by Dave Sheek
Ventura, CA – Weather forecasters promised a 60 percent chance of rain all week for the always exciting Convert ’Cross. Mother nature, however, decided to stop the overnight showers and blow all the storms away from the Lake Casitas course. It was a cool and windy day, but the conditions didn’t hold back any of the excitement. Race director Larry Leonard and his crew from Successful Living and Trek Bikes of Ventura went to work revising the always-popular event to create a new, challenging and fun course.
Coryn Rivera (Peanut Butter & CO Twenty12), while always strong, is definitely finding her form as she prepares for the Portland USGP and then nationals. She took the hole-shot and halfway through the first lap claimed her spot in front of the field. For the rest of the race, the women chased as Rivera controlled the pace to claim her victory.
The chase group was lead by the previous day’s winner Trina Baumsteiger (Team Rambuski Law) who definitely showed the best in the chase. Trina was in hot pursuit of Rivera with Kendal and Alexis Ryan (Team SoCal Cross), but as the race went on the Ryan sisters drifted back. Trina continued strong to take second behind Rivera.
Halfway through, Amanda Schaper (SDG Factory Team) continued to move forward and passed the Ryan sisters at separate points on her way to finish third. Fourth was Kendal and Alexis fifth for the top five podium positions.
Mark Noble (Metal Mtn.) took the long road straight and lead through the first turn with a big line of riders clinging to his wheel. The course was wild and through the first half of lap one, two of the podium contenders rolled their tires.
First it was Gary Douville (Platinum Performance) who popped a small section of his rear tire back on and continued to chase. Second, it was Brent Prenzlow (Celo Pacific/B&L) who two turns after Douville rolled his front tire through an off-cambered rutted pit. Prenzlow, after peeling himself off the ground, also slapped his tire back on but had to ride mildly to make it to the pits.
The race held a large lead group as Douville and Prenzlow were fighting their way back to the front. On the second lap Douville had caught the leaders and instantly attacked after his huge effort to get back. Half way around the second lap Douville and Ben Bostrom (Sho-Air) broke off the front, hopping up the small two-stair climb.
They went back and forth exchanging the lead until midway through the race Bostrom gapped off Douville. In a last chance effort, Douville yelled for help as Jason Siegle (Bike Religion) moved up and pulled the chase group back to Bostrom.
When Bostrom was caught, the group continued together until three laps to go when John Behrens (Bailey Bikes) came around and attacked the group. The effort blew everything apart. Behrens was off the front but unfortunately crashed with two laps to go. Bostrom and Douville instantly seized the opportunity. Douville led then Bostrom.
On the last lap Douville gapped Bostrom on the two-stair and put in his fastest lap time of the day to take the win. Bostrom rolled in just behind for second and Behrens third. James Walsh (Celo Pacific) was fighting his way up all day and put in the race of his life to grab fourth. Jason Siegle held on to round out the top five.
It was some of the most exciting racing of the season and a good lead up to next week’s District Championships. The racing should be as intense and the course just as fun with the annual Turkey Trot event. The big question is: Who is going home with the champion’s belt?
|Men 1/2, Men 3|
|1||130||Gary Douville||Platinum Performance|
|3||101||John BEHRENS||Bailey Bikes|
|4||114||James WALSH||Celo Pacific|
|5||111||Jason SIEGLE||Bike Religion|
|Women 1/2, Women 3|
|1||246||Coryn RIVERA||Peanut Butter & Co. TWENTY12|
|2||243||Katrina (Trina) BAUMSTEIGER||Team Rambuski Law|
|3||253||Amanda Schaper||SDG Factory|
|4||251||Kendall RYAN||The TEAM SoCalCross|
|5||250||Alexis RYAN||The TEAM SoCalCross|