Saturday, October 31, 2009

Wicks and Pennington win Cross Crusade #5

PHOTO: Alice Pennington (Veloforma) crashed twice on the first lap but bounced back for the win.

ASTORIA -- Kona pro Barry Wicks came to town Saturday and put the hurt on the Cross Crusade field of regulars on an extremely slippery course in Astoria, while Veloforma’s Alice Pennington fought back from several hard crashes to take her first win in women’s A race after finishing second three times.

Intermittent showers and sun breaks kept the temperatures warm and the course sloppy as the Cross Crusade invaded the northern-most tip of Oregon’s coast for a Halloween weekend doubleheader at the Clatsop County Fairgrounds.

The women’s race proved to be a battle of attrition of sorts as riders fought back from crashes and flats before Pennington finally dug deep and sealed the deal. The Veloforma rider crashed hard within the first few hundred meters of the start after hitting some deep mud at the bottom of a long, fast descent.

“I was really trying to go for it,” she said. “And then I crashed and ended up behind everybody.”

Pennington rolled out of it and quickly remounted the chase, catching three-race winner and series leader Wendy Williams (Hudz-Subaru), Serena Bishop (Sunnyside Sports) and Megan Faris (River City Bicycles) at the front . But Pennington’s bad luck wasn’t over. She crashed again on the first lap and was forced to mount another chase. She soon caught Williams, who’d flatted at an inopportune time and was forced to run with her bike for nearly half a lap, which left Bishop and Faris at the front.

“The other two I just reeled in as they got tired,” Pennington said of her effort to take the lead. “Then I just tried to stay upright. Serena (Bishop) starts really fast, and I can’t hang with her in the start. But (the race is) long enough that if you have some endurance you can reel people in. I was due for a win.”

Bishop finished second, one lap down on Pennington, while Faris held on for third. Gentle Lovers’ Erin Playman crossed the line fourth, ahead of Cyclepath’s Julie Browning in fifth.

Williams, who finished seventh on the day, said the flat tire and the long run to the pit pretty much put an end to her chances for a fourth series win.

“It was over,” she said. “And then my pit bike wasn’t shifting so I had to go back in. Luckily Sue (Butler) had put a new wheel on my other bike by then so I just rode out the course. You gotta keep going; in the name of ‘cross.”


Wicks wasted little time pinning the gas pedal to the floor and quickly rode off the front of the men’s A race with Portland pro Molly Cameron (Portland Bicycle Studio) in tow and Vanilla Workshop riders Shannon Skerritt and Kevin Hulick joining Brett Luelling (Capitol Subaru Cycling) in the chase not too far behind.

“I just wanted to go hard at the start and string it out,” said Wicks, who finished second to teammate Ryan Trebon during the Cross Crusade opener at Alpenrose. “I was able to open a little gap, and then I just decided to keep on going with it.”

Cameron, who’d won two Crusade races in a row, eventually fell off Wicks’ winning pace but continued to build a lead on the rest of the field. The order of the chasers behind continued to shuffle as riders buried themselves trying to catch the two leaders, who were by now well off the front. Skerritt eventually emerged in third with Hulick bringing up fourth.

Wicks kept it upright and built a 42-second lead on Cameron with two laps to go, with the rest of the field lagging far behind.

“It’s nice to get out in the lead, “Wicks said “And then you can just kind of relax a little bit, especially on the mud.”

The Kona rider earned a comfortable win, with Cameron finishing second. Skerritt and Hulick hung onto third and fourth, respectively. Luelling crossed the line in fifth. Team S&M’s Sean Babcock, the winner in Rainier and a rider who’s normally at the front of the Cross Crusade races, had a tough, crash-filled day and finished well off the winning pace in ninth.

“It’s helpful to have Barry come out,” Babcock said. “Because he kind of sets the pace like Erik (Tonkin) does sometimes. But unfortunately, I crashed too many times to keep up with him. The course is hilly with a lot of greasy corners. It was a super fun course, but it got the best of me today.”

For more photos check out HERE.

Cross Crusade #5
Astoria, Oregon
Saturday, Oct. 31

Senior Men A
1. Wicks, Barry (Kona)
1. Cameron, Molly (Portland Bicycle Studio)
3. Skerritt, Shannon (Vanilla Workshop)
4. Hulick, Kevin (Vanilla Workshop)
5. Luelling, Brett (Capitol Subaru Cycling) 9
Senior Women A
1. Pennington, Alice (Veloforma) 8
2. Bishop, Serena (Sunnyside Sports) 7
3. Faris, Megan (River City Bicycles) 7
4. Playman, Erin (Gentle Lovers) 7
5. Browning, Julie (Cyclepath Racing) 7
1. Fabrizius, Erik (Veloshop)6
2. Patla, Seth (River City Bicycles)6
3. Redden, Andy (NoLimitz/ICE)6
4. DeMoe, Luke (HTFU)6
5. Rollert,John (
Masters Women A
1. Burns, Beth (Veloce/Felt)5
2. Rueter, Kim (Sorella Forte)5
3. Scott, Renee (Sunnyside Sports)5
4. Morin,Rhonda (Sorella Forte)5
5. McClenahan,Colleen (Sorella Forte)5
Masters Men A
1. Schulz, Eirik (Specialized River City)8
2. Butler, Tim (River City Bicycles)8
3. Schindler, Mike (Sunnyside Sports)8
4. Snyder, Chris (
5. Mitchem, John (Guinness Cycling Team)8

Complete OBRA results for this race are HERE.