December 2, 2012

The UCI cyclocross calendar once again found itself planted in downtown Los Angeles for the SoCal Cross promoted round of the series. With three days of on and off drizzle and rain, the course was muddy and presented riders with an extra challenge on the long, flat course that sat in the shadow of City Hall.

With Saturday used for amateur racing through the day and a night race for the Pro riders, Sunday was dedicated to the Pro riders and following their races, the singlespeed 'cross world championships.  Here's the first of two reports.

Raleigh/Clement rider Ben Berden grabs a Belgian holeshot over second place finisher Ryan Trebon (L) and his Cannondale teammate, and eventual winner, Tim Johnson. After a spirited chase, Berden managed third overall.

The team Rapha-Focus bikes of National Champ Zack McdDonald. Focus makes eight different 'cross models, with one running disc brakes.

              With steady rain falling for two days, the course was soupy and power robbing.

Canadian women's 'cross champ Mical Dyck came in from a recon lap sporting a sweet rear fender and wondering which tire from the Kenda line-up would be optimum.

The Raleigh RXC Pro team bikes run FSA wheels and TRP Parabox disc brakes and Clement tires. Note the old school Time mountain bike pedals. The production models run with Cole wheels and Avid brakes.

Jamis had a fleet of their 'cross bikes out in the field. You'll find five different models in the Jamis cyclocross line with prices starting at $850 for the disc equipped, aluminum Sport model up to the $5200 carbon SuperNova Team.

    Ridley offers six models of 'cross bikes, but the the Stan's No-Tube team bike is the Ridley X-Fire.

Everybody should be a Todd Wells fan. Although a full-time mountain biker and the second tallest rider in the men's field (after Ryan Trebron), the U.S. Olympian remains one of the friendliest and most enthusiastic riders out there.

The massive fork on the Giant TCX Advanced SL gives the bike a visual front-end bias. The Giant 'cross line is made up of three models. The SL is joined by an a $1850 aluminum women's specific model and a $2400 aluminum TCX-O. The carbon TCX SL frame is available for $2700.

Long time NorCal 'cross company Rock Lobster still has a hat in the 'cross game with four different frames made from your choice: Scandium, aluminum or steel. Frames start at $1350.

The Cal Giant squad had a stable of the new carbon Specialized Crux. Factory Specialized rider Todd Wells opted for canti brakes on his bike.

Aluminum remains a popular frame material in the 'cross world and Specialized is making one available with their $1850 Crux Elite.

Speaking of the internal cable routing, the Specialized Crix Elite offers up a unique cable exit design. Less expensive to manufacture and it gets the job done.

The Felt FX1 is their top of the line model spec's with a Shimano Di2 drivetrain and selling for $7249. While the carbon line starts at $2589, aluminum Felts start off at $1499.

With seven 'cross bikes in their line-up, Stevens is a popular brand with strong Euro roots in the sport. The two top bikes in the line can be personalized with parts and paint.

Paul's Components has been whittling bike parts out of aluminum since 1989. These sano gold ano Mini Moto brakes were deigned to be light and provide maximum wheel clearance. With Koolstop pads the brakes sell for $129 each.

Giant's Adam Craig was sportin' these Paul top mount Cross levers for an optional braking duties. The brake levers sell for $120 a pair for either 26.0 or 31.8mm bars.

Ready & set: (L-R) Saturday's race winner Meredith Miller, Alchemy's Nicole Duke, Rapha/Focus Julie Krasniak and Sunday's race winner Luna/Orbea's Katerina Nash.

The Cal Giant boys swept the U-23 podium: winner, Yannick Eastman, second, Cody Kaiser, third, Tobin Ortenblad.


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