Storm the Beach…

Photo: Phil Beckman

After my chain failure during Socalcross’ velodrome race, I was itching to get back onto the podium this weekend.  I had a little rest week after the velodrome races, and wasn’t quite sure how I would feel my first week back of racing.  Turns out cross is painful anytime.

First race of the weekend was Celo Pacifics Storm the Beach, which is held just 10 minutes from my house on Camp Pendleton.  With a chance of some morning rain, and a strong N wind the event was truly living up to its name.  I ran down to Velo Hangar first thing in the morning to get my pre-race good karma and coffee then made it to the venue a couple hours before my race.

I chatted with friends that were done racing about course conditions, tire pressure, different lines/techniques and got a wide array of opinions   Then pretty much decided that none of it mattered, everything was personal preference, and that running in the sand and riding into a 30 knot head wind is what was actually gonna decide the outcome of this race.

Our field was rather small with only 11 entrants, I noticed Brent Prenzlow and Anton Petrov were the two that I probably wanted to keep my eye on.  The start was rather tame and mellow as no one wanted to take the first pull into the headwind on the beach.  As soon as we hit the running section through the sand and up the small but o-so-steep hill the race was really on.  I quickly latched on to Brent’s feet, knowing he has had great success here in the past he would be the one to watch.  After the tough up hills and sandy beach sections we passed the start finish line with Brent in the lead, myself in second and Anton not too far behind.

Seeing the space we got on Anton during the run, we started to work together to try and lengthen the lead.  We ended up taking turns pulling throughout the course and had a solid gap on the rest of the field.  It was actually pretty nice to be able to ride with someone else the whole race as this course was very tough!

Photo: Phil Beckman

I was in the lead going into the last lap, and asked Brent when he was going to attach, he said he wasn’t sure yet, HAHA!  He put a nice little move on the run onto the beach, where I had a little bobble burying my front wheel in the sand which was all he needed.  I chased him up the beach into the wind as hard as I could but didn’t make up much time.  I managed to put a few more seconds on the gap on the last couple small climbs in case he made a mistake through the sand.  But being the veteran he is Brent rode everything perfectly and took 1st 5 seconds in front of me.

All in all a good fun day of racing.  I really enjoyed this course and thought Celo Pacific did a good job putting it on.  It was finally a course where I really didn’t want to do anymore laps at any pace let alone race pace!

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