November 14, 2012 (Nanaimo, B.C.) – There was a strong Belgian theme at the sixth Cross on the Rock race, with the smell of waffles in the air, bigger than usual spectating crowds, a fly-over and purpose-made stairs, as well as mud and rain, making this the soggiest CotR so far this year. Lots of racers turned out with our numbers a strong 189 this event – plenty of people to fill all the categories and make for some great racing!
The course this year was significantly different from last year’s Series Finale – the iced-mud-come-pudding-mud on the motocross track was much less of a factor, unlike last year which had nearly half the course winding through the goop, pulverizing dozens of derailleurs. The start was one wide line, and without a normal call-up, all had a chance at the hole-shot starting on the motocross course. It narrowed quickly, and the rest of the course features slick grass, twisty concrete, a few straightaways, a purpose-built fly-over, stairs in a dirt mound, three logs as barriers, and a second stretch in the motocross course to the line. Laps were about 2.6km around the fast course, with top speeds of 50kph on the Speedway track.
This race the Beginner’s field welcomed 14 Women, and once again Danielle Lapointe (Gold River Roor Riders) came out on top, keeping ahead of Andrea Schaeppi (Ind) and Theresa O’Brien (Team Naked). In the Beginner Men’s field was another whopper with 31 starters, and it ended with a Tripleshot double, as two teammates battled for the line, and Robbie Grant took top honors over Nathaniel Stoppelsna, a minute ahead of Graham Frost (Ind). A ‘graduation congratulation’ to 15yr old Damien Parlee (CycleU) after having won several Beginner races, and finished mid-pack in his first Intermediate event!
The Women’s Intermediate race was another tight finish, but Shelby Harlen (OBB Westshore) was first across the line with Cristin Schlossberger (IRC) right there in a nail-biter finish. Seana Wright (Alberni SingleSpeeders / Ozzies Cycles) was not far back, but not close enough on her singlespeed bike in this 22-strong field. Seana still holds a commanding lead for the series, but we’re still not at the end.
It would seem our unofficial videographer Pelle Gustavs (Sooke Mountain Club) is as fast on his bike as he is at editing video, as he claimed his third victory of the season on the Men’s side of things. Evan Carey (Russ Hays/Pacific Cycling Centre) fought hard, but finished just back, and Brent Stubbs (Ind) earned his first visit to the podium with his focused and determined race. Perhaps the most impressive performance was from 15yr old Joel Taylor (VAC/ProCity) who lost 30 seconds at the start when his quick release got caught in Roland Rabien’s wheel, and the two had to stop and untangle bikes. Joel chased like a maniac for over 40mins to finish in 10th. In the Series, SS racer Parker Bloom (Stuckylife) is still at the top, and there promises to be an epic battle for the final placing in this field – it’s far from assured.
This was a tough course for SS riders, with not a single gradual climb, but all short, sharp jams, but once again the World’s Fastest Man Sam Whittingham (Team Naked) beat the odds and won another Cross on the Rock race. Guy Ridler (Simons Cycles) made his first appearance on the podium this year in second, and after finishing just off the podium all season, Bill McMillan (MIVA) was happy to climb on the third step, and also took honors as the top-finishing 50+ rider. The series is looking pretty neatly done-up for Sam, although it’s not guaranteed, and in the 50+ field, Bill and Peter Wellsman (Trek/ProCity) are two points off each other, with Bill as the virtual leader…but nothing is certain until one of these two men finishes the final event.
With a big cash prize, and custom medals on the line, Wendy Simms (Kona) returned to the Open Women’s field to see how things were shaping up, and after 46’48 plus an extra lap of wheel to wheel racing with All-Time Cross on the Rock Podium Champion Dawn Anderson (Oak Bay Bikes)….Simms narrowly came out on top. Joele Guynup (Condo Group) decisively claimed the third step. The Series is nearly all but wrapped up for Dawn, even if she were to come out and leave behind the bike and go for a run on the Beban Park course, she’s practically guaranteed the series title, but we’ll still look forward to seeing her earn it.
The Expert Men’s field mainly saw an epic battle between Tyler Trace (Trek Red Truck) and Craig Richey (SponsorConnected.com p/b Ridley) at the front, but eventually Craig got away, and Underground Cross hero and Single-Speed Champ of the Universe Drew MacKenze (Condogroup/Shimano/Marin) bridged up to second, and Tyler kept the gas on for third.
The series overall will be another story – note that the finale will be worth Double Points, AND each rider’s worst result (or a DNS/DNF) will be dropped from the scoring. Thomas Skinner (Oak Bay Bikes) has overtaken this position, but will he win the series? Check back in two weeks to find out.
This event also featured a ‘Shop’ race, with representatives from several bike shops lining up for ‘One Hot Lap’, and the winners were repeat Shop Champion Jennie Skinner representing Oak Bay Bikes, and in the blue corner, Mitch Thacker from the Trek ProCity shop. Two special mentions; we welcomed Jamie Sparling to the race, who we’re glad to see despite retiring from professional racing, and is still keen to join in the fun. And mad props to Parker Bloom, who raced 3 events this day. Almost matching Hugh Fletchers effort from Jungle Cross a few years back when he started every event….and almost finished them all too.
Unofficial CotR videographer Pelle’s video
Newcomer-to-cross-video Russell Berg put together an impressive video that also doubles as a ‘tour’ of the course
And a third, oddball video featuring familiar pro/semi-pro faces
Our thanks go out to fun director Roland Rabien, and event sponsor Jason Binab. Further, Roland adds::
A huge thank you to all the volunteers that helped make the race such a success. It’s a huge amount of work to do course setup, registration, timing, results, tear down all in one day. Days of work also went into the flyover, run-up, collecting prizes and organization. There is no way to do it without an army of volunteers including:
Adam de Vos, Alex Hui, Andrea Robson, Andrew Barnes, Andy Achuff, Bryn Shapperd, Drew MacKenzie, Dylan Reeves, Ed Thacker, Geordie Morrison, Glenowyn Carlson, Jamie Cameron, Jamie Richardson, Jason Binab, Jeff Doyle, Joel Taylor, Joele Guynup, John Rogers, Justin Binab, Katie Duncan, Kevin Ford, Mark Planiden, Mitch Thacker, Nathaniel Cook, Normon Thibault, Peter Wellsman, Rasmus Rabien, Richard Cook, Rob Parkin, Ryan Clarke, Scott Mitchell, Shanna Wild, Steve Lund, Tanya Berg, Tom Malczynski, Troy Woodburn, Wendy Simms, Jim Pauly and Danielle Stevens. Thanks and apologies to those I missed.
And thank you to our sponsors. Please support the businesses that support our series:
Binab Property Group, EBOOST, Trek Bikes Victoria, Razu Welding, Hugo Donais of Sun Life Financial, Popeye’s Supplements, Rumble, Wannawafel, Victoria Grizzlies, Prime Steak House, Cactus Club, Luv Hair Salon, Victory Barber and Brand, Modern Beauty Supplies, Water’s Edge Resort in Ucluelet, L’Hermitage Hotel, National Car Rental, Slegg Lumber, Frontrunners.
And thank you to everybody who came out and raced.
Good luck to all the Island’s racers at Cross Nats this weekend, and we’ll see you next at the Series Finale and Island Championships as we conclude in Nanaimo on November 24th at Beban Park!
Series is Organized by the Cross Council, composed of the following clubs: MIVA, VICC, Trail Bicycles-Eatmore Sprouts Cycling Team, The Cowichan Valley Cycling Club, ASS and AVR.
- Oak Bay Bikes in Victoria, Westshore and Nanaimo
- Trail Bikes in Courtenay
- Experience cycles in Duncan
- Cowichan Cycles in Duncan
- Cycle Therapy in Duncan
- Frontrunners in Nanaimo
- Straight Up Cycles in Victoria
- Dodge City Cycles in Cumberland
- Ozzie’s Cycles in Port Alberni
- Action Motor Cycles
- Hammer Nutrition
- Howard Johnson
- Oak Bay Bicycles
- Parkside Victoria
- Phillips Brewing Company
- Saltspring Coffee
- Zed Wheels
- Orange Sport Supply
Sanctioned by: Cycling BC