The men take the stairs. © Kenneth Hill
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA — The second round of UCI weekends in Southern California (SoCal) is part of the premier California Gold Crown Events presented by Shimano. The elite races started to the beat of the Dragon Dance as group from Chinatown came to share its rich history. The park is immediately adjacent to Chinatown, the Metro Gold line, and a short walk from Dodgers Stadium and Olivera Street. The location hosted the first race of the SoCal season and was a good spot to for promoter Dorothy Wong to hold her second UCI weekend this year. The park has a great backdrop of downtown and as Dr. Leonard Pitt said, “No other available 32 acres holds as much opportunity to enlighten us about history and culture of Los Angeles and this region.”
The course made for some strategic racing as the long straights led into slow, loose, and tricky turns that made the racing exciting. From the start riders began through long fast straight, into a challenging loose left and into an immediate right. Once riders came through the twisting front section they opened up again on the back straight. Each of these long straights really picked the pace up each lap, grouping riders together. It was a strength in numbers game all day as the gusty winds swept across the granulated sections. The flyover and fast right hand banked turn were a definite favorite of riders all day.
It was Sue Butler (River City Bicycles) who took the holeshot and through the first part of the course but by the first technical section Julie Krasniak (Rapha-Focus) came around to lead with Nicole Duke (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com). Meredith Miller, who had a great weekend last week at Jingle Cross, sat comfortably fourth wheel.
On the first lap Duke flatted far out from the pits and was slowing off the lead group. She made an exchange and got back out on course but a second flat put her out of the race. The front three kept driving hard and increasing their gap on the field. The chase broke into two and by the end it was Devon Gorry (Rambuski Law) and Katherine Sherwin (Stan’s NoTubes) who sprinted it out. SoCal series leader Allison Mann (Rock N’ Road) had a great ride and rolled in for sixth. Gorry beat Sherwin to the line to take fourth.
The battle up front was going back and forth and with two to go it looked like it was going to be either Butler or Miller. By the last lap it was clear Miller was in control as she rode ahead of Butler to take the win. Krasniak rolled in for third.
The first lap held a big group together and it was Cody Kaiser (California Giant-Specialized) who took the holeshot but early into the lap Allen Krughoff (Boulder Cycle Sport) took the lead. By the second lap more riders started working the front and the accelerations of the group eventually started taking the numbers down in the ten-man group.
Eventually, the front group split as Tim Johnson (Cannnondale-Cyclocrossworld.com) pressed the pace. There was some indecision in riders as to who would continue the pace between Ben Berden (Opes Ale-Stoemper), Krughoff, and Johnson. The hesitation allowed Chris Jones (Rapha-Focus) and Chris Sheppard (Rocky Mountain) to close the small gap that opened. But Shepperd once back, started to attack back and forth with Johnson increasing the gap back to the group led by the Cal Giant rider Kaiser.
With two laps to go Johnson put in a big attack on the far back stretch of the course that left Krughoff and Shepperd to chase. With one to go Shepperd continued to chase hard but rolled in comfortably for fourth as Krughoff flatted and had to change bikes to take the final podium spot in fifth. Up front Johnson went early and ran away with it for the win with Berden second and Jones third.
Day two will be another exciting day of UCI racing in downtown Los Angeles as the course will see some minor tweaks. It seems as if old man winter has taken the weekend off to allow these cyclocross hero’s another bluebird day in SoCal.
|1||Meredith Miller||Cal Giant / Specialized|
|2||Susan Butler||River City Bicycles/Ridley|
|4||Devon Gorry||Team Rambuski Law|
|5||Katherine Sherwin||Stan's NoTubes Elite Cyclocross Team|
|6||Allison Mann||Rock N' Road Cyclery|
|7||Ellen Sherrill||Bike Station Aptos|
|8||Christina Probert-Turner||The TEAM SoCalCross - Turner Bikes|
|9||Courtney Dimpel||Bike Station Aptos|
|10||Sarah Maile||Ventana Mountain Bikes|
|11||Lisa Curry||GAS/Intrinsik Architecture|
|12||Barbara Benko||Focus-MIG Team|
|13||Shannon Gibson||Stan's NoTubes Elite CX Team|
|14||Alexis Ryan||The TEAM SoCalCross|
|15||Hannah Rae Finchamp||The TEAM SoCalCross|
|16||Dorothy Wong||The TEAM SoCalCross|
|DNF||Nicole Duke||Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld / Spy|
|DNF||Rebecca Blatt||Team Kenda p/b Geargrinder|
|DNS||Nancy James||The TEAM SoCalCross|
|1||Tim Johnson||Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com|
|2||Ben Berden||Ops Ale - Stoemper|
|4||Christopher Sheppard||Rocky Mountain Bicycles Shimano|
|5||ALLEN KRUGHOFF||BOULDER CYCLE SPORT|
|6||Tyler Wren||Boo Bicycles|
|7||Cody Kaiser||California Giant/Specialized|
|10||Steve Fisher||Revel Consulting / Rad Racing NW|
|12||Brandon Gritters||Rock n Road|
|13||Ryan Knapp||Bob's Red Mill Cyclocross|
|14||David Forkner||SDG Felt p/b IRT|
|15||Scott Tietzel||Plains to Peaks Racing|
|16||Erik Tonkin||Kona / Team S&M|
|17||John Bailey||Bailey Bikes|
|18||John Behrens||Bailey Bikes|
|19||Anton Petrov||SDG/Felt p.b. IRT|
|20||John Curry||GAS/Intrinsik Architecture|
|21||kenny wehn||Stans NoTubes Elite Cyclocross Team|
|22||Shawn Harshman||Boulder Cycle Sport|
|23||Morgan Ryan||The TEAM SoCalCross|
|25||Chris Jackson||Rambuski Law|
|27||David Sheek||SDG/Felt p.b. IRT|
|28||David McNeal||SPY Optics|
|30||Ben Bertiger||The Team|
|31||Jay Kwan||The Team SocalCross|
|32||Alexander Vaughn-Ruiz||The TEAM SoCalCross|
|33||Justin Williams||The TEAM SoCalCross|
|DNF||donald reeb||cyclocrossracing.com p/b blue|