SAN FRANCISCO, CA—On Sunday, the Bay Area Super Prestige Series headed to The Stick—an appropriate, albeit disconcerting, nickname for a race venue known for occasional hypodermic needle sightings.
Situated between the vacant stadium of the 49ers and watery expanses of the San Francisco Bay, the race at Candlestick Point featured a winding track through the dusty knolls of the bayside park.
Hundreds of knobby tires churned the soil of the former landfill into a brown haze, which hung over the venue in the afternoon sun. A couple of rim banging rocks aside, the course received positive reviews from the top of the elite men’s field. Tobin Ortenblad (Cal Giant-SPECIALIZED) mentioned, “Most people don’t like the course because it’s bumpy and rough, but I thought it had really good flow, especially in the corners.” Both Keith Hillier (Rambuski Law) and Cody Kaiser (Cal Giant-Specialized) agreed that despite the occasional nail or broken glass lurking in the high grass, it was a good course overall.
BJM Back on Top at The Stick
Ben Jacques-Maynes negotiated some early race traffic before finally reaching the front of the men’s field. He recalled, “I wound up in a bit of a scrum off the start line and got bumped back into the top ten. After I finally got clear, I started chasing Tobin [Ortenblad] who got a clean start.”
Ortenblad (Cal Giant-SPECIALIZED) avoided the chaos of washouts and wad-ups behind him and led for two laps before Jacques-Maynes regained contact.
Jacques-Maynes said, “Once I caught him [Ortenblad], I changed modes from ‘how am I going to catch and make this a race,’ to ‘how am I going to win this race?” The pair traded the lead over the next several laps, maintaining the gap on a chasing Hillier. “I watched and tested Tobin to map out my attacks and figure out how and where I could win,” Jacque-Maynes explained.
Before Jacques-Maynes could launch the final move on his 19-year old protégé, Ortenblad flatted, leaving the Jamis CX rider out in front—it was now his race to lose.
“Once I was on my own,” Jacques-Maynes explained, “I got this fear of flatting out of contention. At that point, I saw I was holding the gap over Keith [Hillier] and Cody [Kaiser] so I rode a bit more conservatively.”
Hillier kept up his steady chase pace to grab second on the day, while Cody Kaiser overcame early crashes and a first lap pile up to claim the third podium spot.
Walton Brush (MASH SF) out lasted Ortenblad’s post-deflated charge as the Mash SF rider finished in fourth as Cal Giant snagged the final fifth place podium spot.
Lloyd Wins Abbreviated Women’s Race
A shorter than expected women’s race saw Rachel Lloyd (DFL) take the win with a time of 28:32.
Second place finisher, Karen Brems (Rambuski Law) said she knew the field looked strong when she spotted both Lloyd and Emily Kachorek (#Ghetomoto) in the starting grid. “Rachel [Lloyd] looked fit and she’s a good technical rider so I know she would be major competition,” Brems explained. “Emily [Kachorek] too, she’s focusing on cross this year and had a good race last weekend”
Brems took the early lead in the race, surprising herself in the process. “I got the whole shot, which is not normal for me…but I just went with it,” she explained.
The Rambuski Law rider led the first half-lap before Lloyd caught her in the tighter turns of the course. With Lloyd now in front, Kachorek also latched onto the leaders forming a group of three at the front of the race.
Lloyd used her technical skills, establishing a lead on Brems half way through the second lap. At that point, Kachorek dropped back to third, where she remained until the finish. Though gaps widened and shut throughout the race, Brems explained, “we were all going hard and stayed about 10 seconds apart for the entire race.”
Kristin Drumm (Red Peloton) and Leah Plack (Fresh Air Bicycles-Hunter Cyclocross) rounded out the podium in fourth and fifth, respectively.
Elite Men’s Top 5
- Ben Jacques-Maynes (Jamis CX)
- Keith Hillier (Rambuski Law)
- Cody Kaiser (Cal Giant-SPECIALIZED)
- Walton Brush (MASH SF)
- Tobin Ortenblad (Cal Giant-SPECIALIZED)
Elite Women’s Top 5
- Rachel Lloyd (DFL)
- Karen Brems (Rambuski Law)
- Emily Kachorek (#Ghetomoto)
- Kristin Drumm (Red Peloton)
- Leah Plack (Fresh Air-Hunter Cyclocross)
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