WORDS AND PHOTOS BY Trish Albert/Southeasterncycling.com
Georgia Cross returned to Boundary Waters Park for the second time this season. The Smyrna Bicycle and the Toyota Forklifts Teams put together a fast not-quite-flat course that had a little something for everyone, even a corner with mud. The two dismounts were a single barrier before a short, steep hill and a set of fast double barriers. Racers and spectators tried to stay warm as freezing temperatures descended upon Georgia. Many, although not all, were grateful that the rain held off until after the races.
As usual, the Single Speeders and the Masters 4/5 kicked things off. On a course with little elevation change, the single speeders stayed together the first lap. Matthew Reeves (LNC) and David Marbut (Toyota Forklifts) began to distance themselves on the second lap. Mikey Waine (EPTC) chased as hard as he could, but the two leaders kept pulling away. The lead went back and forth several times. Matthew took his turn pulling and was able to get a slight edge on David at the line. Mikey held on for third. In the Masters 4/5, a bumpy start and technical sections stretched the field immediately as Conor McNally (L5 Flyers), Jeff Hopkins, Josh Vandall, and Mike Albaneso (Outback Bikes) broke from the pack. After recovering from a midpack start, Andrew Ryttewski stormed past a chase group of Corny Delasalas (SoPo Bikes) and Mathew Sexton (Reality Bikes). Conor would hold off Andrew to finish first with Andrew finishing second. While Jeff’s technical skills shined as he pulled away and secured the last podium position.
The Elite Masters 35+ field got off to a rapid start. A couple of riders came into the single barrier at the same time. Chris Wyatt (Peachtree Bikes) looked poised to bunny hop it, but instead, he wound up practicing acrobatics as he flipped over and landed on his back. He was passed by the lead group but quickly remounted and joined them. With a few laps to go, Timmy Barrett (Toyota Forklifts) and Chris decided to quit fooling around and drop the rest of the lead pack. Each lap was a display of cyclocross skills. Chris put on a bunny hopping exhibition while Timmy dismounted to show off his fancy footwork. Neither got an advantage over the other. Coming into the final turn, they were wheel to wheel. Both stood up to sprint, but Chris wheelied into first by an inch. Nate Sibley (Atlanta Cycling) picked up the last podium spot. In the 45+ race, Brady Rogers (Litespeed-BMW) took the initial lead followed closely by Alan Burton (Toyota Forklifts), Grayson Tudor and Scott Staubach (both Peachtree Bikes). Dub Smith (Toyota Forklifts) dangled a few seconds behind the four, but despite best efforts couldn’t regain contact. Brady continued setting pace in the early laps with Scott and Alan taking their turns on the front at the race’s midpoint. With three laps to go an acceleration dispatched Alan out the rear and brought Grayson to the front. With two laps to go Grayson separated himself from Scott and Brady, Hiss time off the front ended on the final lap as Scott first pulled away from Brady and then passed Grayson, giving Scott his third win of the season. Grayson was second, Brady third.
The Womens Cat. 4 stayed together most of the first lap. Half a dozen riders came into the second set of barriers together. It was not until later that Birthday Girl Ali Whittier (Hub-Chattanooga) put the hammer down for the win. Holly Harris (Peachtree Bikes) got second, and Brittnay Hopson (Sorella Cycling) was third. In the Men’s Cat. 5, the podium was Tim Mondor, Andrew Ryttewski, and Ben Arnold. The Juniors 15-18 is always an exciting race to watch. It was a battle between Mission Source Juniors teammates Ian Garrison and Willem Kaiser and trackie Mikey Waine. Ian came out on top with Mikey in second. Willem placed third. Michael Garrison completed the Mission Source Junior’s sweep of the Junior category wins with his victory in the 10-14 race. Not to be outdone by their older brother, Junior Flyer teammates Troy and Leon Waine were 2nd and 3rd. Special mention goes to the other competitors in the Juniors 10-14 race as they rocked the course: Elizabeth May, Baden Rogan (Frazier Cycling), and David Hills (Frazier Cycling).
The Women’s 1/2/3 race was dominated by the Peachtree Bikes team. Paula Burks took the top step followed by her wife, Shannon Greenhill. Their “podium dogs” are loved by the spectators. Leigh Hopkins rounded out the podium. In the Men’s Cat. 4 Ian Garrison took his second win of the day. He was followed by Jason Wolfe (Outspokin-Woodstock) and Willem Kaiser.
The Pro/1/2 Men’s race has been exciting to watch all year. They have put on a good show for the crowds. Sunday was no exception. Immediately off the line, Frank Trevieso (UHC/706), a beardless Nick Van Winkle (Litespeed-BWM), Arthur Sagat (RHR), and a few hangers on took off like rockets. Nothing could separate them. Finally, Nick got a small gap on Frank and Artur. He kept the 8-9 second advantage until 2 laps to go. Frank nearly caught him, but Nick was prepared and put on the gas. He soloed in for the win followed by Frank and Artur. In the Men’s Cat. 3, Trevor Harding took a well deserved win. Eric Kirk and Matthew Reeves, both team LNC, rounded out the podium.