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