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Southern California 'Cross Cup #1

Oceanside, CA., November 3, 2002

Warm Weather and Hot Racing

By Brent Prenzlow/Doug McWhinney

The first race in San Diego's So Cal Cross Cup, a five race series, took place this past Sunday at Guajome Regional Park in Oceanside. Although the weather was unseasonably warm for typical cross (with temperatures reaching nearly 80 degrees), the course was really fun and made for a great race. The layout consisted of an even mix of hard dirt trails, soft energy-sucking grass sections, and one very short paved stretch. The tree-lined grass area provided the racers with 2 challenging run-ups and provided the spectators with shaded viewing areas to see the best cross action. The course was designed in such a way that the pits were accessible from three different parts of the loop making bike and wheel changes convenient.

The Men's A race featured many top riders including current California State Champion Brent Prenzlow (Celo Pacific/Cannondale), Masters 35+ National Champion Alan Coats (Steelman), Pro Mountain Biker Garnet Vertican (ODI/Southridge), top road racers Jason Vanbarle (Jax/Trek/VW) and Mike Anker (Imartin Imports), and 17-yr old, future star Perry Paolini (Balance Bar/Devo). Paolini, who normally races in the Junior category, proved he was not afraid to race with the Elites as he quickly jumped off the front and pushed the pace to create a first-lap lead group of 4 riders: Paolini, Vertican, Coats, and Prenzlow. The field was immediately stretched out behind into single file with Van Marle and Anker the two closest chasers.

After approximately 20 minutes, the front group lulled and Prenzlow, who had been hanging on the back of the lead group, made his move and upped the pace. Initially Prenzlow was shadowed by Alan Coats, however, as the two hit the long, bumpy grass downhill, Prenzlow rode away utilizing his Cannondale Cyclocross Headshox (front suspension) and never looked back. Behind Brent, Garnet Vertican was able to catch and pass Coats to move into a clear second position. As the race neared it's end, Coats, who had raced and won the Masters earlier, tired a bit and was passed by Jason Vanbarle for third. Perry Paolini hung on to finish 4th.

In other categories, 35+ National Cross Champion Alan Coats was victorious in the Masters 35+ category after a seesaw battle in the first half of the race with Chris Gallup, Ted Posch (Velocity) and Mike Neman (Velocity). The Masters 45+ race also had some close racing as a group of four stayed together for several laps until eventual winner Ricky Russell (Cycles Veloce) broke free. The Elite Women's race had a small, but strong field, which was won by an impressive Rebecca Cooke (White Mtn Road Club). The battle for second was eventually won by Melissa Fletcher (Supergo.com/Clif Bar) over a persistent Julie Lowery (Celo Pacific). The Men's B category was another hotly contested race, with three or four riders staying together for much of the race, until perennial cyclocrosser Erik Luk (PCC) left the group to find victory alone. Thad Sparrow (Celo Pacific) rode strongly to claim second place, his third of the season.

David Bales (Celo Pacific) convincingly won the Men's C race, Mike Jenkins (SDBC) claimed the Men's D victory, a very fast David Mendoza (B&L) won the Junior category, and master mountain biker Jeanne Bernhard (Celo Pacific) grabbed the top honors in the Women's B race.

Approximately 65 racers lined-up in the opener of the 5-race series. Seven of the nine categories received cash prizes in addition to product provided by race sponsors Clif Bar, Spinergy, Bike-101, and Sock Guy. Thanks to our sponsors for supporting the local cyclocross scene and we look forward to seeing everyone on Nov 17th for round 2, also being held at Guajome Park in Oceanside. Check www.celopacific.org for the race flyer, updated information, directions, results, and more.


Images by Richard Murphy

  • The amazing Erik Luk (P.C.C.) wins the Men's B race then immediately turns around for the start of the Elite Men's.
  • Second place finisher Thad Sparrow (Celo Pacific) pulls a wheelie as he crosses the finish line.
  • Melissa Fletcher (Supergo.com/Cliff Bar) runs up the double barrier section of the course with her not to light mountain bike.
  • The Men's B field lead by Thad Sparrow (Celo Pacific) catches and passes Women's B's racer Jeanne Bernhard (Celo Pacific) in the triple barrier section of the course.
  • Elite Women's winner Rebecca Cooke (White Mtn Road Club) runs through the barriers on her way to a easy win.
  • Brian Starr (Simply Fit) of the men's 35+ field shows good form through the triple barrier section.
  • Brent Prenzlo (Celo Pacific) celebrates his win in the Elite Men's race.
  • Michael Anker (Imartin Imports) flies down the course.
  • Perry Paolini (Balance Bar) jumps back on the bike after the triple barrier section of the course.
  • Parry Paolini (Balance Bar) pushes hard as he passes through the start finish area.
  • Masters 35+ National Champion Alan Coates (Steelman) still looking fresh mid way through the Elite Men's race after winning the men's 35+ only an hour ago.
  • Junior Perry Paolini (Balance Bar) sets an early pace in the Elite Men's race that only the strongest seniors could follow.
  • Brent Prenzlo (Celo Pacific) used his superior transition skills to gain time on the Elite Men's field, which he won by a large margin.
  • Road and Mt. Bike standout, Julie Lowery (Celo Pacific) more than holds her own in her first cross race.
  • Louis DeLaCruz cools off in the un-cross like 80 degree temperature.
  • Women' B winner Jeanne Berhard (Celo Pacific) cross the finish line after a tough race.


Elite Men (60 minutes)
1 Brent Prenzlow (Celo Pacific)
2 Garnet Vertican (ODI)
3 Jason Vanbarle (Jax Trek VW)
4 Perry Paolini (Balance Bar)
5 James Coats (Steelman)
6 Michael Anker (Imartin Imports)
7 Erik Luk (P.L.C.)
8 Michael Eaton (Unattached)
9 Paul Hernandez (Bicycle Johns)
10 Brian Starr (Simply Fit)
Elite Women (45 minutes)
1 Rebecca Cooke (White Mtn Road Club)
2 Melissa Fletcher (Supergo.com/Clif Bar)
3 Julie Lowery (Celo Pacific)
Women's B (35 minutes)
1 Jeanne Bernhard (Celo Pacific)
2 Michelle Barrett (Unattached)
Men's B (45 minutes)
1 Erik Luk (P.C.C.)
2 Thad Sparrow (Celo Pacific)
3 Ben Eicholtz (Rad Sport)
4 Louis De La Cruz (Unattached)
5 Marco Caldadilla (Unattached)
6 James Doh (Bicycle Johns)
7 Rick Ball (Unattached)
Men's C (35 minutes)
1 David Bales (Celo Pacific)
2 Sean Fenner (Tri-Zone)
3 Rene Ortega (Unattached)
4 Shawn Lowery (Celo Pacific)
5 Matthew Hale (Unattached)
6 Richard Murphy (Celo Pacific)
7 Eric Matthies (Unattached)
8 Michael Baldivino (Lightening Velo)
Men's D (35 minutes)
1 Mike Jenkins (SDBC)
2 Gary Devoss (Cyclovets)
3 Sean Zook (Unattached)
4 Frank Sison (Unattached)
Juniors (35 minutes)
1 David Mendoza (B&L)
2 Ricardo Cruz (B&L)
3 Freyer Peterson (Unattached)
4 Daniel Richardson (Unattached)
5 Freddy Cruz (Auto)
Masters 35+ (45 minutes)
1 James Coats (Steelman Cycles)
2 Ted Posch (Velocity (AZ)
3 Mike Neman (Velocity)
4 Chris Gallup (Unattached)
5 Jessie Gascon (Team Shimano)
6 Charles Morris (Unattached)
7 Brian Starr (Simply Fit)
8 Mark Sauer (Rad Sport)
9 Jeff Steinhart (Team Hollywood)
10 Mike Stodd (SDBC)
Masters 45+ (45 minutes)
1 Ricky Russell (Cycles Veloce)
2 Jonathan Livesay (Merril Lynch)
3 Paul Cook (Landis/Trek/VW)
4 Rob Bernhard (Celo Pacific)
5 Charles Ross (Janes Cosmetics)
6 Mike Jenkins (SDBC)
7 Brad House (Team Kings)
8 Lee Wickmore (Unattached)
Previous results from the USA