Sunday, March 11, 2012

U.S. Cup at Bonelli Park...

that is where I was this afternoon. The obvious thing to do this weekend would have been to travel to Murrieta for the Tour of Murrieta, the first of three consecutive stage race weekends in Southern California this month. But I wasn't up for the drive. I had resigned myself to a weekend of just some local riding when I realized the US Cup of mountain bike racing, aka. the Bonelli Park Pro Triple Crown, was making a stop at Bonelli Park, and I could kill two birds with one stone, by riding over there to catch the Sunday action. I missed the longer cross country races, held on Saturday, and thus missed Southern Californian Allison Mann win the women's race, and from Mexico, Ignacio Torres, win out over the men.

I don't think I have ever spectated a short track race, which is what was taking place on Sunday, before, and was glad for the opportunity. It is kind of like what a criterium is to road racing. The shorter course means the racers are passing by more frequently, and the overall speed is definitely higher. You race for a set period of time - fifteen minutes, plus one or two laps (the officials gave the pro men the option of one or two, and they selected two). It is basically flat out speed; who ever is fastest and can handle the terrain best, wins. Now while I could do flat out for a period of time, those off-camber, slipper turns and hillsides would have me a nervous wreck by the end of a race like this, and trailing in way off the back.

I wasn't at site for the earliest races, the Cat 2s and 3s, so the Cat 1 race was first up, fast and even in a short race like this, spread out along the course, with solo riders or small groups powering around as best they could. The two women in the race stuck together to the end. The men's race came down to two, Ty Kady and Shane Skelton, battling to the line. Controversy. As the two sprinted the finish, Kady seemed to deviate too far from his line, forcing Skelton over to the side. Kady crossed the line first, but as they came by me and realizing what had happened, he was telling Skelton that he (Skelton) had won. I did not see the officials results, consensus seemed to be that Kady would be relegated. We shall see.

cat 1 racers

contestable finish for the cat 1 men

Additional photos in slideshow form of the Cat 1 Short Track Race, and misc. photos is here.

The pro women were up next, with a small, but international field - American, Canadians, a South African, and a New Zealander, were contesting this round of the US Cup. Like the previous cat 1 race, this one quickly sorted out into small groups and solo riders rounding the course as best they could. Two riders were there at the end, though Mariske Strauss of South Africa had a large enough gap over Erin Huck, that it wasn't really a true out-of-the-saddle sprint.

Mariske Strauss, winner Pro Women Short Track Race, relaxed after crossing the line

Additional photos in slideshow form of the pro women are here.

Finally, to finish up the day, came the pro men's race. If I thought the cat 1 race was fast, this race just stepped it up again. These guys were absolutely flying around the short track, and raising one hell of a dust cloud (cough, cough, choke, choke). And, though they did get spread out, as in the other races, the clusters of riders remained larger (hitting the downhill I would want to be by myself, thank you very much). At the end it was Russell Finsterwald (Subaru-Trek) or Colorado Springs, taking the win with a large enough gap allowing him to raise his arms in victory. 

Jump to this link for additional photos, in slideshow form, of the pro men's race.

Oh, and that computer problem, seems to be more an iphoto problem, and I have no clue what happened. It is almost like iphoto reverted to an earlier setting, with almost all photos taken within the past year gone from the program, but still on the hard drive. WTH. I could retrieve many of them at full size, but others are tiny little things - useless in other words. Damnit, not a good time to fall behind with backing up. Although even that would not have helped with these Bonelli photos. Anyway, those links above will take you to what I could salvage.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...