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Bianchi Cross - C2

San Mateo, California, USA, December 4, 2004


Frischknecht, Hall collect wins at Bianchi 'Cross

By Tom Simpson

Gina Hall (Missing Link/Bianchi)
Photo ©: Mitch Clinton
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The first half of the California UCI double-header belonged to Gina Hall and Thomas Frischknecht with Hall running away from the women's field to score a solo victory, while three-time Swiss Olympian Frischknecht sat with a high-powered trio and forged ahead just on the final lap of the 3,200 meter course.

Held under dry skies, the course had alternating soft and firm sections with riders immediately entering a eucalyptus forest after the start loop and the opening 1,500 meters. When they emerged form the forest, the field encountered the Giro barricades but from then on, the course was virtually flat - but not necessarily fast with chip bark bogs to negotiate.

Right after the start under the Red Bull arch, Ben Jacques-Maynes forcefully took the lead and by the time the pack escaped the forest, a six-rider group formed. Not everyone escaped unscathed - Kona lost Barry Wicks from the leaders when his chain jammed and he watched nearly the entire field pass him while cursing the heavens. Frischi, Todd Wells, Ryan Trebon, Jacques-Maynes, Eric Tonkin, Jackson Stewart were the initial leaders and attrition led to a trio of leaders in the finale - Frischi, Trebon and Wells. It was the Swiss MTB World Cup and World Champ using some Swiss 'cross genes to overpower Wells and Trebon in the last lap. After the race, Frischi was relating a few stories when he used to watch his dad race - Peter was a multiple world's medallist during the Swiss stranglehold on 'cross in the 70s and '80s

Thomas Frischknecht (Swisspower)
Photo ©: Mitch Clinton
Click for larger image

For tomorrow's CCCP - Cyclo Cross at Coyote Point - the starting field will include both previous winners of the sand encrusted course; Frischi in 2002 and Wells last year. Although summer high tides have robbed some of the beach of the usual sand, there's still enough to create a 50 meter dismount section - for all except Wells who last year was the only rider all day who could hop into the sand, maintain speed and continue riding - a decided advantage. Round 1 of the weekend goes to Frischi - Round 2 will be the chance for revenge. It will be a chance for redemption for Wicks and the Kona team who placed all three team members in the top 10 today with a magnificent performance by Wicks to come through the entire field after lap 1 to nearly make the podium at the finish.

Last year at this time, the rumors of Gina Hall's impending retirement were all over Portland and the Nationals - and they turned out to be just rumors. Hall is peaking at the right time to grab another world's cap with the US team as the season barrels along towards the US Mud Championships in Portland next weekend. Hall established an immediate lead on the first lap and was never countered by the Velo Bella team, who still filled three of the podium's five steps. Canada's Wendy Simms, a member of their world's Team in 2004, grabbed the other non-Bella podium position.


Images by Mitch Clinton/www.clintonphoto.com

Images by Russ & Nancy Wright/www.abbiorca.com

Images by Tom Simpson/Pilarcitos Cyclesports


Elite Men
1 Thomas Frischknecht (Swi) SwissPower    54.43.00
2 Todd Wells (USA) Hyundai/GT                 0.03
3 Ryan Trebon (USA) Kona                          
4 Ben Jacques-Maynes (USA) Sierra Nevada      1.32
5 Jackson Stewart (USA) Clif Bar              1.43
6 Barry Wicks (USA) Kona                      1.47
7 Erik Tonkin (USA) Kona                      1.50
8 Justin Robinson (USA) Family Cycling Ctr    3.05
9 Travis Brown (USA) TREK                     3.12
10 Aaron O’Dell (USA) Rock Lobster                
Elite Women
1 Gina Hall (USA) Missing Link/Bianchi       39.44
2 Barbara Howe (USA) Velo Bella               0.52
3 Christine Vardaros (USA) Velo Bella         0.53
4 Wendy Simms (USA) Frontrunner               1.06
5 Melodie Metzger (USA) Velo Bella            1.08
6 Sarah Kerlin (USA) Velo Bella               1.11
7 Allison Baumhefner (USA) Hunter/ABS         1.18
8 Stella Carey (USA) Kelly Bikes              2.08
9 Hillary Daniels (USA) Hunter                2.51
10 Erin Kassoy (USA) Velo Bella               4.10