at U23 Nationals this year.”

    Tobin Ortenblad Wears the Pink Kit for Breast-Cancer Awareness

    Tobin Ortenblad Wears the Pink Kit for Breast-Cancer Awareness

     
    Elite Women
    1. Emily Thurston (Team Rambuski Law)
    2. Ellen Sherrill (Bicycle Bluebook/HRS/Rock Lobster)
    3. Josie Jacques-Maynes (California Giant/Specialized)
    4. Katie Jay Melena (Bicycle Bluebook/HRS/Rock Lobster)
    5. Karen Brems (Team Rambuski Law)

    Elite Men
    1. Tobin Ortenblad (California Giant/Specialized)
    2. Scott Chapin (Bicycle Bluebook/HRS/Rock Lobster)
    3. Walton Brush (MashSF)
    4. Mitch Trux (Sterling Sports Group)
    5. Don Myrah (ibis/Buy-cell.com)

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