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.