While New England had inches of mud this weekend, SoCal was dry and fast. Jordan Haggard

While New England had inches of mud this weekend, SoCal was dry and fast. © Jordan Haggard

The second weekend of Southern California Prestige Series presented by Spy Optic hit Camarillo, CA with the Pacifica Crossfest. This is the newest race to the series and was hosted by Casa Pacifica, a residential facility licensed by the state of CA which serves abused, neglected, and severely emotionally disturbed children and adolescents from the Tri-County areas of Southern California (SoCal). The weekend started Saturday with kids day on campus where Newbury Park Bike Shop donated 45 bicycles to Casa Pacifica.

The event promised to be fun and yes with Saturday’s work of the staff and kids of Casa Pacifica, along with the SoCal Cross crew the course delivered. The backside of the course had a fast barrier section that led through a barn and back onto winding grass turns. The front side of the course showed a mixture of grass, dirt, sand and the wild burmed BMX style section that called on racers’ best Crew Jones impersonation.

With perfect weather in the seventies Sunday and the fun course racers were having fun all day. The early morning junior events were great and the excitement led through the day up to the Single-Speed “A” event where Alan Danger Zinniker (Ritte Racing) battled to the line to take the win.

Elite Women:

It was Amanda Schaper (Ritte Racing) who took the holeshot but as the women went down the next straight leading into a fast sweeping left turn that hopped the curb into the grassy infield Christine Probert Turner (The TEAM SoCalCross) jumped ahead to lead the women through the grassy turns. As the group went into the first dismount Allison Mann (Rock N’ Road) came around Schaper and rode off with Turner through the rest of the first lap. Schaper was then with Nancy James (The TEAM SoCalCross) as the two chased the front-runners.

By the backside of the course Turner was still leading up to the barriers where Mann made her move and pulled ahead through the barn. The two were together for most the race with Mann in control. Behind, it was Schaper and James still on the chase until Schaper went down in the BMX section snapping her seat post clean off from the frame. James moved ahead and Schaper got back up to chase but had to first pit for a bike change. Dorothy Wong (The TEAM SoCalCross) was closing on Schaper and eventually passed on the lap to move into fourth.

With a lap to go Mann rode Turner off her will and cruised in for the win. Turner grabbed second with her teammates James in third and Wong in fourth. Schaper with the unfortunate bike problems stuck it out to round out the top five.

Elite Men:

It was Taberlay all day! From the start the Aussie released a fury on his pedals and rode off the front. The men lined up and chased only to have the field split apart halfway through the first lap. The chase of Ben Bostrom (Sho-Air), Brandon Gritters (Rock N’ Road) and Gary Douville (SDG/Felt p.b. IRT) caught back on to Taberlay but by the second lap but then he was gone.

The chase was working hard but never caught back to Taberlay as he soloed in for the win. Half way through the race John Bailey (Bailey Bikes) caught onto the chase group and was hungry after some solid racing at Star Crossed last week. With four to go Gritters was leading through the BMX burm section where he went down. Bailey instantly capitalized on the crash and put in a big effort to gap off the group. Gritters was up quickly and chased but only to catch back to Bostrom and Douuville as Bailey rode in to take second.

With two laps to go Gritters tried to put in a big dig but Bostrom brought him back and counter attacked to go on and take third. It was now down to Douville and Gritters who sprinted it out to the line with Gritters finishing fourth and Douville in fifth.

It was another week of exciting racing, great course work, and perfect SoCal weather. The Series will take a break next week as the US Cup of MTB has its final race of the year and the CA state Championship up for grabs. The SoCal Prestige Series will pick up again October 8-9 in Temecula, CA with the Temecula Cyclofest and Saturday and Krosstoberfest Sunday. The weekend will bring a bit of everything from Super D MTB stage race, women’s adventure ride, single-speed mania, and the Krosstoberfest Party. It will be double days of explosive two-wheeled action.

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Elite Women:

  1. Allison Mann (Rock N’ Road)
  2. Christine Probert Turner (The TEAM SoCalCross)
  3. Nancy James (The TEAM SoCalCross)
  4. Dorothy Wong (The TEAM SoCalCross)
  5. Amanda Schaper (Ritte Racing)

Elite Men:

  1. Sid Taberlay (Kenda/H2O Overdrive)
  2. John Bailey (Bailey Bikes)
  3. Ben Bostrom (Sho-Air)
  4. Brandon Gritters (Rock N Road)
  5. Gary Douville (SDG/Felt p.b. IRT)