Richard Fries made the trip from New England to announce the Bay Area Super Prestige Cyclocross - Sierra Point race. © Tim Westmore

Richard Fries made the trip from New England to announce the Bay Area Super Prestige Cyclocross – Sierra Point race. © Tim Westmore

by Tim Westmore

BRISBANE, CALIFORNIA – On Saturday, after seeing World Champion-striped racers, enjoying Belgian brews and hearing Richard Fries’ famous, excited voice over the loudspeakers, you would be forgiven if you thought you were at the UCI Cyclocross World Championships. However, it was just the annual, non-sanctioned Bay Area Super Prestige night race at Sierra Point that managed to raise its profile as one of the country’s best night events.

At the Clif Bar Sierra Point Night Race, the third event of 2012 Bay Area Super Prestige cyclocross races, Elle Anderson (Ladies First) raced from the back of the field to win the race for Category A Women, in a competition replete with some of the best female cyclocross racers in Northern California. For Category A Men, Aaron Bradford (Bicycle Bluebook/HRS/Rock Lobster) also fought his way to the front. Bradford’s win was part of a Rock Lobster one-two in an event-filled exciting repeat of the 2011 Sierra Point BASP Elite Men’s race.

The women’s field could qualify as the dream race for this season. Many winners from the different Northern California cyclocross races were on hand: Emily Kachorek (TBB.CX), Ellen Sherrill (Bicycle Bluebook/HRS/Rock Lobster), Helene Drumm, Karen Brems (Team Rambuski Law) and Emily Thurston (Team Rambuski Law). Having recently returned to cyclocross racing, only Kelly Bonar, amongst the top seven finishers, has yet to score a win this season.

Elle Anderson in control at Sierra Point 2012. © Tim Westmore

Elle Anderson in control at Sierra Point 2012. © Tim Westmore

Despite a call-up that left Elle Anderson near the back at the start, the Ladies First racer was able to make up huge amounts of ground by the mid-point of the first lap. “It was a pretty good field,” remarked Anderson, “I took an outside line and moved up pretty quickly in the first lap. [I] got lucky because I sort of open up when I get to the front early.”

Midway through the race, the front of the field was controlled by Brems, Thurston and Anderson. Thurston apparently mis-read the course, perhaps following bad clues on the ground in the dark, and took a wrong turn into the course tape. From here, Anderson passed the World Masters Champion Brems and took charge of the race.

“I hung in there the first two laps, watching to see how things would play out,” continued Anderson, “Emily [Thurston] and Karen [Brems] were really pushing the pace, which was great. [They were] taking turns attacking but I never let a gap open up. Going into the third lap, I just decided to put in a surge right before the finish stretch. I put on the gas, kept [it] on for a lap and a half, and slowly crept away.”

Anderson took the comfortable win with Brems following with a solid second place finish. Kelly Bonar pipped Thurston in a sprint for third place, while Kachorek grabbed the fifth spot and Helene Drumm came home in sixth. Ellen Sherrill took seventh after starting from the back row.

“This has been a blast,” said Anderson, “I can definitely say that my favorite races are night races. This had such a great atmosphere. The course was really fun and technical and the crowds were amazing. The heckling was just superb.”

Ben Jacques-Maynes leading Scott Chapin - Bay Area Super Prestige Cyclocross - Sierra Point 2012. © Tim Westmore

Ben Jacques-Maynes leading Scott Chapin – Bay Area Super Prestige Cyclocross – Sierra Point 2012. © Tim Westmore

In the race for Category A Men, Ben Jaques-Maynes (Ritte Bear Development) and Scott Chapin (Bicycle Bluebook/HRS/Rock Lobster) lead the way during the early laps. The pace they set was ferocious and both riders were on single speed bikes.

Whether it was the night time flood lights or the bumpy uneven ground at the TRP Brake Zone leading to the boisterous Heckle Hill, several riders had difficulty negotiating those plank barriers. The smaller problems saw back wheels catching the barrier and flipping up into the air. The worst outcomes saw riders taste dirt.

In one lap, the race’s complexion changed as Chapin’s bike made contact with the barrier; he went down and his bike clashed with Ben Jaques-Maynes. Both racers suffered briefly but Bradford was able to take advantage and reach the front of the field, after a call-up leaving him well back at the start of the race.

“I was probably sitting tenth at the time after coming back from fortieth,” said Bradford, “Scott [Chapin] and Ben Jacques-Maynes must have collided at some point. Maybe Scott [Chapin] was bunny-hopping and Ben [Jacques-Maynes] was running. They must have contacted. It really broke up the organization of that lead group.”

“I hopped the barriers and put a surge in right then,” continued Bradford, “It caught some people off-guard. I went from tenth to first at that point and it made it a little easier to keep my groove. I saw Ben [Jacques-Maynes] got gapped. Scott [Chapin] hung on to my wheel when I put on my surge. When he surged, he moved ahead and then I sat on. The two of us did the team tactics thing and kept Jacques-Maynes out there in no-man’s land.”

Bradford has time to style it up at Sierra Point 2012. © Tim Westmore

Bradford has time to style it up at Sierra Point 2012. © Tim Westmore

Chapin and Bradford raced away from Ben Jacques-Maynes, who was a little under-geared for the course’s long, black-top straights. The remaining question was the final order at finish. Rounding the final turn onto the start-finish straightway, Bradford had the advantage. Chapin put in a push to pass Bradford but his team mate proved up to the task.

“I knew Ben [Jacques-Maynes] was going to ride his one speed, that’s the only bike he has,” said Bradford, “Scott [Chapin] and I have been enjoying our one speeds. We came into it just thinking, ‘let’s ride the singlespeeds, ride as hard as we can, and see if we can shake it up and get to the front.’ We did exactly that. It’s all that training on the one speed in the Santa Cruz hills.”

2012 Bay Area Super Prestige Sierra Point Photo Gallery:

2012 Bay Area Super Prestige Sierra Point Cyclocross Results:

Sierra Point 2012 Elite Men's Results

PlaceFirst NameLast NameTeam
3BenJacques-MaynesRitte/Beard Envelopment
4MichaelHoseyMarin Factory Team
5KeithHillierTeam Rambuski Law
8JustinAbbottDevil Mountain Cyclery
9MichaelZanettiNorCal Bike Monkey
10PhilipMooneyTeam Mike's Bikes
11KyleMurphyMASH SF
13CameronFalconerFresh Air/Hunter Cycles
14RainierSchaeferMASH SF
15EricColtonCynergy Cycles / Specialized
17MitchTruxSterling Sports Group
18AdamSwittersTeam Mike's Bikes
19AndrewGoesslingTeam Mike's Bikes CX
20AndrewJuilianoBicycle Blue Book/HRS/ROCK LOBSTER
21JustinRobinsonCalifornia Giant/Specialized
23JasonBenfordFresh Air-Hunter Cycles
24MattYoungRoaring Mouse Cycles
25DustinWhiteSuperPro Racing
27AaronOdellBicycle Blue Book/HRS/ Rocklobster
28NicholausSloneDelore Grotta
30AnastasioFlores JrCal Giant Strawberries
31TimKnudsenDivine Electric
32jordanandersonowens healthcare
34RyanJohnsonTeam Mike's Bikes
35RomanKiwnMike's Bikes
36JonathanKrierSterling Sports Group
38DillenMaurerMontrose Bike Shop
39AltonDunniganFremont Bank Cycling Team
40StephenDeyTeam Mike's Bikes
41AaronNathanSuperPro Racing
42StevenTortorelliMASH SF
43BenDodgeBicycle Blue Book/HRS/Rocklobster
44IanStoweBear Development Team
45NathanielEybilKenda SHR
46DanielStuartLost Coast Brewery
47RussellForthuberTaleo Racing
48PaulGuerraWebcor/Alto Velo
49StephenCzapigaHunter Freewheel
50LeeSloneIchigo-Au Lait-Slonie

Sierra Point 2012 Elite Women's Results

1ElleAndersonLadiesFirst Racing
2KarenBremsTeam Rambuski Law
3KerryBonarLuna Ambassador
4EmilyThurstonTeam Rambuski Law
7EllenSherrillBicycle Bluebook/HRS Rocklobster
8KristinDrummCycles Fanatic
9Katie JayMelenaBicycle Blue Book/HRS/Rock Lobster
10SarahJordanBicycle Bluebook/HRS Rocklobster
11EliciaHildebrandTeam Rambuski Law
13JenniferJordanMellow Motors
14MichelleMorrillTeam Roaring Mouse
16LeahPlackFresh Air/Hunter
17RomanyMcNamaraMissing Link
19Mary-EllenAshBicycle Blue Book/HRS/Rock Lobster
21NatashaPerryBicycle Blue Book HRS Rock Lobster
23NataliaGardiolChica Sexy/Pedal Revolution
24LizaRachettoSterling Sports
26ErinLindheimTeam Affinity/Sycomp Racing
27MauraKinsellaTeam #Stylewatts
28MarissaAxellTeam Roaring Mouse
29CarolineDezendorfWest Coast Women's Cycling

Sierra Point 2012 Singlespeed A Results

PlaceFirst NameLast NameTeam
1ChasChristiansenMASH SF
3MattMcNamaraSterling Cross p/b Fusion I/O
4DanSovereignKinetic Cycles
6RyanJohnsonTeam Mike's Bikes
9Henry P.ScholtzTeam Mike's Bikes
10ErikZimmerFortner Gardens/Mavic
11IsaiasJobTeam Roaring Mouse
12KevinThorpWrench Science
13PatrickKittoSterling Cross p/b Fusion I/O
14UriFriedmanTeam Chica Sexy
15KailinWaterman1067 Post
16ThomasHoeffelMissing Link/3rd Rail
17RubenVillarrealFortner Gardens/Lagunitas
20SeanCoffeyBicycle Blue Book/HRS/Rock Lobster / North American Velo
22PauleBatesTeam Roaring Mouse
23garrettChowMASH SF
24TomRyanMissing Link/3rd Rail
25ScottKildallSuperPro Racing
27tomtaylorTeam Roaring Mouse
28AlfredCauthenChica Sexy
29CameronFalconerFresh Air/Hunter Cycles
30CiscoMoranTeam Roaring Mouse
31DillenMaurerMontrose Bike Shop
32MikeMorganfeldTeam Roaring Mouse
33PatrickKittoSterling Cross p/b Fusion I/O
34EvanSarnaMissing Link/3rd Rail
35DerekYarraMASH SF

Sierra Point 2012 Master Men 35+ Results

PlaceFirst NameLast NameTeam
1MurraySwansonPeninsula Velo
2BrianFinnertyCalifornia Giant/Specialized
3GannonMyallcalifornia berry farms/specialized
7RichMaileTeam Mike's Bikes
8ToddHaeferCal Giant/Specialized
9DanielMcNallyFreewheel Hunter
10JohnMundeliusCal Giant/Specialized
11JamesBadiaWebcor / Alto Velo
13PhilipHynesIronData - Thirsty Bear
14JustinRobinsonCalifornia Giant/Specialized
15BasilMoutsopoulosHup United
17jeremiahkilleCaletti cycles
18WilliamKemperQuadzilla Racing
19CraigChaneyBell Real Estate Cycling
21EricRussellClif Bar
22RobSayboltHunter Freewheel
25ChristopherElboMissing Link/3rd Rail
27UriFriedmanTeam Chica Sexy
28TravisMaPeninsula Velo Racing
30AdrianLobitoKnife Crew
31OdeBernsteinMissing Link/3rd Rail
32KenDickWrench Science
34HeathMaddoxvive la tarte + Cykel
37AngusNesbittHup United
39NathanGarrettSycip / Deathstar
41MichaelMcCabeEvergreen Racing
44ShaunO'BryanChica Sexy