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Dam Cross (SPCS #4) - C2
Lake View Terrace - San Fernando Valley
California, USA, October 21, 2007
Schouten and Lloyd win Dam Cross
By Dave Sheek
SPCS #4 started with more of the same, dry gusty winds and a bumpy course but more hungry racers came out to the first-ever UCI cyclo-cross event in Southern California. It started early with the grass roots racing. Racers were happy that the course had flattened out a bit from Saturday's races but the winds gained strength from the day before reaching up to 60mph. The wind was ridiculous. During one of the long straight-a-ways, the racers who pedaled directly into the wind resembled brook trout swimming upstream.
But later as the elite UCI races approached their start times, the winds died down and spectators and competitors pooled together on and along the course. Southern California might not have a lot of mud and snow in its 'cross season but what it lacks in weather it makes up for with tall grass on long sloping climbs, fast descents that lead into sandy rollers and a dauntingly rough course. In the second day of events, more elites stepped to the line in both categories.
Jonathan Livesay pulled out some of his course-design magic to create a demanding top-quality power course consisting of 60% grass, 30% pavement and 10% dirt.
The women approached the line first but the ranks were crowded by more Northern Californians than just Melodie Metzger (California Giant), the previous day's winner. Velo Bella's star Barbara Howe and Rachel Lloyd (Proman/Paradigm), joined the field. As elite women headed out, it was not young Coryn Rivera (Kahala - La Grange) who grabbed the usual lead but Metzger, Lloyd, Howe, and Wong (Team CICLE) who piled together pushing Rivera back and led the first climb. It took some time for the group to break. First Dorothy Wong suffered from a flat, dropping her back until she could return to the pit and change bikes and get back on course. The delay cost her about two minutes off the lead group. Even with this magnificent loss of time, she still pedaled her way back through the pack to take an amazing fifth place for the day. The battle within the lead group continued without Wong as Howe, Metzger, Lloyd and Rivera rolled through. Halfway through the race, Lloyd pulled away from the group and never looked back. She continued her attack and opened a huge gap which kept her in the lead to earn a win. Second for the day was Barbra Howe, closely followed by Metzger in third.
The men's elite race heated up quickly as racers warmed up to the excitement and cheering from the women's event. And, like the women's field, more racers stepped to the line to earn valuable UCI points. The racing was awe-inspiring and the battle in the top ten was tough through more than half the race. It was the powers of the Alan North America Rider, Brent Prenzlow and friend Tristan Schouten (Team Planet Bike) who challenged the lead. Most thought the two would not be able to keep up the pace because of the previous day's event.
The top ten was rounded out by Mark Noble (Time Factory Team), Chance Nobel (California Giant), the up-and-coming Frederick Bottger (Team Bearclaw), Jason First (Voodoo), and Mike Easter (Time Factory Team). Everyone in the group pulled each other and attacked until the leaders were finally able to shake some of them loose and a few of the riders began to drop back. It quickly became evident that Prenzlow, Easter and Schouten were the strongest riders of the day. The three took off, separating the lead group into two and continued their clash until the Time rider, Mike Easter, let off the gas and held on to his magnificent third place for day two of racing. Again, it was Prenzlow and Schouten who came through with an amazing finish down to the final sprint but it was Team Planet Bikes, Tristan Schouten, who took the gold with Brent Prenzlow in second.
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by Dave Sheek/www.outsideallday.com
Elite men 1 Tristan Schouten (USA) Planet Bike 58.18 2 Brent Prenzlow (USA) Alan North America Cycling Team 3 Mike Easter (USA) 4 Mark Noble (USA) 5 Frederick Bottger (USA) Team Bearclaw 6 Jason First (USA) 7 Shawn Harshman (USA) 8 John Behrens (USA) Black Mountain/Bailey 9 Antonio Cruz (USA) Discovery Pro Cycling Team 10 Chris Demarchi (USA) 11 Jason Siegle (USA) 12 Donny Carroll (USA) 13 Lyle Warner (USA) Elite women 1 Rachel Lloyd (USA) Proman/Paradigm 43.40 2 Barbara Howe (USA) Velo Bella/Kona 3 Melodie Metzger (USA) California Giant Berry Farms/Specialized 4 Coryn Rivera (USA) 5 Dorothy Wong (USA) Team C.I.C.L.E..Presented By Voler 6 Tonya Bray (USA) Team C.I.C.L.E. Presented By Voler 7 Rachel O'connell (Aus) 8 Heidi Kanayan (USA) 9 Anki Trollegard (Swe) 10 Jennifer Reither (USA)