by Tim Westmore
The cyclocross season is now well underway in Northern California. Following the CCCX season opener two weeks ago and this past week’s Folsom’s Cyclebration, two more events took place this past weekend. The CCCX series continued at Fort Ord and, at the College Cyclery Compound, the Sacramento Cyclocross Series opened its season. Temperatures held to a comfortable range at West Sacramento but the wind blew throughout the day and was particularly strong toward the end of the event. Good fortune held, however, and a repeat of last year’s dust bowl failed to occur.
The College Cyclery Compound is a long, narrow stretch of land extending westward from the Sacramento River and nestled amongst farmland. There is a “BMX” section, with jumps, sloped-berms, and a flyover bridge, but the rest of the course is flat, bumpy single track. An outward leg goes headlong into the wind before a tailwind brings everybody back on the return leg. Despite the lack any non-artificial change in elevation, the course overall was enjoyed by many and definitely made for good ‘cross racing. The wind did make for challenging runs on the outward leg of the course.
Sarah Maile (Ventana Mountain Bikes) won the Women’s Category A race despite nagging problems with her thumb. Last October’s injury still plagues Maile and the hard, bumpy single-track made it hard to hang onto the bars. Still, an ebullient Maile said she was “still going for it.” About her race, Maile said, “it’s windy and bumpy out there, the BMX section was super fun, but you had the head win on the way out [and] you got the tail wind on the way back.” “Jen [Jordan (Sycomp Racing/Team Affinity)] gave me a run for my money at the beginning. I didn’t have the greatest start, Jen took off and I was chasing at the beginning. She had a little mishap; I got a gap and just kept going.”
Mitch Trux (Team Off the Couch) took a secure win in the Men’s Category A race. Several racers were in contention during early laps but Trux eventually came to the fore as others suffered flats or fell back. Trux said, “I wanted to see the course so I hung back for first lap [and] once I saw the course I just went for it and tried to get up there. I was going slower than I needed to so [I] just amped up the pace a little bit and got to that pace that I knew I could stick for 60 minutes.” Asked about the wind, Trux replied “[the wind was] kinda rough [so] I just zipped up and got low and used all my roady skills. I went to school in Davis and grew up here in Sacramento so I know the wind very well. Trux also said, “The Sacramento fans are great. [The College Cyclery Compound] is a nice little hideout, I really appreciate [Terry Cox, caretaker of the Compound] letting us come out and have good fun.”
Full race results for all categories, from TimeYourRace.com, are available at http://www.bicyclingevents.com/SacCx/Results.asp. The Sacramento Cyclocross Series runs next at Harry Renfree Field, Sacramento, on 8 October 2011.