SCPS #3 �Storm the Beach�
RACE REPORT By: David Sheek, www.outsideallday.com AND Dot Wong www.SoCalCross.org
The 2008-09 SoCalCross Prestige Series rolled on and so did the surf on the shorelines of Camp Pendleton Marine Base in Oceanside, CA home to Storm the Beach hosted by Celo Pacific cycling club of San Diego. While the weather was perfect, the high tide conditions and sandy course felt more like a 3k run than a cyclocross race. The early morning racers were definitely dealt a better hand as the low tide left plenty of room for riding on the hard packed shoreline sand, but as the day rolled on riders were running out of real estate and deeper into the surf.
Here is a recount from Master�s Women�s Series Leader and winner on the day, Robin MacDonald-Foley (Trek): �Wow...that was a kick a-- race! Carol & I were duking it out the entire time, but I finally did a surge last lap to take her on the beach front half way toward the first run-up. Dino has been great and I am happy to see her make podium. I have been giving her advice, and of course her hub Dave is great support. She thinks 40 is too old to start but look at the ages out there...we never retire....can't!! :)) She has made huge progress. Also, the 3rd place 3/4 woman finisher came up to me after the race and said she is going to try and stay on our wheels off the start and learn as much as she can. It is wonderful to help mentor the up and comers.�
In the second �wave� of racing, the elite women took to the course with the tide still holding back, though not without an occasional swell bringing up the foamy surf to take the ladies off course. The field kept it close through most of the first lap. Until, Redline Bicycles, Coryn Rivera launched the first attack with Carolyn Popovic of Team CICLE the only one able to follow the sprightly Rivera. The two held the race close in the end, but it was Rivera taking her second straight win of the Prestige Series as she chases down the Voler Points Leaders Jersey currently held by Dot Wong (CICLE) who finished 3rd on the day. MTB Expert champ, Lisa Crow battled it out with her CICLE team mate and Jr. National Crit Champ, Kendall Ryan on the final uphill sprint to the line with Lisa surging past Kendall, rounding out the women�s podium.
The elite men�s race hit the course luckily about the same time as high tide was subsiding allowing most riders ability to pedal through the long 200-yard Fluid shoreline returning riders back to start another lap and riders still needing to avoid the tide on occasion with the �fluid� flow of the waves managing to douse racers each lap. The start was fast. Spectators sat on the bluffs above the Clif Bar hill climb waiting to see who was going to be leading the field. It was SoCalCross Prestige Series leader Brent Prenzlow of Celo Pacific/Alan Bikes leading the pack on the first lap. When the riders reached the top of the climb, Prenzlow opened up a small gap with his chasers led by Jason Lowetz of Team Bearclaw. The racers dove full speed down into the Kool N� Fit sand pit (basically the beach sand below) and Prenzlow able to make the biggest difference in his racing on the day pedaling through most of the deep sand each lap.
From here Prenzlow did not let up as he pounded out each lap opening up his gap on the competitors. In second it was Lowetz who formed his gap from the chasers during the grueling race. A close race formed with Fritz Bottger (PAA/Vitamix/Sixtufit) and Michael Easter (Action Sports) battling it out for the next two spots. Bottger seemed to strategically plan a last attack on the Clif Bar hillclimb on the final lap to gap himself from the powerful Easter. Easter did not let up as he put in a full sprint through the last stretch of deep sand, but it was too late as Bottger had enough of a gap to take third with Easter fourth on the day.
The highlight of the day was the Bikini and Board shorts fun race! Men and women of �cross took to the line in their brief outfits. As they rode to the finish in a four person sprint � Bobby Langin Jr and Heidi Kanayan surged ahead at the line. Victory went to Mr. Langin also for the wackiest beach attire! Clif Bar awarded
t-shirts and hats and clothed the victors on the podium. Dot shared her winning Stone Brewing 22oz beverage from Adams Avenue CX race the day before in a final toast on the fine weekend of �cross racing!
It was another great day for the Prestige Series, epic conditions making it memorable for all. Thank you to Celo Pacific for the great race and venue, the spectators, riders, sponsors, and all others who volunteered to make this event a success.
The Prestige Series only gets better as next Saturday 10/25, will be Southern California�s first ever cyclocross night race with SCPS #4, Spooky Cross in Irvine hosted by Bike Religion. The best part of the evening is going to be the Spooky Costume Race taking place at 7:30pm with superheroes like Spiderman looking for the win. Until next week, go find a friend and continue the growth of cross even if you�re a cross dresser on a beach cruiser.
More info on the SOCALCROSS PRESTIGE SERIES go to: www.SoCalCross.org