Race report by Greg Fenton:
Bob Wilcox and I raced Cyclocross Nationals in Reno this month. The event was held at Rancho San Rafael Park and although it didn't snow, it rained, was windy, and the temperature was in the 40's to low 50's. The course had some challanging technical parts (not as many as I would like) including the off camber downhill, the six Belgium steps, the Loenhout ditch, and the super-sized barriers (even Bob with his height and long legs had to leap to clear these) and of course lots of mud. There were a lot of straightaways which caters to the bigger racers.
Bob raced on Wednesday which had the wettest conditions of the week. The field size was nice and big, (almost 50 racers). Bob started in the 5th row, (seeded 35th) row which meant he had is work cut out for him and spent most of the race working his way up, attacking and passing other racers. Throughout Bob's race he continued to ride strong, passing racers every lap. Bob rode strong to the end including his sprint finish to place 19th. Way to go Bob!
I raced on Thursday with a field of 64 racers entered. I also started on the 3rd row and knew I had to be aggressive on the start to avoid getting trapped in traffic. I was able to move up to 15th by the end of the start straightaway and continued to move into the front pack of 7 by the end of the 2nd lap. The wind picked up for my race which made it just a bit too hard to close the gap the leaders opened up on lap 2. I was stuck in "no man's land" and unable to catch the rider ahead of me and ended up with a 7th place finish. I didn't feel my best for this race but did the best I could.
What a contrast in style and technique when we compared our racing to the pro's. The pro's rode up the Belgium steps, rode over the barriers, and even bunny hopped up the cement steps (not always successful on all of these).
I've heard it said that if you can't win, you can at least look good. I had "good" style when I hopped the ditch and ended up getting my picture in cxmagazine.com.
Now it's time to put the Cross bike up for a while and get ready for Road Racing!
In the 40K (6 lap) open, 2-person team event, Jimbo Wimberly and Sal Cefalu won with a time of 56:45.
Thank you to those who were on our “meet and greet” team ride today (New Year’s Eve). Don Melucci from Mission Carpet Distributors, (far right), Ryan Cady from Eliel Cycling Clothes (middle back in the different jersey with blue shoulders), Ray Fox of Raymond Fox and Associates (to the left of Ryan Cady) and Dave Saghedi (kneeling in front of Ray Fox) were there. It was also a great way to meet other members of the team you may not have met.
Hope to see you on our New Year’s Day ride as well. A big thank you goes to Michael Farkas for organizing these end of year rides.