CCCX Toro Park
6 October 2013
Conditions were very warm for CCCX at Toro Park, as Northern California continued in its summer after the summer. Both Ellen Sherrill (Rock Lobster) and Andy Jacques-Maynes (ibis/Buy-cell.com) toiled under the conditions but prevailed to win their categories.
Sherrill started on tired legs after tackling the climbs and course at San Jose Cougar the previous day. After three laps, the China UCI cyclocross venturer found her second wind and took control of the Elite Women’s race, crossing the finish line well ahead of second place.
By his heavy breathing, Andy Jacques-Maynes was clearly putting in a maximum effort under the sweltering afternoon sun. After the first two laps of the Elite Men’s race, the
new fatherfather-to-be was in command of the race and went on to demonstrate his mastery of ‘cross and course.
He also reached the finish line with a gesture toward fallen ‘cross racer Amy Dombroski, an A for Amy post-up. As so many have seen in the multitude of photos in memory of Dombroski, the sticker on Jacques-Maynes bike was a tribute to Dombroski’s ever-present smile.
It Wasn’t the Trombone
Katie Jay Melena (Bicycle Bluebook/HRS/Rock Lobster) took the early lead in the Elite Women’s race, reaching the top of the climb with a good few seconds on second place. Melena had rested on Saturday, playing the trombone to support her team mates, and her start was promising given temperatures were in the high 80s or even low 90s on the hotter sections.
Second place was contested between Sherrill and Elicia Hilderbrand (Trek CxC). However, the Trek CxC racer ran afoul of a short pit area; darting into the pit for some quick water, Hildebrand ran out of room and lost time to Sherrill.
“I knew before the race during warm up that I was really tired,” admitted Sherrill. “My boss-man Paul Sadoff said it’s OK. ‘Just go out there and ride your bike in circles’. I can do that. No matter how tired I am I can ride my bike in circles.
“Jay [Melana] went for the hole-shot hard. I had no punch which is typical after those high-wattage efforts. Some of the punchy climbs and technical sections were a little tough.”
All is Fair
“After a couple laps of hurting, I stayed with Elicia [Hilderbrand] while Melena rode away,” continued Sherrill.
“I was feeling a lot better and getting ready to attack Hilderbrand. She went into the pit for water and had a hard time coming out. I got a gap. I felt bad but I wasn’t going to wait.”
Sherrill caught her team mate Melena and tried to pull her along. With Hildebrand catching up, Sherrill then had to take full control of the race. Sherrill was thankful there were no barriers to force her off the bike and went on to extend her gap and take the win over Hildebrand in second and Melena in third.
“Everybody Needs to be Here”
Jacques-Maynes was close to the front right from the start. Within a few laps, he was setting his gap leaving Aaron Odell (Bicycle Bluebook/HRS/Rock Lobster), Justin Robinson (California Giant), and Julian Gomez-Villafañe (ibis/Buy-cell.com) to tussle for second place.
“The heat took it out of me today,” commented Jacques-Maynes, “all I could do was ride steady. I had no punch but it was just diesel along and keep up the high pace.
“Try not to slow down in the corners. That was the key – as few accelerations as possible.
“I was doing what I could do. I do the same race every time [regardless of the gap]. I keep charging out because the pace comes from within me.”
Odell was holding onto second place late in the race with Robinson right on his wheel. Earlier in the day, Robinson won the Master Men 35+ race after biding his time to take over the lead. As the race for Elite Men progressed, it seemed that Robinson would repeat his waiting tactic and take second away from Odell.
However, a flat would ruin Robinson’s race and Odell would never have to relinquish the second step of the podium. Gomez-Villafañe crossed the finish line in third place.
Jacques-Maynes particularly likes the CCCX Toro Park front course and echoed others saying, “We get the nice grass. There’s a hard section, a fast section, there are some technical sections. It has really about everything. Everybody in the Santa Cruz area needs to be here because it’s rad. I definitely like it.”
Preliminary report…more race coverage and results to follow.
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