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Black Mountain XC and Marathon

Posted by: Shannon Boffeli |January 6, 2012 2:55 AM
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Black Mountain XC and Marathon - San Diego County - Racers & Chasers

Written by: Jens Raz 

Robert Herber, who organizes and sets up the southern California "Racers & Chasers” XC and Endurance mountain-bike races’ has a knack for finding trails and interesting courses in mostly urban San Diego County. While the rest of the country is obsessed with Cyclo-Cross, Base Miles and Football, we have a chance to race Mountain-bikes with out having to put on knickers and winter coats.

The first of the 4 races in this series was held at Black Mountain Open Area Park located in Rancho Bernardo. The fast 10mile course provided about 1300ft of climbing per lap, plenty of moaning at the top of these climbs. Each lap provides you an expansive hillside through multi-million dollar housing communities only a couple of miles from the beach of Del Mar. While the racing itself is the main draw a multitude of vendors like Zumwalts Bicycle Center, ESI Grips, Trek Super Store, O-tus safe sounds, Loaded USA, Siren Bikes (a Custom Frame Builder), Hub Cyclery, Shaklee Nutrition were present for test riding and demonstration. Kids racing and a Bounce House rounded out the event.

As always, there is a XC and a 3-1/2 hr Marathon option available. The Marathon series just added a new pro division. Each rider has to start the last lap within 3-1/2 hours and finish within 60 additional minutes or less.  The ever charging and tough competitor Guy Sutton (Cal Coast) was a perennial favorite even while coming off a nasty cold, he was joined by 6’4” Cyclo-Crosser Ben the "Roadrunner” Jones (Velo Hangar) and the Irish import Bryan Taylor (Zumwalts Bicycle Center).

Bryan had this to say about his 5 lap 50 mile stint:

"The marathon race had an early start, we all lined up at 7am in chilly conditions. The first descent was cold but once the climbing started it warmed up. After 6 months of no racing, I wasn’t sure how my stamina would hold up, so strategy was to ride a steady pace until the final lap. Guy Sutton, Ben Jones, Alex Ter-Vrugt and myself were in a group of 4 for the first couple of laps, then Ben opened up a gap of 30 seconds or so. Guy and I rode together and we managed to pull Ben back during lap 4. Towards the end of that lap Ben made another break, I wasn’t sure whether to try to stay with him or stick to my pre-race strategy – went with the latter but tried to ensure he didn’t get too far ahead. My Zumwalt’s teammate Gabe Marocco passed in the XC race as I completed lap 4, I knew he was riding strong so would be a carrot for the final lap. Once I got onto the first climb of the last lap I gave it everything and managed to catch Ben then create a small gap. Then just as I climbed up to the San Deguito road crossing for the final time my rear derailleur cable snapped and the chain then stuck in the small cog. With a few steep climbs left I thought my chance of a win was gone, I was sure Ben and Guy would pass me as I pushed up the steep sections. Fortunately I was close enough to the end and managed to just hold on. Another great race put on by Racers and Chasers.” 

Pro Men

1. Bryan Taylor           3:35:28  5 laps

2. Benjamin Jones      3:37:49   5 laps

3. Guy Sutton             3:39:22  5 laps


While the Marathon Race had each competitor race for as many laps as possible, the XC pros had to finish 3 laps ASAP. Endurance Mtb and CX champ Brent Prenzlow (Celo Pacific) took the weekend off from Cross racing to chase the $175 Award. The main challenges were to come from Hal Hellbock (KHS), David Sullivan (Sho-Air) and John Nobil (Team Big Bear)

Prenzlow experienced the following on Saturday morning:

"David Sullivan (Sho-Air) lead it out, followed by John Nobil (Team Big Bear), Hal Helbock (KHS), myself, and the rest of the Pro-expert field. Nobil soon took over the pace setting making a few accelerations to thin the group. Nearing the end of lap 1, Nobil had a small lead with Helbock chasing but starting to loose ground. I made an effort to bridge up and I caught Nobil alone. The two of us finished the singletrack last climb separated by a few seconds, and I was now leading. On lap two, I set a high tempo and Nobil did not get back on. He dropped back and began working with two Swami's riders including Jason Holden. I was able to extend my lead to over a minute finishing lap two. On lap 3, I backed off the pace a bit and halfway through the lap I saw Nobil coming back up to me alone. I picked up the pace on the final climb to hold a 40 second lead to the finish line. Nobil finished second, and Holden third.” 

Pro XC Men

1.     Brent Prenzlow   1:57:49

2.     John Nobil             1:58:26

3.     Jason Holden       1:54:08

4.     Chris Burnham    2:00:45

5.     Hal Helbock          2:02:16

Pro XC Women

1. Jessica Noyola

Next up is the downtown San Diego Balboa Park course by the San Diego Zoo January 14th 2012!

mike 06/26/2013 10:52 PM
your website is one big link for this snowmass thing, very annoying for someone trying to read about what you have going on here.
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