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Okole Stuff Cup: Irvine, California

Posted by: Shannon Boffeli |August 4, 2011 12:04 PM
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Okole Stuff Cup (Presented by Kona & The Path Bike Shop) was a huge success!

The first ever XC race allowed in an OC park (The Okole Stuff Cup) was this past Saturday at Irvine Regional Park and Santiago Oaks Park in Irvine, CA. Like the races of old the course was lined with cheering spectators at many locations. The racers got to experience the thrill of the crowds as they pushed there limits to the highest level. 

The course itself was a throw back to the courses of the past with 1077' of climbing per 9 mile lap and many very technical sections.

After the race participants and the public were treated to great food from Wahoo's and the chance to try out some great bikes at the Dirt Demo.

The Winner Brent Prenzlow, local southern California Cyclo Cross star and endurance buff had this to say:

"Lap 1 - Chris Heinrich (the Path), Paul Freiwald (Pivot), and Eric Bierman (Steven K) all took turns leading out the pro group as we headed toward the pivotal singletrack climbs. I took the lead at the bottom and set a medium-hard pace to see how everyone was riding. I opened up a small (10 sec?) lead at the top of Coach Whip, but was soon joined across Barham Ridge by Sean Donovan (KHS). Donovan wanted by and I figured as a local he knew the trail so I obliged. He went so fast down Chutes I was immediately dropped in a cloud of dust! Soon the rest of the Pros were also backed up behind me (sorry guys!). Donovan was out of sight, and Freiwald passed me and took up the chase. As we crossed the deep sand & rocky dry river I moved back into 2nd and could see Donovan at the top of the next short climb. I pinned it, and got a gap on the chasers and successfully bridged across by the pavement ending the lap. I moved to the front just as we completed lap 1.

Lap 2 - I could see the chase group together about 20-30 seconds back. I knew Donovan was probably the fastest local rider here so I was hoping to work with him on lap 2 to build a lead. Shortly into lap 2, however, I noticed Donovan getting ready to take a feed and at that point I got a small lead. I didn't pick up the pace, but I didn't slow either. I had no feeder and was riding with 2 large bottles to get me to the end. I made an on the fly decision to try and extend the lead thinking that if I built up a gap then maybe I wouldn't get passed and/or dropped on the Chutes downhill. When I got partway up the singletrack climb, I could see down and the chase group had caught Donovan and they were all working together. I put in a max effort this time up and didn't look back. I was starting to lap riders, and when I went down Chutes I had to slow down here and there to pass safely. I hoped this played into my advantage as the chase would need to do the same. By the bottom, I wasn't caught so I pressed on. Finishing lap 2 alone, I could see Donovan chasing solo with no one else in sight.

Lap 3 - I've raced Sean Donovan a few times before, and I know he's not one to easily give up --  I had to keep the pace high the entire last lap, and also be mistake free if I was going to hold him off. I had to pass a lot of riders again (mainly on the singletrack climb), but everyone let me by without incident. (Thanks everyone for yielding!) When I looked back down from the singletrack climb, I could see Donovan a good distance back (maybe 2 minutes). I never saw him again, but as I finished "arms up" and pulled over to catch my breath - there he was; only 1:04 back! - I knew he wasn't going ease up! Further back, Peter Smith moved up well to round out the podium in 3rd."

 

Pro Men

1, Brent Prenzlow  2:01:48 

2, Sean Donovan  2:02:52 

3, Peter Smith  2:03:41 

4, Eric Bierman 2:08:40 

5, Paul Freiwald  2:09:09 

 

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