Macon – Race Report

Georgia Cross continues to experience typical fall weather-sunny and a high in the lower 70s. Rain earlier in the week did not touch Central City Park in Macon, GA. It was flat, fast, dry, and little dusty. The course was made up of a number of technical turns to break up the flats. There were 4 possible dismounts although most rode at least two of them-a sand pit, a set of telephone poles, 2 barriers, and the river levee. A beer garden was set up on the side of the course allowing those attending to buy an adult beverage to benefit charity as part of Macon Octoberfest. There was also a trolley running to Octoberfest for those that wanted to check out the rest of the festivities.

In the Masters 35+, the dismounts proved a key to the win according to Eric Smith (Guardian Auto). Riders who bunny hopped the telephone poles were going faster than those who ran them. On the first lap Daryl Sawyer (Toyota Forklifts) and Eric bunny hopped the poles and went from 7-8th to the front of the pack. It also created a small gap. Eric said “We rode together for a couple of laps until Daryl faded a bit. I was a little worried about going it alone on such a flat, fast, windy track with long drafting sections but I think the 3 skill features on the track helped me to maintain the gap…by adding 3 skill features and some fast corners it made for a great test of fitness and finesse.” Eric held on for the win with Grayson Tudor (Round Here Racing) in second and David Hicks (L5 Flyers) in third.

In the Masters 45+, Alan Burton (Toyota Forklifts) led the group from the pavement to grass. He remained on the front until the start of lap two when Tim Shank took the lead. At that point Alan, Tim, and Dub Smith (Toyota Forklifts) formed a small gap to Lamar Mauney (Toyota Forklifts), who had pulled away from rest of the field. Lamar was unable to close the gap, and lead trio continued on with teammates Alan and Dub collaborating to try to dispatch “Tallahassee” Tim. After tenaciously neutralizing previous attacks and initiating a few of hisown, Tim made a small mistake exiting the sand on lap five. Alan took advantage of it and accelerated. Only Dub was able to stay with him. For the next two laps the duo continued distancing themselves from Tim with Dub taking victory. Tim and Lamar took third and fourth, respectively.

The Junior fields were very small. Many of our youngsters that also race road and track decided to rest this weekend in anticipation of the double weekends coming up. Three Frazier Cycling riders lined up for the Junior 15-18 race. The trio crossed the finish line in the following order: Parker Haney, Madeline Haney, and Blake Wilson. Only 2 riders contested the Juniors Under 14. In this race, there is a large difference in ability between the 14 years olds and the youngest riders. Davis Branyon (Frazier Cycling) was twice as tall as Reece Latham (Junior Flyers). Davis caught many of the Cat. 4 Women and held on for the win. Reece held his own and took second. In the Women’s Cat. 4, Sophia Broadwell (Junior Flyers) won. Victoria Haney was second, and Lisa Bongiorno (Frazier Cycling) was third.

The Men’s Cat. 3 saw a nice field of entries. Mclean Harris (Smyrna Bikes) took his second win in as many weeks. He was followed by Calvin Cheung (College Park Bicycles) and Grayson Tudor (Round Here Racing). The Women’s 1/2/3 had 8 riders vying for the $500 first place prize money. Having raced a 6 hour solo mountain bike race before, the pack hoped Lisa Randall (Sorella Cycling) was tired. Lisa went off the front from the gun and was never seen again. By the third lap, Kim Sawyer (Toyota Forklifts) and Elizabeth Lee (LG Factory) were working together to chase. Lisa caught half the men’s field and held on for the big payday. Elizabeth and Kim rounded out the podium.

The Cat. 4 Men’s field was fast from the start. Blake Bridges (Northstar) and Ethan Sealy (The Bike Store) established an early gap. James Hendershott (Georgia Collate) and Alex Newton (Faster Mustache) began to chase. Cat. 4 is about getting experience and learning race tactics. Alex said in a post race interview “Had I of known (3rd place was in front of him), I would of tried to go with the eventual 3rd place winner when he attacked on the last lap for a possible spot on the podium but just didn’t have it in me. I countered soon after the only hill, which most were riding, coming around Scott Morris (Village Volkswagen) to secure 4th place by putting in little digs where I could on the last sections of tape. “

The large cash purse brought out local big guns in the Pro/1/2/3 Men’s race, The flat course kept the top 5 including Tim Barrett (EPVA), Thomas Turner (Team Jamis), and Nate Sibley (Atlanta Cycling) together for the first two and a half laps. Unfortunately, Nate Sibley flatted out of the front group on the third lap. (Nate’s bad luck didn’t end there—he took a nasty fall on the last lap and cracked his fibula. Get well soon, Nate!) At this point front group began to break apart. Thomas Turner and Nicholas VanWinkle (Litespeed-BMW) were pretty close for a few laps until Red Beard shifted into a harder gear and pulled away. He held on for the win. Frank Travieso (Smart Stop) took second, and Nick was third.

In the Single Speed, it was a pretty even start, and everyone seemed to have similar gears. The field went through the first corner 10 wide then McLean “Crash” Harris (Smyrna Bicycles) punched it going into the ball field. Tim “Mustache” Barrett (EPVA) and David “Gluten” Marbut (Toyata Forklifts) gave chase. McLean held and hit the gas. David caught Tim Barrett with one lap to go, finishing second. Tim was 3rd.

 

 

 

Boundary Waters – race report

WORDS & PHOTOS: Trish Albert/Southeasterncycling.com

Boundary Waters Park CX in Douglasville was another fall race day in Georgia with bright, sunny skies and temperatures in the 80s. The Smyrna Bicycles and Toyota Forklift teams put together a very fast course. It course started with a flat section though a field and a set of barriers. After a downhill into the woods, riders climbed up a steep hill and came behind the baseball fields in the grass.

In the Masters 35, a group formed in the first lap with a number of riders including Ian Prunier (Smyrna Bicycles), Daryl Sawyer (Toyota Forklifts), Grayson Tudor (Round Here Racing), Michael Schmid (Reality Bikes), and an unattached rider. With one and a half laps to go, the accelerations went on the run up. The leaders stayed together until the grass when Ian broke free. Grayson Tudor put some distance on Connell Patterson for second. Conner got third.

Even while the government shutdown continued, elderly gentlemen (Masters 45+) awaited the signal to throw themselves into a battle of physical ability, skill and mental fortitude. The “go” was given, and lightning responses from the old legs of Toyota Forklifts team mates Alan Burton and Dub Smith. Young Tom Butler covered wheels, and Bobby Thrash tears to the lead. The threat covered and the reply swift, Dub and Alan charge the quad-killing-low-gear-ride-it-if-you-can hill, leaving the pack adrift. Onto grass and off the gas was just enough for their teammate Lamar Mauney to join. Then the trio rode off into the sunset-somewhat. Albeit temporarily, dreams of individual glory, podium girls, and bragging rights lay aside as the lead steadily built. The bell tolls, “let’s race!”, edict agreed upon. It was trio compacto for the final hill sprint, the day’s efforts take Lamar off the pace, and Dub digs deep for the win. Alan, he who lets no wheel escape, tacks on, deftly inserts the knife before hitting the final paved chicane, and victory is his. Toyota Forklifts swept the podium.

Five Frazier Cycling Juniors rolled up for the 15-18 race. Thomas Pettit crossed the line first followed by teammates Parker Haney and Blake Wilson. In the younger Juniors race, David Banyon (Frazier Cycling) won with the Waine twins (Junior Flyers) also standing on the podium with Troy in second and Leon in third. The Women’s Cat. 4 saw another large field. Several riders started so quickly, that the pack was strung out before the barriers. On the second lap, Junior Flyers teammates Salma Haque and Sophia Broadwell went off the front. Salma held on for the win with Sophia in second. Lisa Bongiorno (Frazier Cycling) rounded out the podium. Salma is looking forward to moving up to Cat. 3 for the next race.

The Elite Women sprinted off the line, kicked up plenty of dust, and stayed together until the barriers. By the end of the first lap, Lisa Randall (Sorella Cycling) began to establish a gap and catch the Cat. 3 Men. Kim Sawyer (Toyota Forklifts) and Lori Palmer (MACC Racing) began the fight for third. They traded places throughout the race, but Kim was a little stronger and got second. Lori was third. In the Men’s Cat. 3, Mclean Harris (Smyrna Bicycles) went off the front immediately. No one followed since it was too early; there was plenty of time to catch him. Little did they know how strong he was on his home course. A chase group formed with Jim Biletto (L5 Flyers), Grayson Tudor (Round Here Racing) Calvin Cheung (College Park Bicycles), and two Reality Bikes Riders. The group started attacking each other early and began to splinter. Calvin went clear for second. Grayson held on for the final podium step.

The Cat 4 Men’s race drew a very large field with more than 45 entries. By the start of the race, the cool temperatures had vanished and the course was dusty and hot. The mud holes had firmed up to a bubble gum consistency, and the wind had kicked up in the open areas. After the start, the initial chicanes and barriers stretched the field, but the rubber band did not break until the group hit the run-up on the first lap. The crowd and steep grade worked together to shatter the field, and the head of the spear, made up of about seven strong riders, sailed free. The race came down to a battle between a handful of fairly evenly matched riders. Scott Morris (Village Volkswagen) showed superior strength in the end, taking the win, with Ben Braxley and Greg Bryant (Cherry St. Cycles) taking second and third respectively.

The small Men’s Cat. 1/2/3 was competitive with the battles coming for second through seventh. Thomas Turner (Jamis Bicycles) left everyone in the dust from the start. Crit specialist Frank Trevieso (Smart Stop) was on the second step of the podium, and Nick VanWinkle (Litespeed-BMW) took the third step.

Boundary Waters Park was a great single speed course with its flat profile and one big hill. Fresh off of his win in the Cat. 3, Mclean Harris (Smyrna Bicycles) and Series Leader Dave Marbut (Toyota Forklift) separated themselves from everyone else early in the race. Bike mechanic McLean was, ironically, taken out with a mechanical. Clay Benoit (Smyrna Bicycles) and Mikey “Dick Lane Velodrome Track Rider of the Year” Waine (Junior Flyers) were battling for the remainder of the prizes. When they reached the grass behind the baseball fields on the final lap, Mikey waved good-bye to the more senior rider and and turned loose those track legs to lock up the second podium step. Clay was third.

 

Grant Park – Race Report

WORDS: Trish Albert/Southeasterncycling.com

No CX makes Bob a dull boy. Photo courtesy Kyle Shutlz

Sunshine and unseasonable hot temperatures greeted riders at the Grant Park Cyclocross Race. For years racers have wanted a venue ITP (Inside the Perimeter) in Atlanta. The Litespeed-BMW and the L5Flyers p/b Maxxis teams delivered a fast, fun course! In addition to the race, the Grant Park Farmer’s Market was a 5 minute walk across the park, the venue was family friendly with plenty of playground equipment, and Zoo Atlanta was right around the corner.

In the Masters 35+, a small group broke away early in the race including Grayson Tudor (Peachtree Bikes), Daryl Sawyer (Toyota Forklift), Eric Smith (Guardian Auto) and Brady Rogers (Litespeed-BMW). On the second lap, Eric pulled away from the group. Dave Gearhart (Litespeed-BMW) caught the chase group, which also now included Nate Zukas (ACC). Eric held his lead while Dave and Nate battled for second. Eric won while Dave got second and Nate third.

Alan Burton (Toyota Forklift) took the holeshot in the Masters 45+, but his lead was short lived as he rode straight through the tape at the first turn. Dub Smith (Toyota Forklift) then took charge by opening a gap on Tim Shank (Guardian Auto), who in turn opened a gap to the chasing pack by the end of the first lap. Over the next two laps a group of four formed in pursuit of the two leaders. The group included Greg “Farmer G” Schisla (GTC), Alan, and two other riders. Approaching two laps to go Alan broke free from the chase group joining Tim the following lap. While Dub maintained his lead for the win, Tim and Alan spent a lap together before Alan accelerated at the barriers opening a small gap that held to the line.

A small number of Juniors 15-18 toed the line. The number was down a bit from last year as several older Juniors are now beating up on the adults in their category races. Thomas Petit (Frazier Cycling) was first. Parker Haney (Frazier Cycling) took second, and Keegan Schimmelman came in shortly thereafter for third. The Juniors 14 and under had a nice field. Michael Garrison (Mission Source Juniors) won. Showing no signs of slowing down from last year Leon Waine (Junior Flyers) came in second. He was followed by Davis Banyon (Frazier Cycling). Nearly 20 Women lined up for the Cat. 4 race. Looking smooth in her lines, track racer Salma Huque (Junior Flyers) took the win. She was followed by teammate Sophia Broadwell and Lisa Bongiorno (Frazier Cycling).

Photo courtesy Trish Albert/Southeasterncycling.com

One name comes to mind this cross season for the Women’s Elite race-Lisa Randall (Sorella Cycling). She dominated the first race of the year at Old Grey Barn. At Grant Park, she would do no less. In fact, she caught nearly half of the Cat. 3 Men’s field that started a minute in front of the Women. Coming in for second was Elizabeth Lee (LG Factory Team). After being absent from the GA CX series last year, Lori Palmer (Unattached) proved that she is still a strong cross racer with her third place finish. In the Men’s Cat. 3, Calvin Cheung (College Park Bicycles) won. William Vargas (Atlanta Cycling) took the second step on the podium, and Michael Schmid (Reality Bikes) got third.

Photo courtesy Trish Albert/Southeasterncycling.com

The front of the large Cat. 4 field stayed close to one another for most of the race. Junior Willem Kaiser (Mission Source Juniors) rocked his sunglasses and rode in first over the line. James Hendershott (Georgia College) was second. Harry Boxler was third.

The Men’s Elite field saw a large turn out since Cat 3s can choose to do their own race and/or race with the Big Guys. Red Beard (aka Thomas Turner of Team Jamis) was back to defend his series win from 2012. It was not as easy today as it was for some races last year. He was trailed closely by Nicholas VanWinkle (Litespeed-BMW). Eventually, he pulled away and won. Nicholas held steady for second with Artur Sagat in third.

The Single Speeders had a hard time choosing a gear for this course—too hard and getting up the few hills was difficult but too easy and they would spin out on the flats. David Marbut (Toyota Forklist) took a well deserved win. Michael James (Prima Tappa) took the second step of the podium, and Matthew Reeves (LNC) was third.

Cyclocross Brakes—Disc vs. Canti

The author on his disc bike--sometimes neither bike is fast. Photo by Travis Neumuller

by: @mrbabcock

In 2010, the UCI lifted the long-standing ban on disc brakes in cyclocross. This opened the floodgates for manufacturers to start designing and building disc-specific component groups, frames, and wheels. Three years later, we are seeing the fruits of these labors. With cyclocross-specific disc offerings from SRAM, Shimano, and TRP and disc-ready frames from almost all major manufacturers, cyclocross racers have more options than ever.

Last year, I was fortunate enough to race the season with two bikes—one disc and one canti. Apart from brakes and hubs, they were identical. I feel that this experience has put me in a unique position to comment on the disc vs. canti debate.

The Bikes

Both bikes were Ridley X-Rides with SRAM components. The disc bike had Hayes mechanical brakes, and the canti bike had TRP EuroX brakes. Both bikes were equipped with wheels built by Chris Shadburn of Built to Last Wheels. The disc bike used Velocity Major Toms laced to SRAM X9 mountain bike hubs, while the canti bike used the same rims laced to DT Swiss hubs. Both wheelsets were glued up with Clement PDX tires.

Disc Bike – Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • One-fingered stopping power
  • Ability to brake later than riders on canti bikes. This was especially beneficial on fast courses.
  • Increased confidence on MTB trails and especially technical ‘cross courses.
  • Ability to use 29er MTB wheels.

Cons:

  • Heavy
  • Lots of pad noise in mud or wet sand/gravel. Also pads wore out very quickly in mud.
  • Inability to use standard road wheels.

Canti Bike – Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Great mud clearance/pads lasted much longer in mud
  • Ability to use any road wheel.

Cons:

  • More force required at the brake lever
  • Less confidence on MTB trails or especially technical ‘cross courses.

Conclusions

At the beginning of the season, I expected disc brakes to be a game changer. I thought I would never ride my canti bike again. I was wrong.

Based on my experience, the benefits of disc brakes and the shortcomings of cantilevers—in a race environment–have been greatly overstated. I felt equally capable of success (or failure) on either bike. There were some situations to which I found one bike  better suited than the other, i.e. the cantilever bike in mud and the disc bike in “grass crits,” but most of my races fell right in the middle of these two extremes. That said, I still think that “disc vs. canti” is an important decision. The decision should be made, however, based on how you plan to use your bike outside of racing.

My ‘cross bike doubles as my mountain bike. I love taking it places where it’s not “supposed” to go. Disc brakes greatly extend a cyclocross bike’s ability to manage on technical MTB trails.

My other ‘cross bike doubles as my road bike. Come February, I throw on a 53/39 and some 25c tires and take to the road. For this bike, rim brakes make more sense. I can use any standard road wheel (a huge benefit where neutral wheels are concerned), and I can use the bike in UCI road races that still don’t allow disc brakes. Also, those TRPs are pretty dang light!

For me, the answer to “disc vs. canti” is both. But I’m willing to bet that I’m the exception. What are you going to ride this year?

 

Cyclo-cross Bike Fit

BY: @mrbabcock

Cyclo-cross puts unique demands on its participants. A CX racer needs to be able to put down power over bumpy grass, slog through mud, blast through sand, and fly down tricky descents. They also need to be able to mount and dismount quickly and safely. These demands require a fit style that is unique to cyclo-cross.

The cyclo-cross fit is a compromise between bike handling, power output, and comfort (in that order). Bike handling comes first because all the watts in the world won’t do you any good if you spend your race braking through turns and bouncing off every bump on the course. Remember when Lance raced CrossVegas? He was arguably the fittest guy there, but he struggled because his handling skills were not up to par, and his ‘cross bike was set up like a road bike. Comfort comes last because a cyclo-cross race is, at most, 60 minutes long.

Many of you, dear readers, have spent the last six months exclusively on your road or mountain bike, so now is a good time to get back on the ‘cross bike and dial it in. To help you with this, I have enlisted John Verheul of JBV Coaching, Adam Myerson of Cycle-Smart coaching, and Eddie O’Dea of 55 Nine Performance.

GOING FROM ROAD TO ‘CROSS

If your road racing and ‘cross racing bikes are set up with identical positions, one of them is not optimal.” – John Verheul, JBV Coaching (www.jbvcoaching.com)

I asked John to tell me more about his view of road vs. CX fit, and here is what he had to say:

“For a road fit, you want to be stretched out for an aerodynamic position that also enables maximal steady state power. You don’t have to worry a lot about absorbing bumps or dramatically moving your body over the bike for technical stuff. Front/rear weight distribution is relatively even, so the bike handles predictably in corners, and it’s balanced so you can do rides of over 4 or 5 hours without too much weight on either the seat or hands.

“In CX, you need the seat a bit lower (~5mm, plus pedal stack height difference) to allow the bike to ‘float’ underneath you on bumpy stuff, and you need the bars a bit closer in so that you don’t get ‘over stretched’ on every bump. That also allows you to move your weight over the bike more to get the weight where you need it. Weight distribution is a bit further over the front wheel, to get the bike to go where you steer it, and to enable repeated accelerations (after every obstacle). You don’t need to worry as much about being aero, due to lower speeds, and the faster drafting sections being shorter in CX. You also don’t need to worry about 4-5 hour rides, you can use your road bike for the odd long training ride. Races are never more than one hour, and training rides on your CX bike are rarely more than two hours.”

In addition to the above advice from John, I think it is important to make a special point about hood position. Most of the new ‘crossers I see  run their hoods way too low. I asked professional road and CX racer and coach Adam Myerson (Team Smart Stop p/b Mountain Khakis & Cycle-Smart Coaching) about hood position, and he had this to say:

“For ‘cross, I prefer a hood height and angle that allows the wrists to be straight, rather than angled slightly down as they would be in a traditional road position. In ‘cross, you don’t rest on your hoods as much as you grip them in your hands like baseball bats. This allows you to push and pull on the bars with equal force, and really drive your bike across changing terrain. This can be achieved by rotating the bars up, or by moving the hoods higher up on the bars. Usually a combination of both works best.”

GOING FROM MTB TO ‘CROSS

The transition from MTB fit to ‘cross presents different challenges than the transition from road to ‘cross. Here is what Eddie O’Dea of 55Nine Performance (http://55nine.com) had to say:

“Cyclocross fitting, like the sport itself, takes a little from road and from mountain biking. CX does not require quite the same high torque that MTB does, but certainly higher than on the road so I use a mid point between the road and MTB solutions provided by WN Precsion (http://www.wnprecision.com/). The reach out to the hoods should be similar to the mountain bike, which is ideal for low speed handling. Get rid of those concave shaped saddles and get a flat one that allows you to move about instead of locking your hips in one position. This will let you get the torque while seated and still slide up on the nose when you need the high turn over on the flats.”

SO WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

No matter which discipline you are coming to ‘cross from, you will need to make some adjustments to your fit. Roadies, in general, need to drop their saddle a few mm and shorten their reach a little. Mountain bikers need to adjust their position to let their arms and legs do the job that the suspension on their MTB does.

While the above are good rules of thumb, there is no “one size fits all” cyclo-cross bike fit. A proper fit must take into account height, weight, leg length, flexibility, and many other variables, so I suggest contacting a pro bike fitter like Eddie (www.55nine.com), John (www.jbvcoaching.com), or Adam (www.cycle-smart.com).

State Championship (Macon) Report

FIRST PHOTO BY Travis Neumuller
SECOND AND THIRD PHOTOS AND WORDS BY Trish Albert/Southeasterncycling.com
CAPTIONS BY Mark “didn’t suck too bad at bike racing last Sunday” Babcock

Guys, you're doing it wrong.

While Mother Nature did not grace Georgia Cross with any muddy, cold races this year, the weather was lovely for the series finale at Sandy Beach Park in Macon. Large turn outs in all fields vied for the State Championships jerseys and medals. Some riders were focused on keeping their lead in the series or trying to improve their points in order to get a coveted Georgia Cross cowbell. Spectators grilled out, heckled riders, and enjoyed the day. The course was similar to years past but with a few more switch back climbs in the back half of the race. The barriers in the field provided a dismount. There were also 2 sand sections that were rideable for many. Also spotted was a little bit of mud by the lower picnic shelter.

The Elite Masters races started off the day. In the 35+, a group of 5 broke away. By the final lap, two riders were off the front-Eric Neely (Sugoi) and Chris Wyatt (Peachtree Bikes). Chris put a small gap on Eric coming into the final climb that Eric could not close in the last 100 meters. Chris held on for the win with Eric in second. Shey Lindner (C Town Bikes) got third. In the Masters 45+, Michael Schmid (Deeds Publishing) got things strung out from the start with his typical fast start. After some jostling for position through the grass section, a trio of Bob Kuhn (HUP United), Mike, and Alan Burton (FFCC) gained a small gap on the rest of the field. The trio began to unravel the first trip through the beach with Alan lost contact. Bob then got a gap on Mike, and both began their solo rides to the first and second podium steps. Behind, Lamar Mauney (FFCC) bridged to Alan and rode together until Alan brought himself down on the drop in to the cereal bowl. Dub Smith (FFCC), who had been hovering a few seconds behind the two, took advantage of Alan’s mishap by catching and dropping him. Lamar stayed clear taking 3rd in the race and first for the 55+ State Championship and Dub taking 4th in the race and the final 45+ state championship podium step.

In the Juniors 15-18, it was a battle between Elliot Baring (Cycle Youth) and Brody Hartley (Florida Velo) with Elliot coming out on top for the win. Brody was second, and Fletcher Lydick (Frazier Cycling) was in third. In the Juniors 14 and under, Davis Branyon (Frazier Cycling) won with brothers Leon and Troy Waine (Junior Flyers) following for second and third. The Women’s Cat. 4 race saw a small group form on the first lap with Kim Pounders (Smyrna Bicycles), Lori Ballestri (ALTX), and Jen Undutch (Sorella Cycling). Using her mountain bike skills on the technical parts of the course, Kim pulled away in the second lap. She would hold a 45 second advantage to take her first victory and the state championships jersey. Jen can in second, and series leader Lori was third.

Kim Pounders pounds the pedals on her way to a state champ jersey. I realize this is not the most original caption, so feel free to come up with something better and laugh quietly to yourself. I said quietly. This is a public library.

In the Cat. 3 Men, Jake Andrews (Georgia Cycling) took the top step of the podium while Charles Lessing (RHR) was second and Fletcher Lydick was third. Owing to a flat first half of the course, Women’s Cat. 1/2/3 the field was together for a good portion of the first of five laps. It began to break up on the second beach section. Soon three riders were clear of the group–Paula Burks (Team Mystique), Lisa Randall (Sorella Cycling), and Shannon Greenhill (Peachtree Bikes). Paula put a little distance between herself and the other two on the second lap. Going into the third lap, Lisa got a gap on Shannon, gaining more time with each pass through the sand. Shannon could not match Lisa in the technical sections. Paula won the race, but since she is from Tennessee she was not eligible for the state championship, which went to Lisa. Shannon was third.

The Men’s Cat. 4 fields were once again large. In Cat. 4, the leaders stayed close the entire race. Matthew Reeves (Loose Nuts Cycles) came out on top with Kinzer Hewitt (Atomic Cycles) and Eric Kirk (Georgia State University) in 2nd and 3rd. In the Masters 35+ Cat. 4 there were calculations happening as the top 3 for the overall series points were close.Charlie Putnal (Big Ring Racing) took the win with Scott Morris (Lifetime/Loganville Ford) in second and Paul Linck in third.

In the Men’s Cat. 1/2/3, a crash in the first lap took out a large portion of the field with mechanicals and flat tires. Thomas Turner (Team Jamis) and Frank Trevieso (Miami Chasis) switched to their mountain bikes in the pits. About three laps in, the race settled into its normal rhythm. Thomas worked his way up from the back of the pack, leaving everyone in his dust. Doug Ollernshaw (Litespeed-BMW) and teammate Artur Sagat took up the chase but could not hold his wheel. Thomas held on for the win and the state championship. Doug was second, and Artur was third.

The Single Speed race was the finale of the day as well as the day’s largest field. Several riders showed up in costume. Dan McCarthy (Smyrna Bicycles) was the Incredible Bacon Fairy, and Muse Davis (ATLX) broke out his finest mullet. Much like a mullet, the Single Speed race was business up front and party in the back. Tim Barrett (Roswell Bikes) came out looking for the win. He would have to get past series leader Aaron Pyle (ACC) and last week’s winner Mclean Harris (Smyrna Bicycles). The large pack launched with Tim, Aaron, and Mclean quickly going to the front. After one lap, Tim decided he had enough and took off, leaving the others battling other for second. Aaron and Mclean swapped places several times, but in the end Aaron took second and Mclean was third. Towards the back of the race, riders were having fun and spectators were chasing them through the sand.

MUSE DON'T CARE. HE DO WHAT HE WANTS!

After the day’s races were over, overall awards were handed out. Congratulations to all of the series winners!

Elite Masters 35+ (CX 1,2,3)
1 Daryl Sawyer FFCC
2 Brady Rogers LITESPEED-BMW
3 Bob Kuhn Hup United

Elite Masters 45+ (CX 1,2,3)
1 Michael Schmid Deeds Publishing
2 Richard Mauney FFCC
3 William (Dub) Smith FFCC

Juniors 10-14
1 Leon Waine Junior Flyers
2 Troy Waine Junior Flyers
3 Davis Branyon Frazier Cycling Juniors

Juniors 15-18
1 Fletcher Lydick Frazier Cycling
2 Blake Johnson Cycle-Therapy GA
3 Tomas Petit

Womens 4
1 Lori Balistreri ATLX
2 Kim Pounders Smyrna Bicycles
3 Catherine Donnelly Smyrna Bicycles
Elite Women
1 Paula Burks Team Mystique
2 Shannon Greenhill Peachtree Bikes
3 Elizabeth Lee LG Factory Team

Mens CX 3
1 Fletcher Lydick Frazier Cycling
2 Jon Wienandt Team Fond Du Lac/Oshkosh Cyclery
3 Mikey Waine Junior Flyers

Mens CX 4
1 Charlie Putnal Big Ring Racing
2 Stephen LaVoie ATHCX
3 Tomas Petit

Mens CX 4 35+
1 Brian Murphy C Town Bikes
2 Scott Morris Lifetime/Loganville Ford
3 Lyle Lydick Frazier Cycling

Elite Men
1 Thomas Turner Team Jamis
2 Douglas Ollerenshaw Litespeed BMW
3 David Sagat Fuji Bikes

Single Speed
1 Aaron Pyle ACC
2 Jon Wienandt Team Fond Du Lac/Oshkosh Cyclery
3 Joshua Frank ATLX

Serenbe Race Report

PICTURES AND WORDS BY Trish Albert/Southeasterncycling.com

PHOTO CAPTIONS BY Mark Babuck… or Bacock… or Bobcat. I’m pretty sure it’s Bobcat.

Michael Schmid (DEEDS PUBLIHSHING) throws his hands in the air and waves them like he just doesn't care.

A gorgeous December day greeted a large turn out at the Serenbe Community in Chattahoochee Hills, GA. With temperatures in the 60s there was not a thermal fleece skinsuit in sight. Faster Mustache transformed the cow pasture into a great cross course. There was a little bit of wooded area, a fast gravel road downhill, and three dismounts including the Rutted Hill. The Marlay House Food Truck provided yummy Irish fare for hungry racers and spectators.

The Masters 35+ had a small group off of the front within the first two laps. In the end Bob Kuhn (HUP United) took the wheel throw from Chris Wyatt (Peachtree Bikes). Brady Rogers (Litespeed-BMW) was third. In the 45+ Michael Schmid (Deeds Publishing) reminded everyone why he is the series leader by gaining a gap on the first trip through the twisty woods after the start that would never be closed. He would have time to do a long victory salute. Lamar Mauney (FFCC) initially led the chase to close the gap with Jeff Clayton (Georgia Neurosurgical Institute) taking over pace making duties as the gravel road entered the woods. Jeff and Alan Burton (FFCC) gained a small gap on Lamar as the first lap continued, but Lamar never let off the gas. He reeled them in by the second trip through the run-up. Finding a time advantage in running vs. riding, Lamar took full advantage after remounting, maintaining the pressure and putting a gap on Jeff and Alan. With Alan having no intention of chasing his teammate, chasing duties fell on Jeff while Lamar and Alan took advantage of team tactics. Lamar increased his gap over the remaining five laps taking a comfortable second while Alan, having been relieved of chasing duties, started the sprint for third approaching the barriers, gaining a gap that would hold to the line.

In the Juniors 15-18, two riders took off and would battle it out for the win. Fletcher Lydick (Frazier Cycling) came out on top with Elliot Barring (Cycle Youth) in second. The Juniors 14 and under saw a good group on the start line. Davis Branyon (Frazier Cycling) took first, Keegan Schimmelman was second, and series leader Leon Waine (Junior Flyers) was third. The Women’s B field was very competitive. Jean Miller (Sorella Cycling) took the holeshot into the woods. She was followed by Kim Pounders (Smyrna Bicycles), Lori Ballestri (ATLX), and Zoe Frazier (Frazier Cycling). They three were close the entire race. Jean held on for the win with Zoe and Kim rounding out the podium in 2nd and 3rd.

Unfortunately, the Men’s Cat. 3 field started with a crash going into the woods in the first lap. Mikey Waine (Junior Flyers) hit a wooden post very hard and ended up on the group. Dr. Muse “Bumblebee” Davis (ALTX), displayed a great example of sportsmanship and immediately dismounted and rushed to assist the the fallen rider, forgetting about his own race. Luckily, Mikey’s injuries were minor, and both of them were able to go on and finish the race. In the Men’s Cat. 3 race, Amos Harvey (Round Here Racing) won; Fletcher Lydick took another podium spot for the day with second place. Charles Lessing (RHR) was third. In the Women’s 1/2/3 Shannon Greenhill (Peachtree Bikes), Paula Burks (Team Mystique), and Lisa Randalll (Sorella Cycling) broke away on the first lap. Shannon would take her first victory in over a month with Paula in second. Lisa was third.

The Cat. 4 fields have been close all year. In the Cat. 4 race, Kinzer Hewitt (Atomic Cycles) took the top step of the podium. Scott Morris was second. In the Masters Cat. 4 Brian Murphy came out on top with Scott Morris in second.

This is the face of a man who is about to cat up.

 

The Cat. 1/2/3 race was, once again, the Thomas Turner (Team Jamis) show. Thomas took off early and never looked back. He is on track to better his silver medal from the 2012 Masters World Championship. Newcomer Frank Travieso (Miami Chasis) was second, and Artur Sagat (Litespeed-BMW) was third.

The Singlespeed start was pandemonium. Everyone was trying to reach the woods first. Dust was flying everywhere as the large field swept by the spectators. It finally strung out, and riders were able to settle into their rhythm. Many beer hand ups were taken throughout the race. Spectators marveled at how smooth riders stayed and kept their speed when grabbing the adult beverages. Meanwhile at the front, there was a battle brewing. Mclean Harris (Smyrna Bicycles) took off early. He was followed by several riders. Slowly, Mclean pulled away and was victorious by over a minute. Rob Simpson (ATH CX) was second, and Kelly Edwards (ACC) took a well deserved third place after being just off the podium several times this year.

Poor Mclean Harris had to ride all by himself.

Douglasville Race Report

WORDS AND PICTURE BY Trish Albert/Southeasterncycling.com
PICTURE CAPTIONS BY Mark “OMG-I-FINALLY-HOPPED-THE-BARRIERS” Babcock

The weather for Georgia Cross this fall has been very uncross like with highs near 60 and sun. Not many riders are complaining, although one muddy race may be nice. Another perfect day provided the backdrop for racing at Boundry Waters Park in Douglasville, a new venue for the series. The course was reminiscent of Marietta and Savannah. It had the flat profile of Savannah and the woods section of Marietta. Two barriers and a steep run up provided off the bike efforts. The rest of the course was supersonic and saw some of the fastest speeds of the year.

Once again the Elite Masters races provided excitement for the crowd. In the 35+, a group of three broke away early–Brady Rogers (Litespeed-BMW), Chris Wyatt (Peachtree Bikes), and Daryl Sawyer (Fulton Flyers). They would stay together until the final lap. Around the baseball field, Chris put a small gap on the other two. While Brady and Daryl looked at each other, Chris gained a few seconds. Brady responded on the pavement, and they sprinted for the finish. Chris took the win by a nose with Brady in second and Daryl in third. In the 45+, a typical brisk starting pace had whittled the lead group down to Michael Schmid (Deeds), Alan Burton (Futlon Flyers), and Lamar Mauney (Fulton Flyers) when the race reached the steep climb/run-up the first time. The trio set about consolidating their lead on the chasers with Mike and Lamar setting the pace on lap two. The second trip through the steep climb proved to be pivotal with Mike and Alan gaining a gap on Lamar that he was unable to close. Mike continued his pace making with Alan in tow for the next three laps. On the final lap, Alan left the protection of Mike’s rear wheel before the steep climb with hopes of gaining a gap, but Mike stuck like glue, biding his time until the final corner claiming victory in a sprint. Lamar held his position taking third with Dub Smith (Futlon Flyers) coming through in fourth.

Pretty soon, Fletcher Lydick (Frazier Cycling) will be dropping the grown ups.

took off solo at the gun in the Juniors 15-18 race. He held on for the win followed by Justin Bache (Fraizer Cycling) and Blake Johnson (Cycle Therapy). In the 14 and under, Keegan Schimmelman won with series leader Leon Waine (Junior Flyers) in second. The Women Cat. 4 fields have been large at every race. They have also seen quite a few different winners. This week newcomer Eliane Sipoc won with Jean Miller (Sorella Cycling) and Selma Huque (Junior Flyers) in 2nd and 3rd, respectively.

The Cat. 3 race saw Jake Andrews of Georgia Cycling leave everyone else in the dust and win by over 30 seconds. Charles Lessing (RHG) took the podium’s second step, and Fletcher Lydick was third. In the Women’s 1/2/3, the entire peloton took off on en mass for the first straightaway. Shannon Greenhill (Peachtree Bikes) was no where to be seen, having gotten a slow start. She would have to work her way through traffic if she was going for the win. Paula Burk (Team Mystique) lead into the barriers with the rest of the field hot on her heels. In the end, Paula won followed very closely by a teammates on the Louis Garneau Factory Team Elizabeth Lee in second, and Cheryl Fuller-Muller in third. Series leader Shannon was sick and had to settle for fourth.

In the Men’s Cat. 4, Erik Kirk (Georgia State University) won followed by Stephen Lavoie (ATH CX) and Kinzer Hewett (Atomic Cycles). In the Masters 35+ Cat. 4, Clay Benoit (Smyrna Bicycles) took the top step of the podium. Scott Morris took the second step, and Harry Boxler rounded out the podium in third.

You know what the difference is between you and Eric Nicoletti? He makes this ish look good.

In the Cat. 1/2/3 race Thomas Turner decided to put the rest of the field out of its misery early. On the third lap, he put on the after burners leaving Artur Sagat and Doug Ollerenshaw of Litespeed-BMW to battle each other for second and third. Arthur took second over Doug.

Josh Frank slays the barriers. (SEE WHAT I DID THERE?! IT'S BECAUSE HE WAS LISTENING TO SLAYER BEFORE THE RACE.)

The Singlespeed field has seen consistent numbers all year. Aaron Pyle had something to prove after last weekend’s race. He and Jon Wienandt (Team Fond Du Lac) broke away on the first lap followed closely by Daryl Sawyer. On the third lap, Aaron had a small lead and held it until the finish. Daryl got his second podium spot of the day with Jon in third.

Centennial Race Report

WORDS AND PICTURES: Trish Albert/southeasterncycling.com
PICTURE CAPTIONS: Mark (ruining cyclocross one disc brake at a time)

When asked the secret to his success, Bob Kuhn (HUP United/race promotor/teacher at Centennial/recent Fango convert) said, "Ladies' skinsuits."

The weather could not have been better for the Centennial Cross Crusade. With rain earlier in the week, the course was in perfect condition. There was no dust, but there was no mud. It was tacky and fast. Promoter Bob Kuhn designed a true cross course. Riders raved that it was the “best course to date, hands down” and that it was “sweet, awesome.” The course was similar to last years CCC race. The start was moved to by the tennis courts, and the barriers were moved from the flat field to a hill just after the field. There were several curbs that provided a different challenge to riders than they are used to seeing, and the punchy hills favored the roleurs. The hill on the far side of the course forced some to walk, but good those with good technical skills were able to ride it. The student volunteers were appreciated by everyone.

Many races would see the top racers stay together the first few laps. The high speed would eventually shell those that did not have the legs to hang. The Masters 35+ saw a large group together for the first 3 laps. Eventually, Bob Kuhn (HUP United) pulled away for the win. Chris Wyatt (Peachtree Bikes) got second, and Eric Neely got third. In the Masters 45+, series leader Michael Schmid (Deeds Publishing) took the early lead and hung on to win. The podium was rounded out by Fulton Flyer teammates Lamar Mauney and Dub Smith.

The fields for the Juniors and Women’s 4 were some of the largest of the year. In the Juniors 15-18 Brody Hartley (Florida Velo) went off the front on the first lap and never looked back. He won by a wide margin. Adam Christopher (Cycle Youth) came in second. In the Juniors 10-14, Davis Branyon (Frazier Cycling) won, and Ethan Brown got second. The lead in the Women’s 4 changed several times. Selma Huque (Junior Flyers) took the lead early but faded on the technical course. Zoe Frazier (Frazier Cycling) eventually took the lead and won. Jean Miller (Sorella Cycling) took the podium’s second step, and Lori Ballestri (ALTX) took third.

With several riders upgrading to Cat. 2, the Cat. 3 field was wide open. The Juniors were on fire at the CCC. Fletcher Lydick (Frazier Cycling) had a bike problem in the Juniors race, but he put on the after burners to take his first win in the Cat. 3 division. Aaron Pyle (ACC) was second, and Brody Hartley came in for third. The Women’s 1/2/3 unfolded in a familiar fashion. Paula Burks (Team Mystique) and series leader Shannon Greenhill (Peachtree Bikes) went away together early. Lisa Randall (Sorella Cycling) and Elizabeth Lee (Louis Garneau Factory Team) chased but could not quite catch them. Paula won by a small margin over Shannon. Lisa held on for third, and Elizabeth was fourth.

Huge Men’s 4 fields took to the starting line. There was some confusion as a few of the guys forgot which division they registered for. Once things were settled, the race got under way. The podium in the Cat. 4 was Nick Ray on the top step with Austin Sholly in second and Kinzer Hewitt (Atomic Cycles) in third. In the Masters Cat. 4, Scott Morris won and Brian Murphy (CTown Bikes) took second.

Thomas Turner (Team Jamis/fastest 'cross racer in Dixie) is resplendent in the GACX leader's jersey and pink socks.

The Cat. 1/2/3 this year is the Thomas Turner (Jamis) show. Doug Ollerenshaw (Litespeed-BMW) stayed with Thomas for almost half of the race. Thomas eventually took off, and Doug was unable to catch him. Thomas won, and Doug got second. Arthur Sagat was in third.

In the Singlespeed race, the field stayed compacted the first lap. Soon the punchy climbs took their toll on the legs, and several riders fell off. Tim Barrett (Roswell Bicycles) took command and got his second win of the season. Rob Simpson (ATH CX) rode into second, and perennial podium finisher Dave Marbut (Fulton Flyers) hung on for third.

Tim Barrett (Roswell Bicycles/new dad) on his way to a win in both the single speed race and the brightest-bicycle-and-helmet competition.

Elks Day 1 – Backwoods Course

By Kim Sawyer

Chilly weather greeted the first ones arriving at Saturday’s Elks Backwoods course, but, by mid-day, winter temperatures would be replaced by a warm afternoon that many weren’t expecting. Though the hot weather was a bit of a surprise, the course was not. Having been a part of the Georgia Cyclocross Series for some years now, veteran racers knew what to expect: a hilly, twisty, woodsy course with a run-up and a set of barriers near the finish line.

Temperatures during the Masters Elite races may have been cool, but the racing was hot. In the 35+ race, Shey Lidner (C Town Bikes) almost immediately charged away from the field, leaving Bob Kuhn (Hup United) and Daryl Sawyer (Toyota Forklift) to chase him down. Bob and Daryl couldn’t match Shey’s speed and had to settle for 2nd and 3rd, respectively. In the Masters 45+ race, it was each man for himself. Jeff Clayton established and kept an early lead, while Michael Schmid (Deeds Publishing) and series leader John Phelan (ACC) each chased solo to finish 2nd and 3rd.

As the chilly morning gave way to spring-like weather, the Juniors and Women 4′s took to the line. Annalise Oestreich (Junior Flyers) became the queen of the Junior 10-14 race, and brothers Leon and Troy Waine (Junior Flyers) duked it out to take 2nd and 3rd. In the Junior 15 – 18 race, Blake Johnson crossed the line first with Fletcher Lydick (Frazier Cycling) and Justin Bashe (Frazier Cycling) finishing 2nd and 3rd. Kim Pounders (Smyrna Bicycles) took a convincing win in the Women’s 4 race, while Lori Balisteri (ATLX) and Jennifer Undutch (Sorella Cycling) cranked out a 2nd and 3rd place finish.

By the time the Men’s 3 and Women’s 1/2/3 racers reached the staging area, conditions were hot and dusty. Ryan Murray (Nouveau Velo Cycling Team) left no question who the strongest Men’s 3 rider was and finished first. Hutch Zimmerman (Roswell Bikes) and Broderick Hartley (Florida Velo) rounded out the podium. When the dust settled in the Women’s 1/2/3 race, it was Paula Burks zooming solo across the finish line ahead of a chasing Shannon Greenhill (Peachtree Bikes). Lisa Randall (Sorella Cycling) was 3rd.

The Men’s 4 and Men’s 4 35+ field were the next to battle each other in the heat. Matthew Reeves (Loose Nuts Cycling) put in a great ride for 1st, with Stephen LaVoie (ATHCX) and Thomas Russell (C Town Bikes) taking the honor of 2nd and 3rd in the Men’s 4 race. Kenneth Fischer’s (Reality Bikes) ride landed him on the top step of the Men’s 4 35+ podium. Brian Murphy (C Town Bikes) and Harry Boxler finished 2nd and 3rd.

With the smell of sizzling hamburgers and hotdogs in the air, the Elite Men took their turn. After an hour of negotiating the backwoods course, Thomas Turner (Team Jams) again bested the rest of the field. Brandon Pruett (Rome Velo) finished 2nd, and David Sagat (Fuji Bikes) was 3rd.

Singlespeed racers were next to discover who brought both the legs and the right gear to this hilly course. As the afternoon wound down, Aaron Pyle (ACC) and Mark Babcock (Deeds Publishing) circled the course together, while David Marbut (Toyota Forklift) chased. Aaron crossed the finish line first, with Mark coming in 2nd after going down in the last seconds of the race. David held on for 3rd.

Though the day’s races were finished, the weekend’s racing was far from over. Jim Behning and crew set out to put the finishing touches on the next day’s course, and racers headed home to try and coax their bodies into being ready to do it all again the next day cause Honey Badger don’t care if your legs hurt.