Todd Wells (Specialized) and Meredith Miller (California Giant Berry Farms/Specialized) each scored a hat trick winning the three races of the 3-day 2009 UCI Carousel Volkswagen Jingle Cross Rock powered by Musco. For current US Road National Champion Miller, it was the first (and second and third) UCI win of her career on her second season of racing cross.
All photos copyright NikkiCyp – used with permission
For all three races, both Miller and Wells escaped early in their races to get and hold a gap until the finish while behind them it was a battle for the other podium spots. The course already difficult with its variation of speed with the run up to Mr Krumpit and its descent was made even more difficult by the thick mud.
What goes up must come down. Riders learned that the hard way in the Friday night races on a slick peanut-buttery course. By all accounts, derailleurs were taking a hit throughout the races. Soon after Miller rode away from the field, the battle was on between the Planet Bike teammates with Kaitlin Antonneau taking second, Kristin Wentworth third and Linda Sone fourth. Kari Studley (Vello Bella) was fifth.
After Brian Matter (GearGrinder) took the holeshot, Wells made his way to the front and was gone. Wells continued to increase his lead a he changed his bike every lap. Chasing solo in second spot was younger brother Troy (Clif Bar) with a second chase group behind battling for third. Ryan Iddings (Lapierre USA) took third ahead of Mark LaLonde (Planet Bike) and David Hackworthy (Team Plan C).
On Saturday, the course was dryer but Mr Krumpit was still covered in peanut butter. Miller was off again with Planet Bike in hot pursuit, this time it was Sone leading the chase. Studley finished third with Wentworth in fourth and Rebecca Much taking fifth. In the men’s race, Wells was off early again with a chase group of Matter, LaLonde and his Planet Bike teammate Tristan Shouten going at it.
“Marko crashed with 3 laps to go descending Mt. Krumpit…..Tristan started killing it with 2 to go and all I could do was hang on….stayed in good position and rode smooth lines….on the last lap we were dropping Iddings as Marko was quickly closing the gap. Marko ran out of time in catching us even though he got pretty close” wrote Matter.
Schouten finished second, Matter third, LaLonde was fourth and Iddings rounded off the top 5.
Sunday brought more of the same. Miller was off early Planet Bike battling behind her. Antonneau took second, with Wentworth in third, and Sone in fourth. Much finished fifth.
The two top spots in the men’s race were decided early on as the Wells brothers with Iddings went off early. An ailing Troy faded away and pulled out of the race. Todd Wells gaped Iddings who chased solo for second spot.
Meanwhile behind them, Matter, LaLonde, Schouten, Hackworthy and Jake Wells (MafiaRacing.com/Pabst/Felt) fought it out.
“There was a slight chance 2nd place was coming back to us, but his effort during the first 1/4 of the race was too big to bring back.” wrote Matter about chasing Iddings.
LaLonde got the best of the chase group to finish third. Schouten was fourth and Matter fifth.