Thursday, November 20, 2014

Close to home, Surf City CX #2

         This weekend's race was Surf City CX #2, about 16 miles up Empire Grade from Santa Cruz at a Cal fire training area. The course last year was clockwise and really dusty, going through a few inches of loose dirt for much of the lap. Yet this year the course was race counterclockwise, and with a little recent rain made for a great fun course.

          Off the start/finish gravel straight was a tight left almost looping back onto straight before a quick right leading across a field. After crossing the field a right turn preceding 4 barriers were waiting, before the course crossed the field a second time. Coming off the field for the second time was a hard left onto a high speed fire road following the outside of the field passing by the barriers into a spiral of death, winding and getting tighter towards the middle before unraveling. After coming out of the spiral of death the course dropped into the woods where; loose dirt, rocks, and a quick descent and moderate climb out towards a run up with a tree branch in it. After the run up coming out of the trees  was a quick pedal into a short off camber section that quickly descended  while wrapping left around tress dropping onto a gravel road. After about 100 yards the gravel road turned left and the course turned left up an embankment, wrapping back towards the gravel road descending slightly. The next few sections the course would go up the embankment, quickly back down make a 180 right turn, stay straight for around 75 yards, make a second 180 right turn, a left and lead back up the embankment. After making it up the course looped towards the right around a bumpy field on the embankment, before turning left around training building and back onto the gravel road. The last section of the course would follow the gravel road towards a second training building, up on a concert pad, loop around the building, back on to gravel and a left turn back to the start/finish straight.
Photo By: Mark Seymour
Start of Surf City #2 Mens B race
       After placing 6th at Surf City CX #1, I received a front row call up along with; Ibis Buy Cell's little Ben Gomez-villafane, Family Cycle's Rob Martone, and Fresh Air Hunter's Garrett Kautz. On the whistle Ben and a second junior, Aidan Malmberg, would sprint off leaving Lee Slone, Rob, Garrett and myself to chase them down. Aidan would get the hole shoot, followed closely by Ben, then Garrett, myself and Lee

Photo By: Mark Seymour
Coming out of the first turn, Lee on my wheel, and myself on Ben's
          Ben would quickly pass Aidan right before passing the barriers going towards the spiral of death. Four of us; Ben, Adian, Lee and myself would stay together until just after the run up when Ben took the right side over the tree and had a cleaner run which allowed him to remount faster to start and build a gap. I would pass Aidan for second just after we remounted, I believe Lee would do the same or closely there after. As we crossed the line for the first lap Ben would be in first (put down the fast lap of the race from a standing start no less of 6:48) already 14 seconds ahead of me in second, Lee just 2 seconds back from me in third, Aidan 7 seconds from Lee, Garrett rounding off the top 5 just 2 seconds from Aidan, but with a few others close behind.

Photo By: Mark Seymour
Lee taking over second place on the second la, Joshua close behind me for forth
         Midway through the second lap, just after the run up Lee would take over second place. I would stay on his wheel, with Joshusa Pizzica and Jarret St. Anbin close behind, until the short turning descent after the off camber section. Coming out of the turn I would stuff my front wheel into some loose dirt, have my bike come to a top and dismount over the bars, while holding the bike still. Josh would be held up behind me while Jarret was just far enough back to be able to take the inside and avoid us. I sprint down the gravel road to stay with Jarret taking too much speed on the inside of the gravel left at the other end of the straight, nearly low siding into Jarret as I two wheel drifted the corner dapping my left foot 4 or 5 times as I almost was dragging my bars on the ground before catching and getting back up right. Jarret would lead me out until the start/finish when I would retake third place. Josh would follow me past Jarret, as the three of us chased Lee down passing him I believe between the barriers and the woods.

Photo By: Mark Seymour
          I would lead the chase group for rest of the third lap, and most of the forth before Josh passed me after the gravel road between going down and back up the embankment. But i would only follow him until concert pad where he would bobble and have to go wide leaving the faster inside line open. For the bell lap Ben was too far out to try and catch so I focused on making sure i could keep second. After losing to Josh at Toro park in a CCCX race I knew he was faster than me, I used being ahead, and the tightness of the course to my advantage. When we approached a spot I knew he could not pass in, I would shift down and brake causing him to almost stop in too hard of a gear while I could sprint ahead, then sprinting the small hill and the flats as hard as possible. 

Photo By: Mark Seymour
Barely out sprinting Josh Pizzica for 2nd
         As we approached the concert pad he was right on my wheel, but I would take the remaining corners as close to the tape as possible to make them as straight as possible and the last corner focused on taking the line with the least gravel so I could get one the pedals first and give it one last had attack, finish just 1.5 seconds in front of Josh. Jarret would follow 30 secounds back, Lee 10 behind him for 5th and Garret Kautz another 7 back from Lee for 6th. 

Photo By: Mark Seymour
Surf City #2, Mens B podium

Photo By: Mark Seymour
Ben Gomez-Villafane taking the win, 20 seconds up.


1 comment:

  1. Such a great win dude, keep it up and keep making your loved ones proud and have so many success. Good luck and good wishes.


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