SEASIDE, CA—Grey autumn skies closed in on California State University Monterrey Bay, as a confluence of early season showers and a proper track ushered in the third week of the Northern California cyclocross season. Tape wound through the ice plant dotted sand dunes of the CSUMB campus, creating a course that demanded constant power and relentless suffering.
CCCX’s newest venue offered the excitement of a European-style track sans jet lag, and beer throwing Flemish hecklers. Men’s winner, Andy Jacques-Maynes (Buy-Cell.com-IBIS), compared the CSUMB course to the hallowed Dutch sand pits across the pond.
“That was a real cyclocross course with all the sand. It’s like they lifted it straight out of Holland. This course suits me since its full on power for the entire race. Last weekend, we dealt with the climbs and descents—a course that turned the race into ‘how many sprints can you do.’ This week suited me better as it’s wide open the entire time. At the same time, you’ve got to pick the right line through the sand and carry your momentum. Today was a good old time.”
2013 marks the first year Jacques-Maynes will focus solely on cyclocross. Injury and lack of a timely professional contract abruptly ended his professional road cycling career last season.
He now works at Ibis as an engineer and commented on his form heading into the season. “I’ve still got the same engine on the locomotive, just a few extra box cars on the train. This is the first season I’m focusing entirely on cross. I’m off the pro roadie diet, at a good job, and expecting my first child.” After pausing to sip from his post race beer, he added, “I’m just going to enjoy the season and not stress over races.”
More Power, Scotty, More Power!
Impending child, new job and a few extra ice cream pounds aside, Jacques-Maynes took control of the race from the whistle. Incessant power output distanced him from the remainder of the field throughout the eight laps. Kevin Crossly (Bicycle Blue Book-Rock Lobster) remained in contact with Jacques Maynes for the first two laps, before reserving his efforts for a more sustainable ride—finishing the race in second position.
As rain pelted the second half of the men’s race, a band of sea foam green Lobsters split the remainder of the field. Aaron Odell (Bicycle Blue Book-ROCK LOBSTER), and Ben Dodge (Bicycle Blue Book-ROCK LOBSTER), played team tactics to hold off a late race attack by Corey Lowe (SPECIALIZED). Lowe momentarily pulled into third position before Dodge and Odell overtook him in the final laps.
A Rainbow Before the Storm
An hour before Jacques Maynes took his first win of the 2013 season, Karen Brems (Rambuski Law) reassumed her spot atop the women’s podium.
Katie Jay Melena (Bicycle Blue Book-ROCKLOBSTER) nabbed the whole shot and along with Brems and Carolina Gomez Villafañe (Rambuski Law-Family Cycling Center) established an early lead group. Brems attacked right before the sandy single track section during the first lap. Gomez Villafañe chased, but was unable to close the 30-second gap established by the initial attack. Not wanting to blow up halfway through the race, Gomez Villafañe conserved energy before once again chasing hard on the final lap. Gomez Villafañe explained, “I felt like I had more energy to catch Karen [Brems], I just ran out of time.”
Gomez Villafañe, who raced in the B’s just a year ago, landed in second overall for the women. “It’s just the beginning of the year,” said an optimistic Gomez Villafañe. ”So I look forward to playing the [tactical] game with Karen [Brems] later on.”
Melena defended her position to round out the top three for the Women’s A Race.
Bad Ass of the Week Award goes to Cesar Chavez (Buy-Cell.com-IBIS), laying down a winning time in the single speed category that would have placed him second overall in the Men’s A Race.
Men’s A Results
- Andy Jacques-Maynes (Buy-Cell.com-IBIS)
- Kevin Crossley (Bicycle Blue Book-ROCK LOBSTER)
- Aaron Odell (Bicycle Blue Book-ROCK LOBSTER)
- Ben Dodge (Bicycle Blue Book-ROCK LOBSTER)
- Corey Lowe (SPECIALIZED)
Women’s A Results
- Karen Brems (Rambuski Law)
- Carolina Gomez Villafañe (Rambuski Law-Family Cycling Center)
- Katie Jay Melena (Bicycle Blue Book-ROCK LOBSTER)
- Katrina Baumsteiger (Rambuski Law)
- Anna Lindstrom (Leopard Sapporo)
Full Results at the CCCX Website.
About the Author Drew Juiliano: Born in Philly and raised in New Jersey, Andrew moved to a Santa Cruz garage in 2007. From this Central California hovel, he frolicked in the surf and pedaled through the mountains while earning a degree in Basket Weaving (read Pre and Early Modern Literary Studies) from UCSC. He currently lives the glorious life of a freelance writer in San Francisco and only participates in activities that encourage grown men to wear skintight attire in public—namely bobbing on a surfboard at Ocean Beach or furiously pedaling his bicycle to escape the concrete-induced claustrophobia of the city.
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