Don Myrah unveils a new technique to keep the HRS / RockLobster team at bay. ©Cyclocross Magazine

Don Myrah unveils a new technique to keep the HRS / RockLobster team at bay. © Cyclocross Magazine

by Geoff Gunderson

October 26, 2009 – San Mateo, CA. Coyote Point Park in San Mateo has hosted cyclocross races for years, including some of California’s earliest UCI events, and this year the BASP visits the park on the Bay twice. With the closure of Candlestick Point, and East Bay Park and Rec. Department not willing to give cyclocross a go this season, Coyote Point was there to provide relief. Wanting to also preserve the traditional CCCP course, the promoters at Pilarcitos Cycle Sports were creative with a new course design utilizing both sides of the park’s hill.

The result was a technically challenging course that featured duffy corners, short, steep climbs, a snaking run through an almost-rideable sand pit, and a bit of pavement. The toughest features may have been the non-traditional run-ups after sharp, off-camber turns that followed descents. One such turn wrapped around the bottom of a tree on a sideslope, offering a precarious dismount before a steep run-up. I found myself looking forward to several of the turns, letting my bike go and drifting a bit through them. All in all, a fun course – hard, but fun. The day itself could not have been nicer, one of those October days that you use as a reference for why you live in the Bay Area.

Elite Men: Snead avoids another Myrah upset

The race of the day was a four-man battle between three HRS/ RockLobster teammates, Josh Snead, Dave Wyandt and Chris McGovern, and the resurgent Don Myrah (IBIS). Snead, Wyandt and McGovern along with Myrah and another HRS/RockLobster teammate, Scott Chapin attacked early, turning the pointy end of the race into a needle. An unfortunate flat took Chapin out of the running as his three teammates and Myrah took control of the race and tore through the field like the four horsemen of the apocalypse. The four stayed tight for much of the race as the rest of the field sorted out fifth place.

Josh Snead solos for the win. ©Cyclocross Magazine

Josh Snead solos for the win. © Cyclocross Magazine

With four laps to go Josh Snead attacked and quickly stretched it to a 12 second gap. He extended it out to 20 seconds at one point, as Myrah was neutralized by Snead’s teammates McGovern and Wyandt. But Myrah could hear the time gaps being yelled out for Snead’s teammates at the pits, and knew he was running out of time to contend for another double-victory day as he did at the first stop of the BASP at McLaren park.

Chris McGovern churns up the sand while blocking for Snead. ©Cyclocross Magazine

Chris McGovern churns up the sand while blocking for Snead. © Cyclocross Magazine

But it was too late. Myrah would take back seven seconds but would run out of real estate. Snead held on for a 13 second win, and Myrah showed his mettle by answering everything Wyandt and McGovern threw at him to claim the second step on the podium. Wyandt would follow Myrah in for third place followed by McGovern. In non HRS Rocklobster news, Aaron Bradford (OnSite Untrasound) rode a smooth and fast race, bunny hopping barriers on his way to the final fifth place podium step.

Elite Women: Barnholdt conquers NorCal women

In the A women’s race, former Worlds team member and new NorCal transplant Kerry Barnholdt (Scott/ Ritchey) showed the locals she means business, taking a solo win half a minute up on Sarah Maile (Ventana). The NorCal women’s field was stacked, with another former Worlds team member, semi-un-retired Carmen D’Aluisio finishing in third and former World Time Trial Champion Karen Brems (Kurreck) (WebCore Builders) trailing in fourth. Trina Baumsteiger (Team Rambuksi Law) finished up the podium in fifth.

Young blood and one gear

Other results of note would certainly be Rich Maile’s (Sacramento CX) singlespeed performance, being the only singlespeeder to stay on the A Men’s lead lap to win the singlespeed A race. In the last race of the day, 15-year-old Isaiah Rapko (Kaiser Permanente/ Team Oakland Cycling) put juniors across the nation on notice, holding off Godspeed Couriers’ Jim Riley in the men’s B race for his second series win on the trot. Rapko is a sophomore in high school.

Photo Gallery:

Check out our flickr page for more photos from the racing.

Full results here

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