By Dave Shishkoff
November 1, 2012, Ladysmith, BC – It was a perfect storm of weather conditions in Ladysmith last weekend: warm, sun, and still a pretty sloppy, slippy course for the fifth race in the series at Transfer Beach for Crosstoberfest. The leading days had been quite rainy, but 208 island racers enjoyed another day of racing, and that number is the second-most populated race in our history to date.
What is in the island’s water supply that is driving so many to ride knobby tires on the grass??
This years course at Transfer Beach was shortened from the monster 74 km-per-lap course last year, to a more manageable 2.3km, but also featured a bit more elevation than our typical courses, with about 16m of elevation each lap. This year, the start was on a 500m paved section, with a sharp left turn onto a descent, which promised chaos for pretty much every groups start. Mostly on grass with some pavement and a couple sand pits – one you hit atop a climb, the other at the bottom of a descent. Both made for good spectating. No giant log to scramble over this year, but the finish line was controversial with a slippery, off-camber hairpin turn that lead to twin barriers, and the line a meter beyond that. You definitely wanted to come out of the mini-whirl in the lead.
The the Beginner’s field featured 10 women, Danielle Lapointe(Gold River Roor Riders) finished with a good lead, improving on her previous 2nd place finish, and a good sign for her to move up! The Beginner Men’s field was huge, with 35 starters, and the fastest of them all was 15yr old Damien Parlee, making this 3 wins for the season, impressive given the size and depth of the field. Perhaps our youngest-ever racer (full course racing) was here as well; Luke Hubner finished his first Cross on the Rock Beginner’s race!
On the women’s side, Shelby Harlen(OBB Westshore) cashed in her chips from three 3rd-place finishes, to win her first race, and another huge field with 27 starters!
The largest field was the Intermediate Men with 50 starters, and in a sprint finish over the barriers Pelle Gustavs(Sooke Mountain Club) took his second consecutive win.
In the series standings, after five races (and two remaining), Single-Speeder Seana Wright(Alberni SingleSpeeders / Ozzies Cycles) is in first place with 136pts. Not far behind with 106 and 104 points are Cristin Schlossberger(IRC) and Sylvia Storry(ProCity Racing). The Men’s story is similar, with another Single-Speeder at the top of the heap, Parker Blook(Stuckylife) having earned 135pts, but much closer are 15yr old Joel Taylor(VAC/ProCity) with 123pts and Pelle with 116pts. With 2 races (including double points) and “the drop” coming this series is far from decided.
The World’s Fastest Man Sam Whittingham(Team Naked) showed good leg speed (on a single-speed) off the sand flats, winning the day’s race! He was seen later in the day in the Expert race sporting a huge wig and diapers, though this time on a purple Kona!
The tides have turned on the single-speeder in the series tho, as Sam is currently sitting in 2nd place in the Master’s field with 127pts. Captain Second, Sean Cruickshank(ProCity Racing), finishing as the bridesmaid for the fourth time this season, but holds the series lead with 133pts. Peter Wellsman(ProCity Racing) is further back with 98pts, but holds the distinction of being the top 50+ rider.
It’s no surprise Dawn Anderson(Oak Bay Bikes) once again topped the field, so we’ll celebrate 2nd-place finisher Joele Guynup(Condo Group)’s effort, out-sprinting Janna Gillick(MIVA) who had glued herself to Joele’s wheel for nearly the entire race.
Looking at the overall series, it closely resembles the race finish, with Dawn at a comfortable 145pts, Janna in 2nd at 122pts, and Joele just behind with 107pts. Also joining the 100pt Club is Jen Erlendson(Tripleshot) – dressed as a fairy, she must have granted her own wish this race! Oddly, there are no Single-Speed riders in the Open Women’s field.
On the Men’s side, road sprinter Tyler Trace(Trek Red Truck) opened a large gap off the top and held it in his first visit to the series this year, tho Craig Richey(SponsorConnected.com p/b Ridley) valiantly worked his way up to finish 20 seconds back, and Raphael Lalumiere(Russ Hay’s) earned his first ever podium visit in the series. Expert riders, but not men; deserving mention are Mical Dyck(Pro City Racing – Stans No Tubes) and Wendy Simms(Kona) finishing 15th and 18th, respectfully. Respect!!
Consistent riding is paying off for Kelly Guest(Marin), who continues to lead the series with 130pts. 7pts separate 2nd through 4th, who are all gunning for the series honor as well, with Thomas Skinner(Oak Bay Bikes) with 112pts, Raphael at 110 and Jamie Cameron(ProCity Racing) at 105pts. Any of them could potentially take the series, given that the final race is worth double points.
Unofficial CotR videographer Pelle’s video is already live: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r1iFWZFSXfU&feature=youtu.be&hd=1
Our thanks goes out to event organizers Tara and Mike Pollock and the Cowichan Valley Cycling Club.
Special thanks from the event organizer: to all of the volunteers that helped out at Crosstoberfest Ladysmith! This event would not have been as successful if it was not for the commitment, creativity, and tenacity of this fantastic group of individuals! The rain and wind were intense for the set up crew that attended on Saturday night! They all came back for more, expecting the same on Sunday. Thank you! Thank you to each of you for giving up the sunniest day of the week to help make this event as good as it was. Thanks to Wolf Brewing Company for your generosity and for making history in the Cross on the Rock series…first beer garden!
More specifically, thank you to…
- Kevin Knock
- Gracie Knock (and friend for the scary pumpkin)
- Trevor Jones
- Mr. and Mrs. Dutton
- Sue Glenn (amazing advocate and organizer)
- Tiffany Chapman (and Finnegan)
- Jen and Chris Day
- Tom Rozendaal
- Natalie Jones
- Sarah Chapman
- Rhiannon Biotini
- Lindsay and Paul Ellis
- Garry Robinson
- Brian Kuhn
- Ron and Rhea Hewittson
- Sandra Beggs
- Andrea Robson
- Barbara Altimas
- Dean and Jen Lewis
- Hilary Grant
- Mike (whirly whirl creator extraordinaire!)
- Roland and Katie
Thanks to our sponsors and their amazing support!
- The Town of Ladysmith
- Cowichan Cycles
- Wolf Brewing Company
- Bouma Meats
- The Drumroaster
- Cycle Therapy
- Experience Cycling
Next CotR race is back in Victoria on November 11th with the Binab Grand Prix at Western Speedway, where the series will see the return of a fly-over!