B Men storm Coyote Point © Veronika Lenzi

B Men storm Coyote Point © Veronika Lenzi

by Geoff Gunderson

Close to the Burlingame home base of the Bay Area Super Prestige promoters, Pilarcitos Cyclesports, rests the spiritual home of the series. We visited Coyote Point for round two as the park came through in the 11th hour to secure series integrity after two other sites had fallen through.

This trip, we saw the typical CCCP (CycloCross at Coyote Point) course at the traditional series-ending venue. Every year there are slight variations to the formula and this year the crew interrupted some of the long straightaways with new diversions, and worked around the park’s improvements in progress on the backside of the course. Probably the biggest change in the past five years is that the beach section is only about half the length it used to be due to continued erosion on the San Francisco Bay shoreline. It may very well be that the future holds no beach for this site, but we enjoy the waterside attraction while we still can as it is always the one question that everyone must face: Run it, or ride it? Either choice will inevitably be wrong as the assembled crowd of revelers continually insists, “the other way is faster dude!!”

This year Pilarcitos took full advantage of the Coyote Point acreage to provide the longest lap times and lowest lap counts of the series. This variation shows not only the diversity of the venues chosen, but the vision of the promoters to utilize and maximize the terrain that’s available. Another variable that we have no control over is the weather; it finally felt like ‘cross conditions. It was cold, threatening to rain and windy: foreign meteorological principles that we read about in other people’s race reports, but rarely have to endure ourselves.

Onto the racing,  a big-points-at-stake series finale that would decide the series champions. The A’s fields were partly diluted due to this other, smaller race up in Portland. With Nationals next week, there were several notable names missing from both the men’s and women’s fields as some traveled up north to get a tune up on Oregon dirt.

Not everyone went up north, however, and most of the missing racers were not in the mix for any series titles, only daily glory. The BASP does reward attendance, and those who stayed home got to feast on a modified points table that made this race the one NOT to miss.

In the women’s A’s Scott/ Ritchey’s Kerry Barnholt quickly used the early climbing and wooded technical sections to shoot through the front of the field. Knowing series leader Karen Brems’ (Webcor) strength in time trialing and that she could exploit the large, expansive flat areas of the track, Barnholt used her own superior bike handling skills to create enough of an advantage that Brems couldn’t close her down on the lower portion of the course.

During that time, the woman’s field got longer and skinnier. Halfway through the race, it looked like the top spots were fairly well decided. Brems, through that initial chase of Barnholt, had gotten enough distance to tactically ensure her series title. As long as she rode hard enough in the flats, and safe enough in the woods to maintain her position, she had the series in hand. Brems avoided mishaps, kept any real threats at bay and crossed the line second on the day, :53  down on solo winner Barnholt.

Jill Fattor (HRS Rocklobster), who has been consistent throughout the series, finished up at 1:39 down for a great third place finish and :43 up on teammate Stella Carey. The final podium spot on the day went to Hopkins Honda/ Code 3’s Jen Jordan, another 17 seconds down.

Congratulations to Karen Brems of Webcor on an excellent BASP series overall. Second place went to the winner on the day Kerry Barnholt (Scott/ Ritchey). If she hadn’t missed the first start of the series (you may remember that she raced men’s B’s at BASP 1) due to traffic delays on the way to McLaren Park, there may have been a very different series indeed. Stella Carey’s (HRS Rocklobster) fourth-place finish netted her a third place overall in the BASP and Jill Fattor’s (Rocklobster) first top-five was enough to get her a solid fifth overall.

It was a similar story in the men’s A’s, where there were some missing faces, but not really anyone who was going to be a real threat to HRS Rocklobster collapsing the podium under their collective weight for overall honors. The question was which one? Series leader Chris McGovern, former series lead Josh Snead, and teammates Dave Wyandt and Scott Chapin were all capable of ending the day with the title. The one guy who had a shot at ruining the series would have been international hard man of the year, Don Myrah (Ibis/, who had successfully secured his series title in the 35+ A field earlier in the day. The reality is that it would have taken an exceptional situation, well out of any human control to keep the series championship away from them.

Straight away a group formed containing HRS Rocklobster’s Snead, Wyandt and Chapin accompanied by Myrah, and Steve Reaney (Cal Giant/ Specialized). As they distanced themselves from the field, Krishna Dole (Sheila Moon) managed to slowly work his way towards them. About halfway, Snead shot away while teammates Wyandt and McGovern stayed with Reaney.

Myrah suffered a rear wheel flat. The resulting wheel change effectively eliminated him from contention. With two teammates marking a strong but on-his-second-race-of-the-day Reaney, Snead soloed to his second consecutive CCCP win and the BASP series title. Wyandt and McGovern worked Reaney for everything he was worth and left him behind to claim second and third on the day. Reaney soloed about a half-minute behind the pair to claim an excellent fourth-place finish as Krishna Dole was able to catch and pass Myrah to secure his first top-five finish of the series.

As noted above, Josh Snead is your 2009 BASP Elite men’s champion. Back to back, as a matter of fact, and Rocklobster doesn’t stop there. Chris McGovern, and Dave Wyandt round out the medal positions with Don Myrah in fourth interrupting the party to step between fifth place Scott Chapin and his mates.

We’ve been watching a fun series in the men’s B’s as a couple of juniors have been dominating the series. On series finale day, the adults struck back. Series leader Isaiah Rapko (Kaiser Permanente/ Team Oakland Cycling) suffered a heart breaking series of setbacks early on, having to run a half-lap. Though he fought back valiantly, and teammate Chris Elbo waited for him and attempted to pull him forward, it was not enough as he suffered a devastating blow to his once huge series lead. As hard as he raced, there were people in front that knew he was back there somewhere and that double points were on the line for the day.

Godspeed Courier’s Jim Riley put the hammer down. He had come close to catching Rapko in earlier series races and knew that it was now or never. Riley took the day and the series win. Jonathan Schantz finished right in front of Studio Velo’s Scott Penzarella for second and third places. Our other Junior phenom Spence Petersen (Above Category) overcame a poor start to finish up fourth on the day and secure second overall. Adtian Lobito’s fifth-place finish also netted him fifth place overall for the series.

Congratulations to all of our 2009 Bay Area Super Prestige Series Champions:

A: Josh Snead HRS Rocklobster

Women’s A: Karen Brems Webcor

B: Jim Riley Godspeed Courier

Women’s B: Michelle Monroe Jocylin’s/ Burnham

C: Alex Wick Davis BC

Women’s C: Jaime Schoenborn Roaring Mouse

35+ A: Don Myrah Ibis/

Women’s 35+ A: Linda Elgart Webcor

35+ B: Chris Donahue Vertical Pandas

45+ A: Mark Howland Black Market Racing

45+ B: Zack Beekler Peninsula Velo

55+: John Elgart Webcor

SS A: Tim Cannard Ibis/

SS B: Even Sarna Sheila Moon

Jr Women: Madeleine Myall Cal Giant/ Specialized

Jr 10-14: Ryan Grant Roaring Mouse

Jr 15-18 Brendan Chan Sycip