Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Santa Cruz County Mud Fest: 2014

Photo By: Brain Vernor
Elite Men, Tobin Ortenblad followed by Andy Jacques- Mayens

          This weekend's race was Surf City #3, the series finals, at one of northern California's best cyclocross venues, the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds in Watsonville. This race was the first true mud race of the year for us in northern California, it rained hard the day before and during some othe races on Sunday, including my own Mens B race. The course was also the best yet of the year, steep muddy run ups, off camber muddy descents. More mud as the course snaked through horse staples and around arenas, it even had a few fast sprints and some bumpy grass sections.

Photo By: Mark Seymour
          Coming into the series finals I sat in second place over all, just a few points behind Ben Gomez-Villafane and a hand full in front of Garret Kautz, the three of us along with Rob Martone Lee Slone, and a few other received call ups for this final race to see who would come out on top after fighting through the mud and rain.

Photo By: Samantha Smallwood
Garrett Kautz taking the whole shot
          Unlike my recent races I had a satisfactory start, although not getting the whole shot, I was right with Ben and both of us were on Garrett's wheel. I would take the inside of the left hander heading onto the gravel road and put in a few hard pedal stokes coming out of the corner in the lead. Ben would follow me and the two of us would turn into the first off camber descent together. Ben and I would ride together the rest of the first lap, matching each other on much of the course, until the 2nd steep run up I would build a small gap, of 2 seconds at the start of the second lap and a 15 second gap until Lee Slone in third.

Photo By: Samantha Smallwood
Photo By: Mark Seymour
Photo By: Alvaro Gomez-Villafane

        For the first part of the second lap Ben and myself would still be racing until he worn down his break pads, had some small crashes and faded back in the field (he would finish 28th on the day). After realizing Ben had fallen back, and I was still building a gap on the B's field I would focus on being smooth and staying on two wheels.

Photo By Brain Vernor
Dropping into the first off camber alone.
          I would go on to build the gap a few seconds each lap, staying on two wheels the whole race. There was only a few times in the race, when I would start to lose my front wheel and think I was about to crash, but my I believe my background in mountain biking really helped staying upright in this mud fest. I would finish the race in first, 50 seconds in front of second.

Photo By: Mark Seymour
Surf City #3 Mens B podium
4th Jed Wilson, 3rd Yohta Namba, 1st Chris Seymour, 2nd Graham Lirley, 5th Garrett Kautz
           Coming into the race I was sitting second to Ben in the overall standings knowing I would need to finish 3 or 4 places ahead of him to take the overall, unfortunately for him he had a few crashes and would finish 28th, but still 5th overall. Lee Slone would finish a respectable 9th on the day in the best conditions of the year, and his consistency would land him 4th overall. Rob Martone would fight through the deep mud and finish just behind Garrett Kautz for 6th and 5th on the day, as well as 3rd and 2nd overall respectively.

Photo By: Mark Seymour
Surf City 2014 Overall Mens B podium
Photos By: Mark Seymour

1 comment:

Contact Form


Email *

Message *