2014 Santa Cross

The 2014 Santa Cross nestled into a little bowl between hills at Pierce College in the west San Fernando Valley, although the trickiest parts of the course were up in those surrounding hills. The race marked the finale of the SoCal Cross Prestige Series for this year, so those Series Leader jerseys presented on the podium today were effectively Series Champion jerseys.

For some racers today, the Holiday's came early, though in no case were the gifts easily received, and in most cases involved a hotly contested duel before any unwrapping could take place. Indicative, was the Women's Elite race, where the top three on the day shadowed one another continually until the end of the race. For the first half, Summer Moak seemed to have the upper hand, leading each time she came past; Christina Probert however, was always right there marking her, with Christine Pai not far behind. The final time across the line saw Probert take the win, ahead of Pai and Moak. However, the win was not enough for Probert to overcome Moak in the final series standings:

1. Summer Moak (Felt / K-Edge)
2. Christina Probert-Turner (The TEAM / Turner Bikes)
3. Amanda Nauman (SDG - Bellweather - Krema)
4. Nicole Brandt (VC LaGrange / Michelob Ultra)
5. McKenzie Melcher (Jenson USA / The TEAM)

Hmmm, actually, now that I think about it, Christina is wearing the Leaders' Jersey, so how could she have lost it after winning the race? Something doesn't add up.

It became a habit, a bad, bad habit this year, for me to leave before the finish of the Elite Men's races and, unfortunately, it was a habit not to be broken on this day. Too bad, judging by the opening laps, the finish was shaping up to be the competitive race of the day. Though I missed it, the day's win went to Brent Prenzlow (Celo Pacific / Focus), ahead of Alfred Pacheco (Buena Park Bicycles), Rex Roberts (Velo Allegro), Spencer Rathkamp (H&S Bicycles), and Michael Barker (Team Velocity). The top three on the day also comprised the series top three (though in a slightly different order:

1. Alfredo Pacheco
2. Rex Roberts
3. Brent Prenzlow
4. John Behrens (Velo Hanger)
5. Brandon Gritters (Rock N' Road / Big Red Coaching)

Congratulations to the Series Champions, in all the categories, for results and final standings be sure to check the Prestige Series website, or Facebook page. Here is the link to the Flickr album, and a few teasers:
nice day for a race

one racer described the mud as like "peanut butter", sticky in one corner, slick in the next

Summer Moak leads Christina Probert and Christine Pai up the second of two 'out of the saddle hills'  in the Women's 'A' race

the lead five of the Men's 'A' race, with series leader, Alfredo Pacheco (Buena Park Bicycles) at point

like this group of riders, another year of SoCal Cross Prestige Series races heads into the sunset