Lion of Fairfax
Vallejo – 20 October 2012
Lion of Fairfax moved to a temporary Vallejo venue. On an excellent course, Ben Jacques-Maynes fought off MashSF racers Kyle Murphy and Walton Brush to win the race for Elite Men. Earlier in the day, Karen Brems (Team Rambuski Law) raced to a comfortable 73-second victory for Elite Women.
Construction at the normal venue saw Lion of Fairfax move to Dan Foley Park in Vallejo. The 1.7-mile course featured a run-up, good changes in elevation, plenty of grass, and challenging terrain and obstacles. To the credit of the organizers and volunteers, course set-up still had much to accomplish some 30 minutes before the first race. As the Juniors got there race underway, the final touches to the course were complete.
Event organizer Murphy Mack acknowledged the Lion of Fairfax will return to its traditional venue for next year’s running. He did hint at two possible new races at Dan Foley Park for next year to be called Kitten of Flanders at Vallejo. The many approving comments by some racers indicate a return to Vallejo would be most welcome.
With the busy weekend for cyclocross in California, the Elite Women’s field featured just three racers. Brems established a 12-second lead at the first crossing of the finish line. From there, she demonstrated the cycling ability that took her to a Masters World Championship at the end of last season.
“I felt good. It was a fun course,” said Brems, “[The course] had some hills which is good for me. It felt like it flowed [and] you could get some speed. It’s always fun to go fast. There were some technical parts too but there are also some parts where you could get some momentum.”
With Brems taking the comfortable win, Kathleen Hannon finished in second place whilst Sarah Jordan took third. Brems acknowledged that the equal prize money for Men and Women was a strong factor for choosing to race at Lion of Fairfax. “You just want to support the promoters that support the women,” continued Brems, “It’s nice to make money but show support for the promoters, too.”
In the race for Elite Men, Jacques-Maynes battled with Brush and Murphy for most of the race. “There were three Mash guys behind me and Walton [Brush] was staying with me pretty easy, so I knew I had my hands full with him,” reported Jacques-Maynes, “[Brush] was playing the team game…so I had to keep on punching the ticket [and] keep the gap open. I figured if I’m working hard make everyone work hard.”
At two-to-go, Jacques-Maynes dropped Brush, his closest challenger at the time, and rode home for the win. “[Brush] was very talkative the whole race. [When] he stopped talking, that was the sign [to] hit him now,” continued Jacuqes-Maynes, “So I hit him right at the very top of the course, ripped the descent as fast as I could to get the gap. As soon as I got it, [I] made him ride hard to come and get me. It just started going out from there.”
Murphy passed Brush late to come home in second place. Brush acknowledged he tried to stay with his team mate but relented to finish on the third step of the podium.
Jacques-Maynes acknowledged he had to ride hard on the course with his single speed bike. “On the flat ground I was working so hard and I could hear [other racers] coasting behind me,” said Jacques-Mayens, “I knew this was a good course to share the work. It’s difficult to put the power down on a light gear so I had my hands full with that.”
Jacques-Maynes echoed many racers on the day in his praise for the course. “It’s a spectacular course [with] great terrain. My Grandfather lives at the top of the hill here. Before this was ever a park, I was playing on the mudflats here. I [have] a lot of good memories so to have a good ‘cross race here is definitely cool. Its a good opportunity for a diverse crowd and a great venue.”
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