WORDS AND PHOTOS (except where noted) BY Trish Albert/Southeasterncycling.com
Central City Park in Macon, GA was the site for the 5th round of the Georgia Cross Series. Blue skies and cool temperatures greeted riders. The course is pancake flat with lots of twists and turns. A set of double barriers, a semi-rideable sand pit, and a run up the levee provided the day’s obstacles.
The Single Speeders and Masters 4/5 divisions started the day as they always do. The SS riders were seen spinning at 120 rpm down the road on the first lap as things sorted out. They looked a bit like track racers on knobby tires. Troy Dunton (GS Tenzig) took an early lead and never looked back. Eric Kirk (LNC), David Marbut (Toyota Forklifts), and Matthew Reeves (LNC) chased, but Troy kept the gap open. Eric took second, and David was third. In the Masters 4/5, it was a close battle for the front of the pack. Robin Blake (ACC) narrowly edged out Corny Delasalas (Sopo Bikes) to win. Sergei Grigorian (Bike Raising) got third.
The Elite Masters 35+ racers are known for their technical skills and for being fast. Many of them also race their category and podium. Chris Wyatt (Peachtree Bikes) went over the top when he was the only rider during the day that bunny hopped the barrier at the bottom of the levee run up. This allowed him to put a second or two into his rivals each lap. He was followed by Eric Smith (RHCX) and Nate Sibley (Atlanta Cycling). The Elite Masters 45+ saw the return of John Phelan (ACC) after several years of not racing. He got right down to business and went to the front group with Scott Staubach (Peachtree Bikes) and Brady Rogers (Litespeed-BMW). After some cat and mouse games, Scott won with Brady and John right behind.
The Women’s Cat. 4 race saw a fast start. The pack stayed together through most of the first lap until the levee runup. Jenna Downey (Peachtree Bikes) took the top step of the podium. Ali Whittier (HUB Chattanooga) was second, and Brittany Hopson (Sorella) rounded out the podium. In the Men’s Cat. 5, David Kemp came out on top. Federico Holgado (Faster Mustache) and Jackson Gilbert (GA Tech) were second and third. The Waine brothers are keeping their podium streaks alive this year. Oldest brother Mikey Waine (EPTC) was not even tired after his 5th place finish in the Single Speed race. He took an early lead in the Juniors 15-18. Blake Wilson (Frazier Cycling) was able to stay ahead of first time racer Derek Gilbert. In the Juniors 10-14, the Troy and Leon Waine (Junior Flyers) took first and second. Not far behind for third was Ragan Locaran.
With the absence of several ladies, the Women’s 1/2/3 was wide open. Sometimes everyone needs to be reminded that cyclocross should be fun. Junior racer Salma Huque (Junior Flyers) reminded us of that Sunday by racing in a pink tutu. When the fun and games were over, Kim Blodgett took the win. Elizabeth Lee (Lifetime Bikes) chased hard but could not catch her. Rhys May (LNC) took a hard fought and well deserved third place. Kim Sawyer (Toyota Forklifts) took 4th. Salma and her tutu came in fifth. In the Men’s Cat. 4, Tyler Asdit (Georgia Neurosurgery) took the holeshot off the starting line. Todd Steigerwalt won. Christian DeCenso (Prima Tappa) got second, and Robin Blake (ACC) was third.
The 1-2 Men provided a great race to watch as usual. A small group broke away on the first couple of laps: Artur Sagat (Round Here Racing), Spencer Whittier (Hub-Chattanooga), Frank Travieso (UHC/706 Project), and Nick VanWinkle (Litespeed-BMW). These four were going back and forth the entire race. One would lead for a lap and then another would. Right behind them was Mr. Bunny Hop, Chris Wyatt. His efforts drew the largest group of spectators of the day to the levee run up. In the end, Artur took a the win by 2 seconds over Spencer. Frank was third. In the Men’s Cat. 3, David Vargas (Atlanta Cycling) sashayed his way to the top. LNC teammates Matthew Reeves and Erik Kirk joined him on the podium.