by Tim Westmore
At the final BASP Cyclocross racing of the season, the Drumm sisters went one-two in the Elite Women’s race at Coyote Point with Helene (Northside Sisters) taking the honors and Kristen (Cyclesfanatic.com) coming home in second. Ben Jacques-Maynes (Ritte/Bear Development) overtook Justin Robinson (California Giant/Specialized) and then held off Keith Hillier (Team Rambuski Law) to win the Elite Men’s race.
After her call up, Karen Brems (Team Rambuski Law) lined up on the front for Elite Women but unfortunately rolled a tire during the first lap. This took away a potentially more exciting race with the Drumm sisters also in the field. Helene Drumm assumed the lead and never looked particularly challenged from then on.
“It was a good race,” said Helene Drumm, “I was right behind Karen [Brems] when she slid out, washed out in a turn coming onto the pavement. I asked if she was OK and turned around and saw everyone was still coming so I just kept going. I hate to get in the front that way but I guess that’s racing.”
“Kristen [Drumm] said she was gaining on me on the flat sections,” continued Helene Drumm, “My legs were a little tired. I had a good workout yesterday and I actually rode here from home. I started to get these little quad cramps so I had to back off a little bit. But, I kept my gap. I’m not good with maps so my ride here ended up being about 45 miles or something. It is a beautiful day, I just couldn’t get in my car. [BASP] are the only ’cross races I’ve done. It’s really just fun for me and if I’m not working and it’s a beautiful day, I’m here.”
Behind Kristin Drumm’s second place finish, Caroline Dezendorf (West Coast Women’s Cycling) took a well-deserved third step of the podium. Joanna Bechtel (Metromint Cycling) finished in fourth place with Felicia Gomez (Pinnacle Cycling) in fifth.
Early in the Elite Men’s race, Justin Robinson was out front and demonstrating his cyclocross skills; he was one of the few riders early to stay on his bike coming out of the beach section. From second place, Ben Jacques-Maynes asserted his claim on the race and took over the lead from Robinson.
“[Robinson] had a great start straight off,” remarked Jacques-Maynes, “I knew he knew the course well from having done the Masters race. He had his lines down, he knew his pacing. I couldn’t keep up with him. He’d have to settle in at some point and I would try to get back to him.”
“I was able to come around him and put a little bit of distance in on the hill. This hill is such an equalizer. You have to pay attention to your pacing on the entire course. If you work just a hair too hard before really having to dig in hard on the hill, you’re going to pay for it the rest of the way around.”
The next phase of the race saw Keith Hillier forge into second and put in a determined challenge on Jacques-Maynes. “Once I was in the drivers seat,” continued Jacques-Maynes, “I could really dictate my own pace. He [Hillier] came back on my wheel several times. I was kind of allowing him to do that and hoping that maybe he was working a little too hard. As soon as he gets there, I’d hit it round a corner and he’s got to chase again. As soon as I get the gap, I’d keep him chasing without overdoing it myself.”
“If [Hillier] had caught me and stuck with me, I had no idea what I would’ve done. I would of had to change tactics. As it worked out, every time I punched it he would be a little further back so I had confidence in my tactic.”
Ned Overend (Specialized) was in the field and put in a terrific race behind the top three, eventually taking fourth place. “This course wraps back on itself that I was able to keep track of [Overend],” said Jacques-Maynes, “I could hear the announcers going crazy with him in fifth and ending up in fourth place. You kind of expect that out of him, though. He’s such an animal to ride a field such as this. It’s a great ride but from [Overend] you wouldn’t expect anything else.”
Keith Hillier eventually grabbed second place with Justin Robinson in third. Behind Robinson, Overend took away fourth place from Julian Gomez-Villafane (ibis/Buy-cell.com) with a sprint at the finish.