by Trish Albert/Southeastern Cycling
Grant Park—we are so glad any hurricanes decided to wait til the middle of this week to hit. We missed you last year! Grant Park is one of the most popular and beloved Georgia Cross venues. It is our only race ITP (Inside the Perimeter in Atlanta). Racers and spectators come out in droves to enjoy the great course, amazing atmosphere, and hot racing. Was it ever! The temperature soared above 90 degrees F for the afternoon races. The racing was also on fire with exciting break-aways, chases, and finish line sprints. While we didn’t set a record or attendance* there were over 320 racers registered.
Nine Elite women took on the #GrantParkCX course. With the starter’s whistle they were off. Judah Sencenbaugh (Team United Healthcare Georgia/706P), Brittany Montgomery (Dirty Peaches), and Molly Russell (Loose Nuts) took to the front right away. By the second lap, Judah suffered the first of two flats and slipped back to fifth. Brittany had taken the lead with Molly setting into second. They would hold the gaps through the entire race. Cambrie Epperson (Dirty Peaches) would take the third podium step
The Elite Men’s field was huge; Grant Park has some of the largest fields of the year. A small group of several riders settled on the front in the first couple of laps including Nick Van Winkle (BMW-Specialized), Andy Scarano (Team United Healthcare Georgia/706P), Tyler Clark (Brevard College), and Elliot Baring (Baring Performance Management). About half way through the race, Nick dropped the rest of the group. A small gap hovered for the rest of the race that he held until the finish. Andy finished second with Tyler in third.
*The record belongs to Grant Park a couple of years ago with about 350 entries.