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'Cross on the Rocks #4: Coal 'Cross- NE
Mine Park, Cumberland, British Columbia, Canada, November 10, 2007
Bisaro and Hewitt score wins
By Dave Nowak and Normon Thibault
After a huge downpour the night before, the sun came out and the temperature rose to nearly 12 degrees (Celsius). Despite the rains, the course was in good condition. The Cumberland course was new to the series and proved to be a marshalling nightmare requiring almost 20 volunteers to direct traffic at the more than 10 road crossings. The course started with an uphill road start to a sharp right and a tight entrance into the gravel collery road. The "whoops" halfway down that road threw a little spice into an otherwise fast section of gravel. Riders then returned to the start/finish area along foursections of grass alleyways before being sent back into the Historic, No. 6 Mine Park to tackle cobbles, a double set of barriers a short run-up (for some and ride-up) and some twist and turns through the flora and fauna of the park.
Kiara Bisaro (Opus) returned to the Valley after a successful season on the mountain bike to participate in this local event. Trish Sinclair (Kona) took it our hard and won the first lap prime over Bisaro. But it was Bisaro who laid it down, putting almost two and a half minutes over the rest of the field. Behind her, a fierce battle between Sinclair and Dawn Berg (OBB) erupted with Sinclair trying to nab series points and reclaim her series title from 2006. Sinclair was eventually able to put two seconds into Berg for second place. Carey Sather and Kristen Magnusen came across the line in fourth and fifth, respectively, to finish out the women's podium.
Almost a carbon copy of last week's race at Beban, Matt Hewitt (OBB/Berg) and John Fokkema (Avia west) got away early with Norm Thibault (Frontrunners) chasing hard in third. Fokkema managed to get through the first lap in first winning beer prime but apart from that it was hard to tell who was controlling the pace. Every move either one of these guys made was so well covered by the other. But it was Hewitt who managed to dig into the suitcase of pain and eke out a win over Fokkema. Thibault, always looking relaxed, finished third. Rounding out the top five was Jeff Reimer in fourth after his best race this year, beating out Russell "I am always in 5th place" Anderson.
But the real story was the bittersweet rivalry that has developed over the series between Jeff Beeston (Trail Bikes) and Justin Mark (Arrowsmith). Today's race didn't favour Beeston's technical cornering prowess but it took Justin Mark: three shake and bakes, two chops, four tokyo drifts and one fake crash to get ahead of Beeston and earn himself the most aggressive rider.
Beginner men and women
After a free race last week at the Beban Race a number of those "now hooked" riders returned this weekend to test their mettle in Cumberland. On the men's side, Ian Beveridge (UROC) ripped through the first lap on a borrowed 'cross bike and kept the hammer down. Dan Frey (Frontrunners) tried desperately to close the gap but first timer Beveridge never looked back. Of note, Beveridge moved up to the intermediate race the next day and finished mid pack. On the women's side a battle would ensue between Yvonne Visser (Arrowsmith) and Sue Croft (Wheelers-OBB). Croft went out hard winning the prime but Visser rode a steady race eventually gapping croft by 47 seconds. I see a 'cross bike in her future.
With the last weekend of racing upon us and a double points race the next day, there was some fast and furious racing. Points leader, Trevor Jones (Experience) would be looking to hold his lead while Paul Brend (IRC), sitting in second in the points was looking for a good result. But you could not count out the "Dynamic Duo" of Dawes and Glassen both of OBB, who have been racing extremely well and consistently all series. Terry McCall (OBB Victoria) and Evan Flater (Rocky Mountain) drilled it from the start and kept the pace fast leaving the rest of the field chasing. Paul Brend who was hoping to move up in the standings had a flat on the long back section of gravel road and had a long run back the pits. Dawes also flatted and was forced to chase down the group. At the end of this chaos McCall was first, Flater second and Mark Adey (Straight up Cycles) was in third. Jones rode steady and retained his lead in the series. However, there was a big shake up in the series standings from second through fourth and it would come down to the double points race "Jungle Cross" the next day to decide the series champion.
Race note: Evan Falter won the first lap prime, but he was awarded Root Beer given that he is only 18 years-old.
Steve Bachop didn't show, so at the start of the day there were three riders mathematically in contention for the Series win, Sean Cruikshank (Aviawest), Andrew Brown (CVCC/Blacks) and Dave Nowak (CVCC/Frontrunners) and a win for any of these three would make the double points race on Sunday pivotal. As always Brown and Nowak tried to set a fast pace from the start; however, this course favoured the roadies and after the first half lap a group of four, Brown, Cruickshank, Aaron Dusseault (Russ Hayes) and Nowak went through first.
However, after dropping his chain in the cobbles, Dusseault went down taking Nowak out and letting Brown and Cruickshank go. A chase group formed with Robbie Bitz (Local Ride), Brian Griffin (Experience) and Nowak. Bitz laid it down for several laps and earned himself the most aggressive rider as a result. Brown and Cruickshank played a game of cat and mouse the rest of the race fighting for valuable points. But it was Brown with the greater horse power at the line and Cruickshank would settle for second. Nowak eventually gapped the chase group and finished in third. The race left Brown and Cruickshank tied in the series going into the next day's final race.
Elite women 1 Kiara Bisaro (Opus) 51.20 2 Trish Sinclair (KONA) 1.26 3 Dawn Berg (Oak Bay Bikes-Wheelers) 1.28 4 Carey Sather (AMC MTB Club) 1.58 One lap behind 5 Kristen Magnusson (AMC MTB Club) 6 Jamie McGowan (Oak Bay Bikes-Wheelers) 7 Amy Herlinveaux (Experience Cycling Club) 8 Brandy Svenson (AMC MTB Club) 9 Shera Clement (Wedgewood) Two laps behind 10 Katie Rabien 11 Diana Rose (Oak Bay Bikes-Wheelers) 12 Robin Nadig (AVR) DNF Joelel Guynup (IRC) First lap prime: Amy Herlinveaux Most aggressive rider: Bobby Taylor Elite men 1 Matt Hewitt (Oak Bay Bikes-Berg) 56.43 2 John Fokkema (Aviawest) 0.01 3 Normon Thibault (Frontrunners) 1.12 4 Jeff Riemer (AMC MTB Club) 2.34 5 Russel Anderson (Oak Bay Bikes-Wheelers) 2.35 6 Chris Stansfield (Aviawest) 5.10 7 Justin Mark (Arrowsmith) 6.52 One lap behind 8 Jeff Beeston (Trail Bikes) DNF Drew McKenzie (Straight Up Cycles) DNF Fat Ass Powsey (UROC) DNF Matt Drown (Wedgewood) First lap prime: John Fokkema Most aggressive rider: Justin Mark Intermediate men 1 Terry McCall (OakBay Bikes/Victoria Wheelers) 36.47 2 Evan Flater (Rocky Mountain) 0.22 3 Mark Adey (Straight Up Cycles) 0.28 4 Trevor Jones (Experience Cycling) 0.53 5 Dave Huntley (Experience Cycling) 0.54 6 Ben Glassen (OakBay Bikes/Victoria Wheelers) 1.05 7 Ray Wagner (UROC) 1.08 8 James Poswey (UROC) 2.02 9 Gary Croome (Frontrunners) 3.03 10 Matt Dawes (OakBay Bikes/Victoria Wheelers) 3.26 11 Daryl Chase (AVR) 3.55 12 Rolland Rabien (GVVH) 3.58 13 Paul Brend (IRC) 4.13 14 Lonnie Nathan (CRCC) 4.18 15 Derek Steel (Nanaimo Mountain Bike Club) 5.10 16 Jay Ruzicka (OakBay Bikes/Victoria Wheelers) 5.27 DNF Jamie Emery (Russ Hayes) First lap prime (Root Beer): Evan Flater Most Aggressive Rider: Ben Glassen Masters men 1 Andrew Brown (CVCC ) 47.49 2 Sean Cruickshank (Aviawest) 3 Dave Nowak (CVCC/Frontrunners) 1.20 4 Brian Griffin (Experience Cycling Club) 1.31 5 Robbie Bitz 2.28 6 Rick Thiessen 3.42 7 Derek Tripp (IRC) 4.20 8 Dave Morris (OakBay Bikes-Victoria Wheelers) 4.21 9 Bill McMillan (Nanaimo MTB Club) 4.57 10 Chris Barth (UROC) 5.12 11 Peter Wellsman (Riders Cycles) 6.26 One lap behind 12 Dave Gilbert (AVR) DNF Jamie Moore (CVCC) DNF Aaron Dusseault (Russ Hayes) First lap prime: Andrew Brown Most aggressive rider: Robbie Bitz Beginner women 1 Yvonne Visser (Arrowsmith) 36.09 2 Sue Croft (Wheelers-OBB) 0.47 One lap behind 3 Line Couture (UROC) First lap prime: Sue Croft Beginner men 1 Ian Beveridge (UROC) 31.17 2 Daniel Frey (Frontrunners) 1.36 3 Dave Metcalf (Wheelers-OBB) 3.42 4 Jeff Galimore (Arrowsmith) 4.05 5 Hicham Elamiri (Wheelers-OBB) 4.52 First lap prime: Ian Beveridge