Cross After Dark Series Announces 2013 Schedule
The 2013 Cross After Dark schedule will be:
CLIF Bar CrossVegas - Wednesday Sept 18th - Las Vegas NV (C1) Join the fun at the 7th year celebration.
Gateway Cross Cup - Saturday October 26th - St. Louis MO (C2) Moved to late October.
Lionhearts International Cross - Saturday November 2nd - Cincinnati OH (C1) Now a Cat. 1 Race!
CXLA - Saturday November 30th - Los Angeles CA (C2) Downtown LA hosts west coast's best cross action.
DRISCOLL & NASH CLAIM CXLA - Berden Wraps Up Series in Los Angeles
Katie Compton's Lead Allows her to Skip CXLA - Katerina Nash Captures the Win
Los Angeles, California, Dec. 1, 2012 — On a rare wet and slimy evening in Southern California, Jamie Driscoll (Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld) and Katerina Nash (Team Luna Chix) closed out the 2012 Cross After Dark Series with convincing victories.
The fourth and final round was CXLA, held at Los Angeles State Historic Park near downtown L.A. This flat, fast course is generally not considered to be technically challenging, but with persistent rain showers during the previous two days and another one just as the Elite Women’s race was staging, the slippery, rutty clay proved to be a genuine test of bike handling skills.
Attracted by UCI points as well as a $5,000 purse for the top five in both the men’s and women’s classes, strong fields from around the country made this the most significant cyclocross event ever to take place in SoCal.
Despite the unusual weather, quite a few so-called fair weather SoCal fans stuck around to see Driscoll celebrate.
Of course the prestigious Cross After Dark title was also on the line, at least in the Elite Men’s division. In a repeat from 2011, Ryan Trebon (Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld) and Ben Berden (Raleigh-Clement) were rubbing elbows at the top of the point standings after three of the four Cross After Dark Series events leading up to CXLA. Berden held a slim 12-point advantage with 3-1-0 scores at the three previous races: CrossVegas, the Gateway Cross Cup in St. Louis and the Cincy3 CX Festival in Cincinnati, respectively. Defending champion Trebon, meanwhile, had gone 6-0-1 at those events.
The men in green and black — Tim Johnson, Trebon and Jamie Driscoll — did all they could to ensure Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld would close the deal and at one point looked set for a podium sweep. Team tactics were highly visible despite the dark and misty conditions, but Berden could not be shaken. With two to go Driscoll shot off the front and in the remaining time would build a ten-second gap. Trebon, meanwhile, found himself in a desperate sprint down the long finishing straight with none other than Berden closing rapidly. The Belgian had put in one of the fastest laps of the night to get up to and around Johnson and then made an impressive charge at Trebon on the bell lap.
No doubt the mental calculators were spinning as fast as Trebon and Berden when the timing strip was tripped. Trebon prevailed with Berden a little over a second behind. But in reality Berden had clinched the Cross After Dark title when he had moved into third and Driscoll took the win instead of Trebon. When the final numbers came up, Berden had claimed the championship by a mere two points, 115-113.
Apparently Berden had everything calculated. As he stated afterward, “I knew I could win the series if someone other than Ryan was to win tonight and I could stay behind Ryan. So my goal was to follow him.” Trebon, who had led a few laps, showed little disappointment. “It was one of the nastier days I’ve seen in Southern California. It’s really gritty, with tons of mud and sand flying up in your eyes. The bikes are pretty thrashed. But it’s always fun, pretty entertaining. Me and Ben were battling for the Cross After Dark Series but unfortunately I think he got me by a couple points,” he said.
According to winner Driscoll, “My teammates rode defensively for me and I was able to get the gap. All four of us had the legs to win tonight. It was just a matter of playing out the tactics. With a lap to go I felt pretty confident but in these conditions anything can happen. Fortunately I had a great team that helped me out tremendously.”
The final CXAD series podium, left to right: Jamie Driscoll (Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld, 3rd),
Ben Berden (Raleigh-Clement, 1st) and Ryan Trebon (Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld, 2nd).
Compton's Absence Opens the Door for Nash
The Elite Women’s race was less dramatic, for several reasons. One, Katie Compton (Trek Cyclocross) had already wrapped up the Cross After Dark Series title and elected not to attend CXLA. Two, Katerina Nash was unstoppable.
With another shower just beginning, the Elite Women’s field charges off the line at CXLA.
The Luna Chix rider spent several laps on the wheel of Nicole Duke (Raleigh-Clement) but around the halfway mark put in a surge and was gone. Meredith Miller (Cal Giant), returning from a broken hand suffered eight weeks prior, was able to slide into second, and she was followed across the line by Caroline Mani (Raleigh-Clement).
Nash, who would dominate the next day’s UCI race at CXLA as well, was happy with the evening’s events. “Nicole had a great start and she’s a really good bike handler, so I didn’t mind riding behind. There’s always something to learn from her,” said Nash. “I basically attacked with three laps to go. I thought it was two to go and was worried I had maybe gone too early. Once I went around Nicole I’m not quite sure if she had a problem, but I was on my own. The course conditions were awesome. It keeps changing and it really keeps you on your toes.”
Story and photos by Phil Beckman/PB Creative
Katerina Nash (Luna Chix) had no problems with the unusual SoCal conditions
or the Elite Women’s field.
Cross After Dark Series Heads to Final Race Showdown
CXLA Hosts a Repeat Battle for Overall Men’s Title
Cross After Dark cyclocross series winds up in downtown Los Angeles next Saturday after a season long battle between the top racers in the U.S. Racers will be competing “under the lights” in the heart of Los Angeles at Los Angeles State Historic Park just north of downtown.
Racers from across the country will be competing for the $5,000 in series prizes in addition to the UCI Category 2 prize list offered for the race. Prizes are equal for men and women with cash paid to the top 5 places.
Like last season, the men’s overall title will do down to the final race with a repeat battle between Ryan Trebon (Cannondale/CyclocrossWorld) and Ben Berden (Raleigh-Clement). Las year Trebon took the title with his final sprint-finish win over Berden. Berden holds a slim 12-point lead over Trebon after a mechanical mishap caused a “DNF” in the Cincinnati race.
The women’s side will certainly see an overall victory by Katie Compton (Trek Cyclocross) who owned the series races in St. Louis and Cincinnati and is challenged only by Sanne Van Paassen (Rabobank-Giant) who will not be present. Despite Compton’s dominance of the top spot and a 55-point lead, the remaining places are up for grabs.
Cross After Dark kicked off at CrossVegas in Las Vegas with victories by Jeremy Powers (Rapha-Focus) and Van Paassen. Round two was held a week later at Gateway Cross Cup in St. Louis where Ben Berden and Katie Compton dominated their competitors. The third stop was in Cincinnati for the Cincy3 CX Festival where Ryan Trebon and Compton captured the wins under the lights.
Trebon and Compton Take Cincy3 Wins
Under the Cross After Dark Series disco lights, through deep wet mud from an all-day rain, and to the smears of the HeckleOnline.com Heckle Ghoul, Ryan Trebon (Cannondale/CyclocrossWorld) and Katie Compton (Trek Cyclocross) again soloed to wins, this time at the Lionhearts International at Kings CX in Mason OH p/b Toyota and Siemens. The drama of the day unfolded when Cross After Dark Men’s Series leader Ben Berden (Raleigh Clement) lost the rear end on a wicked slick off-camber that ripped his wheel and derailleur from the dropouts.
With their wins Trebon moved into second place in the Cross After Dark series overall standings behind Berden and Compton strengthened her grip on first place. The series finale is December 1 at CXLA in Los Angeles.
How it Played Out.......
With light reflecting from the tape-to-tape mud, Katerina Nash (LUNA) took to the front early with Katie Compton and Kaitlin Antonneau (Cannondale/CyclocrossWorld). As they came through the sloppy railroad tie run-up flanked by throngs of heckling fans (one with dollar hand-ups hanging from a fishing pole), they were followed closely by Maureen Bruno Roy (Bob’s Red Mill) and Nicole Thiemann (Team CF-Elite). Not too far off separated and solo were Caroline Mani (Raleigh-Clement), Amanda Carey (Volkswagen Boise), Andrea Smith (Ladies First), Rebecca Blatt (Van Dessel) and Katie Arnold (Bob’s Red Mill.)
Compton made her first dig on the “Camel Hump,” a 30 foot slick off-camber steep lump which had to be climbed and descended three times in succession. She was one of few who cleaned all three sections every time. Gapped, Nash dug deep over the DeFeet flyover. A half lap later, she made contact just before the Heckle Zone run-up, only to have Compton pop her 200 meters later, again at the Camel. From there, Compton continued to increase her gap for the win. Behind the riders strung out with Carey and James both going down in the slick mud. Nash would take 2nd followed by Antonneau. Mani would pull out mid race, still not feeling well after a hectic travel schedule. Compton cleaned up well for the podium, but joked the mud was still caked under a layer of clean clothes.
As the Elite Men sloshed their way to the soft hole-shot, Michael Sherer (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit), Berden and local Andrew Dillman (Bob’s Red Mill) showed their colors at the front. Trebon confided after the race that he had a poor start.
Through the run-up on lap 1, Trebon managed to make it a loose group of three at the front with Berden, and Ryan Knapp (The Pony Shop). Then they hit the camel hump and Trebon pulled clear with Berden on his wheel. Riders gapped behind included: Dillman, Bradley White (Moms in Tow Cyclocross), Trebon’s teammate Jamie Driscoll, Chris Sheppard (Rocky Mountain Bicycles), Knapp, Sherer, Canadian champ Craig Richey (SponsorConnected.com), Robert Marion (American Classic Pro CX Team), and Kevin Bradford (Emde Sport-Fitness Fanatics.)
Then disaster struck for Berden. Watching from the nearby Heckle run-up, fans were shocked and couldn’t believe the carnage. On a series of slick slow hilly off camber turns between the pit and the run-up, Berden washed out. As he picked us his bike and began running, the rear wheel caught for a moment on the chain, then fell cleanly to the ground. A fan shouted, “Ben! Ben! Your wheel!” Berden pressed on without it, shouldering two-thirds of a bike for a death-slog to the pit, a half lap away. With a free pass, Trebon was gone for good.
Behind riders slid and wrecked. Dillman went into the tape on the same off-camber that took out Berden. Many chose to run the climbs of the slick camel rather than chance a mid-hill dismount. Livermon, who wasn’t in the top 10 early on, now was clawing his way through traffic. With four to go, Trebon crested the run-up and a rooster tail of mud flew from his rear wheel as he turned on the gas on the paved golf course path.
Driscoll worked his way into a solid 2nd position, with a few seconds separating White, Livermon, Sheppard, and Dillman. Further back was Knapp, in front of the Krughoff/ Richey duo by a few seconds. With three to go, Livermon continued to shine, working his way through the muck up to third. Dillman continued to hop the low LED lit barriers every lap to the cheers and cowbells of the crowd. However, there was a shake-up in store in the closing laps.
Trebon crossed the finish line at 1:07:47. Apparently the early fast laps skewed the lap timing, perhaps resulting in a slight miscalculation by the officials and a rather long race. It was just what White needed. With the extra real estate he closed and passed Livermon to take third. Dillman showed his young budding strength, endurance and skills to finish with an impressive 5th among riders vying for National and Worlds team selections.
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- Ben Berden, Katie Compton dominate the Gateway Cross Cup
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- Spooky Showdown Looms in Irvine
- Jeremy Powers, Teal Stetson-Lee Take Wins
- Stanley, a brand of PMI, Returns to StarCrossed
- Telenet Fidea Cycling Team to Cross After Dark
- Cross After Dark Series Emerges Nighttime Cross Races Unite in Series