Sam writes about his race last weekend. Check it out!
"At the last surf city cyclo cross race I was got 3rd place against a very talented field. I knew that it would be the same group of riders as well as more from the MashSF team. I was so stoked when they called me up to the front row with only one person participating in making some noise when I got called up. Then as the rest of the field fills in behind us. I felt a cold breeze come over me, it was just Scott Chapins shadow as he pulled up next to me. When they blew the whistle, I had problems getting into my pedal. I heard Ben taking a few deep breaths before pulling away from me and starting the battle with his brother. I got pushed and shoved to the mid pack. I immediately started picking off riders anywhere that I could pass. In one turn I was coming in super hot and picked off 3 riders, but still had a lot of work to do. I got onto the back of 5 riders sitting on Keith hilliers wheel as if he was leading the race. On one of the long open straight aways, I went around hilliers group. That was my big move, and by the look of their riding style, they wouldn’t be able to come back to me. I put in a extra hot lap to establish a gap making no mistakes. With my family screaming at me and the announcer telling me what place I was in, I knew I could get on podium. In one lap, I went from 11th place up to 5th. With only a few laps to go, I was able to pick off one more rider and gap him. After one of the 180s I could see a 15 second gap to the chasing rider and then another 5seconds to the group of riders that Keith had dropped off of. Then the next lap I noticed that one "MASH SF" rider was looking good as he was slowly bringing me back. When I got to the barriers and clipped back in, he was just a few bike lengths behind me. And as we cross the line with one lap to go, he passes me. He put in a hard effort up the hill to the paved section trying to pop me off. I fought back each time. I kept yoyoing off the back. As we were running up the run up, he looked back at me to see where I was. He was only 5 seconds ahead of me the entire last lap. When we got back to the finishing area and went over the barriers, I struggled with my cleats again as he was taking the last turn to the finishing straightaway. He bumped me down to 5th place. I was still so stoked on my performance as well as my teammate Ben Jacques Maynes taking the win. My goal is to finish this series on the podium for the overall standings."
Ben cruises to victory. Phil Mooney 10th in race by the bay.
Ben Jacques-Maynes soloed in for a fine victory in front of friends and family at the Bay Area Superprestige Race in San Francisco, CA. This was his second consecutive victory at Candlestick Park, with the bayside venue being used twice for the largest cyclocross series in NorCal.
Racers battled it out in beautiful weather on a loose, bumpy, and technical course adjacent to the San Francisco Bay. Narrow singletrack, loose gravel, large rocks, and a few steep technical run-ups challenged the riders all day. With such a narrow and technical course, initial positioning off the start was very important, and Ben nailed it. He earned a first row call up courtesy of his win three weeks ago and hit the singletrack in second wheel. The seasoned cross veteran quickly moved into the lead and never looked back.
“Today went almost as smoothly as possible,” said Ben after the race. “I was able to really dial in my equipment during the preride of the course. The file tread tire and wheel combination I ran today really hooked up in the gravel and made for a fast ride. I had a first row call up, was able to get a clean start, and just kept steady power for the rest of the race.” And power away he did, taking the lead very early in the race and distancing himself on the second lap after his trailing companion, Cody Kaiser, succumbed to a flat out on the course.
“It was a bummer to lose Cody to a mechanical so early in the race. He’s a great young racer and it’s fun to have his company when battling it out here. I’m sure there’s more to come”
Despite a small tangle up in the course tape after sliding out in a corner, Ben quickly regained his rhythm and never lost his command of first place. He was able to enjoy his final couple of laps and soloed in for the win with plenty of room to spare.
As Ben was powering away on the front, his teammates Phil and Sam were battling it out with the masses behind. They had lined up in the very last row and spent the race riding through riders that had started before them. Phil eventually broke clear of the traffic and was able to steadily pick off riders to finish in 10th place, earning him a crucial prime position to start the next race in the series.
Carson Miller showed his class aboard his Jamis Supernova Team bike this weekend in Washington, finishing on the podium after a hard fought race at Silver Lake. After record rainfall in the Pacific NW flooded the original race venue, a last minute scramble by hard-working race promoters kept the show going in Everett, Washington.
The race started fast with plenty of elbows thrown as the riders turned off the paved Start/Finish straight and into the grass along the edge of Silver Lake. Entering the grass in 8th position, Miller was able to reach the top 5 after the first lap. The next time up the climb, Carson used his seated climbing power to claw his way up to the lead trio, making it 4 strong in the front. He launched an attack on the leading in to one of two long sandy sections along the course. Carrying his speed, and line of choice, Miller cleared the first beach section at the front of the race, and continued to power out to the far end of the course, only slowing down to negotiate the switchbacks that preceded another fast descent to the beach.
“Often times I feel like I shoot from the hip a bit in cross races,” Miller said after the race. “You know, you start full gas and your legs are numb with pain. You’re breathing out of your eyeballs. You see an opportunity to take the lead, so you do. In hindsight, perhaps I should have waited just a bit longer before attacking, maybe even letting the others start that game of cat and mouse.”
Passing the Start/Finish, with only 2 riders on his wheel, Carson drove the pace yet again up the climb, before allowing the others to take a pull along the sandy beach. As the leaders began to work through lapped traffic, Carson was briefly held up as Toby made a daring pass along a wooded stretch of single-track. As Miller descended at full speed to the beach, he lost his front wheel in a rut and went over the bars. He popped up immediately and was quickly back on his bike to resume his chase, but the damage was done. Miller was unable to rejoin the front two at the head of the race and he rode the final portion of the race solo, putting in a strong ride in defense of his first podium appearance this season.
After the race, Miller was asked if he was happy with his winning performance. He responded, “Yes, it feels great to put a strong ride together. That crash I had on the beach was costly, as my rear derailleur was jammed with sand and I could only use my 2 gears up front in the final laps. But I’m happy to be on the podium and happy to have some good momentum for the rest of the season.”
Sam and Ben drove up to the city to race the Bay Area Super Prestige Series opener, a race held under the shadow of the Candlestick Park football stadium. Warm temperatures were counteracted by some spotty cloud cover, but with no rain for months it was guaranteed to be dry, dusty, and fast.
Ben came through the start cleanly and avoided a big crash that unfortunately held up Sam, and was in the top 3 through the first laps. Sam was on his way through the field when an untimely puncture on lap 2 sent him to the back of the 60 man group. Ben would battle with Tobin Ortenblad for a few laps; the 19-year-old racing for Cal Giant was hungry for a win on his birthday. Unfortunately for him, his only present was a pair of flat tires courtesy of the fast pace and sharp rocks found on course, leaving Ben solo in the lead with 3 laps remaining.
Ben stormed through for the win, saying afterwards, “I felt like I had a clean race and just experienced the least technical problems. I’m looking forward to some great battles this year as the NorCal scene is definitely the strongest its been in years!”
Sam fought hard to the finish, ultimately ending up in 32nd place. He later commented, “I had good legs but there was just too much ground to make up. I’m looking forward to getting out there again soon!”
Meanwhile on the east coast and in the Northwest, both Tyler and Carson’s races were hampered by mechanicals and bad luck. Tyler was able to salvage a decent result after an unlucky start, but Carson was forced to retire after mechanicals on both of his bikes.
Ben Jacques-Maynes - 1st place
Sam Cerruti - 32nd place
Tyler Wren - 40th place
Carson Miller - DNF
The next NorCal race for the Jamis CX Team will be the Surf City Series opener on October 13th in Santa Cruz, CA.
"I had a great experience working with Jakroo on our custom clothing, they were responsive, precise, and produced an excellent kit on schedule." - Ben JaCques-Maynes