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November 5/08 9:52 am - Cross on the Rock #5 report


Posted by Editoress on 11/5/08
 

Cross on the Rock #5 - Jungle Cross at Fletcher's Farm November 2nd, Errington. BC.
Report by Dave Nowak

Organized by Arrowsmith Mountainbike Club

Brought to you by Multi-Sport Promotions: www.island-multi-sports.com


Conditions: A bit of everything. At the start of the Expert race it was 15c and sunny....with 2 laps to go it was pouring like you can not believe.

Special Thanks to:

• To the Fletchers for use of their farm for the event.
• Our host Cycling Club; Arrowsmith Mountainbike Club
• Our Local Bike Shop Sponsor; Arrowsmith Mountain Cycle
• All our volunteers, marshals and post pounders

Jungle Cross Race Report

Mud.....the poor man's sand. Or is it sand the poor man's mud? I am not 100% sure but after the rain and the rain and the rain....I was kind of looking forward to the same kind of mud bath that welcomed us last year at this venue.....but it was not really that bad......so sad.

Fletcher's Farm is located at the base of the famous Hammerfest MTB area. It is a gorgeous property where you stare out at the spine of Vancouver Island looking at mountains to the left and to the right. On race day this also meant that you could see the storms coming from a long-long way away.

The course at is almost all on the family property winding by their house onto an open pasture field where we zip and zag up to near the start area. We put a couple of planks up there before you shoot down one of the driveways into the lower field. The lower field is where things get interesting. Last year it was VERY muddy. This year it was only muddy.

The course designers put in to 180 degree turns about 30 meters apart and the whole section was pretty soft by the end of the day. From here you climb a bit into a Poplar forest area on a narrow track....which also gets muddy. One big mud puddle in this section claimed a few riders through the day. A rough piece of new singletrack shoots you into one of the key features.....a creek. The creek is smooth on both sides and along the bottom but in the past it has been VERY deep. Last year it was over BB height. This year it was kind of a let down....about 3 inches deep. I think I was the only one complaining/disappointed.

Another 40 meter single track section and you are into one more mud area before you go onto a smooth road allowance for about 400m. Then back onto the farm driveway. One more tree section and through the lap point before ripping through the barn onto another lap. It is the longest lap that we have on the series. Needless to say I LOVE this course!

As is tradition at this race and to spread the field out before they rip down the driveway we have a LeMans Start. This year we changed the LeMans route onto the upper field so that people could watch the whole run section as it is pretty cool. Less than 1 minute but lots of action. For those cyclists that don't/can't run we do allow a medical exception which was submitted to our Series Dr. We allowed 2 such exemptions for the day.

How it all unfolded:

Race #1: Beginner Men's and Women's (3 Laps)

Jordan Duncan (CVCC) was eager to capitalize on his success only a day earlier in Cumberland where he won his first cross race. He led through the first lap but the mud increased on his MTB each lap and he lost time and placings with each of the 3 laps to finish third. With the opposite race strategy Taylor Smith (Oak Bay Bikes-Nanaimo) started slow and got faster each lap to take his first beginner win of the series. Splitting the podium's 16 and under crowd was 61 year old Arrowsmith MTB Club racer Roy Kregosky who took over second place on the last lap. Also in the beginner category as is tradition our host Hugh Fletcher started his annual quest to do all the races of the day. One down.....3 more to go.

Everyone is wondering if and when 13 year old Amanda Wakling (Eatmore Sprouts) will try out the Open Women Category....we say....she is 13!! Well this 13 year old dominated the beginner's women category again leading from the LeMans to the finish. With Wakling out front the battle for the other podium spots were between first timers Michelle Lantaigre from Nanaimo vs. Laurie Kale (Arrowsmith MTB Club) from Errington. These two went wheel to wheel through all the laps with the second spot narrowly going to Lantaigre.

Race #1.5: The Kids (2 Short Laps)

We were pretty excited to host our second kids race of the series (there will be another one at Beban Park). We had 4 entries ranging in age from 4 to 11. The kids did two short laps consisting of the upper field and one of the wooded sections. Full size barriers as well (we had helpers just in case). It was a pretty good race with Liam Dowrey (Arrowsmith MTB Club) coming in at 8:40. We were treated to an intense sprint between second and third place with Brodie Hay (Harbour City Flyers) edging out Jordan Trill (Arrowsmith MTB Club) for second. The "great attitude" award went to 4 year old Blair Tarnovski (Arrowsmith MTB Club) in 4th place.

Race #2: Intermediate Men (5 Laps)

Hicham Elamri (Frontrunners) is a runner....and a cross racer....but a great runner.....and not a great cross racer. So the LeMans Start has been his focus for the whole series. He almost took it. Unfortunately he was hampered but first a bad bike position determined by series standing and second a dog that was cruising around the start area and got in his way with about 5 feet to go. Even without the dog it would have been hard to beat the determined Matt Dawes (Oak Bay Bikes-Nanaimo).

The intermediate category has become about two things at this point. Glory and points. The series is not decided and everyone is either trying to hold on to their position OR trying for a end of series push up the standings.

Our series leader, Michael Harvey, (Simon's Cycles) is trying to hold on. Losing a sprint for third place to rising through the ranks, Mike Pollack (Everti-Experience Cycling Club) is not helping his points.

Mike Huntley (Experience Cycling Club) on the other hand is going for glory after having a couple of great rides this year he has been hampered with a couple of races with mechanicals. On Saturday he finished second from last. On Sunday.....second from the front with a very solid ride.

Our winner in this category is going for both glory AND points. Matt Dawes had a disastrous first race at Diver Lake where he was out of the race on the first lap when a branch scratched his eye. He had to skip the second race because of work. The third even he started slowly and finished just off the podium. In Cumberland he dominated from the gun. At Jungle Cross Dawes used his deadly TT style combined with a very high level of skill to lead again from start to finish. Dawes is ready for the Expert category.....after one more race at the Island Champs in Intermediate.......he needs the points he says!

Converse Chuck Taylor LeMans Start: Matt Dawes

Race #3

Master Men (6 Laps)

The LeMans start had some of the best action of this race. With all the pushing and shoving of a Olympic 1500m final the pack made it's way through the field with Stefan Jakobsen (Frontrunners) in the lead at the 3⁄4 mark. He held that until he blew out the last corner and hit the turf where Sean Lunny took over and held it across the line.

As always this category provided some of the best racing of the day. Older guys.....with a lot of fight, piss and vinegar still in them....makes for great racing!

With so many guys in one category, not to mention that the open women also race with them, there are lots of battles going on for every place. All of them pretty exiting. We can only drone on so long so we better focus on the front of the race with one exception. During this race Hugh Fletcher retired from his annual quest to finish all the events of the day stating that he was starting to really just get in the way. We hope to see Hugh back next year and hope he can complete his annual quest in 2009.

With almost a carbon copy of the previous day the Masters race winner lead from part of the way through the first lap. Ripping off fast laps for the next 45 minutes by himself until coming across the line first. BUT it was not the previous day's winner....it was Steve Bachop (Island Racing Club) using Sean Lunny's (Oak Bay Bikes Nanaimo) strategy to a T. Go out hard and TT it to the end.

Lunny was a tiny bit flat from the previous day's effort and instead of racing for the win found himself locked in a battle for second with the series surprise Aaron Dusseault (Russ Hayes). Through 5 laps Lunny would lead and Dusseault followed.....watching, learning, studying......until the last 100 meters where he unleashed a sprint with Lunny that resulted in both riders crashing through a fence after the finish line and into the donkey compound over their handle bars. In a photo finish Dusseault had his highest placing of the series so far with a second place and Lunny had to settle for third.

Converse Chuck Taylor LeMans Start: Sean Lunny

Women (6 Laps)

All season the women have started just before the masters men. 30 seconds. 2 minutes. 15 seconds. At Jungle Cross with the LeMans start everyone starts together....game on!

I think having the girls start with the guys gave them an extra bit of motivation OR Dawn Anderson (Everti-Oak Bay Bikes Victoria) is saving a bit up for the UCI races in Toronto next weekend as she was only able to make it up as far as ninth place in the boys race on her way to her fourth win of the year.

Lisa Ludwig (Oak Bay Bikes Victoria) had a bit more fun playing with (or battling with) one of our series sponsors, Jim Pearson (Aviawest) to get her third podium in as many starts with a second place.

Our race director and president of Arrowsmith Mountain Bike Club came in for a points valuable and vital third place on her home course.

Converse Chuck Taylor LeMans Start: Dawn Anderson

Race #4: Expert Men (7 Laps)

One gear takes a bit of time to get rolling some times. In the case of Drew MacKenzie (Island Racing Club) the amount of time needed is 3 of 7 laps. By the third lap he had his moustache bar'ed single speeded Argon 18 up to the front and was cranking off the fastest laps of the day. Getting ready for this upcoming weekend's single speed world cross champs in Portland MacKenzie needed a testing ground for his freshly built rig. Fletcher's Farm was perfect and gained him the his first win of the year along with the first win for a single speed in the history of the event.

Further back the battle raged between the previous day's protagonists; Good (Russell Anderson [Everti-Oak Bay Bikes Victoria]) VS. Evil (Jonathan Fokkema [Aviawest]). OK they are both good guys but this adds to the drama that is racing! Good took off strongly as he does. Leading the first two laps until caught by MacKenzie. Then Good was caught by Evil and the battle was on for the next laps. Good ahead. Then Evil. Then Evil down in the mud. Good wipes out. Evil takes over for second and Good unfortunately had to settle for third place....this classic battle will be continued at the Island Champs we are certain.

Converse Chuck Taylor LeMans Start: Vaughn Hildebrand

RACE NOTES

• While doing the pre-race clinic one of the racers asked the question, "What are all these clay formations in this field"? City Slicker! That ain't clay.....this is cyclocross!! Euro Style!!
• We gave an award for the rider that resembled Sven Nys at the Koppenberg That award went to Taylor Smith our beginner's category winner.
• Oak Bay Bikes in Nanaimo must be doing something right. Their riders won 4 out of the 5 races they entered over the weekend.
• There is a different vibe at the Cross on the Rock events. Some say a bit more spirit. At Jungle Cross Charlene Hay one of our beginners women broke her chain on what many would consider a "vintage" (but still perfectly fine) MTB during the race. Instead of packing it in for the day we talked her into doing the Open Women which she did.
• Matt Dawes is the only cross racer I have ever heard of that can pull off a double back flip on a MTB....if you hear of any other one then please let me know.
• Actually we had another racer in the Expert race, Dharma Fontaine, that I have seen bunny hop onto a chain and ride it for quite a few feet before riding off....a slack chain.
• The parcourse was quite a bit faster than the previous year with the Expert winner a full 9 minutes faster for the same # of laps as in 2007.

Thanks again to:

• To the Fletchers for use of their farm for the event.
• Our host Cycling Club; Arrowsmith Mountainbike Club
• Our Local Bike Shop Sponsor; Arrowsmith Mountain Cycle
• All our volunteers, marshals and post pounders

Next and last race on Vancouver Island: Island Championships at Beban Park Nanaimo

November second. Double Points. Series Final! HUGE draw prize table. Second to last chance to race cross for a full 10 months in Canada!!!!! Free Beginners Race (with GRMBA License).

Kids race. Oldest venue on Vancouver Island. (Note the last chance to race cross is actually the next day in Vancouver at this event: www.escapevelocity.bc.ca)

Full results for this event and the series are posted at:

www.island-multi-sports.com



 


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