2014 Elks Aidmore Race Report

Words and photos by Trish Albert/Southeasterncycling.com

Elks Aidmore in Conyers hosted the Georgia Cross opening weekend! After a dry Saturday race on the traditional woodsy Elks course, Sunday’s course was “Shades of Honey Badger.” The infamous muddy ditch was back after a year’s absence. Mother Nature graced Sunday morning with a little bit of drizzle, making roots nice and slick and adding moisture to the already muddy ditch. Other parts of the course that were covered by trees remained dry.

New for 2014 is the Masters 35+ Cat. 4/5 race at 10:00. Along side them are the fun loving Singlespeeders. The SS took of first followed about 30 seconds later by the Masters. Eric Nicoletti (Faster mustache) took off early with a Trevor Harding following behind. Mountain bike wielding Dave Marbut (Toyota Forklifts) tried to make up time by riding the ditch every lap. Those three held their places for the podium. In the Masters 4/5, Chris Isenberg took the win. Matt Harris (C-Town Bikes) was second, and Corny Pogi (Sopo Bikes) was third.

Then Corni showing how it should be done in the Masters 4/5.

Elite Masters were lucky as it started raining hard about 10 minutes before their race. The course quickly turned wet and slick. The Master 35+ looks to be hotly contested this year as “Little Timmy” Barrett (Toyota Forklifts) is finally eligible to race Masters and several riders are moving up to the 45+ age group. Tim didn’t disappoint. He took the lead early and held on for the win on Sunday. Chris Wyatt (Peachtree Bikes) finished behind him after taking Saturday’s win. Nate Sibley (Atlanta Cycling) was third. In the 45+ field, the front of the race stayed compact in the tricky conditions until the second half of the first lap. A trio containing Litespeed/BWM teammates Brady Rogers and Charles Rossignol and Peachtree Bike’s Grayson Tudor began to pull away. Dub Smith (Toyota Forklifts) led the chase with Scott Staubach, Men’s 60-64 National Champion Hardwick Gregg (Infinity Cycling), and a couple others in tow. By the third lap the lead trio had become a duo of Brady and Grayson, which stopped when both tumbled end over end into the ditch, taking Grayson out with a mechanical. The following lap Brady lost the lead as a whittled down chase group of Dub and Scott came through with their eyes on the top step. After repeated attacks by Dub, Scott was gapped on the final climb with Dub taking the well-earned win. Brady held on for third.

Ten Cat. 4 women lined up. Trudy Franzel (Alderman) of Savannah captured first on Saturday. Once again she got the holeshot into the tape and didn’t look back. Behind her it was a battle for second place. Brittnay Hopson (Sorella Cycling) took the honors followed by Ana Bailie (L5 Flyers). A little further back in the Cat. 4 pack, Brittnay Mixon (Sorella Cycling) wowed the crowd on every lap by using her gravity racing skills to get air over the ditch.  The Juniors 15-18 saw Blake Johnson (AYC Junior Devo) come out on top followed by Davis Branyon (Frazier Cycling) and Keegan Schimmelman. The Under 14 Juniors had a good showing with riders as young as 7! Spectators could be heard across the venue cheering these youngsters on. The top 3 were Sean Branyon (Frazier Cycling), Owen Braunecker (Mission Source/NCGA), and Makena Gates. Trevor Harding won the Cat. 5 race. He was followed by Josh Lothspeigh (Northstar Racing) and Zach Holmes.

The Elite Women have a 30 second headstart on the Cat. 4 Men. The fastest ladies made it known they have no intention of getting caught by any of the men. They put an exclamation mark on that Sunday. Saturday saw Paula Burks (Peachtree Bike) beat Lisa Randall (Super Sport) on a dry, fast course. With parts of the Shades of Honey Badger course wet and muddy, it favored Lisa’s mountain bike skills. She did not disappoint. On the first ditch crossing, Lisa put a few seconds on Paula, but Paula came back until she slid out in a corner. Lisa put a few more seconds on Paula with each dismount and held on for the win. Paula finished second. Elizabeth Lee (Loganville Ford) rounded out the podium. After Saturday’s dramatic win in the Cat. 4 race, Zach Lutz (Grindstone Cycling) could be called an upgrader after immediately moving up to Cat. 3. In his absence, Cat. 4 Men’s race was open. Connor Ardrey (Outspokin’ Augusta) won with Devin Vernick (L5 Flyers) in second and Chris Bulloch in third.

A little birdie said that Frank Trevieso (United Healthcare/706) had been training in secret for the Elks Aidmore cross races and was determined to take the win both days. Even with his victory on Saturday, there was speculation that he couldn’t handle the wetter conditions on Sunday. The 1/2 race got off to a fast start. With 6 laps to go, Frank had a 10 second lead over Nick Van Winkle (Litespeed/BMW). That lead never wavered until just over 1 lap to go. Frank overcooked a corner that had taken out several riders during the day. His bike bucked him off, and he lost a few precious seconds retrieving it. Nick nearly caught him. Frank remounted and put a few seconds between them again. Frank won with Nick in second. Artur Sagat (Round Here Racing) rounded out the podium. After crashing out in the Masters 45+ race, Grayson Tudor (Peachtree Bikes) came back to win the Cat. 3 race. Blake Bridges (Northstar Racing) was 2nd, and Matthew Reeves (LNC) was 3rd.   The 1/2/3 Men kept the crowd entertained on the backside of the course. Rumor has it there were cookie hand ups and even a bacon wrapped donut hand up. Loud music could be heard from the ALTX speakers to get the riders and crowd pumped up.

Trish’s Annual Cyclocross Clinic

Get Your Cyclocross On! Join Trish Albert for a cyclocross clinic to learn what CX is and develop race skills!

When:  Monday, Sept. 8, 2014, 6:15-7:15-ish PM
Where: Jim Miller Park, 2245 Callaway Road, Marietta, GA 30008. Park in the big field across from the Fairground.
Who: Everyone is welcome!
Cost: Free
What To Bring: Cyclocross bike or mountain bike. If you bring a mountain bike, remove your bottle cages and bar ends. Bring water. HELMETS ARE MANDATORY!
Skills to Be Covered: Cyclocross mounts and dismounts, lifting the bike over barriers, race tips and tricks. We’ll do a practice race on the end on one of Georgia’s classic cyclcocross courses.

Notes: All riders must sign a waiver. HELMETS ARE MANADTORY. No helmet, no ride. Trish Albert is not responsible if you get injured. You ride at your own risk and assume all responsibility for yourself and your equipment.

Trish Albert
Southeastern Cycling
http://www.southeasterncycling.com

 

Elks Aidmore – Race Report

WORDS AND PHOTOS: Trish Albert/Southeasterncycling.com

Salma Hugue (Junior Flyers) does the "Breakfast Club" over the barriers on her way to 2nd place. Also, she is way too young to get that reference.

Elks Aidmore in Conyers hosted the Georgia Cross finale weekend! Fall is the dry season in Georgia, but racers were treated to a week of rain and falling temperatures preceding the series finale. Mud, cold, wet, more mud! Sunday’s weather did not disappoint. Heavy overnight rains turned Saturday’s tacky course into a peanut buttery mess for Sunday’s races. Turns were slick, uphills were slidy, and there was carnage everywhere. Riders came to defend their series leads or simply to try to survive the epic conditions.

In the Masters 35+, Michael Schmid (Reality Bikes) took a solo victory. Daryl Sawyer (Toyota Forklifts) rode into second despite having been sick for a week. Series leader Ian Pruiner (Smyrna Bicycles) was third. The Masters 45+ started with a four-way battle for the holeshot between Dub Smith (Toyota Forklifts), Alan Burton (Toyota Forklifts), Greg Schisla (GTC), and Bobby Thrash (Adventure Cycles). As the group slid their way through the downhill after the cabins, Smith remained steady on the front while Burton moved past Schisla only to be pushed aside by a surging Thrash. The four remained together through the lake, pool, and asphalt sections with Smith at the helm and the others continuing their jostling behind. The peanut butter conditions through the rollers and bridges eventually broke up the group with Smith and Burton pulling away from Schisla and Thrash. With rain now falling, Smith continued on with teammate Burton in tow over the next two laps as course conditions deteriorated. On the third and final trip through the rollers and bridges Smith opened a gap on Burton, pulling away through the muck to take victory. Schisla came in third.

In the Juniors 15-18 Keegan Schimmelman was the sole entrant and took the win. The Women’s Cat. 4 race has been hot contest all season between Lisa Bongiorno (Frazier Cycling) and Rhys Mays (ATH CX). The buzz was that Mays would take today’s win because of her running skills on the parts of the course that were not rideable. Bongiorno was having none of that. She took the early lead and never looked back. Mays worked her way from the middle of the pack to take second. Shannon Kimato was third in her first ever cyclocross race. Series Leader Bongiorno and State Champion Mays were upgraded to Cat. 3 on the spot and are looking forward to racing with the Women’s 1/2/3 next year. In the Juniors 10-14, Hunter Murray battled the mud to come out on top. Owen Braunecker (Mission Source Juniors) and Makena Gates rounded out the podium.

Michael Schmid (Reality Bikes)

In the Men’s Cat. 3 Michael Schmid (Reality Bikes) was not too tired from his earlier victory in the Masters 35+ to give Mclean Harris (Smyrna Bicycles) a run for his money. Schmid stayed with him until the last lap when Harris put a few seconds between them. James Hundershott (Georgia College) was third. In the Women’s race, mountain biker Lisa Randall (Sorella Cycling) loves the mud and it showed. She flew to the front and never looked back. Randall would put several minutes on the next rider before the end of the race. In the chase pack, Kim Sawyer (Toyota Forklifts) had a bobble in the mud. She was passed by Salma Hugue (Junior Flyers) and Elizabeth Lee (LG Factory). Roadie Hugue becoming known for riding very well in the rain this year. She pushed passed her older competition to take second place. Lee rolled in for third.

With several of the Cat. 4 Men moving up to the 3’s and series leader Scott Morris (Village Volkswagon) sitting out , the field was wide open. Zach Lutz has not had the best mechanical luck this year in his previous races. He had no bike problems today and came away with the win and an upgrade to Cat. 3. Junior racer Davis Branyon (Frazier Cycling) was second, and Blake Bridges (Northstar) was third.

The mud did little to separate the top riders in the Men’s Cat. 1/2/3 race the first three laps. Masters World Champion Thomas Turner (Team Jamis), Nicholas VanWinkle (Litespeed-BMW), Artur Sagat, Elliot Baring (Cycle Youth) and Frank Trevieso (Smart Stop) stayed together despite the challenging course conditions. On the third lap, Turner and VanWinkle put a small gap on the others. Turner would win by about 15 seconds. VanWinkle was second, and Baring came in third.

Single Speeders love the mud as they have no shifters or derailleurs to get gunked up. One gear, no fuss! SS was the David Marbut (Toyota Forklifts) show. He jumped to the front from the start line. His teammate Dub Smith began the Twinkie hand ups on the second lap. Series Leader Marbut increased the gap as many of his competitors stopped to take a Twinkie or a cupcake after the Twinkies ran out. The biggest cheer of the day came for Salma Hugue (Junior Flyers), the lone women’s SS entrant. She was the last rider off of the course for the 2013 Georgia Cross Season and the one with the biggest smile. Marbut took the win. Michael James (Prima Tapps) was on the second step of the podium with Matthew Reeves (LNC) in third.

 

Congratulations to the Georgia Cross 2013 Series Award Winners!

Single Speed

1. David Marbut (Toyota Forklifts)
2. Mclean Harris (Smyrna Bicycles/BMW)
3. Josh Frank (ATLX)

Juniors 10-14

1. Leon Waine (Junior Flyers)
2. Troy Waine (Junior Flyers)
3. Davis Branyon (Frazier Cycling)

Juniors 15-18

1. Thomas Pettit (Frazier Cycling)
2. Kyle Ellis
3. Blake Wilson (Frazier Cycling)

Men CX 4

1. Scott Morris (Village Volkswagen)
2. Aaron Chamberlin (Faster Mustache)
3. Harry Boxler

Women CX 1/2/3

1. Kim Sawyer (Toyota Forklifts)
2. Elizabeth Lee (LG Factory Team p/b Fuji)
3. Lisa Randall (Sorella Cycling)
4. Amy Frank (ATLX)
5. Salma Hugue (Junior Flyers)

Women CX 4

1. Lisa Bongiorno (Frazier Cycling)
2. Rhys May (ATHCX)
3. Lori Balistreri (ATLX)

Men CX 1/2/3

1. Thomas Turner (Team Jamis)
2. Nicholas VanWinkle (Litespeed-BMW)
3. Artur Sagat
4. Frank Travieso (Smart Stop)
5. Tim Barrett (EPTC)

Men CX 3

1. Mclean Harris (Smyrna Bicycles/BMW)
2. Calvin Cheung (College Park Bicycles
3. Michael Schmid (Reality Bikes)

Masters 45+

1. Alan Burton (Toyota Forklifts)
2. Dub Smith (Toyota Forklifts)
3. Tom Butler (Smyrna Bicycles/BMW)

Masters 35+

1. Ian Prunier (Smyrna Bicycles/BMW)
2. Michael Schmid (Reality Bikes)
3. Daryl Sawyer (Toyota Forklifts)

Peachtree Bikes Buckhead location burned down. Let’s help them out.

(Photo from the Peachtree Bikes Facebook page)

UPDATE from Mike and Elexa Wagaman: We are so thankful for the outpouring of support from the community—especially from the Georgia Cyclocross Family. Peachtree Bikes first priority is that of their employees. Peachtree Bikes is fortunate to have excellent insurance coverage. They are currently working with their insurance company to open a temporary Buckhead store-front. In the meantime, we are asking the friends and supporters of Peachtree Bikes to patronize the store in Sandy Springs. All staff have been relocated there—so you are sure to get extra attention and a world of expertise when shopping for those holiday gifts!

So in lieu of donations, support Peachtree Bikes by visiting the Sandy Springs location!

As most of you know, the Buckhead location of Peachtree Bikes burned down this week. We will be accepting donations for the employees at registration this weekend. Please donate if you can. There is no good time to find yourself without work, but right before the holidays is an especially tough time. There are a lot of Georgia ‘Crossers, so if everyone donates a little bit, we can make a big impact.

For those who will not be attending this weekend’s races, we are also accepting donations via PayPal on the home page. Please note that there are two “donate” buttons. Use the top button for donations to Peachtree Bikes employees.

Jim Miller – Race Report

WORDS AND PHOTOS: Trish Albert/Southeasterncycling.com

Jim R. Miller Park in Marietta is the longest running venue in the Georgia Cross series. Racers rejoiced as cross-appropriate temperatures finally hit the state. With a low of 27 degrees Fahrenheit and a high of 43, this was cold for Georgia Cross. Riders bundled up as they pre-rode what is the favorite course for many. They were not disappointed! With two sets of barriers, the classic run up, a long fast section, and a set of whoop de doos the course was one of the best yet.

Dave Gearhart (Litespeed-BMW) came into the Masters 35+ race fresh after having taken several weekends off from racing. Ian Prunier (Smyrna Bicycles) took the lead at the first barrier with Dave on his wheel. Dave counterattacked on the back side of the course on the second set of barriers. Dave continued to build his lead in subsequent laps. A group of 6 took up the chase; however, they could not reel him in. Dave held on for the win. Michael Schmid (Reality Bikes) nipped Ian Prunier (Smyrna Bicycles) at the line for second place. In the Masters 45+ Timothy Gotsick got a gap early and held it to the finish. Dub Smith (Toyota Forklifts) put in a good chase but could not catch him. Lamar Mauney (Toyotoa Forklifts) was third.

Two Juniors 15-18 battled one another. Thomas Petitt (Frazier Cycling) came out on top followed by Keegan Schimmelman. The Cat. 4 Women’s fields have been consistently big this year. Jim Miller was no exception. Fifteen women were on the line. Emeline Renz (ALTX) took the holeshot into the barriers with everyone else close behind. Soon Cathi Swanson took the lead and never looked back. State Champion Rhys Mays (ATHCX) took second, and Amy Ross was third. Everyone loves watching the Juniors 10-14 race. They were not disappointed today. Leon Waine (Junior Flyers) took a commanding lead early and kept it until the end. Hunter Murray followed in second with Troy Waine (Junior Flyers) in third.

Mclean Harris (Smyrna Bicycles) put the hammer down on the first lap and took the win in the Cat. 3 Men’s race. Matthew Reeves (LNC) was second, and Michael Schmid (Reality Bikes) rounded out the podium. In the Women’s Cat. 1/2/3 race, Lisa Randall (Sorella Cycling) was back after several weeks of racing mountain bikes. She took off at the start while Kim Sawyer (Toyota Forklifts) and Elizabeth Lee (LG Factor) formed a chase group with the others far behind. Kim gapped Elizabeth a few times during the first couple of laps, but Elizabeth closed it each time. Finally, with 2 laps to go, Kim attacked hard after the first set of barriers. She got a gap that she was able to hold until the finish to take second over Elizabeth.

A large Cat 4 Men’s field lined up. After they stretched out in the field, the line seemed to go on for a mile. Alex Newton (Faster Mustache) took the holeshot with Ben Braxley and Scott Morris (Village Volkswagon) close behind. For three laps, Ben and Alex took turns out front with Scott hanging on. On the last lap, Alex attacked on the small dirt climb. In a post race interview, he said “I knew with my MTB gearing I wouldn’t have a chance in the sprint, so my plan was to try and exit the woods with a gap. The small dirt climb before the short and steep downhill was my attack spot and rode/ran the run up as hard as I could until I was out of the woods.” Scott had time to adjust his jersey and throw his arms up in victory. Ben out sprinted Scott for second place.

In the Men’s Cat. 1/2/3, the first lap created a group of 6 including Thomas Turner (Team Jamis), Nick VanWinkle (Litespeed-BMW), Frank Trevieso (Start Stop), Tim Barrett (EPVA) and two others. The group stayed together for several laps before the first rider came off. The remaining 5 bided their time. With a lap and a half to go, Thomas stopped toying with them and took off. He put 30 seconds on Nick within the last lap of the race. Arthr Sagat followed for second with Nick in third.

Nick VanWinkle (Litespeed-BMW) leads Thomas Turner (Jamis) over the barriers at Jim Miller Park in Marietta.

After not winning the Single Speed at Serenbe, Mclean Harris (Smyrna Bicycles) was out for revenge. As he did in the Cat. 3 race, he wasted no time leaving everyone else in his dust. Dave Marbut (Toyota Forklifts) was the first rider to give chase, but it proved fruitless. Dave fell back several places. Next up Tim Barrett tried to bring Mclean back. Mclean won with Matthew Reeves in second and Dave in third.

 

Serenbe – Race Report

WORDS AND PHOTOS: Trish Albert/Southeasterncycling.com

Many Georgia Cross racers went to bed Saturday night with dreams of mud tires, puddles, and pouring rain. Instead, a light foggy mist settled on Serenbe in Chattahoochee Hills for the Georgia Cyclocross State Championships presented by Faster Mustache. It wasn’t epic cross weather, but at least the course was wet. Mud was even spotted on the downhills during the last few races. Fall is Georgia’s dry season, so any precipitation at a cross race is welcome.

The Masters races had their largest fields of the season. In the Masters 35+, Chris Lessing (Round Here Racing) went to the front early and never looked back. Shey Linder (CTown Bikes) and Connell Patterson put in a good chase but could not catch him. He won with Shey in second and Connell in third. The 45+ Masters racing was as hot as it has been all year. With a twisty woods section coming immediately after the 300 meter opening stretch and a state championship on the line, start line nerves were tight. As the group exited the woods the usual suspects were immediately away, with Michael Schmid (Reality Bikes) and Alan Burton (Toyota Forklifts) holding point with a small gap. On the dirt road a trio of Fulton Flyers (Dub Smith, Bobby Thrash and Lamar Mauney) reduced the gap, only to see it stretch again in the second wooded section. As the leaders hit the grassy climb, Michael turned the screws to solidify the gap. Over the next two laps, Dub and Lamar, along with a surging Tom Butler (Smyrna Bikes), continued to press behind the leading duo as the field splintered. Soon a solitary figure was seen behind them-Timothy Gotsick (Team Lupus), who is a cross newbie and the Georgia Elite Men’s TT Champ. By mid-race Timothy caught Dub and Lamar. After a short respite, he left them in his jet wash and joined Alan, who had been dropped as Michael motored out to a solo lead that put him into his first Georgia CX State Championship jersey. Timothy and Alan rolled in for 2nd and 3rd respectively, with Dub 4th. Being the “Fastest of the Most Experienced Masters,” Lamar took 5th and the 55+ State Championship jersey.

Is it me or does it seem like Michael Schmid just gets faster with age?

Three racers in the Juniors 15-18 vied for the State Championship. Kyle Ellis (Frazier Cycling) and Luke Broadwell (Junior Flyers) formed the front duo. Luke took the win with Kyle in second. Blake Wilson (Frazier Cycling) was third. In the Juniors 14 and Under, Davis Branyon (Frazier Cycling) won with the Waine twins (Junior Flyers) following. Leon was second, and Troy was third. The Women’s Cat. 4 was a fight for the jersey. On the first lap there was a traffic jam in the woods. Sophia Broadwell (Junior Flyers) went down, and mayhem ensued behind. Emeline Renz (ATLX) and newcomer Amy Ross took advantage of the situation and high-tailed it out of there. Sophia attempted to remount but then very smartly picked up her bike and ran with it out of the woods; she ran by everyone who was riding and didn’t lose any time. Emeline was off the front and had a good lead until the top of the run-up. She was followed by Miriam Vos (Sorella Cycling) and Lori Balistieri (ATLX). After the run-up on the first lap Lisa Bongiorno (Frazier Cycling) and Sophia passed the 4 leaders to take point. On the second lap Rhys May (ATHCX) worked her way to the front. Drawing on her track speed, Sophia passed Rhys on the gravel road going into the third lap; Lisa stuck to Sophia’s wheel. Rhys “The Runner” took the lead back on the run up and kept it to take her first well deserved Cat. 4 win. Series Leader Lisa was second with Sophia in third.

SVEN RHYS! (Hat tip to Hunter Garrison for the clever word play)

The Men’s Cat. 3 race was the Mclean Harris (Smyrna Bicycles) show. He went to the front early without nary a glance back at the competition. Amos Harvey (Round Here Racing) and Calvin Cheung (College Park Bicycles) chased hard but could not catch Mclean. Amos hung on for second. Calvin got third. With the State Championship jersey on the line, the big guns came out for the Women’s 1/2/3 race. The women got off to a fast start with the pack staying together coming out of the woods. Lisa Randall (Sorella Cycling) and Paula Burks (Peachtree Bikes) put a small gap on the rest of the field on the first lap. Lisa said that they “rode around in circles with Paula chasing me until 1.5 to go. Paula attacked and got a few second gap thanks to her strong legs and an ungraceful bobble on a remount by me.” Lisa started closing it back down a second at a time, just to make the same mistake again. She lost the 2-3 seconds that she had gained back. In the end, Paula took the win by 5 seconds. Shannon Greenhill (Peachtree Bikes) won third to keep it an all Peachtree Bikes sponsored podium.

A large Men’s Cat. 4 field was looking for a jersey. The beginning was chaos as everyone was looking for the holeshot. The technical woods section slowed everyone in the main pack down, and a group of 10 or so was allowed to escape. Eventually, they would become separated. James Hendershott (Georgia College) finished first and won the jersey. Faster Mustache rounded out the podium with with Paul Harris in second and Alex Newton in third.

With most of the Cat. 3 racers opting to race in their Category this week, in the Battle of the Beards aka the Men’s Cat. 1/2/3, a small field lined up. It’s as if they are reading from a script this year. The Beards–Thomas Turner (Team Jamis) and Nick VanWinkle (Litespeed-BMW)—quickly jumped off the front. Tim Barrett (EPTC) and Artur Sagat valiantly began the chase. Alas, they were never able to rein in the beards. A minor mechanical half way through the race cost Nick several seconds. Thomas took the opportunity to show why he is the Masters World Champion when he kicked it into another gear. He held on for the win. Nick got second, and Artur was third.

Some Single Speeders take the race seriously while some consume a few beverages beforehand. Some wanted to race for the State Champiomship, and others simply wanted to get back to their beverages quickly. Having just raced the Cat. 1/2/3 Tim Barrett (EPTC) took early control of the race along with Matthew Reeves (LNC). Behind them, Mclean Harris (Smyrna Bicycles) and Dave Marbut (Toyota Forklifts) took up the chase. After several laps, Matthew dropped out with a mechanical. The race was Tim’s. Mclean put a small gap on Dave, which he could not close. They finished in that order.

Dingo Cross and Swap – Race Report

WORDS AND PHOTOS: Trish Albert/Southeasterncycling.com

While it was not rainy, the first day of Dingo Cross was cool, overcast, and breezy. The race was held at Hayes Chevrolet, Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge in Baldwin, GA. The auto dealership provided the backdrop for a twisty, off camber course. Much of the course weaved through a freshly mowed open field. There was a small spiral and a set of barriers to break things up. The one run up was on the back side of the course and was so steep that only a few could ride it.

You want to learn how to run barriers fast? Watch Daryl Sawyer. Smoooooooooth.

The Masters 35+ saw a small group form in the first 2 laps. Brady Rogers (Litespeed/BMW), Michael Schmid (Reality Bikes), and Daryl Sawyer (Toyota Forklifts) battled it out for the win. Michael, who sometimes races the 45+, showed the two young guys how to really ride on the last lap when he put a small gap on them. Brady was second with Daryl in third.

In the 45+ Masters Tom Butler (Smyrna Bicycles) took the holeshot and held the lead until Greg Casteel (Harper Auto) took the reins leading into the spiral. Greg C. remained on the front with Alan Burton and Dub Smith (Toyota Forklifts) in tow as the three opened a small gap on the field over the next lap and a half. Heading into the third lap Greg C. turned over pacing duties to Alan. Behind Tom, Timothy Gotsick (Lupus Racing Team) and Greg “Farmer G” Schisla (GTC) worked to close the gap to the leading trio. Realizing the threat from behind, Alan increased the pace, eventually leaving everyone else in the dust as he exited the run-up. While Alan continued his solo effort, Timothy reeled in Dub and Greg Casteel, leaving Farmer G and Tom behind. Greg C. was the next to succumb to Timothy’s power. Dub initially held station ahead of Timothy to protect teammate Alan but eventually lost it as Timothy took control in his continued pursuit of the front of the race. Alan held off a quickly closing Timothy for the win with Dub taking a comfortable third.

The Juniors 15-18 had 5 fast entries. Fletcher Lydick (Frazier Cycling) used the race as his warm up for the Pro/1/2/3. He flew around the course and came out for the win. Ellis Kyle got second, and Luke Broadwell (L5 Flyers) was third. Three 10-14 year old Juniors toed the line. Davis Branyon (Frazier Cycling), one of the tallest Juniors at age 14, towers over the 10 year old Waine twins. He rode away for the win on Saturday. Troy Waine (Junior Flyers) put in a good fight for second, staying close to David on the first lap. His brother Leon (Junior Flyers) rounded out the podium. The Cat. 4 Women started out the first lap with the top riders staying together. Eventually Sophia Broadwell (Junior Flyers) won with Lisa Bongiorno (Frazier Cycling) in second. Last year’s Cat. 4 Women’s Series Winner Lori Ballistreri (ATLX) got her first podium of the year with third.

The Men’s Cat. 3 race was fast on the twisty course. Mclean Harris (Smyran Bicycles) took what would be his first of four wins for the weekend. Calvin Cheung (College Park Bicycles) was second. Michael Schmid took third. The Women’s 1/2/3 competition was hot. Recent New Hampshire transplant Karen Tripp (Blue Steel Cyclery) took off at the start. Kim Sawyer (Toyota Forklifts) and Elizabeth Lee (LG Factory) put in a valiant chase. Elizabeth beat Kim to take second.

The Men’s Cat. 4 racers decided to start crashing in the third turn. No one seemed immune, with even a couple crashes reported from the podium finishers. Blake Bridges (Northstar) took the lead within the first half lap. A pack of about 6 riders avoided the more chaotic midfield, but before long, the tight turns separated them. No one seemed to work together, and a nasty sounding ankle sprain took one rider out of contention on the third lap. Alex Newton (Faster Mustache) took the win on a mountain bike by stealthily passing by Blake on the final laps. Twenty seconds later, Ben Braxley and Shane Collins (OCRC) were neck and neck coming to the line with Braxley sliding past by inches to round out the podium.

Hank Beaver and DAT X-NIGHT!

The Men’s Cat. 1/2/3 was the Red Beard show. Thomas Turner (Team Jamis) took control of the race early and decisively. Nick VanWinkle (Litespeed/BMW) tried valiantly to stay with him, but a bobble on one of the early laps cost him several valuable seconds. He was never able to recover them. Unlike the roadie friendly Savannah courses, the Dingo course was lumpy and twisty, favoring those with good bike handling skills-often a mountain biker. Thomas won followed by Nick and Artur Sagat.

The Single Speed race had a large number of entries on Saturday. As they have for the last few weeks, Masters racer Dave Marbut (Toyota Forklifts) and young Mclean Harris (Smyrna Bicycles) traded blows throughout the race. Dave stayed glued to Mclean’s wheel the first two laps. Mclean eventually pulled away for the win with Dave in second. Matthew Reeves (LNC) rounded out the podium.

Dave Marbut chases Mclean Harris. I (Mark Ryan Babcock, The First) believe that there is a Mclean-shaped hole in the 1/2/3 race. How's that for peer pressure?

Savannah – Race Report

SATURDAY words and pictures by Trish Albert/southeasterncycling.com

The Savannah Superprestige is the double race weekend that all Georgia Cyclocross racers look forward to. This year it was also part of the Southeastern Cyclocross Superseries, which is a 7 race series across 4 states. Saturday’s course is the shorter of two day’s courses as it eliminates going around the pond and through the woods. Riders are kept closer to the race track to avoid being in complete darkness after sunset. Lights are set up on the back of the course, illuminating the steps and a small hill. As always, riders loved the flat terrain, and the Halloween decorated Flyover was included. Racing Saturday started at 1:15 pm with the Cat. 5 and ended under the lights with Single Speed at 7:00.

The Masters 35+ saw a strong field. Ian Prunier (Smryna Bicycles) took the win over Brady Rogers (Litespeed-BMW). Daryl Sawyer (Toyota Forklifts) came in just behind them for third. In the Masters 45+, Sonni Dyer (ABRC) took off early in the race. Alan Burton and Dub Smith, Toyota Forklift teammates, worked together but could not catch him. They sprinted each other for second with Alan pipping Dub at the line.

A small field of Women Cat. 4 and Juniors lined up for the start. Jennifer Rossignol (Sorella Cycling) opened up an early gap, which she would hold until the end. Lisa Bongiorno (Fraizer Cycling) was second, and Rhys Mays (ATH CX) was third. In the Juniors, North Carolina rider Anthony Bailey caught the entire Women’s field except for Jennifer on his way to the win. Leon Waine (Junior Flyers) was in second and his teammate and brother Troy in third.

In the Men’s Cat. 3, Mclean Harris (Smyrna Bicycles) took his first win of the weekend. Jake Andrews (Macon CX Team) and Wesley Burruss (Outspokin Bicycles) rounded out the podium. In the Women’s 1/2/3, series leader Lisa Randall (Sorella Cycling) was not absent. This opened the race for another rider to win. On the first lap, Kim Sawyer (Toyota Forklifts) and Elizabeth Lee (LG Factory) opened a large gap on the rest of the field. They played cat and mouse for the next 35 minutes. It came down to a sprint with Elizabeth beating Kim at the line. Floridian Katherine Adams (GearLink Racing) was third.

The Men’s Cat. 4 race Ben Braxley took the hole shot and pulled away on the first lap. A group of 2 and then 4-5 riders worked together to try to reel him back in, coming within about 4 bike lengths. He was able to stay off the front and finished with a 10 second gap. There was a close contest for 2nd and 3rd with Scott Morris (Village Volkswagon) and Yoni Pollack (Bikeways) taking the other two spots on the podium.

Nick VanWinkle beats Thomas Turner by an inch! Though Nick got the win, they were both fined 100 Swiss francs for sprinting in the hoods like loons.

The Pro/1/2 Men’s race looked more like a crit than a cyclocross race with a large group staying together for the first several laps. On the dismounts, the roadies would fall off slightly but catch back up on the flats. Eventually, Thomas Turner (Team Jamis) and Nick VanWinkle (Litespeed-BWM) pulled away as they worked together. Neither had an advantage on the other one. They came into the final turn with even wheels. Nick proved the cunning roadie and waited until just the right second to unleash his sprint. The official’s camera and two photographers got the shot of Nick winning by one inch. Spectators erupted in applause and cowbells at such an exciting finish. Thomas got second, and Frank Trevieso (Smart Stop) took third.

Justin Bristol (Handsome Dude p/b Balloons) says that these are "clearly white grapes."

The Single Speed race, always fun to watch, was even better with several riders in costume. Seen were a green grape, Josh Frank (ATLX) as a a rockin redneck (complete with mullet and his wife Amy’s bike shorts), Tim Barrett (EPTC) as a Christmas tree, and Dan Mccarthy (Smyrna Bicylces) in a sombrero helmet. Even with the fun, there was a race to ride. Mcclean Harris (Smyrna Bicycles) won his second race of the day. 14 year old Mikey Waine (Junior Flyers) beat up on the old guys to take second, and Michael James (Prima Tapps) was third.

SUNDAY

Cat. 4 Men by Ben Braxley
Sunday: The Cat 4 group started Sunday’s race as a much tighter group than that seen on Saturday. There were a few additions to the field with fresh legs but no one seemed eager to set the pace in the first half lap. The field was very tight coming through the spiral of death and it didn’t start to spread out a bit until the whoop de doos on the back side of the pond. Coming over the fly-over 6 riders were together and gaining slight separation from the field. Ben Braxley and Scott Morris were towards the front but as the breakaway rounded the 180 away from the pits, a Sunday only rider went down and carried Braxley’s wheel with him. By the time he had his chain back on the field was gone. The front five held together with Scott Morris pulling away with two about two to go. Ethan Sealy and Alex Newton (currently 4th and 5th in the point series respectively) battled onto the podium to round on the day.

Masters 45+ by Alan Burton
A chess match broke out in the Sunday Masters 45+ race. Having been schooled the previous day as Sonni Dyer rode away for an unchallenged win, the GACX regulars planned a conservative strategy relying on Sonni to animate the Sunday proceedings. Bobby Thrash and Tom Butler initially took the reins with strong pulls around the oval and into the infield. Sonni made his first acceleration following the flyover with only Dub Smith and Alan Burton able to follow. The trio continued on for a few laps alternating between covered accelerations by Sonni and steady tempo pulls by Alan and Dub. By lap four Tom and Bobby rejoined the front group adding to the cat and mouse games that were playing out. On the final lap Alan took the lead with a fast tempo through the pond terrain in an attempt to lure Sonni into a mistake. The group was stretched but reformed exiting the flyover and entering the track when Tom made the next move accelerating off the front. Sonni took chase with Alan and Dub in tow catching Tom at the barriers. Alan accelerated over the barriers and through the trees pulling away from Sonni and Dub but the gap proved to be too small as Sonni chased and passed Alan in a drag race to the line. Dub followed in for third with Tom taking a strong fourth ahead of Bobby.