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.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.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. 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.