WORDS AND PICTURES Trish Albert/Southeasterncycling.com
With 3-4 inches of rain forecast for Sunday, racers groaned as they rolled out of bed. Little did they know that Mother Nature was playing a Trick on them and would be giving out a Treat. Although it rained Saturday night at Serenbe, rain held off for all but the last 15 minutes of Sunday’s racing. The Peachtree Bikes crew put together a well balanced course with a couple of climbs, a slippery bridge, stairs, a flat section, and two fast barriers. Although there were a few mud spots, course conditions held up throughout the day, making for some great competition. Peachtree brought out all of the stops with a fire under the pavilion, 2 kegs of beer, and sweet swag for prizes.
A sizable group of Juniors toed the line for the first race of the day. Blake Wilson (Frazier Cycling) won the 15-18 followed by his teammate Emily. The 14 and Under was a race between the Waine twins and Reece Latham (Mission Source-NCGA) as it has been all year. Troy took first. Reece was second, and Leon was third. The Women’s Cat. 4 race was the closest it has been all season. Mae Gurene (Sorella Cycling) took the holeshot going into the stairs. By the end of the first lap, Carol Baldwin (Sorella Cycling) had taken over the lead, but she was shadowed by Cambrie Epperson and Anna Frey (Peachtree Bikes). Carol won by a bike throw with Cambrie in second. Anna was third. In the Men’s Cat. 5, Shane Sullivan (Fika Coffee) claimed the top step with Griffen Jones and Eric Garlinghouse (L5 Flyers) following.
In the 40+ Elite Masters, Wes Garland (Peachtree Bikes) took off and looked like he was riding a solo time trial. Nothing stopped him-not the mud or slippery bridge. He went on to win by a very comfortable margin over Chris Chotas (Litespeed-BMW) and Ian Prunier (Smyrna Bicycles) , In the 50+, Dub Smith and Alan Burton (Toyota Forklifts) vied for the holeshot with Alan taking the lead as the field exited the technical start. Following closely behind were Chris Isenberg (Mission Source-NCGA), Bobby Thrash (Adventure Cycles) and Torre Smitherman (Peachtree Bikes). The race continued for four laps with Dub staying within 30 seconds of Alan, Chris maintaining the chase to Dub, and Torre keeping the pressure on Bobby. With two laps to go Dub was reducing the gap to Alan and Torre had Bobby in his sights. At the start of the last lap a broken derailleur hanger removed Dub from contention, moving Chris into second while Torre caught and passed Bobby for the final podium step.
A nice field of about 15 women started in the Women’s Elite. Jane Burlew was an unstoppable force. By the end of the first lap she had put 30 seconds into Kim Blodgett (Atlanta Beltline Bicycles), and by the end her lead would be nearly two minutes. The real battle was for third as Jean Miller (Sorella Cycling), Emily Cox (Loose Nuts), and Rhys May (Loose Nuts) traded places throughout the race. Jean would take that final step on the podium. In the Men’s Cat. 4, Michael Garrison (Mission Source-NCGA) was victorious. Rexer Jack (Frazier Cycling) and Murphy Davis (Toyota Forklifts) joined him on the podium.
Who would it be in the Pro/1/2 Men? Nick Van Winkle (Litespeed-BMW) is always good in the mud, but mountain biker Artur Sagat (Mrs. Roses) has been known to sling around the dirt as well. Or could crit specialist Frank Trevieso (UHC-706) use the flats to his advantage? Nick took a slight lead over Artur at the beginning of the race. Frank fell to third, but that would last only until the half way mark. He took a little time out of Artur each lap. Artur was smoother through the mud and off camber sections, but Frank has a big engine on the flats. Eventually, Frank caught Artur and passed him for second place. In the Cat. 3 race, Ian Garrison (Hincapie) was first with Ben Rothschild (Georgia Tech) in second and Brian Field in third.
The Single Speeders really got into the spirit of the day after Halloween. One racer was seen sporting sported a bright yellow frock. Hewitt Kinser (Loose Nuts) looked ravishing in his French maid’s dress. Also spotted were a hot dog and a runner. The Single Speeders did not just dress up, they put on a good race. Dave “Storm Trooper” Marbut (Death Star Racing p/b Toyota Forklifts) got off the front early. He was followed by teammate Murphy Davis, who was wearing his team skinsuit. Dave was able to keep a gap on Murphy and claim the win. Kinser dusted and vacuumed his way to third place. The guys got a bit too sassy on the podium afterwards, and heads were turning. The Masters 35+ cat. 4/5 also had a close race. Newly minted Cat. 4 Jeff Moore (L5 Flyers) took to the front. He was closely followed by Corny Pogi (Atlanta Beltline Bicycles) and Nick Hammer (Faster Mustache). He gained a little time on Corny with 2 to go as Corny opted to take a beverage handup. That was all Jeff needed to pull away for the win. Corny finished second, and Nick was third.