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.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Bend's Boswell inks one-year deal with Bissell

Ian Boswell of Bend signed one-year deal this week to race with the Bissell Professional Cycling Team for the upcoming 2010 season.

Boswell, a member of the powerful junior racing team Hot Tubes and the USA Cycling Junior National Team, said the deal was a last minute "changearoo" when plans for the Cervelo Test Team U23 development squad fell through.

"I had talked with Omer (Kem) and he said they were kind of looking for a younger rider," Boswell said. "I raced with Ben Jacques-Maynes at Nevada City Classic in June, so I contacted both of those guys and asked if there was still an available spot on the team. They were about to sign another rider, but they both had known me and thought I’d be good for the team. The opportunity opened and I jumped on it."

Bissell is also a good fit for Boswell because he's currently going to school in Chico, California, which means he'll be close to a core group of Bissell teammates who race and train around Santa Rosa. The Jacques-Maynes brothers and last year's Mt. Hood winner Paul Mach all came up through the NorCal racing scene.

"I’ll race a lot of NorCal stuff with the team for a lot of the early season," he said. "Based off my performances there and how I’m riding, the better I ride, obviously, the bigger races I go to. Hopefully I can do some fun races like the Cascade Cycling Classic and Mt. Hood. And I want to try and have a good performance at U23 Nationals in Bend. Having it be in my hometown makes it a big goal. I missed it this year because I was at the (junior) world championships in Moscow."

Boswell will start the year with team camp in Santa Rosa and then hit the NorCal circuit with his new team.

"There’s a pretty good group to race with in northern California week in and week out," he said. "There’s a lot of BMC guys, so there are some pretty competitive fields here."

With the Cervelo Test Team hiccups and the added stress of a late signing now behind him, Boswell's looking forward to start the new season.

"It’s one of the premiere professional teams in the U.S.," he said. "So I’m excited to race with those guys and get some good experience."

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Now that's some cold, cold 'cross

Photo by Steve Lewis / Durango Herald.

Colorado 'crossers have a lot more than rain and mud to deal with. Avoiding hypothermia or maybe just getting lost in a snowdrift may be their biggest concerns as a massive and early snowstorm moves through the Front Range of Colorado. The slow-moving storm is expected to drop up to six inches of snow at lower elevations and a foot or more in the mountains before moving out of the area Thursday.

Schools are closed and the weather has forced Sunday's upcoming NACT Boulder Cup to find a different location.

The heavy layer of wet snow that fell Tuesday night and throughout the day Wednesday forced the City of Boulder and event organizers to look for a new venue in an effort to avoid damage to the turf at Harlow Platts. The international caliber race has been relocated to The Boulder Reservoir, replacing the south Boulder location. Race director Chris Grealish described the move as the best alternative given the fragility of the turf at Harlow Platts.

"The racers love Harlow Platts because of the challenging nature of the grassy terrain," Grealish said in an announcement on the race website. "But we have an agreement with the City of Boulder to make a move if conditions there risk long-term damage to the park."

OBRA CX champs a little more than a week away

SALEM -- The OBRA Cyclocross Championships are just over a week away, and the Oregon State Fairgrounds in Salem is gearing up for the event.

Scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 7, the promoters plan a Belgian style cyclocross championships that will make the most of the fairgrounds complex. The championships will be part of the third and final race of the Willamette Valley Cyclocross Series.

There will be four buildings to ride through, along with an indoor Hopworks beer garden adjacent to the course and possibly a live band. There will also be waffles and Belgian style fries for fuel.

OBRA awarded the cross championships to the Salem event for this year and next. This two-year commitment brings the Oregon championships back to the state capitol after an absence of more than a decade. The last championships in Salem were held at Wallace Marine Park more than 10 years ago.

“Salem is the perfect location to hold the championships in Oregon," said Kenji Sugahara, Executive Director of OBRA. "It has a central location and a rapidly growing base of cyclocross enthusiasts. Oregon has a reputation as having the best cyclocross community in the world, and I am excited to bring that to the Cherry City.”

The 2009 championships are expected to attract approximately 800 competitors with an additional 300-400 visitors including staff, spectators and families.

“We at the Oregon State Fairgrounds are thrilled to have a part in the OBRA Cyclocross State Championships,” said Lydia Blackburn, the Sports and Recreation Coordinator for the Oregon State Fair. “This opportunity is a perfect fit in our objectives to open the State Fairgrounds to our bicycle community, and of course it will be a lot of fun.”

Jeff McNamee of Buy Local Cycling and Chad Cherefko of Bicycle Attorney Cycling -- promoters who directed last year’s Heiser Farms cyclocross race -- will serve as race directors for the championships.

“We are thrilled to be working with the Oregon State Fair for the championship" McNamee said. "Our Mountain Bike Short Track series in August was a success thanks in large part to the Oregon State Fair."

The championship event will also mark the fifth race of the seven-race Oregon Junior Cyclocross Series.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Transfers, promotions and rider rumors for 2010

CORRECTION: Omer Kem has not signed a contract for the 2010 season and is still talking with teams.

PHOTO: Jacob Rathe, shown here winning the Banana Belt finale, will ride for the Jelly Belly U23 team next year.

The road racing wheels have barely stopped turning and plans for the 2010 season have already started swinging into action.

OBRA rider Jacob Rathe, a member of the 2009 USA Cycling Junior National Team who found himself atop several European podiums, signed with the Jelly Belly U23 squad. Jelly Belly is the longest running active pro cycling team in the United States. The 19-year-old rider from southwest Portland will likely race a full program of European U23 races with the national team and a handful of NRC races in the States as a cat 1 with Jelly belly.

"There will be three U23s on the team," Rathe said. "There are a lot of U23 races in Europe we can do. I wouldn't be able to do those with a professional license. The jump to U23 racing is huge. And it only makes it bigger if you're not able to do the lower-level races in Europe, which are plenty challenging."

The team is set up to give young riders the best possible environment to learn and develop.

"The idea behind this team is that it gives you free reign to do as much national team stuff as you want," Rathe said. "So it's aimed toward development. And we'll be able to do NRC stuff with the team when I'm home."

Rathe's 2009 CMG Racing/Hammer teammates Wes Stein and Austin Arguello will be riding for, a northwest regional powerhouse squad based out of Boise. Marcel de Lisser will be riding with Team Oregon, which plans a boosted national 2010 program for its elite riders.

Kennett Peterson, who rode for team Oregon in 2009, will move over to the powerful regional squad Hagens-Berman out of Seattle. Meanwhile, Adrian Hegyvary, who won the 2009 PDX Twilight criterium while riding in the Hagens-Berman kit, has signed with the OUCH/Maxxis pro team for 2010 after a 2009 season peppered with national and regional wins. He'll be joined by fellow Washington rider Morgan Schmitt, who is moving from Bissell to OUCH, which will be sponsored by United Healthcare for the 2010 season.

On the women's side of things, Therapeutic Associates rider Lisa Turnbull will move to the Riverstone Women's Racing Team for the 2010 season.

The Veloforma women's professional cycling team will add a trio of OBRA riders to its elite squad. Bend's Teri Sheasby, a speedy climber who ascended with some of the best riders in the country at both the Mt. Hood and Cascade Classic stage races, will wear the Veloforma kit for 2010. Veloforma will also have Lindsay Fox, a triathlete who quickly learned the road racing ropes and moved to the front of the women's peleton for team Oregon in 2009. Lisa Reeve, who rode in (and won) her first-ever bicycle race at the beginning of this summer and ended the season as a Cat 2 after stacking up a pile of wins, will also race for Veloforma in 2010.

That's all I've got so far. If you've got any information about rider changes, big team news or other hot off-season tips, please e-mail them to

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Cameron, Van Meter notch wins at Cross Crusade

HILLSBORO, Ore. -- Portland Bicycle Studio's Molly Cameron made it two in row Sunday by taking the Men's A race at Cross Crusade #4, while Emily Van Meter (Hudz-Subaru) notched her first win of the season in the Women's A race.

The skies finally opened up and dumped enough precipitation to bring out the mud for the first time this Cross Crusade season, and the rain had riders slipping and sliding over the pancake-flat course at the Washington County Fairgrounds in Hillsboro.

With series leader Wendy Williams (Hudz-Subaru), winner of the first three races, in Kentucky for the USGP Derby City Cup, teammate Van Meter surged to the front to pick up Williams’ ongoing battle with Alice Pennington (Veloforma).

“When the cat’s away, the mice will play,” Van Meter said of her opportunistic win.

Van Meter and Pennington opened a huge gap on the rest of the field almost immediately. The pair rode together for most of the first lap until Pennington went down on an off-camber, slightly uphill section.

“My buddy told me that she had crashed,” Van Meter said. “So I just put my head down and tried to get as big a gap as I could. Then I just tried to ride it smart and smooth and keep it upright. It was slick, really slick.”

Pennington, who’s finished second three times in the series and third once, chased hard to try and bring back Van Meter, but the Veloforma rider couldn’t close the gap.

“I would pull back a little bit,” Pennington said of her chase. “I think the closest I got was five seconds. But I just never had it to catch her. I think she knew I was chasing hard, so she never let up.”

Van Meter cruised across the finish line solo for the win, with Pennington just a handful of seconds behind. Sunnyside Sports’ Serena Bishop crossed the line next for third. River City Bicycles’ Brigett Stoik finished fourth, just ahead of Tina Brubaker (Vanilla Workshop).

In the Senior Men’s A race, Cameron joined series leader Sean Babcock (Team S&M) and Michael Gallagher (C3 Athletes) at the front of the race, where they wasted little time opening a gap on the rest of the field. The trio shared the work, steadily building their lead until first Gallagher fell off the lead pace, followed by Babcock. Alone at the front, Cameron continued to apply the pressure and started building a solid lead when Babcock went down in the deep mud.

“It was definitely a different style of racing today,” Babcock said. “It was flat, and it was pretty slippery.”

Babcock, who came into the day with a solid series lead, began to whittle away Cameron’s advantage as the race drew to a close, but the Team S&M rider ran out of time.

“Molly accelerated on the flat sections and just slowly opened things up,” Babcock said. “And then I crashed (in the mud section) and she really got a gap on us; pretty smart racing.”

Cameron hung onto the lead and cruised in for a comfortable win. Babcock dropped Gallagher from the chase and finished second. Gallagher held on for third, ahead of Capitol Subaru Cycling’s Brett Luelling and Gentle Lovers’ Mark Blackwelder.

“I’m really stoked,” Cameron said after the win. “I’m really happy to be winning races. I’ve been working so hard. It’s fun. It’s been fun battles. I was stoked when it was the three of us off the front because it’s fun to have a good battle. (Babcock’s) riding really strong, and I’m riding really strong. So we’ll see.”

Kona rider Erik Tonkin finished sixth Sunday in Oregon after winning the most-aggressive rider at Saturday’s USGP in Kentucky, where he fought from the back row to the front of the race, rolled a tire and then did it all over again to finish 18th. The Herculean effort had some of his Oregon opponents worried.

“I saw that result and I knew Erik was going to show up on Sunday and clobber us,” Cameron said. “But when I attacked and he wasn’t around, I figured he was feeling (Saturday’s effort). But it’s crazy that he pulled that off. He does that all the time.”

More than 1,250 racers participated in the fourth installment of the eight-race series, a slight dip from the record 1,453 who showed up for the series opener. Next week’s Cross Crusade goes coastal with a Saturday and Sunday Halloween weekend doubleheader in Astoria.

Check out even more photos on HERE.

Cross Crusade #4
Sunday, Oct. 25

Senior Men A
1. Molly Cameron (Portland Bicycle Studio)
2. Sean babcock (Team S&M)
3. Michael Gallagher (C3 Athletes)
4. Brett Luelling (Capitol Subaru Cycling)
5. Mark Blackwelder (Gentle Lovers)
Senior Women A
1. Emily Van Meter (Hudz-Subaru)
2. Alice Pennington (Veloforma)
3. Serena Bishop (Sunnyside Sports)
4. Brigett Stoik (River City Bicycles)
5. Tina Brubaker (Vanilla Workshop)
1. Erik Frabrizius (Veloshop)
2. Seth Patla (River City Bicycles)
3. Nick Gibson (Yakima)
4. James Crowe (Revolver Cycles)
5. Spencer Bushnell (Therapeutic Associates Inc.)