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Cross on the Rocks #3: Beban Island Championships - NE

Beban Park, Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada, November 4, 2007


Cross on the Rocks returns to Beban Park

By Normon Thibault and Wendy Simms

After enjoying an extra hour of sleep we were greeted with a sunny-perfect-day. It was "OK" but with all the good weather this year I don't know if we are building up our Island 'cross racers to be tough...where is the rain, mud, hail, snow? Well it does make for a bit of an easier clean up. It waas the fifth year ina row for the Cross on the Rocks Series to stop at Beban Park, the home of 'cross racing in Nanaimo since the first race there in preparation for the 2003 World Championships.

The course was slightly different than last year as part of it was being used by another group. The race boasted a huge turn-out of beginners since it was free to any beginner or newcomer with a current BC or club license.

Race #1: Beginner men and women

Offering a free race to all club racers on the island gave the biggest turn out of beginners of the series so far. A good mixture of moutainbikes, cross bikes and road bikes with Scwalbe 30c tires tucked into the frames. Lots of first timers, triathletes, roadies and runners in the mix. Sue Handel and Paul Thompson both led through the first lap until the finish. Behind them the places were changing all over the course and through the three lap race as different riders showed their strengths on different parts of the diverse course. Reminding that this sport is for all ages were Curren Jongsma at youngest male 10 years-old. Alex and Kyla Coats, triathletes from the national training center and the youngest females at 19. John Hannon was the oldest male in the beginner category, 61 and local Frontrunners uber athlete Kathie Vandoorn at 51 for the oldest female.

Race #2: Intermediate Men

With the winner of the last race, Oak Bay Bikes co-owner Sean Lunny, moving up to expert this event was wide open. With big head boss hog gone, shop grommets Matt Dawes (Oak Bay Bikes) and Ben Glassen (Oak Bay Bikes) had no rabbit to gun for so they just beat on each other. Known for their technical skills (and not their endurance), the boys were wooing the crowds with "sic air" off the BMX jumps and "sweet manuals through the trannies". These two youngsters will soon be U Tube posting their BMX track rip on lap #1. It was Glassen that pulled down the (root)beer prime lap but was eventually passed by Robin Dutton (Arrowsmith Bikes), series points leader; Trevor Jones (Experience Cycling Club) and Dawes. Unfortunately Dawes experienced a flat tire so Dutton sacrificed his wheel to the OBB rider and stepped off the course. An impressive ride by Dawes saw him win the race by a mere 10 seconds over a charging Jones, who managed to outsprint the fading showboat, Glassen.

Race #3: Master Men

During the set up the day before Dave Nowak said after looking over the course, "This is a perfect course for (newcomer) Steve Bachop". He was right. Andrew Brown (CVCC) ripped his usual fast start to take the Lighthouse beer prime. Steve Bachop (Everti) went through the first lap just behind Brown and started to reel him in. They stayed together for a lap and a bit before Bachop's fast running cracked Brown a little bit. The crack opened up to 46 seconds by the end of the six laps. Behind the leaders Sean Cruickshank (Aviawest), back from Xterra World Champs, was making his way through the crowds to place a consistent third. Dave Nowack (CVCC/Frontrunners) worked his way back from a little further in the field fighting his way up to fourth by the finish and collecting the most aggressive title for this race.

Race #3: Women

With CAN$100 Cash for first, prizes to fifth place, primes and most aggressive prizes up for grabs it was pretty disappointing to only have four women on the line (and see only three finish). but it was awesome that all four had decided to bump themselves up from the beginner category after only one race. Maybe all the other women that normally race the series were scared of the rookies kicking their butts? Even with the small field the racing was fierce.

Amy Herlivinveaux (Experience) showed us that her fast start from the Duncan race was no fluke and took the prime lap yet again. However, half way through the race Bobbie Taylor took the lead and held it to the end, taking home $100 to put towards a new cross bike as she has been racing on a different borrowed bike each time!

Race #4: Men

The expert win was up for grabs as the top two series racers were off to Costa Rica to do La Ruta. With three bike lengths on the expert group in mere seconds (can you say false start?), it looked like race organizer Norm Thibault (Frontrunners) was an easy pick for the prime but after a horrendous crash before the BMX track he came through last with some blood dripping as he passed.

It was Drew MacKenzie (Straight Up Cycles) who set the blistering pace for the first lap. Mat Hewitt (Oak Bay Bikes) was the only one who could stay with him, although John Fokkema (Aviawest) was in close pursuit. MacKenzie unfortunately flatted and was ready to pull out until he was told he had to finish the race to take home the Lighthouse beer so he took his time but managed to complete the task.

Meanwhile, at the front of the race, Hewitt was having some chain troubles of his own so Fokkema (yelling "Hey, wait up") eventually caught and the two rode together until the last lap when Hewitt pulled away for the win, taking over the series lead. The ooh and the ahhs from the crowds however were going to those who could bunny hop the barriers – many attempted but no one could match the cat like finesses of Jeff Beeston's (Trail Bikes) bunny hopping technique.


Elite Women

1 Bobby Taylor (Arrowsmith)                       46.08
2 Amy Herlivinveaux (Experience Cycling Club)      3.52
One lap down
3 Katie Rabien (Oak Bay Bikes-Wheelers)                
DNF Shailie Sandbrooks (Wheelers)                      

First lap prime: Amy Herlinveaux
Most aggressive rider: Bobby Taylor
Elite Men

1 Mat Hewitt (Oak Bay Bikes-Berg)                 51.15
2 John Fokkema (Aviawest)                          0.14
3 Normon Thibault (Frontrunners)                   1.47
4 Russell Anderson (Oak Bay Bikes)                 2.12
5 Jeff Riemer (Arrowsmith)                         3.45
6 Jeff Beeston (Trail Bicycles)                    5.27
7 Justin Mark (Arrowsmith)                         5.44
8 Stephen Kilshaw (Wheelers-NTC)                   6.18
9 Sean Lunny (Oak Bay Bikes)                       6.58
10 Emile DeRoonay (Organic Athlete)                8.37
One lap down
11 Drew McKenzie (Straight Up Cycles)                  
DNF Tyler Trace                                        
DNF Kevin Calhoun (Rocky Mountain)                     
DNF Menno Jongsman (Frontrunners)
First lap prime: Drew McKenzie
Most aggressive rider: Jeff Beeston

Beginner Women

1 Sue Handel (Wheelers-OBB)                       31.16
2 Shaile Sandbrooks (Wheelers-OBB)                 0.35
3 Yvonne Visser (Wheelers-OBB)                     1.23
4 Liz Williams (Wheelers-OBB)                      1.52
5 Kyla Coates (NTTC-Wheelers-OBB)                  2.49
6 Alex Coates (NTTC-Wheelers-OBB)                  3.42
7 Kathie Vandoorn (Frontrunners)                   4.15

First lap prime: Sue Handel
Beginner Men

1 Paul Thompson                                   27.18
2 Aaron Thomas (Wheelers-OBB)                      0.04
3 Curtis Deerden (Wheelers-OBB)                    1.04
4 Dan Frey (Wheelers-OBB)                          1.14
5 Ron Williams (Wheelers-OBB)                      1.41
6 Jeff Galimore (Wheelers-OBB)                     2.06
7 Chris Beauchemin (Wheelers-OBB)                  3.34
8 Dave Metcalf (Wheelers-OBB)                      4.27
9 Andy Watson (Wheelers-OBB)                       6.26
10 Curran Jongsma (Wheelers-OBB)                   7.31
11 John Hannon (Wheelers-OBB)                      7.33

First lap prime: Paul Thompson
Intermediate Men

1 Matt Dawes (OakBay Bikes/Victoria Wheelers)     41.40
2 Trevor Jones (Experience Cycling)                0.10
3 Ben Glassen (OakBay Bikes/Victoria Wheelers)         
4 Bryon Enns (Steed Cycles)                        0.33
5 Ray Lachange                                     0.42
6 Paul Brens (IRC/Cammeron Law)                    1.39
7 Raymond Tse                                      1.46
8 Mike Pollack (Experience Cycling)                1.57
9 Gary Crooms (Frontrunners)                       2.11
10 Daryl Chase (AVR/Healthy Habits)                2.24
11 Matt Dialy (IRC )                               2.34
12 Lee Blais (AVR)                                 3.33
13 Dave Huntley (Experience Cycling)               3.43
14 Marty Machacek (Organic Athlete)                3.59
15 Rolland Rabien (GVVH)                           4.26
16 Dave Shishkoff (Organic Athlete)                4.57
17 Derek Steel (Nanaimo Mountain Bike Club)        5.46
18 Keith Milne (IRC)                               6.51
19 Nicholas Cowan (Wheelers)                       8.48
20 Bill Lane (Wheelers)                            9.08
DNF Mark Adey (Straight Up Cycles)                     
DNF Lonnie Nathan (River City Cycles)                  
DNF Robin Dutton (Arrowsmith Bikes)  
First lap prime: Ben Glassen
Most Aggressive Rider: Matt Dawes
Masters Men

1 Steve Bachop (Everti)                           45.58
2 Andrew Brown (CVCC )                             0.46
3 Sean Cruickshank (Aviawest)                      1.57
4 Dave Nowak (CVCC/Frontrunners)                   2.08
5 Bill McMillan (Nanaimo MTB Club)                 3.24
6 Aaron Dusseault (Russ Hayes)                         
7 Rick Thiessen                                    4.14
8 Peter Wellsman (Riders Cycle)                    4.59
9 Derek Tripp (IRC)                                5.58
10 Dave Morris (OakBay Bikes-Victoria Wheelers)    6.28
11 Dave Stevenson (Experience Cycling Club)        8.36
12 Jamie Moore (AMCBC)                             8.54
DNF Chris Stensfield (Aviawest)                        
DNF Lonnie Nathan (RCC)               
First lap prime: Andrew Brown
Most Aggressive Rider: Dave Nowak