Anthony Clark (Squid Squad) grabbed the top step of the podium for the men Saturday n the opening day of the West Sacramento Cyclocross Grand Prix.
The men’s race started off fast with a group of five quickly distancing themselves from the 41-rider field. Front group included Clark, Troy Wells (Team CLIF Bar), Lance Haidet (Donnelly Cycling), Allen Krughoff (Chocolove - Specialized), and Cody Kaiser (LangeTwins / Specialized) who took the holeshot.
“I had to go as fast as I could to hold the pace,”said Kaiser with a laugh. “We’ve had a couple of heavy weekends of racing with the World Cups, going all the way back to Labor Day straight so I was a little flat this whole past week, starting on Sunday. I knew that if the pace slowed, that acceleration punch was going to kill me so I was just going to hold it as hard as I could, for as long as I could.”
The five fought for position, taking turns at the front to set the pace, and then trying to draft in the group to get some shelter from the blowing wind.
“Through pit 1, after the barriers all the way to the north end of the track, there was a block headwind. You can definitely sense it,” Kaiser said of the wind. “It helped me a couple of laps because I was sort of dangling, and I was actually to roll back in because they would ease up, you could sense the group slowing.”
“This race is really fast and a lot of variation in speed . If you’re on the back of the group of five, you’re working a lot harder than if you’re the first guy. But then at the same time, we had a ton of wind today, so you have this balance of saving energy versus having to sprint out of every corner. And it was kind of just a group of five, everybody trying to be in a good spot so there was a lot of switching of position,” Krughoff explained.
Wells was the first rider to fall off the pace after accelerations from Clark and Krughoff after four laps of racing. Haidet was the next one to drop out of the group.
“The fourth lap through I went to the front and halfway through, I think Lance bobbled and my mechanic Chris in the pit yelled ‘dude you have a gap’ so I went,” said Clark. He was joined by Krughoff with Kaiser dangling about 10 seconds behind.
Clark continued, “Then I was like ‘I guess I have to stay on the throttle’, so I stayed going hard. We went through for three to go, and Allen and I probably had 10 seconds and then halfway through that lap, Allen wasn’t pulling through, so I was like ‘what do I do?’ So I attacked over the barriers and he didn’t respond and I was like ‘well, everyone is solo so I just have to ride smart, try to ride my race, go hard on the hard sections’ and that’s what I did and I was able to hold those guys off.”
“Anthony was just punching it, he has a very punchy riding style, it’s good to be behind him but at the same time, it’s not because he sprints so hard out of every corner. If you’re smoother you don’t have that energy savings if you’re drafting him. So I was just hanging on and working really hard to be there,” Krughoff said. “He just rode away from me at one point.”
With less than two laps to go, Clark had a small gap on Krughoff. Kaiser was still chasing solo in third. Haidet and Wells were battling it out for fourth place.
Clark claimed his first victory of the year in a time of 59 minutes and 23 seconds. Krughoff crossed the line 31 seconds later for second place. Kaiser took third place, 37 seconds back.
Krughoff enjoyed the course, though he could feel the effect of sudden accelerations and the impact of the wind. “ I think a lot of people probably see it and they think, oh it’s in a little park by the river, but it floats up and down this hill, there are technical off-camber corners and as you saw throughout the whole race, it all splintered, there were no groups of five or 10 guys, “ he said . “Towards the end, after I fell off of Anthony, I felt like we never stopped pedaling for the second half hour, and at that point, I felt like the course was riding me.”
For Kaiser, the secret to racing well on the course is “to find the flow. If you try to force the speed you’re going to have trouble, for sure.”
More wind is in the forecast for day 2 of WSCXGP racing on Sunday.
“I just don’t make plans, I just ride my bike,” said Clark. “I’m not that kind of guy, I just ride my bike and see what happens. You just never know. Some guy can make a mistake, the wind could be worse, the wind could be less. I really don’t make plans about anything, I don’t want that kid of stress on myself.”
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Anthony Clark (Squid Squad)||0:59:23|
|2||Allen Krughoff (Chocolove - Specialized)||0:00:31|
|3||Cody Kaiser (LangeTwins / Specialized)||0:00:48|
|4||Lance Haidet (Donnelly Cycling)||0:01:12|
|5||Troy Wells (Team CLIF Bar)||0:01:15|
|6||Tyler Cloutier (TCCX)||0:02:36|
|7||Allan Schroeder (High Desert Hustle)||0:03:07|
|8||Max Judelson (Voler/Easton/HRS/Rock Lobster)||0:04:00|
|9||Kevin Bradford-Parish (Gillespie Eye Care/SETcoaching/Specialized)||0:04:13|
|10||Josh Direen (Groove Subaru-Excel Sports)||0:04:29|
|11||Kyle Johnson (Team Yacht Club)||0:04:44|
|12||Ian Tubbs (AUDI)||0:04:48|
|13||Robert Cummings (Mettle Cycling)|
|14||Brendan Lehman (Voler/Easton/HRS/Rock Lobster)||0:05:13|
|15||Nathan Barton (Top Club Cyclocross Team)||0:05:24|
|16||Noah Hayes (Voler/Easton/HRS/Rock Lobster)||0:05:45|
|17||Terol Pursell (Amy D Grassroots)|
|18||Ryan Rinn (vive la tarte cx)||0:06:13|
|19||Stephen Hartzel (Breadwinner Cycles)||0:06:33|
|20||Sean Estes (Cycle Sport - Specialized)||0:06:40|
|21||Josh Kelley (Breadwinner Cycles)||0:06:59|
|22||Ian Megale||-2 laps|
|23||Ryan Grenier (The fast foward)||-2 laps|
|24||David Sheek (SDG-Muscle Monster)||-2 laps|
|25||Calder Wood (Top Club Cyclocross)||-2 laps|
|26||Alex Work (Voler/Easton/HRS/Rock Lobster)||-2 laps|
|27||Derek Yarra (MASH SF)||-2 laps|
|28||Andrew Loaiza (Cyclepath PDX)||-3 laps|
|29||Anastasio Flores (Spokesman CX)||-3 laps|
|30||Aj Snovel (Team Mike’s Bikes)||-3 laps|
|31||Rhys Louis (Roca Roja)||-3 laps|
|32||Kobi Gyetvan (CX Nation)||-4 laps|
|33||Kell Mckenzie (King Kog)||-4 laps|
|34||Bryan Torian (Olympia Orthopaedic Associates)||-4 laps|
|35||John Behrens (Knobbe Martens IP Law)||-4 laps|
|36||William Youngman (Kinetic Cyclocross)||-4 laps|
|37||Brent Franze (giant co factory ?Buena Park Bikes)||-5 laps|
|38||Mark Severy (Adventure's Edge)||-5 laps|
|39||Dean Poshard (Voler/Easton/HRS/Rock Lobster)||-5 laps|
|DNF||Justin Thomas (TCI Wealth Advisors)||-6 laps|
|DNF||Sawyer Bosch (High Desert Hustle)||-6 laps|