Scott Chapin, left, and Aaron Bradford negotiate the barriers. © Kevin White

by Kevin White

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA — Lights cut through the darkness at Sierra Point on Saturday for the final events in the second of the Bay Area Super Prestige Cyclocross series.

Sierra Point Night Cyclocross brings out the crowds and the added element of nighttime racing ensured a party atmosphere. Groups huddled together under the floodlights on some of the course’s hills to get the best vantage and the most heckling opportunities. Along with cheers and the occasional dollar bill up for grabs, dares from the crowd of “big air!” were responded to as some of the racers practiced their jumping skills on a particularly well-suited dirt mound. Even a saddle made its way on to the course as a not-so-perfect landing resulted in the detachment of a rather critical component.

Bay Area Super Prestige Cyclocross © Kevin White

“I love the night racing, it’s always a great vibe,” said Aaron Bradford (Bay Area 101-Rock Lobster). “People are out here having a good time and that’s what American cyclocross is all about.”

In the elite men’s race, Bay Area 101-Rock Lobster was in good position as Aaron Bradford and Scott Chapin worked together in the first half to gain a noticeable lead on the competition. Chapin, however, racing on a singlespeed to get ready for the 2011 Singlespeed Cyclocross Word Championships (SSCXWC), was still feeling the remnants of a brief illness and could not hold on in the final laps when Bradford decided it was time to up the game.

Bay Area Super Prestige Cyclocross © Kevin White

“It was good racing with Aaron. I could tell maybe on the third lap that I was barely hanging on … It was just a matter of whenever he wanted to hit the gas and take off,” said Chapin.

Despite the competition closing in, it was a one-two finish for Bay Area 101-Rock Lobster. Rounding off the top five were Krishna Dole (Sheila Moon) followed by Anastasio Flores Jr. (California Giant Strawberry-Specialized Cycling Team) and Jim Hewett (Summit Cycles).

Karen Brems (Team Rambuski Law) took the top spot in the elite women’s race, moving up on the podium after placing third in the series opener. Unlike Team Rambuski Law’s top three lockdown in the first series event at Candlestick Park, the number two spot on Saturday went to Sarah Bamberger (Rat Ballaz). Ellen Sherrill (Bike Station Aptos) placed third, nudging out Kathleen Hannon (Freewheel-Hunter Cycles), who came out strong early in the race but slipped back in the latter half of the race. Gina Hall (California Giant Strawberry-Specialized Cycling Team) finished a strong fifth.

Bay Area Super Prestige Cyclocross © Kevin White

Staff and volunteers braved a late Friday storm to set up the event ensuring the race was a break from the usual early season Northern California loose and dusty course conditions. Clear skies earlier in the day hinted that the ground could possibly dry up for the later races but cool weather and a mostly overcast afternoon kept the moisture on the ground. “With the rain that we got yesterday, all the corners were nice. The grass was slippery. There was mud,” noted Chapin. “This course tonight was the best it’s been since I’ve done this race.”

Elite Men

1AaronBradfordBay 101 / HRS / Rock Lobster
2ScottChapinBay 101 / HRS / Rock Lobster
3KrishnaDoleSheila Moon
4AnastasioFlores JrCalifornia Giant Strawberry/Specialized Cyclying Team
6KevinCrossleyBay 101 / HRS / Rock Lobster
7EricWohlbergSterling Cross p/b Sendmail Inc
9MichaelHoseyMarin Racing
10KeithHillierMarc Pro - Strava
12MichaelGilGodspeed Courier
13JustinWallaceThink Finance Racing
14MitchellTruxCity Cycle
15BrueSyvertsenMarin Racing
16RainierSchaeferMASH SF
17RandMillerSterling Sports Group
20KirtFitzpatrickSquadra Ovest
21AnthonyCoandoDolore Grotta - Big Swingin' Cycles
22BenDodgeBay 101 / HRS / Rock Lobster
23AaronOdellBay 101 / HRS / Rock Lobster
26JustinDollRevolution Racing
28AlexWorkBay 101/HRS Rocklobster
29PhilipMooneyWilliams Cycling Powered by ManBearParnes
30ChristopherKellyTeam Roaring Mouse
31NicholausSloneDolore Grotta - Big Swingin' Cycles
32JamesWilliamsAdventure's Edge
33JustinAbbottTaleo Racing
34RyanMooreCity Cycle of San Francisco
37RobDahlMetromint Cycling
38TimKnudsenDivine Electric
40ChristonDewanSheila Moon/Big Swingin' Cycles
43MichaelFoleyCycles Fanatic Racing Team
44EricTakayamaZamconato Racing/HUP United
45IsaiasJobTeam Roaring Mouse
46CharlesChristiansenMASH SF
47ArtRandMarc Pro - Strava
48DustinWhiteSheila Moon
49WilliamKemperQuadzilla Racing
50BryanClarksonBox Dog Bikes
52PaulGuerraWebcor / Alto Velo
53AltonDunniganBicycle Planet
56AdamCarrSterling Cross p/b Sendmail Inc

Elite Women

1KarenBremsTeam Rambuski Law
2SarahBambergerRat Ballz
3EllenSherrillBike Station Aptos
4KathleenHannonFreewheel/Hunter Cycles
5GinaHallCalifornia Giant Strawberry/Specialized Cyclying Team
6KristenVetterleinKnackered Tyres
8BeverlyChaneyTeam Roaring Mouse
9TammyWallaceThink Finance Racing
10LizaRachettoSterling Cross p/b Sendmail Inc
12JoannaBechtelSycomp Racing/Team Affinity
13Katie JayMelenaBay 101 / HRS / Rock Lobster
14JenniferJordanSycomp Racing/Team Affinity
15NataliaGardiolChica Sexy / Pedal Revolution
16YukieNakamuraMissing Link/3rd Rail
18HeatherPughChica Sexy
19MichelleMelkaRED Racing

This report is an entry into the Cyclocross Magazine Community Contributor Contest, sponsored by KHS Bicycles. You can win a $1800 payday for showcasing your local race while helping Cyclocross Magazine highlight cyclocross racing across the country. Submit your own video or race report for your chance to win a CX300 KHS cyclocross bike!  Read the official rules here.