Saturday, October 24, 2009

Willamette Valley Cyclocross Series back in action at Salem's Battlecreek Cross

PHOTO courtesy of Matthew Haughey.

Battlecreek Cross, Salem
Willamette Valley Cross Series #2
Saturday, Oct. 24

1. Kneuven, Taylor 8
2. Gallagher, Michael 8
3. Luelling, Brett (Capitol Subaru) 8
4. Schmitt, Damian (Sunnyside Sports) 8
5. Blackwelder, Mark (Gentle Lover) 8
1. Bishop, Serena (Sunnyside Sports) 6
2. Gilbert, Sunny (Pacific Power Blue Sky) 6
3. Akeroyd, Jen (Team Group Health) 6
4. Scott, Renee (Sunnyside Sports) 6
5. Cohen, Jackie (Cyclesoles/Sagebrush Cycles) 6
1. Blackwelder, Mark (Gentle Lovers) 6
2. Dorfer, John 6
3. Kic, Tony (Gentle Lovers) 6
4. Nicolleti, Samuel (Gentle Lovers) 6
5. Hofland, Erik (Artisan Family Racing) 6

Trebon takes USGP Derby City Cup #1

National cyclocross champ Ryan Trebon of Bend won the first round of the Derby City Cup in Louisville, Kentucky, today in a two-up sprint with Cannondale's Jamey Driscoll. Tim Johnson (Cannondale) finished third. Trebon's Kona teammate Erik Tonkin of Portland experienced tire troubles but finished 16th and won the day's prize for most-aggressive rider.

Katerina Nash won the women's race in front of Luna teammate Georgia Gould and Ricard Sach's rider Amy Dombroski. Portland's Sue Butler (Monavie/Cannondale) finished 8th.

The Derby City Cup is the second round of the U.S. Gran Prix of Cyclocross, which culminates in Portland Dec. 5-6.

You can find a complete report on HERE.

Derby City Cup #1
Saturday, Oct. 24

1. Ryan Trebon (KONA)
2. Jamey Driscoll (Cannondale/
3. Tim Johnson (Cannondale
4. Jesse Anthony (Team Jamis Bikes)
5. Geoff Kabush (Team Maxxis/Rocky Mountain)
1. Katerina Nash(LUNA)
2. Georgia Gould (LUNA)
3. Amy Domboski (Richard Sachs/RGM Watches/Radix)
4. Alison Dunlap (LUNA)
5. Meredith Miller (California Giant Berry Farms/Specialized)

Friday, October 23, 2009

The forecast calls for rain ... finally

UPDATE: The forecast has changed. Now they're saying the rain may hold off until Sunday evening.

That's right. The local TV weather folks are calling for lots of rain Sunday. The Cross Crusade at Washington County Fairgrounds could be the first race in the series to be decided in the mud. So break out the grabby tires and the ugg boots. It's on!

Saturday's Willamette Valley Cross race #2 will host Oregon Junior Cyclocross Series

SALEM -- The Willamette Valley Cross Series roars back into action Saturday with the Battlecreek Cross in Salem.

The old South Salem golf course provides for some unregulated fun in sandpits, but there's no putting wedge necessary; just a solid drivetrain! Anyone who prefers sand traps to run ups will enjoy this course. The only bumps on the course were created by the resident moles; can you say FAST?

There's a $1,500 minimum cash payout for Senior A Men and Women for the series, and there's more swag for all others.

The second installment of the Willamette Valley cross series is also the fourth race of the Oregon Junior Cyclocross Series.

Series Status:
Kolben Preble continues his domination of the 17-18 group. Trevor Schauer is holding onto his lead in the 15-16 boys series, but things are tightening up with Keith Fawcett's back-to-back wins. Sam Rosenburg has won all three races in the Boys 13-14 group, but Michel Stevens is right there making him earn it. There is no clear favorite in the Boys 10-13 group, with a different winner each week. Riley Albright came over from Bend and took out the win in the Psycho Mud last week.

There were no changes in the Girls 17-18 and 15-16 last week (must have been PSAT testing). Samantha Schauer claimed her first win in the rain and mud and has moved up to third in the series for Girls 13-14. Haley Wilson continued her winning way for her third win in a row in the Girls 10-12. Rumor is that this Saturday Haley is testing for her advanced Brown Belt (Karate) and may leave a door open for someone else in to step up.

This week Corvallis Cyclery is providing Specialized Water bottles for the
first 30 kids to register.

10 a.m. -- Beginner Men/Cat C Men/Masters C 35+ Men (45min)
11 a.m. -- Masters Category B 35+ Men/Masters 50/60+ Men/Clydesdale Men (45min)
Noon -- Oregon Junior Cyclocross Series
12:30 p.m. Kiddie Cross
1 p.m. -- Category B Men/SS Men & Women/Unicycle (45min)
2 p.m. -- Women Category A/B/Beginners/Masters 35+ (45min)
3 p.m. -- Category A Men/Masters A 35+ Men (60min)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Cycling Tweet of the Week: Michael's book club

"Books are useless! I only ever read one book, 'To Kill A Mockingbird,' and it gave me absolutely no insight on how to kill mockingbirds."

Michael Creed (@Michael_Creed), 9:13 p.m., Oct. 16

A bit of video from Sherwood Cross Crusade #3

The hole shot of the Men's A race.

Series leader Sean Babcock (Team S&M) got a front flat while leading the race. Molly Cameron (Portland Bicycle Studio) and Erik Tonkin (Kona) weren't too far behind.

(Submitted by OBRA member Emiliano Jordan)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Portland's UCI pro team seeking new title sponsor

PORTLAND –Team Rubicon-ORBEA, presently known as Land Rover- ORBEA; Benefiting the Lance Armstrong Foundation, a first year UCI continental team, is in search of a title sponsor.

“For 2010 the team’s goals are to grow the young development team’s roster to 13 road riders and add three development track riders with a focus on the 2012 Olympics in London,” said Norrene Godfrey, the team’s co-owner and co-founder. “We are looking to grow the team slightly to help a few more young riders reach their dreams while leading five-to-six charity rides throughout the U.S. in 2010. and sending even more cancer survivors to the LIVESTRONG Challenge events in Seattle, California, Philadelphia and Austin.”

Rubicon’s two-year partnership with Land Rover will end Dec. 31, 2009, and in order to continue on with the team goals for 2010, Team Rubicon-ORBEA needs to come up with a title sponsor by the UCI deadline Nov. 5.

“Securing a title sponsor by the Nov. 5 deadline will be tough to meet, but not completely impossible,” Godfrey said. “If there’s anything we’ve learned from working with the Lance Armstrong Foundation over the last nine years, it is that you never tell a cancer survivor they can’t. You build your support network and you ask for help when you need it. We are asking the global cycling community for help.”

Team Rubicon-ORBEA was born when Godfrey, a competitive cyclist, lost her mother to cancer in the fall of 2001, after being diagnosed with lung cancer and given only six months to live. Although her mother gave up on life after hearing the “c” word, Norrene was determined to not give up on her mother. Norrene contacted a friend at Nike, who reached out to Lance Armstrong directly. Lance sent Norrene’s mother one of his race jerseys with the inscription, “Fight Mom - Lance Armstrong.”

That simple gesture of kindness encouraged Norrene’s mother to wage her own personal war on cancer; giving her the strength to fight and push through countless hours of chemotherapy treatments. Even though Norrene’s mother lost her battle, she lived longer than anyone ever expected; allowing her the chance to enjoy one last summer and watch Norrene get married.

In order to repay Lance for his kindness and “pay it forward,” Godfrey dreamed of a cycling team that would ride in support of the Lance Armstrong Foundation and its fight against cancer. In 2008, Team Rubicon-ORBEA partnered with carmaker Land Rover to create Land Rover-Orbea; Benefiting the Lance Armstrong Foundation. The team is built up of primarily young development riders between the ages of 19-25 from the United States, New Zealand and Canada. When traveling to NRC races throughout the U.S., the young professional riders spent countless hours visiting children’s hospitals, handing out LIVESTRONG wristbands and helping some extremely sick children have a moment of fun during long regiments of chemotherapy and other daily treatments.

However, the squad’s goodwill does not stop with hospital visits. The Land Rover- ORBEA team raises funds and awareness for the Lance Armstrong Foundation by leading charity rides in Philadelphia, Utah and Portland, among other ctities, sending seven cancer survivors to the Seattle, Philadelphia and Austin LIVESTRONG Challenges. The team has also raised more than $71,000 in donations for the Lance Armstrong Foundation.

“(Owners and co-founders) Norrene and David Godfrey are the two most ‘neverdie’ people Orbea has met,” said Justin Slarks, Director of Marketing ORBEA-USA. “The two of them are the glue that has held this team together since its creation and are the two who have put all of their personal time and energies into one of the best vehicles for stewardship out there.

“Team Rubicon/Orbea is the one constant in our sponsorship program” Slarks added. “And we hope to continue as the team’s bicycle sponsor for years to come.”

The team earned great acclaim in 2009 for its criterium stage win at Tour of
Gila by Roman van Uden, who sprinted to victory in star-packed field that included Lance Armstrong, Levi Leipheimer and Chris Horner. Mike Northey followed up that win by taking the U23 New Zealand Criterium Championships, and Dean Tracy won the U.S. National Team Sprint Championships in Carson, California.

The young Land Rover-ORBEA team also won the best young rider jersey at Nature Valley Grand Prix and the climber’s jersey along with the team overall GC at Tour of Delta.

“For a first year professional development team, the results were great,” Norrene Godfrey said. “But what’s truly amazing about this team is what they do off the bike, when not racing, that has them winning the hearts of so many.”

Race organizers like Nature Valley Grand Prix director David LaPorte also seemed pleased to have teams whose message transcends the sports itself.

“It was a pleasure to have Land Rover-ORBEA at our events this year”, LaPorte said. “Our goal is to grow the fan base of cycling fans, and they did a great job of interacting with the people in our host communities and at our events. They are excellent ambassadors for the sport and for their sponsors. This is a great opportunity for any company who’s interested in engagement marketing.”

Information about the team can be found at, including a short video, a complete team resume and more.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Cameron wins first ever Cross Crusade CX; Williams continues winning streak

UPDATE: The complete Cycling Action photo gallery for this race is now posted online HERE.

SHERWOOD -- Popular Portland ‘crosser Molly Cameron (Portland Bicycle Studio) took the win during the Cross Crusade Sunday in Sherwood when series leader Sean Babcock (Team S&M) flatted in the closing laps of the Men’s A race. Despite taking a tumble on the last lap, Masters national champion Wendy Williams (Hudz-Subaru) continued her dominance over the Women’s A field when she won her third straight in another tight back-and-forth battle with Veloforma’s Alice Pennington.

Approximately 1,300 racers showed up at the Sherwood Equestrian Park south of Portland for the third installment of the eight-race series. The incessantly bumpy and often-vertical course started on some upper pasture slopes before swooping into the woods for some extended singletrack and then a grinding climb with a heartbreaker kicking pitch back to the finish. The course offered a little bit of everything, but the clearing skies failed to provide the key ingredient for mud.

Williams and Pennington wasted little time renewing their duel in the 60-minute Women’s A race. The Hudz-Subaru rider struck first, opening a small gap with Serena Bishop of Bend’s Sunnyside Sports while Pennington chased behind after dropping her chain.

“That happened on the second lap,” Pennington said of the mechanical mishap. “That’s where I lost contact with Wendy and the Sunnyside rider.”

While Williams whittled Bishop off her lead pace at the front, Pennington mounted a furious chase behind and was able to catch up with the Sunnyside rider with about two laps remaining.

“On the next lap I caught up with Wendy,” Pennington said. “But it took the whole race. And then I just didn’t have it. She just stomped it on the last climbs and I didn’t have it anymore.”

Williams, who said the course required lots of power “and maybe some finesse through the corners,” took a tumble on the last lap but was able to quickly regain her rival.

“Alice just passed right on through,” she said of the last lap dramatics. “Luckily I was able to catch back on and we went through the barriers together. I got onto the road first and just put the hammer down. I didn’t want it to go to a sprint finish.”

Pennington has now finished second to Williams twice, and she finished third in Rainier behind Seattle rider Kari Studley. Williams continues to pile onto her series lead and shows no signs of letting up, which doesn’t seem to deter Pennington.

“It’s just a matter of getting more fitness so that I can actually attack and drop her,” Pennington said.

In the men’s race, the powerful duo of Erik Tonkin (Kona) and Babcock set off on a blitzkrieg pace reminiscent of their field-detonating effort the week before at Rainier.

“We were hoping to try and break down that lead group a little smaller and then see if we couldn’t getaway,” Babcock said. “So that worked out really well.”

The plan worked very well, just like it did the week before when Babcock won with Tonkin following in second. In fact, the pair finished third and fourth during the opener at Alpenrose, and but for the presence of Kona stars Ryan Trebon and Barry Wicks snagging the top two spots, Tonkin and Babcock have had a virtual headlock on the Men’s A series.

But Cameron, who just returned from several NACT races back east, including a 6th place finish at UCI Cincinnati, wasn’t content to sit back and watch that happen. The Portland pro chased hard after a slow start and soon caught Tonkin, who had slipped off the Team S&M rider’s lead pace.

“Babcock’s definitely the strongest rider in Oregon right now,” Cameron said. “And I knew this course really suited Tonkin and Babcock because it’s so mountain-bikey and lots of singletrack, but I got up to the front pretty well.”

The cyclocross world cup veteran quickly hit a snag and pitted on the first lap for a mechanical, and by the time Cameron got back to the front, Babcock had motored away from Tonkin, who was chasing in second.

“I felt OK, and I was still motoring,” Cameron said. “I motored up to Erik and I attacked every time up the climb. We were reeling Babcock in, but I tried to drop Erik for three laps, and when Babcock finally stuck it, me and Erik were both wasted and backed off for a lap.”

That’s when Babcock built a lead of about a minute and seemed to be cruising to his second series win. But the plan and its flawless execution unraveled when his tire started to lose air. And with Cameron charging fast from behind, it didn’t look good for Babcock.

“I was hoping I could get to the pit before I got caught, but Molly and Erik were going pretty fast,” he said.

With Cameron and Tonkin riding away to the finish, Babcock seemed relegated to chasing for leftovers. But Tonkin -- who previously joked that he’s training Babcock to take his spot when Kona fires him -- played the perfect-teammate card and eased up, allowing the young rider past to collect the second-place series points.

“Erik and Sean were playing good teammates,” Cameron said. “I just opened a good gap, and he couldn’t close it down. It was a really good course. I have to admit, of all the places I could win, I’m just completely shocked I could win here. There’s a lot of singletrack. I think I just got a lucky break.”

But it’s a lucky break that could pay big dividends later as Cameron tries to battle past the Babcock/Tonkin one-two punch and take the overall series crown.

“(Babcock) can outclimb me any day of the week,” Cameron admitted. “But if we can get some good tactical races and some good technical races, I might be able to take him.”

Cameron said the race for the overall is still very wide open.

“Tonkin will be there,” Cameron said. “And Chris Sheppard (Santa Cruz/Shimano/WTB) should be back out here soon. And who knows when Barry (Wicks) and Ryan (Trebon) will be back. But I’m here for the rest of the series.”

Babcock will be back, too, and he said next week’s decidedly flatter course at the Washington County Fairgrounds should create another big battle for series points.

“We’ll probably have to figure where on the course we can really attack; maybe in a bumpy section or in a turns section,” Babcock said. “Kevin Hulick (Vanilla Workshop) is really good at the accelerations and the cornering like that, so it could get interesting. It’ll be good.”

And how did Babcock feel about this week’s bad luck and his missed chance for consecutive wins?

“It was the perfect course for it,” he said. “But with that flat tire, it made it kind of difficult. Oh, well. There are a lot of races left in the season.”

(Check back later for the complete Cycling Action photo gallery for this race).

Cross Crusade #3
Sherwood Equestrian Park
Oct. 18

1. Molly Cameron (Portland Bicycle Studio)
2. Sean Babcock (Team S&M)
3. Erik Tonkin (Kona)
4. Kevin Hulick (Vanilla Workshop)
5. David Roth (Signal Cycles)
1. Wendy Williams (Hudz-Subaru)
2. Alice Pennington (Veloforma)
3. Serena Bishop (Sunnyside Sports)
4. Rhonda Mazza (Team S&M)
5. Erin Playman (Gentle Lovers)
1. Eirik Schulz (Specialized/River City)
2. John McCaffrey (
3. John Mitchem (Guinness)
4. John Bravard (Cyclepath)
5. Tim Butler (River City Bicycles)
1. Renee Scott (Sunnyside Sports)
2. Julie Swearingen (Mounatin View Cycles)
3. Rhonda Morin (Sorella Forte)
4. Jill Hardiman (Dirty Finger)
5. Eileen Kelly-Foulston (Sorella Forte)
1. Seth Patla (River City Bicycles)
2. John Rollert (Webcyclery)
3. Luke Demoe (HTFU)
4. Craig Etterige
5. Leland Gilmore (River City Bicycles)