Race Report: BASP Candlestick 4 and 5(Repechage)

Cyclocrossers typically aren’ t used to hitting the first race at the Stick this late in the season.  Better late than never.  This was a great weekend for Team Caletti.

Emery won his first race ever in the Singlespeed A division,  I won my first race in the BASP series and Lindsey bagged her 2nd  – first place finish in the series.  Troy was able to sneak onto the podium on day 1 before a stiff back kept him out of day 2.  Jojo battled from the back row to finish at 10th in the hyper aggro open B field.

Saturday Results:

Emery – 1st, SS A

Troy – 4th, SS A

Josh – 3rd, 35+ B

Lindsey – 2nd, 35+ Women’s A

Sunday Results:

Emery – 1st, SS A

Josh – 1st, 35+ B

Lindsey – 1st, 35+ Womens’ A

Jojo – 10th, B

 

Photo by Jeff Vanderstucken

Photo by Jeff Vanderstucken

Photo by Jeff Vanderstucken

Photo by Jeff Vanderstucken

BASP5_JCT

photo by Michael Tabtabai

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photo by Michael Tabtabai

Race Report: Surf City #3 Aptos High

Leg burning climbs.  Steep runups.  Technical descents.  That’s what typically pops into racers’ minds as CX at Aptos HS approaches.  It’s a course like no other in the region due to the elevation gain and varied terrain.  Singletrack, grass, gravel, sand and pavement.

This year’s iteration saw the skies open up the night before and douse the course so that that early races had gooey mud, wet sand and grass all mixed up in addition to negotiating the tricky terrain.  Later day races had a perfectly dialed track as evidenced by the lack of mud clinging to any frames.

The squad had a killer showing with some great results:

John Caletti – 2nd, 35+ B

Josh – 3rd, 35+ B

Jed – 12th, B

Jojo – 13th, B

Emily – 8th, Women’s Elite

Lindsey – 10th, Women’s Elite

Emery – 2nd, SS A

Troy – 6th, SS A

Check out this killer video compiled by Peter Thomsen and John Ricketts!

 

Race Report: BASP #2 Sierra Point Night Race

Big weekend of racing at the Bay Area Super Prestige Night Race held at the Sierra Point Yacht Club in Brisbane, CA.  This is always one of the biggest races of the season for the entire Bay Area given the later start times and festive atmosphere.

Team Caletti scored multiple podiums on the day!

Josh – 2nd 35+B

John – 4th 35+B

Jojo – 12th B

Jed – 20th B

Emery – 5th SS A

Troy Cooter Tanuki – 10th

Emily – 18th Women’s Elite

Lindsey – 1st Women’s 35+ A

Sunday’s Repechage was the same course but run in reverse.  Only half the team rallied with the help of our Chef du Cusine Ryan Thompson providing pre-race nourishment.  Some flatted tubulars killed Emery and my chances of podium glory, but a good time was had by all.

Josh – 22nd 35+B

Emery – 11th SS A

Troy Cooter Tanuki – 6th SS A

Jojo – 9th B

A big thanks goes out to Peter Thomsen (sponsor of Team Caletti/member/photographer) for the gallery of pics below!

 

 

Race Report: Surf City #2 Watsonville Fairgrounds

The Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds in Watsonville, CA opened up the gates once again to allow us cyclocrossers the opportunity to get down and dirty! For those who raced last year, I’m sure the memories of that truly epic slog are still at the forefront of your memory banks. Conditions this year were the opposite of that dreary November day with warm temperatures and a bone dry course.

The Surf City CX crew along with course designer Ben Jaques-Mayne laid out a challenging track that has become the hallmark of Surf City courses. All types of skills were required: cambers, runups, dirty turns, 100lb pitt bulls, bumpy power straights, skittery gravel downhills…The course was wide open in some spots and narrow in others. All in all, it was a demanding course yet very raceable.

One of the best spectator spots was the drop in on the far end of the course that featured cocoa powder type dirt with a line that changed every single lap. Emery was huckin his meat off the pavement into the decent and surfed the brown pow con juevos every lap.

I kicked off the festivities for Team Caletti with another win in the 35+ B category. Jed and Jojo lined up next in the open B race with Jojo taking a strong 8th and Jed another lucky 13th.  These guys are coming up fast and we should be looking out for some podium performances with the big races still ahead!

Our lone lady representative, Emily McKissins, stormed out with the holeshot in the women’s A race but succumbed to cramps in her legs and had to abandon.

Our tallest and shortest team members took on the heat of the day as well as some of the Bay area’s fastest SS racers in the final race of the day. It’s midseason now and if you’ve been racing somewhat regularly, you pretty much know who your marks are every race. Emery was able to improve on last week’s fourth place with a strong third on the day while still dealing with cramps late in the race. Troy literally was playing in the dirt off his bike and still rocked a 7th place! I’m a pretty dark skinned guy, but Troy was possibly a darker shade of brown than I am!

Chef Ryan Thompson came through again with the goods in the form of chile relleno burritos with a cocktail of “blood of the cobra” for post-race snacks!

Thanks to all the friends, family and sponsors who came out to support us! We do what we do with your help!

Link to results

 

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Photo by Patrick Rosso

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Photo by Patrick Rosso

7

Photo by Patrick Rosso

 

More photos in the gallery below.  All photos taken by Amber Slankard.

Race Report: Surf City CX #1 Harbor Highschool

Our local race series, Surf City CX, kicked off this past weekend with a stellar course at Harbor High.

The Harbor High course always has a little bit of everything but this particular iteration proved to be a highly technical ride with off cambers, loose over loose, high speed descents and some duffy sand. Of course there was the usually bumpy, power sections on the grass and the big runup to the top of the course. The course had great flow and had two distinct parts. Everything near the start/finish up to the runup was pure power while the section on top all the way down to the far end of the track required technical skills, finesse and some body english.

First, let’s check out this video that our very own head honcho John Caletti made while spending the day out at the race…

 

Most of the squad was racing and plenty of friends and family were out to cheer.

Jed, still very much in the honeymoon phase with his new race whip, finished in lucky 13th in the men’s open B race. He looked pretty good to me, especially in his new Giro Empire laceup sneakers!

Sunday was the second cyclocross race for me with the new bike. The race itself went fairly well, had to recover from a few fellow racers taking me out. But was able to finish 13th. Starting to feel much smoother in turns and working on fitness.

Emily scored a 14th place in the Women’s Elite field that featured a former world champion and last year’s 2nd place finisher at CX nationals. She used her supreme running skills to her advantage to distance herself from her competition.

Emery and Troy featured in the last race of the day against the SS A field. Emery got off to a great start and was sitting 2nd wheel behind Ryan Rinn keeping the competition behind by being technically proficient in riding up the big ledge at the top of the course ultimately finishing in 4th.

Sick the last week, no training. Banked on base and work put in earlier to carry me through. Course flowed and the last minute grass section was awesome. I blinked and two barriers doubled to four for my race. Got a call up. I tried to hold Rinn’s wheel the first lap, he slipped away. Gritted my teeth to hold on to second but didn’t have it. Slipped back into 4th and held on tight. I went super deep! The course was so tough but sooo fun!

Troy maintained a nice steady pace throughout the race just finishing off the podium in 6th.

I had a few bobbles in the camber areas early on but I started to feel better and better as the race wore on.

We are super lucky to have such great support at the races! Big shout out to our sponsor Lauren at Totally Tubular for hanging out all day!!  Also, big love to Chef Ryan Thompson who provided post-race nutrition with his mobile kitchen. The menu featured tot waffles slathered with a fresh fall curry topped with roasted pumpkin, root veggies, and pepper pickled onions…drunken chicken on top of the meativores!!!

Full Results Here!

Josh – 1st, 35+B

Jed  – 13th, B

Emily – 14th, Women’s Elite

Emery – 4th, SS A

Troy – 6th, SS A

Next up….Surf City #2 at SC County Fairgrounds in Watsonville!!!

Here are some some snaps taken by Jeff Vanderstucken…

Link to Jeff’s complete gallery

 

 

 

 

 

 

Race Report: CCCX 3 Manzanita Park

 

Manzanita Regional Park located in Prunedale was the setting for another great round of races in the CCCX race series.  This particular course configuration was one of my favorites since the technical parts were bumped up a few notches while the other classic Manzanita features were all still in play.

The 1.6 mile long course had the customary uphill paved climb and descent down the backside.  There were a lot more off camber turns this time around and Keith added a sneaky little ride/run up section right before the finish straight.  It was completely rideable given that you had a clear shot at it with no traffic in front of you.  Otherwise, you were off your bike and pushing around the corner only to remount before a loose, downhill off camber.  It’s these types of features that make a well rounded CX course for racing rather than just a fitness course where riding fast in a straight line can net you some decent results.

Emery, Jojo, Jed and I made the trek down to P-dale along with some super fans…some as far as LA and Kansas City, MO!!!

Jojo finished 6th in the open B race.  Good job!  He recalls….

Manzanita is always cool. I feel like whenever I race there I leave thinking,   That place is fun, different and sort of underrated. It has a little bit of everything and this years course had some cool little features I don’t remember being included in years past.  The stoke fire for my new bike is building and I can not wait to take it up to Quincy for the grinduro in a couple weeks and really give it a proper shakedown. Team Caletti #1 for ever!

We finally got Jeb to race out of Santa Cruz County…and I think this is first contribution to a race report!  WHOA!!!!

Rolled down to my first CX race out of Santa Cruz County on Sunday. It was a great experience with good team support.

A cooked corner at the top of the course left Jeb with a crooked shifter and some lost positions.  He rolled in 14th in a competitive B field.

Our lone Elite race….Slimdog Emery:

The Feejay Mobile is a killer race base camp! Pina colada ice cream made with Skratch Labs pineapple drink mix, squished between cookies made with Skratch labs cookie mix = CLUTCH

The Manzanita Park course isn’t my favorite, I struggled there quite a bit last year between not feeling on form and rolling a tubular. This past weekends race I was able to improve my fitness from last year but the track still gave me tire issues. The single speed field was failry deep with 15 racers lining up behind the elite men’s category. The wide open uphill start kept the field pretty tight into the first barrier and through the first half of the course. I tried to play it safe but keep myself in a position to move with the lead group if there was an attack. I ended up sitting into second with with third place on my wheel and didn’t look back to see where 4th, 5th or anything past that were. Myself and 2nd place were looking to hunt down Alex Kramer who was looking a bit spun out on the front.

I was looking to ramp the throttle up a bit more and test them to see if they could hang on after pulling them around for a lap and a half, as we entered the first sandy infield section on the baseball field, when I felt my front tire squirm and begin to mash rim. I had punctured. The rough descents on the backside of the course had claimed my cotton tubular and position. Luckily I was close enough to the pit to limp around and grab a wheel without losing too much time. I quick wheel swap and a little extra push and I had only fallen back to third with about 5 laps to go. Despite my best efforts to chase back up I would have to accept my efforts and lack of tire pressure leaving me on the #3 step and what could’ve been with an inflated tire to my imagination.

I’m really happy with my result! I think that this result gives me a good gauge to my fitness this season and is an indication that my work and training in the off and pre season have been on target. I am excited race next weekend and hope to give a similar performance.

My race went well as I won my first Cat 3 35+ race.  When the parents are in town and the wife comes out  to watch you race, you have to throw it down!

Check out the gallery!  All photos by Amber Waves Slankard!

 

 

The 2015-16 Cross Season is Underway!!

The 2015-2016 CX season kicked off in earnest this past weekend with the second running of the West Sacramento CX Gran Prix (WSCXGP) as well as the second race  for Central Coast CX (CCCX) race series held in Monterey County.

Team Caletti’s Mr. Do-It-All (just don’t ask him to pin your number), Emery Wedel, was in lone wolf mode for the WSCXGP.  He sent me his Dear Diary entry from that night…

I was bummed to miss the Lobster Cup, but that only boosted my excitement for my season to start. I felt 6 parts stoked and 4 parts nervous for my first race of the season, West Sacramento Cyclocross Grand Prix. The previous years race at River Walk Park was so much fun, I couldn’t resist even with a 2 1/2 hour drive and threatening triple digit temps. I feel like I fair pretty well in the heat and while I wasn’t looking forward to getting fried on the hot lawn I was hoping to use my tolerance as an advantage. The promoters pushed the SS back a bit from last years SS start time. I made it to the venue with plenty of extra time to reg, pre ride the course and make my start on time, unlike last year’s mishap.

The course was very similar to last year’s. Mostly grass with some pavment, dirt and a couple of sandy sections mixed in, as well as a pair of barriers and a few short STEEP hills that challenged most of the SS field.

Feeling fresh in my shiny new skinsuit and freshly overhauled cross rig, I was ready to race! This season I made some gearing changes including some Wolf Tooth direct mount chainrings, and I even copped a set of mean ass Easton EC90 Aero55 tubulars. This year my race rig is hyper fresh!

Rolling up to the start line my field was about 40 or so deep. I was called up somewhere in the middle after chatting with some of the #18millionspeed homies, they sent us off. I pushed to get a descent start and found myself in the top 15 or so moving into the grassy turns that snake across the parks hillside. Riding heckle hill allowed me a few passes and I found myself sitting in the top ten. I worked to keep it smooth and smart as well as trying to keep the power down and work up to the lead group. Half way in I found myself battling for 8th but with two laps to go and the tank feeling empty I settled in and crossed the finish line in tenth. The race gave me a good gauge for my current fitness and handling and was a good start for my ’15/’16 season.

The promoters did a great job providing us with water, and kiddie pools full of ice post race as well as a mister arches to keep the crowds cool. Racing solo was fun but I missed my team. This event is on the list for next season for sure!

Jojo Stanwyck and myself raced Sunday at CCCX #2 held down at Ft. Ord.  Ord gets knocked as CX course because it’s a lot of the same:  singletrack, fire road, gravel, sand, poison oak bushes…Some even say it’s more of a MTB type track.   However you want to think of it, it’s still a fun and challenging course and you still have to ride it faster than your competitors.

This iteration featured a long gradual singletrack climb that kicked up right at the end before a winding super fast descent.  A bunch of loose, swoopy turns ensured that you couldn’t just tune out on the DH.  More bumpy singletrack followed and a barrier dismount and short runup appeared just after the start/finish line and right before the long climb to start the lap.

Jojo started at the back of the open B category and scurried into 8th place for the day passing more than half the field.  I took on the 35+ B men and managed a 2nd place.

Some pics.  Damn those new kids look hot!

 

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Emery using his long ass legs to make a move on the barriers. Photo by Amber Waves

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Jojo likes tight racing. Photo by Patrick Rosso

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Gravity is my friend. Photo by Kjeld Christensen

 

 

Lobster Cross is Coming!

lobster cross flyer

This is going to be a hoot. Jump over to the Cyclocross Magazine write up on the event for details.

Race Report: BASP 6 Coyote Point….”I needed adult Limus today.”

The Bay Area Superprestige closed it’s season at Coyote Point this past weekend.  Coyote Point is one of most popular courses and races of the season and for good reason.  It boasts probably the longest lap of any race and some of the most varied terrain.  There’s the eucalyptus grove with dirt road climb and singletrack descent, the beach section and the rolly areas to the north of the park.

This particular iteration included a legitimate sand pit at the top of the eucalyptus grove.  The sand pit proved rideable throughout most of the day but it all depended on if the group you were riding in could ride it cleanly as well.  Also playing a factor was the 40 yard gravel pit near the levee.  This was also rideable for most as long as you could keep your speed up and have a clean line through.

Conditions were prime for cross…low 60s, overcast and greasy turns everywhere.  The pavement transitions were particularly slick as they got coated with some wet sand and mud as the day wore on.

Lindsey, Emily, Emery and I were flying the colors for the team as some of the other kids were battling illness and severe hangovers.

I had a good start to my 35+B race as I settled in behind Dean Dealy on the fireroad climb start.   We crested the hill in the front group and the sand pit was next.  The guy who won the last BASP race was first to hit the pit hard….and then he hit the sand hard.  I was 5th wheel at the time and I dismounted and ran mid-pit in order to keep it moving forward.  I got as high as 3rd place in the middle laps before ultimately popping and having some small handling errors.  Those add up.  I finished with a 9th spot on the day…an improvement from my finish at this race last year.

Emery finished a respectable 12the place in the SS A field.  He shared these thoughts about his race:

It’s definitely tough mentally lining up with dudes that crush all season long. Caesar, Rinn, Stacey, Howie. All those guys are next level. Its great being able to race with them, but I would like to be able to hold their wheels a bit longer.  I honestly wasn’t feeling it on sunday. I havent been riding much the last few weeks and obviously my fitness has suffered from that. I was pre riding the course and nearly missed my call up which isn’t too crucial anyways when racing with less than 20 in your field. Off the start I settled into the middle.  After the muddy 180 runup i took a spill and lost a few spots but caught back up 2 laps later. The new shoes are dope, although yesterdays race being my first ride in them I was still getting used to them a bit during the race. The laces feel good, and some how they feel stiffer than my old Codes.  I think cleanly riding the sand and pea gravel sections kept me in sight of racers ahead of me but my power was lacking.

The ladies were next and Lindsey bagged her 3rd race win of the season in 35+ A Women!  BOOM!  Her training and prep have been paying off this season and she’s actually winning money at races!!  Pay them bills LIL’ B!!!!!  When asked about how it feels to win races, she replied, “You know….that’s just how a B roll.”  Gangsta.  She did have the opportunity to snag a few more dollars but couldn’t connect cleanly on the butt dollar handups at the sand pit.  #handupsarenotacrime

Emily raced elite women and bagged the holeshot in a stacked field that included former World Champs and touring pros!  That’s what I’m talking about….get out front for a bit and keep the sponsors happy!  Emily had a great ride coming in at 12th place and looking good doing it.  She reflects back….

I had a blast last week at Coyote Point. Not even sure where I placed (somewhere in the back half), but I really loved the singletrack-ish course, the hill climb and the SAND! My bike, tires, and hand-me-down Caletti skin-suit made for the perfect equation of awesomeness that day. After a lucky call-up, I had a great start on the first climb, and even got the hole shot I think! I was quickly passed by the world champion and a few others, but I made a nice run for it through the sand pile at the top of the hill, and held a top 5/6 position for a few laps. I enjoyed a game of cat and mouse with the lanky rider from All City for the second half of the race. Tragically, I was passed by another racer on my last lap, but it didn’t take away from my race-day stoke! Thanks to the Team Caletti racers and supporters who cheered their little hearts out for me and Little B.
All photos by Amber Waves Slankard