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The Southern California Prestige Series of Cyclocross was formed in 2005 by an informal association of  cycling clubs motivated to become the premier cyclocross series across Southern California and the nation! The Prestige Series will host 18 races over 15 weekends from of racing from San Diego to San Luis Obispo - September 2012 to January 2013.

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Final Showdown ends the 2011-12 Season

Bakersfield plays host to the Season Finale & Historic Nor Cal vs. SoCal Showdown!

Great weekend ya’ll!  Congrats to our 22 Prestige Series Champions and everyone who came to be a part of the finale weekend @SoCalCross.  The 2011-12 season has been presented by SPY Optic for which we are forever to help us get to the next level.  Thank you as well as Shimano presenting the California Gold Crown – events more than a cross race and showcasing the best talent in CA and the USA!

Complete race results are posted including the 2nd ever Nor Cal vs So Cal showdown which brought top riders to Bakersfield from Nor Cal – both of whom raced with us many years ago, but haven’t seen in So Cal for some time:  Pro road cyclist, Andy Jaques-Maynes and recent National CX Masters Champion, Gina Hall… thanks for coming!  Both dominated their races in the elite Men and Women’s Championship.  Lots of photos and more coming shortly.  We are still driving back from the event so look for more fun reports, photos, vids tomorrow!  G.nite and thanks for being a part of SoCalCross!

Here’s  my Facebook reflection : Well, it’s over. Feel happy, accomplished, relieved. Thanks to everyone who dedicated themselves in one way or another to making yet another record breaking, successful season @SoCalCross It was an awesome Finale! …Everyone so gracious and friendships found… but in the end we love the challenge of it all ; ) What a great sport cyclocross is : )

Saturday 1/21/2012 SCPS #22 Season Finale – report by Robbie on CX Magazine.com

While the 2012 National Championships are over, many racers throughout the country have fitness and motivation to extend the cyclocross season to mimic the European racing. In Bakersfield, California, two days of racing wrapped up the season for both North and Southern California racers. Day one saw the finale of the Southern California Prestige Series. Stay tuned for Sunday’s report on the Nor Cal vs. So Cal battle.

Bakersfield, CA – “One to go, one to go, one to go!” the famous ring of Dave Towle filled the B-Town finale as the SoCal prestige series, presented by SPY Optic, hit Bakersfield for the last of its 22 races this season. While most series have been done for weeks, and all the big events in the U.S finished, SoCal Series promoter Dorothy Wong along with the B-town race promoter Sam Ames put together one last double race weekend with the series finale and the Nor Cal vs. So Cal.

The European style course had a fast, long paved start before the sweeping left turn that lead into the high-speed technical off-camber grass sections. The course then came back into the main expo area hitting the “Rock Lobster Launch Pad,” a wooden flyover with much potential for sweet jumping action. The main course action was back in the main spectator area with the leg crushing climbs, barriers, steep run up, and technical descents.

Elite Women:

From the start it was Amanda Schaper (Ritte Racing) taking the hole shot and leading the field through the first half lap. Then, once back in the main expo area, Christine Probert-Turner (The TEAM SoCal Cross/Turner Bikes) made her move passing Schaper over the barrier section and starting to move ahead of the field to get a gap by the top of the first climb.

From here is was Turner all the way as she soloed to take the win and final race of the SoCal Prestige season. Schaper stayed on the gas, riding hard to keep her position and grab 2nd. Series promoter Dorothy Wong (The TEAM SoCalCross) chased all race to finish 3rd with a big smile with such a successful season behind her. 4th was Hannah Eckvahl (The TEAM SoCalCross) and 5th her teammate McKenzie Melcher.

Elite Men:

As the final race of the season, it was down to a few riders for the series overall championship. The points were close, which was going to make things exciting from the start, but not as exciting as the rain that started 15 minutes before the race to completely throw off the riding conditions for the first few laps of the race, until it stopped after lap two.

It was B-town local Gareth Feldstein (Ritte Racing) with the hole shot, leading into the grass section until he crashed in the most technical of the off-camber turns. Brent Prenzlow (Celo Pacific/Focus) then took the lead and pushed the pace taking Kyle Gritters (Rock N Road) with him as they split the field apart leading into lap two.

Prenzlow and Kyle rode off the front and stayed away for five laps as Prenzlow was going to secure his series lead over the others. In the chase group it was Brandon Gritters (Rock N Road), Gary Douville (SDG/Felt p.b. iRT) and teammate Jason Siegle. Each of the three made some mistakes or crashed, trading positions as they chased.

With Prenzlow on the front, Kyle made his move to take the lead and slowly started to pull away from Prenzlow. With two to go Siegle broke away from the others on the chase, as riders were strung out all over the course, to catch Prenzlow. He was looking to continue his charge.

Then with one to go Siegle made his pass on Prenzlow, but it was not enough to catch Kyle Gritters, who soloed in for a win. Prenzlow knew he was safe with his series points and rolled in third behind Siegle. fourth went to Douville and fifth was another SDG/Felt teammate Anton Petrov to round out the top five.

The great course and event from all the hard work of Bakersfield local volunteers made for a fantastic day one of the Final Showdown weekend. There was a lot of great racing and some hard battles as riders battled it out for the series overall in many different categories. But, the day was not over as the evening party was planned at a downtown brewery and competitors were looking to rest up for day two of the B-town weekend and to see who is the better Cal Series of ’cross racing and who could take home the true California state champion jersey.

More to come on day two, or for more info go www.socalcross.org

Sunday 1/22/2012 NORCAL VS SOCAL SHOWDOWN REPORT by Dave Sheek: “Another Quest for Bragging Rights”

Bakersfield, CA- With Saturdays event marking the end for the SoCal Prestige series, presented by SPY Optic, and the crowning of many series overall categories winners, Sunday would be the last CX race of the long eventful 2011-12 season. The event, like last year was the Northern versus Southern California championships race, an event for bragging rights and a true California champion jersey to each of the categories winners.

The course had no surprise rains or gusty winds to challenge riders, the cool sunny B-town weather was perfect for the final day. It was just going to be the previous days fast, challenging, Euro style course but run in reverse with a few turns changed to make it flow and consistently test competitors. The start again was a fast road straight into a sweeping left but entering back into the main expo area. This presented riders with the most difficult turns, climbs, and run-ups right away into their laps. And as they hit the grass section on the backside of the course the elevation change was much more than the previous day and it really seemed to take its toll on riders later in each race.

With SoCal winning the overall the year before NorCal definitely showed this year with a vengence and were winning a lot of the events. In the masters men events we saw NorCal take the top spots in 35, 45, and 55+. The single speed of course went to NorCal and the recently crowned National Champion Aaron Bradford and teammate Scott Chapin (Rock Lobster) rode away from the competition. Ty Hathaway (Mudfoot) gave a good battle but the Lobster men seemed to have the gearing and course absolutely dialed. The consistency of all the SoCal racers all day still had them leading as the elite events were coming.

Elite Women:

After some impressive racing from the strong NorCal Cal Giant Berries/Specialized team all day, Gina Hall took to the start in the elite women and competitors new it was going to be rough. Hall recently won the masters 45-49 national championships and definitely still has good fitness.

When the whistle blew the women came sprinting down the road and it was hard to tell if it was Hall or Ellen Sherrill (Bike Station Aptos) who went into the dirt and came around the sweeping left turn first. The women lined up as the course had a nice groove into the next set of turns before the first steep punchy climb. Third wheel was Sofia Gomez Villafane (Ibis/buy-cell), Amanda Schaper (Ritte Racing), Christine Probert-Turner (The TEAM SoCalCross/Turner Bikes), ultra promoter and overall Single Speed SoCal Series winner Dorothy Wong (The TEAM SoCalCross) along with top Masters riders, Desira Miller and Carol Ruckle of Team Redlands.

Going into the climb Turner made a move passing Schaper and up front Sherrill was first to start the descent. By the time the women were leaving the main expo portion of the course on the dirt straight Sherrill and Hall were already starting to get some room on the field.

The women came back down the road charging into lap two. It was Hall with Sherrill and just a few seconds back it was Turner who moved past Gomez for third. The chase was already starting to break apart as Gomez, Schaper, and Wong were all more than five seconds apart and the rest of the women scattered behind them.

The next two laps had Sherrill leading through the climbs then Hall opening a gap down through the descents. The two were riding strong and gaining space on Turner but she was still on a mission. Halfway through Hall moved ahead of Sherrill and from there continued to open space from her lead and second place.

Into the final lap the national champion stayed strong and soloed in for another title jersey this season. Sherrill held on for 2nd and Turner the same in 3rd. The youngster Gomez showed a great race and rolled in to take 4th and Schaper just behind in 5th.

Elite Men:

The field was stacked and all eyes of course were on another Cal Giant Berries/Specialized rider, as Andy Jacques-Maynes took the line. But to make things even more interesting B-town promoter Sam Ames and renowned announcer Dave Towle started calling to the spectators for a first lap cash prime. Ames offered up the first portion of the money and while officials were talking to racers the two were collecting aloud.

Just before the whistle blew there was $160 being announced for the fastest first lap. The men were off and Brent Prenzlow (Celo Pacific/Focus) took the hole shot with Jacques-Maynes second wheel. The entire field was hungry as riders where making their moves to get in a good position. As the riders came into the wall Prenzlow and Jacque-Maynes battled up the run-up where the Cal Giant rider took the lead. Prenzlow held on and the field chased behind. But by the end of the Fly-over Jacques-Maynes moved ahead to begin his gap off the field.

Into the back part of the course Jason Siegle (SDG/Felt p.b. iRT) passed Prenzlow and continued to push his pace in chase of the leader. Here the race for 1st and 2nd were decided as these two soloed an entire hour for the first two steps. The chase was the real battle as a large group of riders were together for most of the race.

With three to go hometown boy Gareth “Cru” Feldstein (Ritte Racing) and Prenzlow broke away from the group and started to work together to solidify their podium spots. Krishna Dole (Sheila Moon) stayed close chasing the two but could not get back on their wheels.

On the last lap Prenzlow led up through the back grass section then Feldstein passed onto the road. Prenzlow let him lead out the sprint and came around him hard but Feldstein pulled back and grabbed 3rd in a photo finish to beat him by .02 of a second. Prenzlow was 4th and Dole rode in for 5th.

It was a great finish to the cyclocross season and a fantastic event, all of which was definitely not possible without the hard work of Dorothy Wong, Sam Ames and all of the local volunteers and sponsors.  This event already has people talking for next year as SoCal has taken the title home again and NorCal is requesting a further north location.

Pay attention to www.socalcross.org for more information on the 2012-13 season and the third annual NorCal vs. SoCal showdown, sometime January 2013.

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