Berden Wins in Los Angeles

Posted on December 2, 2013 by Clement

The Raleigh-Clement Team headed to Southern California this weekend for two days of racing amid palm trees and concrete near downtown L.A. While not your typical cyclocross conditions for early winter, the atmosphere was fantastic and the racing was tight and tactical.

Ben Berden and Jamey Driscoll went 1-2 on Sunday, besting a world-class field with an impressive display of team tactics. It was truly a proud day for our team. The guys played a perfect tactical game on a very fast course where drafting was essential. Jamey helped create the mid-race selection that carved out an elite group of 4, with Tim Johnson and Danny Summerhill matched against the 2 Raleigh-Clement boys. Going into the final lap Jamey again revved it to the max to keep Danny and Tim in the red while Ben stayed tucked in the wheels. They flew onto the finish straight with Jamey in the lead and Ben lit the fuse on a perfectly timed sprint to come around on the line for a textbook victory. Jamey held on for 2nd to complete the double, with Tim in 3rd and Danny 4th.

It’s rare that a team can pull off a 1-2 in the unpredictable world of cyclocross, and we’re pretty pumped about this special team accomplishment. Check out the sprint finish video from our friends at SoCalCross here: (paste it in your browser).

The weekend also saw the conclusion of the 4-race Cross After Dark Cyclocross Series. Ben arrived in L.A. leading the 4-race series that includes stops in Vegas, St. Louis, and Cincy. Ben’s main rival in the series, Ryan Trebon, did exactly what he needed to and won Saturday’s night race and the series victory. Ben finished 5th on the day, and 2nd in the series. Had Ben finished 3rd or better, he would have won the series. But that’s why we race right?

Not to be outdone by the guys, Raleigh-Clement’s Frenchwoman Caroline Mani also had a good weekend with 5th and 4th places that indicate a high level of fitness and confidence. Caro now heads back to France for the remainder of the season where she’ll continue racing with a focus on the upcoming World Cups, French National Championships, and World Championships.

Team rider Craig “Hot Laps” Etheridge won both days in the single-speed category, pushing his win tally to over a dozen for the season in the one-gear class. Craig has been called “the embodiment of cyclocross spirit,” but let’s try to keep the air horn out of his hands next weekend shall we?

Closer to home, Colorado’s Allen Krughoff took a nail-biter to the line, finishing 2nd in a race outside Denver, part of the Colorado Cross Cup.

Continuing their demanding schedule of events coast-to-coast, the Raleigh-Clement Cyclocross Team next heads to Bend, Oregon where the conditions may be a tad more wintery than SoCal.