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Cross on the Rock 2008 #1 – Diver Lake Park Report

September 17, 2008 (Nanaimo, BC) – After a year out, the Diver lake venue was back on the Cross on the Rock series schedule. The people spoke, and the people wanted it back. A favourite among many racers, the Diver Lake course is a twisty 2.5km loop that can be seen in almost its entirety from the centrally located pits. The course twists back on itself so many times that you can always see who is ahead of you, who is behind you and whether you are gaining or losing time. It’s a great first race of the series as well because as Norm likes to say it’s a “finesse course, not a fitness course.” With so many turns it’s difficult to go top speed without blowing out a corner. With cross fever gaining momentum, and Nationals being so early, some keeners kicked off the season with a double header, racing in Vancouver Saturday and Nanaimo on Sunday.

Race #1: Beginner Men’s and Women’s (5 Laps)
The Beginners race had 14 racers with an age span that saw 10 year old Brodie Ham (Harbour City Flyers) racing against some 5X his age. But he finished with a smile and claims he will be back for more.

In the Beginner Men’s category, Victoria racers Morgan Harker and Paul Kane took off early and kept their respective 1-2 positions throughout the race. Harker handily took the Lighthouse Brewery first lap prime and would have had some on the podium if it had not been sitting in the hot sun all day. Note to organizers: keep it on ice! Behind the Victoria duo, Oak Bay Bikes riders Emmanuel Lint and Taylor Smith battled for the final podium spot. However, with far more running experience, Lint passed Smith on foot through the gravel playground to finish third. Better hit the track for some windsprints this week Taylor”¦.

1st Lap Lighthouse Brewery Prime: Morgan Harker
In the Beginner Women’s race it was newcomer Liz Flawze (UROC) on her fluorescent green Jake that took off from the start to win the Lighthouse Brewery first lap prime and take the overall win. Watch out for Flawze when the weather turns as she had a sparkly look in her eye when she asked what these races are like when its raining. I think we may have a mudder in our midst. Young 15-year-old Yani Brabant, who enters almost every cycling event out there, was only a minute back in second place. Somebody get this girl a cyclocross bike, as she is a fierce competitor. Jen Erlendson rounded out the podium in third. However, if we had a prize for the biggest smiles she would have taken everyone down.

1st Lap Lighthouse Brewery Prime: Liz Flawze

Race #2: Intermediate Men
It was another CX newcomer that won the Intermediate men’s race. The 16 year old phenom Nick Holatko (CVCC) easily rocketed through the prescribed 6 laps, winning the Lighthouse Brewery prime, lapping his dad Frank Holatko just before the finish and winning the race in a time that would have placed him mid-pack in the expert race. Not too shabby. He promised organizers that he would give the beer prime to his dad. After some initial jostling for position it was John Lowen (Arrowsmith) who tried to chase down Holatko, but in the end had to settle for second place. Raymond Tse from Victoria rounded out the podium in third spot. Although he was the last finisher, Len Miller from Nanaimo impressed the most aggressive rider judges and was deemed most “hard core” as he had, by FAR, the heaviest bike out there. He was racing on a full suspension mountain bike, with flat pedals and running shoes so the judges awarded him the Converse Chuck Taylor most aggressive rider award. Maybe next time we will see sporting a pair of rainbow “Electric” high tops. Dave Shishkoff was first vegan.

1st Lap Lighthouse Brewery Prime: Nick Holatko
Converse Chuck Taylor most aggressive rider: Len Miller

Race #3: Master Men
Many of our Intermediate racers from 2007 had moved up to the already competitive Master Men category this year, so it was bound to be an interesting race. After legend Steve Bachop (IRC) broke his chain, Sean Lunny (OBB) was out front on his own for the entire race. Behind, him Brad Collins (BSP/Sugoi) chased in second but could not hold off a charging Dave Novak (CVCC/Frontrunners/OBB) and had to settle for third in the end. Perhaps his double header weekend had taken its toll? Novak had first place in his sights on the last lap but ran out of real estate and rolled into second only 11 seconds behind Lunny. Nationals Bronze medalist, Menno Jongsma (IRC) had mechanicals early on and could not recover. A lean and mean looking Lee Blais (Ozzies Cycles) won the Chuck Taylor most aggressive rider award for his strong ride.

1st Lap Lighthouse Brewery Prime: Sean Lunny
Converse Chuck Taylor most aggressive rider: Lee Blais

Race #3: Women
Although the Open Women’s race started 30 seconds behind the Masters Men, many of them still got “bloused” by the newly crowned 2008 BC Cup Mountain Bike series winner, Dawn Anderson (nee Berg) (Everti/OBB). Anderson started catching the Master men in just the second of a seven lap race. Ouch. She easily took home the Lighthouse Brewery first lap prime and the overall win. Behind Anderson, Kelly Jones (Sugoi) chased on her own most of the race, and a battle raged for third place between Kristenn Magnussen (Arrowsmith), Bobbi Taylor (Arrowsmith) and Joele Guynup (Island Racing Club). In it the end, it was Magnussen that pulled away and took the final podium position as well as the Chuck Taylor most aggressive rider award.

1st Lap Lighthouse Brewery Prime: Dawn Berg
Converse Chuck Taylor most aggressive rider: Kristenn Magnussen

Race #4: Expert Men
Many of the top Vancouver Island CX expert racers were back with fury for the start of the Cross on the Rock series. With Nationals being so early, racers were looking for their CX legs and fast. However it was teammates Rob Britton (Trek Red Truck Racing) and Tyler Trace (Trek Red Truck Racing) that showed their early season form off the gun, opening a gap immediately. They ended the ten lap race in a “sprint” finish with Britton taking the win (although in the photos, Britton does not appear to be trying all that hard”¦). Russell Anderson (OBB) and Kevin Noiles (Trek Red Truck Racing) chased but could not catch the teammates and ended up 3-4 respectively. Drew MacKenzie (Island Racing Club) had mechanicals early on in the race but chased back up to 5th place, earning him the Chuck Taylor most aggressive rider award in the process. Of special note was the action at the barriers. Jeff Beeston (Trail Bicycles) was bunny hopping the UCI regulation height barriers (3 in a row) with ease, causing the crowd to “ahhh” in amazement while in stark contrast, Wendy Simms (Kona) clipped her trailing foot on the barriers and stuffed it HARD into the ground causing the crowds to “oooh” in horror.

1st Lap Lighthouse Brewery Prime: Rob Britton
Converse Chuck Taylor most aggressive rider: Drew MacKenzie

Race Notes
-As is tradition at the first cross race of the year many riders rolled their tires. Tubulars, Clinchers, Tubeless Clinichers”¦..no one seemed to be exempt from problems. CHECK YOUR TIRES!! Re-glue each season!

-If you had a problem with your GRMBA license. Either you had a license but you were not on the list, You did not have a license but you were on the list OR you did not have a license”¦.thought you should be on the list”¦.but were not”¦..get it sorted out with your club and or GRMBA before the next event please. It is not up to the organizers or registration to take care of riders license issues.

-There were a few riders that did sneak through the age requirement for Masters. At our series (this year and last year) the masters age cut off is 35 years old at the end of 2008.

Special Thanks
Special thanks to Nanaimo Parks and Recreation. And thanks to our volunteers and crews and specifically my Dad, Rollin, who comes over to help out when ever he can and helps us out. As well as my nieces, Hope, Stephanie and Ashley for doing a great job with registration and timing.

Next race on Vancouver Island – Cross on the Rock Series Race #2 at Juan De Fuca Recreation Center in Victoria. October 5th. This event will be put on by IRC with support from Straight Up Cycles.

Pictures for this event can be found here (when we get some time to post them including a picture of Wendy on the ground after her barrier toe-clip).

Full results for this event and the series are posted here.

Organized by Oak Bay Bikes-Wheelers, Frontrunners Nanaimo and VICC
Brought to you by Multi-Sport Promotions: www.island-multi-sports.com

September 14, 2008
Conditions: 27ºC. Hot and sunny!

Series Spnsors
– Converse All Star
– Lighthouse Brewery
– OakBay Bikes in Nanaimo and Victoria
– Cycles Lambert
– Crankbrothers
– Kona
– Full Speed Ahead
– Frontrunners Nanaimo
– Aviawest
– Howard Johnson Harbourside Hotel
– eNVy Chainrings and Chainring Protectors

Contact: normont@islandnet.com

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