Sacramento Cyclocross Series • 2 November 2013
Jared Kessler (Folsom Bikes/VW/Raley’s) and Chris McGovern (cycleution) treated spectators to an exciting Men’s A race as the pair battled hard on the course. The spoils went to Kessler after he found his “second wind.”
Ellen Sherrill (Bicycle Bluebook/HRS/Rock Lobster) took on a fancied field and raced to a dominating win in Women’s A. Sherrill took the hole shot and only looked back to check on the opposition.
A bane to some cyclocross purists, it was another beautiful Northern California day for the Lembi Park event, of the 2013 Sacramento Cyclocross Series. The Women’s A fielded Sherrill, Hollie McGovern (Real Wheels/Cycleution), Janie Dalton (Missing Link), and, returning from a maternity-sabbatical, Sarah Maile (Ventana Moutain Bikes).
Also on hand were series regular Audrey Biehle and the perennial distance-traveler Vicky Sama (Ventana Mountain Bikes). This was Sama’s first race after an “interesting times” off-season but the Aracta resident was eager to shed her pre-season cobwebs.
Sherrill got off to a good early start and reached the first difficult obstacle a run-it or ride-it run-up. Whilst there was a racing line to ride up this steep embankment, it was a disadvantage in this race.
Nevertheless, Sherrill’s notable demeanor was calm and calculating as she stole a serious glance sideways halfway up the run-up. Sherrill could see that the opposition would fail to match her race this day.
“I had a small gap in the very short hole shot section,” described Sherrill, “and I hammered on the pavement. Exactly why I wanted to get the hole shot was because some other racers were tangled up. I heard Janie Dalton curse very, very loudly. Clearly something bad had happened.
“I took another quick glance back on the next set of pavement and saw my gap had increased. By the run-up I saw I could ride at my comfortably-hard pace and keep my gap.”
Sherrill did fall foul of the changing wet grassy corners but that did not dent her race to the win. After crossing the line in second, McGovern was full of praise for the Rock Lobster racer.
Continuing her season of Elite Women’s podiums, Dalton secured a solid third place and was gaining on McGovern over the latter laps.
The early going in the race for Men A saw Chris McGovern leading a tight group. Following McGovern closely were Jared Kessler, and Nick Schaffner (Marc Pro-Strava). These three gradually built a gap to fourth before Schaffner dropped off the pace.
Kessler and McGovern were setting a strong pace but also battling hard between each other, particularly at the run-up following the early paved sections. It was at this obstacle a few laps in that Kessler passed McGovern. A small gap began to form as Kessler then set his own pace.
“[McGovern] was riding really strong,” reported Kessler, “and as always I am out for fun. [McGovern] had been pulling the whole race up until [lap four]. We had such a huge gap I thought I’ll pass him and do a little bit of work.
“I had intentions to let him win if we were going to stay together.”
Blood in the Water
Kessler’s stranglehold on the lead had been tightening as he continued to keep a gap on McGovern. Then suddenly the roles were changed and McGovern had the lead.
“I thought I was going to crack,” continued Kessler. “I was super tired and at that point I thought I was going to sit on and wait it out. At least ride with him to the finish because he was riding so strong.
“At four laps to go I came off the bike in the sand pit and [McGovern] attacked. I thought that was the race then.
“I got back up to him as we came through at three-to-go. As luck would have it, he was off the bike in the sand pit. So I returned the favor, attacked, and committed.
“I was pushing as absolutely as hard as I could go. I got a second wind and, like a shark tasting blood, I saw him slip and buried myself for three-to-go. I saw my gap growing so that was motivation.”
Kessler has been involved in a couple mano-a-mano scraps this ‘cross season. Whether by fortune or design, they were exciting races and perhaps more is in store as Kessler delves further into cyclocross.
1. Ellen Sherrill (Bicycle Bluebook/HRS/Rock Lobster)
2. Hollie McGovern (Real Wheels/Cycleution)
3. Janie Dalton (Missing Link)
4. Vicky Sama (Adventures Edge)
5. Audrey Biehle
6. Sarah Maile (Ventana Mountain Bikes)
1. Jared Kessler (Folsom Bikes/VW/Raley’s)
2. Don Myrah (ibis/Buy-cell.com)
3. Chris McGovern (cycleutioncoaching.com)
4. Nick Schaffner (Marc Pro-Strava)
5. Jude Mayne (ibis/Buy-cell.com)
6. Jordan Anderson (Owens Healthcare)
7. James Williams (Adventures Edge)
8. Curtis Smith (Team Bicycles Plus/Sierra Nevada)
9. Zac Stanley (Bicycle Bluebook/HRS/Rock Lobster)
10. Samuel Guzman (Victory Velo racing)
11. Aron Yevuta (Victory Velo Racing)
12. Henry Rabas (Bicycle Bluebook/HRS/Rock Lobster)
13. Kailin Waterman (1067 Post)
14. AJ Kennedy (Real Wheels/CycleutionCoaching)
15. Adam Switters (Team Mike’s Bikes p/b Incase)
16. Clint Williams (The Bicycle Business)
17. Ben Dodge (Bicycle Bluebook/HRS/Rock Lobster)
18. Justin Paulson (Victory Velo Racing)
19. Joseph Togoan (Reno Wheelmen)
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