Savannah Race Report – Day Two

by Trish Albert/Southeasterncycling.com.

Oglethorpe Speedway Park (OSP) in Pooler, Georgia was host to the 5th annual Savannah Superprestige Cyclocross Race weekend. The course for Sunday was the classic Savannah course, flat and fast. The start was on the track. It went into the Death Spiral followed by a set of 2 fast barriers and then back to the track through the finish line. The course went outside of the concrete barriers into a wooded section. Past the first pit was a long sandy straight away. Every race has a signature feature. OSP’s is the TFFO. The Two Fingers Flyover was destroyed earlier in the year by a storm, and the OSP crew worked overtime to rebuild and widen it. Riders negotiated the TFFO and then a three step dismount. The course went around the pond although there were no alligator sightings this year. It then came back under the TFFO and towards the Death Spiral. In addition to racing, Sunday had a few special events. “MJ” cooked up Belgian Waffles Sunday morning to benefit the Savannah Wheelmen Juniors Fund. More than one racer was seen holding their stomach from eating too many waffles. A SSP tshirt was given for the best costume for racers and spectators. Mitch Askew worked the microphone for all of the races, providing color commentary to entertain everyone. Sunday’s weather challenge was a strong northwest wind kicked up by Hurricane Sandy. Dust and sand clouds could be seen as some fields rolled by.

The Elite Masters started off the day’s racing. A small group got off the front of the 35+. Soon it was down to 3 and then 2 as Nate Sibley (Scott Bicycles) rode off the front solo. In the final lap, Daryl Sawyer (Fulton Flyers) and Brady Rogers (Litespeed-BMW) were together. Brady hit the barrier without unclipping and went down. Daryl was able to pull away for 2nd place. Brady held on for third. In the Masters 45+, series leader John Phelan (ACC) took the lead early and never looked back. Ken Jones (Velo Brew) was second, and Michael Schmid (Deeds Publishing) was third.

A small but fast field of Juniors and Cat. 4 women toed the line next. Anne Moore (Moody/Evergreen) took the win for the second time this weekend in the Cat. 4 women. Jen Undutch (Sorella Cycling) was second. In the Juniors 15-18, Thomas Petit won with Haegan Altizer (Junior Flyers) in 2nd, and Willem Kaiser (Junior Flyers) in 3rd. Brothers Troy and Leon Waine (Junior Flyers) battled it out in the Juniors 14 and under. Leon was able to hang onto the wheel of the older Juniors for part of the first, distancing himself a bit from Leon. He would hold on to take the win.

In the Men’s Cat. 3, Ryan Murray (Nouveau Velo) won with Hutch Zimmerman on the second step of the podium. The Women’s 1/2/3 provided spectators with good action. There was some question as to whether one rider would be able to race. “She” rolled up to the line with a very hairy mustache. After officials determined it was Amy Frank (ALTX) in a Halloween costume, the ladies were allowed to go. While Shannon Greenhill (Peachtree Bikes) took the early lead, she was not able to shake Paula Burkes (Vantaggio) and Elizabeth Lee (Garneau Factory Team). Finally with two laps to go, Shannon pulled away and soloed to the win. Paula and Elizabeth chased but could not catch her. Paula made it through the barriers before Elizabeth, and she held on for 2nd place. Elizabeth got third. From the back of the Women’s 1/2/3, Trish Albert (Sorella Cycling) was estatic not to get lapped by Shannon for the first time this year.

The Men’s Cat. 4 field was dominated by Austin Sholly (Macon Cyclocross). He took an early lead and kept pulling further in front of the rest of the field. Charlite Putnal (Big Ring Racing) fought hard for second place. In the Masters. Cat. 4, Floridian Todd Leedy (352 Racing) won with Johnny Mayero (Frazier Cycling) in second place. Unfortunately, there were also several crashes.

The course in Savannah is the fastest that Georgia Cross visits. Average speeds for the Cat. 1/2/3 race approached 18 mph. Thomas Turner (Team Jamis) won by a wide margin, and Doug Ollerenshaw (Litespeed-BWM) got second.

The Singlespeed racers were able to run huge gears not normally run in Georgia. It paid to choose wisely, so that they were not spinning out. Series leader Aaron Pyle (ACC). David Marbut (Fulton Flyers) and Jon Wienandt (Team Fond Du Lac / Oshkosh Cyclery) rounded out the podium.

Savannah Race Report – Day One

With Hurricane Sandy swirling just offshore, Saturday’s racers weren’t sure what the weather would bring. A deluge? Winds knocking riders off bikes and into crocodile-infested waters? Fortunately (or unfortunately for those hoping for epic conditions), the weather stayed at bay and racers lined up in breezy, overcast conditions to test their skills through sandy turns, over a flyover run-up, and through the Spiral of Death.

Masters Elite racers started the day’s racing with a furious pace. In the Master’s 35+ race, Eric Neely (Hincapie Sports) and Daryl Sawyer (Toyota Forklift/FFCC) established a gap early on, with Nate Sibley (Scott Bikes) being the last racer left to give chase. With two to go, Eric pulled away from Daryl and stayed away for the win. Daryl finished 2nd, and Nate’s lone chasing efforts earned him a 3rd. In the 45+ race, John Phelan (ACC) took an early lead and held off Michael Schmid (Deeds Publishing) for the win. Dub Smith (Toyota Forklift/FFCC) was 3rd.

The action continued in the Junior and Women’s 4 races. In the Junior 15 – 18 race, Haegan Altizer (Junior Flyers) took off for 1st, while teammate Willem Kaiser finished 2nd. In the Junior 14 and Under category, dynamic duo Leon and Troy Waine (Junior Flyers) duked it out for 1st and 2nd place, with Leon emerging victorious. In the Women’s 4, Florida rider Anne Moore (Moody/Evergreen) escaped early on and crossed the line first. Kim Pounders (Smyrna Bikes) and Jennifer Undutch (Sorella Cycling) were 2nd and 3rd, respectively.

In Men’s 3 race, Ryan Murray (Noauveau Velo) got a gap and held it to take first. Aaron Pyle (ACC) and Hutch Zimmerman (Roswell Bikes) could not match his efforts and finished in 2nd and 3rd with good rides. In the Women’s Elite race, Shannon Greenhill (Peachtree Bikes) eventually pulled away, with Elizabeth Lee (Louis Garneau Factory Team) and Paula Burks (USSC-Trek p/b Vantaggio) chasing together. Kim Sawyer (Toyota Forklift/FFCC) finally crossed the gap and joined in the chase. After Paula crashed into a barrier, Kim and Elizabeth pulled away from Paula and closer to Shannon. Shannon stayed away for 1st, with Elizabeth taking 2nd and Kim 3rd.

The Men’s 4 and Men’s 4 35+ categories were next to toe the line. When the dust had settled, David Lavenhagen (352 Racing) pulled off a convincing 1st, with Austin Sholly and Charlie Putnal (Big Ring Racing) taking 2nd and 3rd in the Men’s 4 race. In the 35+ race, Todd Leedy (352 Racing) showed his domination by taking 1st, with Chip Larkby (Team GB) and William Bartley (Cyclocrossworld.com) rounding out the podium.

With dusk falling, the Men’s Elite race took the stage. Thomas Turner (Team Jamis) again stamped his authority on the race, finishing 1st. David Sagat (Fuji Bikes) and Doug Ollershsaw (Litespeed-BMW) battled it out for 2nd and 3rd.

In the last race of the day, Singlespeed action under lights (combined with relentless heckling by the Florida racing contingent) provided entertainment for all. Amidst the taunts, Aaron Pyle (ACC) and David Marbut (Toyota Forklift/FFCC) pulled away early to eventually finish 1-2 in an exciting sprint. Christian Ahrens (352 Racing) was third.

After a long day of hard racing, riders headed out in search of food (or beer–or both) and sleep in an effort to recover enough to do it all again on day two of the Savannah Superprestige Cyclocross Race.

David Sagat puts the hammer down on his way to both 2nd place and the complete ruination of the sport of cyclocross.

Augusta Race Report

WORDS AND PHOTOS BY Trish Albert/Southeasterncycling.com

Another gorgeous fall day was on tap for Augusta Cross presented by the Augusta Sports Council. Lake Olmstead Park provided a lovely venue with fall colors just beginning to show. Ross Douglas put together a great course. The start was moved to the field. It then went to a series of 180 degree turns; the barriers were the next challenge. The field was followed by a short paved section, up a curb, to a long, fast off camber straight away. Next up was a little more pavement before beginning the climb to the run up. This year the run up was very steep. Only one or two riders were able to make it to the top without dismounting.

The Masters 1/2/3 riders were first as always. In the 35+, it was a battle between “Shady” Brady Rogers (Litespeed-BMW) and Eric Neely. They swapped out the lead several times, but ultimately Eric won with Brady in second. Daryl Sawyer (Fulton Flyers) edged out series leader Bob Kuhn (HUP United) for third in an exciting sprint. In the Masters 45+, Alan Burton (Fulton Flyers) took the holeshot with John Phelan (ACC) taking control two turns later. John set a pace that soon separated himself, Alan, and Mike Schmid (Deeds Publishing) from the others. As the trio approached the run up for the first time, Mike and Alan both went to the ground in separate incidents allowing John to get a gap. Mike and Alan then rode together with John maintaining a steady pace a short distance ahead. A last lap effort brought Mike and Alan to the base of the run up as John was approaching the top, but contact remained elusive. The three soloed across the line; John with the win, Mike in second and Alan third.

Although the Junior fields were small, the competition was tough. In the 15-18, the three entries stayed together for the majority of the race. Fletcher Lydick (Frasier Cycling) won, Elliot Barring (Cycle Yough) got second, and Willem Kaiser (Junior Flyers). Twin brothers Leon and Troy Waine (Junior Flyers) have stolen everyone’s hearts this year. At 9 years old, they are the youngest cross racers in the series and fierce competitors. Leon took his first win today in the 14 & under with Troy in second. They could be found ringing their new cowbells at everyone later in the day.

 

The Cat. 3 race was fast. Clouds of dust were stirred up as riders took off from the line. Hutch Zimmerman stood on the top podium step with series leader Ryan Murray (Nouveau Velo) in second. In the Women’s 1/2/3, Lisa Randall (Sorella Cycling), Elizabeth Lee (Garneau Factory Team), and Kim Sawyer (Fulton Flyers) got off the front and rode together until 2 to go when Kim got popped. She kept chasing while Lida and Elizabeth battled for first. Elizabeth gapped Lisa but went down in the 180 near the finish, allowing Lisa to take the win. Elizabeth got second with Kim not far behind in third.

Large fields turned out in Augusta for the Men’s Cat. 4 and Masters 4 race. Both races stayed tightly bunched for the first lap until the run up. Several riders had problems with the sharp left turn and took a tumble in the dirt. Matthew Reeves (Loose Nuts Cycles) emerged with the Cat. 4 win, and Donald Hoefer was second. In the Masters Cat. 4, local ACC rider Laddie Williams won, and Brian Murphy (C Town Bikes) took second.

In a replay of the previous two races, Thomas Turner (Jamis) took the win in the Men’s 1/2/3. David Sagat (Fuji Bikes) gave a good chase and came in 2nd. Eric Nicoletti (Faster Moustache) grabbed his first podium of the year with a third place finish.Thomas is looking on form to defend his medal at the Masters World Cyclocross Championships in January. (Mark Babcock rode the first two laps with a can of NOS in his bottle cage like an idiot. -Ed.)

Single speeders were the race finale. Series leader Aaron Pyle (ACC) took an early lead along with Daryl Sawyer and Rob Simpson (ATHCX). Aaron and Daryl worked together off the front for much of the race, but Daryl took Aaron in the sprint.

IMPORTANT INFO ABOUT AUGUSTA

Due to unforeseen circumstances, the course WILL NOT BE OPEN TO PRE-RIDE ON SATURDAY as there is an outdoor event (wedding) going on. It is STRONGLY requested there be no riding ’til 6:00 pm when the event is over. I sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this has caused.

-Ross Douglas, Race Promoter

Jim Miller Park Race Report

WORDS AND PICTURES BY Trish Albert/Souteastercycling.com

Typical early Georgia cross season weather greeted riders for the Jim R. Miller Park Cyclocross Race in Marietta. Mostly cloudy skies gave way to sun in the afternoon, which drove temperatures above 75 degrees. With a lack of rain the last few weeks, the course was dry and dusty. The course was run the traditional counterclockwise direction. Three dismounts provided a challege for the riders–barriers on the backside, the Infamous Red Clay Runup, and barriers in the field. Riders also enjoyed Dutch Letters on the far side. Comments about the course after the race included “best course ever” and “fantastic course.”

While final numbers are not in, there were 261 race finishers, which may be a Georgia Cross attendance record.

First up were the Elite Masters. In the 35+, the battle for first was between Brian “Sven” DeLoughy (Bikeman) and Brady Rogers (Litespeed-BMW). Midway through the race, it looked like Brady would win as Brian fell back several places. He rallied, though, and was able to make his way back to the front to finish first. In the Masters 45+, John Phelan (ACC) took his first win of the year. Series leader Michael Schmid (Deeds Publishing) finished second and retained the series lead.

The second race of the day was the Juniors and Cat. 4 Women. In the Juniors 15-18, Adam Christopher (Cycle Youth) won with Luke Broadwell (Junior Flyers) in second. In the Juniors 10-14, Davis Branyon (Frazier Cycling) was first, and Michael Garrison (Junior Flyers) was second. The huge Cat. 4 Women’s field saw a three way battle for first place. Amanda Green (US Stove-Vantaggio), Crystal Henry (Mystique Cycling Team), and 14 year old Salma Huque (Junior Flyers) took off within the first quarter lap. They quickly gained almost a minute on a small chase group. Amanda and Crystal would pull away from Salma after dismounts, and experienced track racer Salma would pull them back on the flat sections.  Amanda took the win and retained her series leader’s jersey. Crystal was second, and Salma finished a few seconds behind to take third.

The Men’s Cat. 3 race was exciting as always. Ryan Murray (Nouveau Velo) won, and David Hicks (Homesmart/L5 Flyers) got second. In the Women’s 1/2/3, a group of 5 got off the front on the first lap: Shannon Greenhill (Peachtree Bikes), Elizabeth Lee (Garneau Factory Team), Paula Burks (US Stove-Vantaggio), Cheryl Fuller-Muller (Louis Garneau Factory Team), and Kim Sawyer (Fulton Flyers). Shannon and Elizabeth soon broke away from the group and were being chased by Kim and Paula. Shannon won for the second weekend in a row, and Elizabeth finished right behind her. Paula got third.

Combined, the Cat. 4 race had almost 100 entries between Cat. 4 and Masters 35+ Cat. 4. The Cat. 4s took off first, leaving a huge dust cloud in their wake. When the haze cleared, Austin Sholly was on the top step of the podium, and Donald Hoefer was second. In a very competitive Masters Cat. 4 field, Kenneth Fischer (Reality Bikes) took the win with Riveria Chanel in second.

The Men’s 1/2/3 race saw over 20 riders. As usual, Thomas Turner (Jamis) took the early lead, which he never relenquished. The battle for the rest of the podium was on. A group formed that would number between 3 and 5 for the duration of the race. Midway through the race, Brandon Pruett (Rome Velo) broke away and went solo. Spencer Whittier (HUB Endurance), Mclean Harris (Smyrna Bicycles), David Sagat (Fuji Bikes), and Dave Gearhart (Litespeed-BMW) pulled him back.

With 3 to go, Mclean crashed, and with 2 to go, Spencer and David S. fell off pace. Dave sprinted past Brandon on the backside rode going into the entry area of county services parking lot prior to the hard right hand before the dirt road.  Dave got a gap, but he threw of the chain after the runup. After a struggle to put it back on, Dave watched Brandon pass him and ride away for 2nd place. Dave hung on for 3rd.

The Singlespeed field continues to grow as well. Singlespeed gearing can be a challenge. Racers want to run a large enough gear not to spin out too much on the flats but small enough to be able to ride up the climbs. A small group formed on the front during the first lap. By the third lap, Tim Barrett (Roswell Bicycles) was by himself. He held on for the win. Aaron Pyle (ACC) took second.

Old Grey Barn Race Report

WORDS AND PHOTOS BY: Trish Albert/Southeasterncycling.com

Cyclocross temperatures instead of the usual 85 degree first-race-weather greeted riders at the Old Grey Barn Cyclocross in Rocky Face, Georgia. A private farm provided a picturesque backdrop for the day’s course and partying. The course featured two barrier sections in the front cow pasture as well as two big climbs and the infamous Rocky Descent. The third dismount was a set of steps in a drainage culvert following a fast downhill. OGBCX partnered with the Wounded Warrior Project to raise money for injured service members. Those that donated were entered into a drawing for a 6 month training plan from Vantaggio Fitness. For 2013, Georgia Cross made some changes to the schedule. First up are the Masters Cat. 1/2/3. In the 35+, old rivalries were renewed. Just as they have done in seasons past, Shey Linder (C Town Bikes) and Bob Kuhn (HUP United) battled it out for the top spots. This week Shey took the win. In the 45+, Michael Schmid (Deeds Publishing) continued where he left off last year, on the top step of the podium. John Phelan (ACC) was 2nd.

The second race of the day was the Juniors and Women Cat. 4. In the Juniors 10-14, Davis Branyon (Frazier Cycling Juniors) took off early and never looked back. One half of the “cyclocross twins”, Leon Waine (Junior Flyers) won 2nd. The Juniors 15-18 saw a large group of 17 riders take the line including several Junior girls. Elliot Baring (Cycle Youth), Fletcher Lydick (Frazier Cycling), and Nicholas Ray (Alpha Bikes) formed a group early. Elliot would hold on for the win with Fletcher and Nicholas rounding out the podium. In the Cat. 4 Women’s field, there were several first time racers. With the top racers from last year moving up a Category, the Women’s 4 field is wide open. Amanda Green (US Stove-Vantaggio) won with Susie Stanfield in 2nd.

This year the Men Cat. 3 have a choice to do the Cat. 3 race, the 1/2/3, or both. Thirty opted to start in the Cat. 3 race. Ryan Murray (Nouveau Velo) took the top step of the podium with Hutch Zimmerman, and Fletcher Lydick in the other two spots. Meanwhile in the middle of the pack, Richard Tolletson (Sfatto) and other riders were busier taking bacon handups than racing. Kym Flynn, winner of many of the Women’s 1/2/3 races last year, will be absent from much of the series this year. The Women’s 1/2/3 field may crown a new queen. Shannon Greenhill (Peachtree Bikes) won with Paula Burks (US Stove-Vantaggio) 2nd.

The fourth race of the day is the Cat. 4 and the newly formed Cat. 4 Masters. With the growth the last few years in the series, Georgia Cross decided to split the Cat. 4 race into two fields. There were almost 60 racers in the combined field. In the Cat. 4, Michael Weigand (Stomach of Anger) took the win over Jake Morman. In the Masters Cat. 4, Kenneth Fischer (Reality Bikes) won, and Chanel Riveria was 2nd.

The Men’s 1/2/3 started off very fast with several riders going to the front to push the pace. Last year’s silver medalist at Masters Worlds and perennial Georgia Cross race winner Thomas Turner (Team Jamis) and the bronze medalist in the same Masters Worlds race Andy Reardon (Bob’s Red Mill Cyclocross) took off at the starting line and never looked back. They traded off the lead for the first lap and a half. Using is mountain bike skills on the descent on the backside of the course, Thomas pulled away from Andy. He built up a sizable lead that he would hold until the finish. Towards the middle of the pack, specators were getting restless and began doing beer and dollar bill handups. PBR was the choice for most of the handups while the good beer was reserved for after racing when it could be properly enjoyed.

The Single Speeders had all day to decide what gear to run to try to get up the two big hills on the course. Aaron Pyle (Augusta Cross Coalition) chose well and won the SS race. Ryan Allen (Hub Endurance Chattanooga) was second.

New Single Speed Rules for 2012

This is a reminder to everyone that for the SS race this year, riders must have a single cog in the rear. We are not allowing zip-tied rear shifters for 2012. We are allowing locking out the front shifter in certain arrangements based on the shifter on the bikes. They are as follows:

Shimano: Chain must be in the big ring and the shifter lever zip-tied.
Sram: Chain can be in either location in the front, but must be zip-tied.
Campy: Chain must be in the small ring and the shifter zip-tied.

For 2013, any racer wanting to race SS must have a full single speed bike. We will not be allowing zip-tied shifters.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask away. See everyone next weekend in Dalton.

Old Gray Barn ‘Cross is only two weeks away!

The Old Gray Barn Cyclocross race will be at least as exciting as last year! The Hill of Truth will still be there, but this year we have grass on top! So…not as many rocks for everyone to bounce off of. We’ve changed up a few things on the course and have some more climbing included on the backside of the Hill of Truth as well as a gulley dismount area that is new. In addition, this year we are partnering up with the Wounded Warrior Project and trying to raise some much needed funds for this fantastic organization. I’m calling on everyone to PLEASE donate something…every dollar helps these warriors who come back injured to get back to a somewhat normal lifestyle. You can go out to https://support.woundedwarriorproject.org/individual-fundraising/TheOldGrayBarnCXRace/ to make your donations!!!

See everyone there!!

Mark

Entry Fee Increase

After more than a decade, GACX needs to increase our entry fees. The cost of running a cyclocross series has gone up just like everything else. Effective immediately, all race entry fees will be increased by five dollars. A second race will still only cost ten dollars.

Thank you for your understanding and continued support of GACX!

Entry Fees:

Men CX1/CX2/CX3 $30.00
Men CX3 $25.00
Masters 35+ $25.00
Masters 45+ $25.00
Women CX1/CX2/CX3 $30.00
Single Speed $25.00
Women CX4 $25.00
Men CX4 / CX4 35+ $25.00
Junior A (18-15) $10.00
Junior B (14-under) $10.00

If a racer wishes to enter a second “Adult” race during the day, the entry fee is $10. The entry fee for the first race is the amount of the more expensive race if applicable.

Example:

Men CX1/CX2/CX3 $30.00 (Full Entry Fee)
Single Speed $10.00 (Discounted Entry)
Total Entry Fee Due: $40.00
Juniors A or B $10.00
Men CX4 $20.00
Total Entry Fee Due: $25.00

Weather

Have you ever wondered how rain would change your favorite ‘cross course?

Here’s a cool example of how a little (actually a lot) of water can make a course completely different. The race is the GP Mario De Clerq in Ronse, Belgium. Enjoy!

Dry (2011):

Wet (2010):