There are few things better than local racing on great trails with good people, and that's exactly what the Old Cabin Classic delivered last weekend. Teams and privateers from around the state came out to try their hand at besting a field stacked with local racers on a course that weaves its way through 11 miles of Wilder Rance state park land. An expo area treated racers, visitors, and spectators to a local art, delicious local food, and a variety of bike industry brands and businesses including a bike valet provided by Bike Santa Cruz County and for the racers, a neutral support provided by Cycledelicats and Spokespman Bicycles.
The racing started at 8AM and right from the get-go it was easy to tell that long, nasty winter had everyone primed and ready to ride hard. With El Salchichero bacon on the grill and Santa Cruz Mountain Brewery’s Giant DIPA beer in cooler the day was warming up to be a good one. Aaron Cole, Carlos Avina, and Justin Mendoza kicked things off for Santa Cruz Factory Racing for the day and both put their heads down and rode strong races to 10th, 14th and 15th place finishes respectively. For the Santa Cruz Women, Alli McLain returned to Old Cabin for her second year and put in a well-earned 10th place in Sport Women's (18-39), while Leslie Oley tackled three fast and consistent laps to land her in 3rd place for Expert Women (18-39).
As the racing continued later into the day, the Pro and Expert Men took to the dirt at 1pm. An early season spring rain hit the Wilder trails hard, making this year's course even more challenging than that of the previous few, and by the time the Pros hit the course the dust had started to fly; which should have made the newest runnels and ruts just a little more difficult to detect. None of this slowed down Zach Wick (4th), Syd Newsom (9th), or Tobin Ortenblad (1st); Tobin took an early lead which extended to more than 16 minutes by the end of the race. For the Expert category our veteran Santa Cruz locals Mark Anolik and Justin Robinson placed 30th and 6th in Expert (Men 40+) and JT Barse 12th, Matt Wilbur 18th (Men 18-39).
Tobin's top-podium effort was matched by Inventory Controller Scott Chapin, who earned his own decisive victory in the Pro Singlespeed category by a margin of nine minutes, and then promptly donated his prize winnings to the Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz. Thanks to a company-wide initiative to support local trail building and advocacy, Scott's donation will be matched in full by Santa Cruz Bicycles. Congrats to all the racers and special thanks to all the volunteers and organizers and those who came out and had a great time at the Old Cabin Classic!
Congrats to all the racers and special thanks to all the volunteers and organizers and those who came out and had a great time at the Old Cabin Classic!