Cyclocross racing returned to Santa Cruz over the weekend with the second edition of the Rock Lobster Cup and Factory Racing put their home-field advantage to good use. On a brutally rough course the team powered their way to two wins and gave the out-of-towners a lesson in having a good time.
A change in race venue this year brought the Rock Lobster Cup down from the mountains and onto the beach only a couple of miles from the Santa Cruz Bikes headquarters. The fundraiser event took place at Lighthouse Field against the backdrop of Santa Cruz’s iconic Steamer Lane where a combination of pumping surf and raucous ‘cross racing drew a steady stream of spectators.
Freshly minted SCB employee Trenton South kicked off the day for Factory Racing in the Open Men’s C category and he discovered a course worthy of Santa Cruz’s distinguished cyclocross history. Deep grass, gopher-holes, and creative obstacles including a tire run and multiple log hops combined to make each lap a leg-sapping grind for even the fittest racers. Despite the course, South pedaled his way to 13th and gathered valuable beta for the remaining racers.
Joey Stanwyck made the most of his local knowledge in the Open Men’s B category, crossing the line in ninth place and making sure that he saved enough energy to catch a few waves at The Lane after his race.
While Joey shredded the waves, Factory Racing’s two powerhouses Scott Chapin and Justin Robinson shredded Lighthouse Field and gathered consecutive victories in the Men’s A Single Speed and Masters 35+ A categories. “It was really rough out there,” Justin said of the course, “I found myself riding a massive gear to try and float over some of the holes.”
As Justin concerned himself with getting ready for his second race of the day, Chapin’s only concern was sharing the jug of cognac that his victory earned him.
Chris Seymour, Zach Wick, and Alex Wick joined Robinson for the final race of the day in the Men’s Open A’s. Despite the afternoon heat and heavy legs, Justin led the first half and held on for a top-five finish to cap off an impressive day.
The Wick brothers battled each other the entire race, with Alex evenutally beating out his brother by earning ninth and Zach landing in tenth. Chris Seymour followed close behind the two in 12th. “This is a pretty incredible venue,” Alex Wick said following the race, “there’s nothing better than racing bikes at the most scenic spot in Santa Cruz.”
Factory Racing heads to another iconic Santa Cruz ‘cross race next weekend at the Surf City All Hallow’s Cross in Aptos on October 30th.