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Racing in Reno

 

2018 Cyclocross National Championships

January 15 — 2018 | Reno, Nevada

With fierce competition and a technical course setting the tone early on, it was a full-gas weekend of racing for the crew from Santa Cruz. Tobin Ortenblad and his coach/mechanic Chris McGovern rolled into Reno focused and confident, just having come off a streak of wins spanning the CX season. Typically a two-man show, the guys were treated to a full house that included Sports Marketing Manager Allan Cooke and his mobile pit, Factory Racing's Scott Chapin and Justin Robinson, SCB graphic designer Cambell Steers, and local CX favorite Ben Gomez-Villafane.

By Sunday afternoon a Stigmata would carry a new National Champion across the finish, Santa Cruz riders would crack the top five in multiple categories, and the supporters of the Hell Riders would have one hell of a good time under the Reno sun.

More details and all the photos below.

Tobin Ortenblad navigating the steep, off-camber switchback that slowed even the most proficient bike handlers to a crawl. 

Aunt Samantha wants YOU to win. 

Critical pre-race clearing. 

Warming up on rollers and by propane. 

Final pressure checks.

The switchback was rideable, but not fast. Some riders chose to run down in hopes of grabbing a half-second. 

Campbell Steers, a member of Santa Cruz's Graphics team, racing under the Rock Lobster banner in the pro women's race. 

Factory Racing's Scott Chapin (L), and Justin Robinson (R) pinning it out of the gate in the Singlespeed race. Scott squeaked into fifth, snagging a Nats medal. 

Single and leaning. 

Local Junior, Ben Gomez-Villafane, making sure his path to another National Championship is clear. 

Beach party Reno. 

Ben's last lap, all alone, with SCB's Sports Marketing Manager Allan Cooke on the mic. 

A dominant win for Ben Gomez-Villafane—arms up, no competitors in sight. 

Tobin's mechanic/coach, Chris McGovern, checking for spinnability. 

Tobin all smiles after practice. 

None of the photos capture the steepness of this section, but the number of people with phones out trying to do it justice should indicate how hard it was. 


Sandblasted. 

Deep in the pain cave at the tail end of the race. 

Tobin may have finished fourth on the day, but he had the biggest, loudest, and most dedicated supporters section. Nice work this season, Tobin! 

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