by Tim Westmore
Mid-October on California’s central coast can see some of the best days of weather for the year. And so it was at the Central Coast Cyclo•Cross (CCCX) Series at Manzanita Park; beautiful sunshine and 70-80 degrees throughout the day complemented a twisting, bending coarse set up by Keith DeFiebre. The fourth event in the series and second at Manzanita Park saw nearly 300 racers compete and enjoy a California-cyclocross day.
Both the Elite Men and Women races saw the winner take the race after building up good leads over their competition. Both races also saw close fields during the early laps. To gap the field, Karen Brems (Team Rambuski Law), winner of the Women’s race, said, “I just attacked really hard on the climb then just tried to go as hard as I could for about two laps.” Brems also reported a late race bobble; “I was able to recover and I had enough of a lead that I could still hold [off the field].” Following Brems to second was Ann Fitzsimmons (Family Cycling Center) with Kethleen Hannon (Freewheel/Hunter) in third. Yukie Nakamuera (Missing Link) took fourth and Carmen Elliot (Sterling Sports) came home fifth.
Andy Jacques-Maynes (CalGiant/Specialized) raced his bare minimum to win the Elite Men race, given a solo 24-hour race the previous weekend. The long stream of racers on his wheel during the early laps worried Jacques-Maynes, “but eventually it started breaking apart. I only had two guys on my wheel and I tried to turn up the gas just on these flats and went full gas on the hill.”
Late race excitement in Elite Men came from the battle for second place. Keith Hillier (Marc Pro-Strava) and Justin Robinson(CalGiant) had exchanged positions earlier on the race but going into the final stretches Hillier had the notable advantage. Coming down into the last technical sections, Robinson sat up to put in a big push and closed the gap. Hillier was able to hold-off Robinson until the penultimate turn; Robinson squeezed inside and pressed his way to the podium’s second step. Fourth and fifth places respectively went to Rand Miller (Sterling Sports) and Rainier Shchaefer (MASH SF).
Full race results appear at http://www.cccxcycling.com/2011crossRACE4RESULTSPAGE.html