SEASIDE, CA—Standing at the start line of CCCX #4, Alex Work (Bicycle Blue Book-ROCKLOBSTER) pointed at the calves of Andy Jacques Maynes (Buy-Cell.com-IBIS) and asked, “are those protrusions going bang into the frame on your pedal strokes?”
Jacques-Maynes replied, “They’ve already buffed out the matte finish on my mountain bike.”
Jacques-Maynes went on to win the second consecutive week of racing at Cal State Monterrey Bay, on a sandy course that rewarded the kind of power found in bulging, frame-polishing calf muscles.
Brems Two for Two at the Sandbox
The women’s race replayed in similar fashion to last week’s CSUMB showdown, with Karen Brems (Rambuski Law) taking control early on in the race. Halfway through the first lap, Brems used her signature power to gap the field with an attack that strung out the field leaving the individuals to struggle solo against the gusting fall breeze.
Ellen Sherrill (Bicycle Blue Book-ROCKLOBSTER) commented, “The race was essentially over after four minutes. Karen [Brems] made a well executed, well timed move…the kind of move that makes her a world champion.” Sherrill spent the remaining 40 minutes riding alone to defend the second step of the podium.
Katie Jay Melina (Bicycle Blue Book-ROCKLOBSTER) also suffered by herself to finish in third position for a second consecutive weekend.
The Jacques-Maynes Strikes Back
The men’s race saw Andy Jacques-Maynes and Tobin Ortenblad (Cal Giant-SPECIALIZED) control the race from the whistle. The pair powered up the initial fire road section and matched one another stroke for stroke for the first half of the race. Jacques-Maynes attacked after the sand pit run on the fourth lap, powering into the head wind on the ensuing flat section.
“I knew that was the spot to attack,” explained Jacques Maynes, “After the run you’re pretty gassed so I decided that was the place to go.”
The move left Ortenblad in second, fending for himself through the wind. The 19-year old—who just notched a top 25 at Cross Vegas in mid September—reflected on the decisive move, explaining, “I just couldn’t stay with Andy [Jacques-Maynes].” Still Ortenblad remained positive about the day, commenting on the contrast to his recent experience at UCI events. “It’s great to get the speed and experience at the big races, but it’s always fun to change it up not get throttled back home. It’s nice to ride near the front at these races.”
As the duel for first and second played out, Andrew Juiliano (Bicycle Blue Book-LOBSTER) and Brodie Stringer (Muscle Milk-SPECIALIZED) contested the third step on the podium. After multiple lead changes throughout the race, Juiliano attacked coming out of the sand pit with two to go, and kept the gap through the end of the race.
Stringer nabbed the forth step of the podium in his first ever cross race and grinned, recalling, “I definitely tasted my breakfast bacon halfway through!” Alex Work (Bicycle Blue Book-ROCK LOBSTER) brought it in for fifth place on the day.
Bad Ass of the Week Award goes to Scott Chapin (Bicycle Blue Book-ROCKLOBSTER), who earned his rad points with a valiant mid-race huck-to-splat. On the final lap, Chapin sprinted into a sandy step down and attempted to jump the gap between rollers. Chapin recalled, “Halfway through the air I was getting sideways and saw I was going to case the landing.” Case it he did, and in spectacular fashion, flipped over the bars to the delight of the crowd in the start finish area.
Elite Men’s Top 5
- Andy Jacques-Maynes (Buy-Cell.com-IBIS)
- Tobin Ortenblad (Cal Giant-SPECIALIZED)
- Andrew Juiliano (Bicycle Blue Book-ROCK LOBSTER)
- Brodie Stringer (Muscle Milk-SPECIALIZED)
- Alex Work (Bicycle Blue Book- ROCK LOBSTER)
Elite Women’s Top 5
- Karen Brems (Rambuski Law)
- Ellen Sherrill (Bicycle Blue Book-ROCK LOBSTER)
- Katie Jay Melena (Bicycle Blue Book- ROCK LOBSTER)
- Monica Harris (Fun Sport Bike Cycling)
- Kathy Pruitt (Family Cycling Center)
Author’s Note: Please forgive the use of the third person in this article—it’s to maintain the tone of the report and not because I’m a darche.
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