Jim Miller – Race Report

WORDS AND PHOTOS: Trish Albert/Southeasterncycling.com

Jim R. Miller Park in Marietta is the longest running venue in the Georgia Cross series. Racers rejoiced as cross-appropriate temperatures finally hit the state. With a low of 27 degrees Fahrenheit and a high of 43, this was cold for Georgia Cross. Riders bundled up as they pre-rode what is the favorite course for many. They were not disappointed! With two sets of barriers, the classic run up, a long fast section, and a set of whoop de doos the course was one of the best yet.

Dave Gearhart (Litespeed-BMW) came into the Masters 35+ race fresh after having taken several weekends off from racing. Ian Prunier (Smyrna Bicycles) took the lead at the first barrier with Dave on his wheel. Dave counterattacked on the back side of the course on the second set of barriers. Dave continued to build his lead in subsequent laps. A group of 6 took up the chase; however, they could not reel him in. Dave held on for the win. Michael Schmid (Reality Bikes) nipped Ian Prunier (Smyrna Bicycles) at the line for second place. In the Masters 45+ Timothy Gotsick got a gap early and held it to the finish. Dub Smith (Toyota Forklifts) put in a good chase but could not catch him. Lamar Mauney (Toyotoa Forklifts) was third.

Two Juniors 15-18 battled one another. Thomas Petitt (Frazier Cycling) came out on top followed by Keegan Schimmelman. The Cat. 4 Women’s fields have been consistently big this year. Jim Miller was no exception. Fifteen women were on the line. Emeline Renz (ALTX) took the holeshot into the barriers with everyone else close behind. Soon Cathi Swanson took the lead and never looked back. State Champion Rhys Mays (ATHCX) took second, and Amy Ross was third. Everyone loves watching the Juniors 10-14 race. They were not disappointed today. Leon Waine (Junior Flyers) took a commanding lead early and kept it until the end. Hunter Murray followed in second with Troy Waine (Junior Flyers) in third.

Mclean Harris (Smyrna Bicycles) put the hammer down on the first lap and took the win in the Cat. 3 Men’s race. Matthew Reeves (LNC) was second, and Michael Schmid (Reality Bikes) rounded out the podium. In the Women’s Cat. 1/2/3 race, Lisa Randall (Sorella Cycling) was back after several weeks of racing mountain bikes. She took off at the start while Kim Sawyer (Toyota Forklifts) and Elizabeth Lee (LG Factor) formed a chase group with the others far behind. Kim gapped Elizabeth a few times during the first couple of laps, but Elizabeth closed it each time. Finally, with 2 laps to go, Kim attacked hard after the first set of barriers. She got a gap that she was able to hold until the finish to take second over Elizabeth.

A large Cat 4 Men’s field lined up. After they stretched out in the field, the line seemed to go on for a mile. Alex Newton (Faster Mustache) took the holeshot with Ben Braxley and Scott Morris (Village Volkswagon) close behind. For three laps, Ben and Alex took turns out front with Scott hanging on. On the last lap, Alex attacked on the small dirt climb. In a post race interview, he said “I knew with my MTB gearing I wouldn’t have a chance in the sprint, so my plan was to try and exit the woods with a gap. The small dirt climb before the short and steep downhill was my attack spot and rode/ran the run up as hard as I could until I was out of the woods.” Scott had time to adjust his jersey and throw his arms up in victory. Ben out sprinted Scott for second place.

In the Men’s Cat. 1/2/3, the first lap created a group of 6 including Thomas Turner (Team Jamis), Nick VanWinkle (Litespeed-BMW), Frank Trevieso (Start Stop), Tim Barrett (EPVA) and two others. The group stayed together for several laps before the first rider came off. The remaining 5 bided their time. With a lap and a half to go, Thomas stopped toying with them and took off. He put 30 seconds on Nick within the last lap of the race. Arthr Sagat followed for second with Nick in third.

Nick VanWinkle (Litespeed-BMW) leads Thomas Turner (Jamis) over the barriers at Jim Miller Park in Marietta.

After not winning the Single Speed at Serenbe, Mclean Harris (Smyrna Bicycles) was out for revenge. As he did in the Cat. 3 race, he wasted no time leaving everyone else in his dust. Dave Marbut (Toyota Forklifts) was the first rider to give chase, but it proved fruitless. Dave fell back several places. Next up Tim Barrett tried to bring Mclean back. Mclean won with Matthew Reeves in second and Dave in third.


Serenbe – Race Report

WORDS AND PHOTOS: Trish Albert/Southeasterncycling.com

Many Georgia Cross racers went to bed Saturday night with dreams of mud tires, puddles, and pouring rain. Instead, a light foggy mist settled on Serenbe in Chattahoochee Hills for the Georgia Cyclocross State Championships presented by Faster Mustache. It wasn’t epic cross weather, but at least the course was wet. Mud was even spotted on the downhills during the last few races. Fall is Georgia’s dry season, so any precipitation at a cross race is welcome.

The Masters races had their largest fields of the season. In the Masters 35+, Chris Lessing (Round Here Racing) went to the front early and never looked back. Shey Linder (CTown Bikes) and Connell Patterson put in a good chase but could not catch him. He won with Shey in second and Connell in third. The 45+ Masters racing was as hot as it has been all year. With a twisty woods section coming immediately after the 300 meter opening stretch and a state championship on the line, start line nerves were tight. As the group exited the woods the usual suspects were immediately away, with Michael Schmid (Reality Bikes) and Alan Burton (Toyota Forklifts) holding point with a small gap. On the dirt road a trio of Fulton Flyers (Dub Smith, Bobby Thrash and Lamar Mauney) reduced the gap, only to see it stretch again in the second wooded section. As the leaders hit the grassy climb, Michael turned the screws to solidify the gap. Over the next two laps, Dub and Lamar, along with a surging Tom Butler (Smyrna Bikes), continued to press behind the leading duo as the field splintered. Soon a solitary figure was seen behind them-Timothy Gotsick (Team Lupus), who is a cross newbie and the Georgia Elite Men’s TT Champ. By mid-race Timothy caught Dub and Lamar. After a short respite, he left them in his jet wash and joined Alan, who had been dropped as Michael motored out to a solo lead that put him into his first Georgia CX State Championship jersey. Timothy and Alan rolled in for 2nd and 3rd respectively, with Dub 4th. Being the “Fastest of the Most Experienced Masters,” Lamar took 5th and the 55+ State Championship jersey.

Is it me or does it seem like Michael Schmid just gets faster with age?

Three racers in the Juniors 15-18 vied for the State Championship. Kyle Ellis (Frazier Cycling) and Luke Broadwell (Junior Flyers) formed the front duo. Luke took the win with Kyle in second. Blake Wilson (Frazier Cycling) was third. In the Juniors 14 and Under, Davis Branyon (Frazier Cycling) won with the Waine twins (Junior Flyers) following. Leon was second, and Troy was third. The Women’s Cat. 4 was a fight for the jersey. On the first lap there was a traffic jam in the woods. Sophia Broadwell (Junior Flyers) went down, and mayhem ensued behind. Emeline Renz (ATLX) and newcomer Amy Ross took advantage of the situation and high-tailed it out of there. Sophia attempted to remount but then very smartly picked up her bike and ran with it out of the woods; she ran by everyone who was riding and didn’t lose any time. Emeline was off the front and had a good lead until the top of the run-up. She was followed by Miriam Vos (Sorella Cycling) and Lori Balistieri (ATLX). After the run-up on the first lap Lisa Bongiorno (Frazier Cycling) and Sophia passed the 4 leaders to take point. On the second lap Rhys May (ATHCX) worked her way to the front. Drawing on her track speed, Sophia passed Rhys on the gravel road going into the third lap; Lisa stuck to Sophia’s wheel. Rhys “The Runner” took the lead back on the run up and kept it to take her first well deserved Cat. 4 win. Series Leader Lisa was second with Sophia in third.

SVEN RHYS! (Hat tip to Hunter Garrison for the clever word play)

The Men’s Cat. 3 race was the Mclean Harris (Smyrna Bicycles) show. He went to the front early without nary a glance back at the competition. Amos Harvey (Round Here Racing) and Calvin Cheung (College Park Bicycles) chased hard but could not catch Mclean. Amos hung on for second. Calvin got third. With the State Championship jersey on the line, the big guns came out for the Women’s 1/2/3 race. The women got off to a fast start with the pack staying together coming out of the woods. Lisa Randall (Sorella Cycling) and Paula Burks (Peachtree Bikes) put a small gap on the rest of the field on the first lap. Lisa said that they “rode around in circles with Paula chasing me until 1.5 to go. Paula attacked and got a few second gap thanks to her strong legs and an ungraceful bobble on a remount by me.” Lisa started closing it back down a second at a time, just to make the same mistake again. She lost the 2-3 seconds that she had gained back. In the end, Paula took the win by 5 seconds. Shannon Greenhill (Peachtree Bikes) won third to keep it an all Peachtree Bikes sponsored podium.

A large Men’s Cat. 4 field was looking for a jersey. The beginning was chaos as everyone was looking for the holeshot. The technical woods section slowed everyone in the main pack down, and a group of 10 or so was allowed to escape. Eventually, they would become separated. James Hendershott (Georgia College) finished first and won the jersey. Faster Mustache rounded out the podium with with Paul Harris in second and Alex Newton in third.

With most of the Cat. 3 racers opting to race in their Category this week, in the Battle of the Beards aka the Men’s Cat. 1/2/3, a small field lined up. It’s as if they are reading from a script this year. The Beards–Thomas Turner (Team Jamis) and Nick VanWinkle (Litespeed-BMW)—quickly jumped off the front. Tim Barrett (EPTC) and Artur Sagat valiantly began the chase. Alas, they were never able to rein in the beards. A minor mechanical half way through the race cost Nick several seconds. Thomas took the opportunity to show why he is the Masters World Champion when he kicked it into another gear. He held on for the win. Nick got second, and Artur was third.

Some Single Speeders take the race seriously while some consume a few beverages beforehand. Some wanted to race for the State Champiomship, and others simply wanted to get back to their beverages quickly. Having just raced the Cat. 1/2/3 Tim Barrett (EPTC) took early control of the race along with Matthew Reeves (LNC). Behind them, Mclean Harris (Smyrna Bicycles) and Dave Marbut (Toyota Forklifts) took up the chase. After several laps, Matthew dropped out with a mechanical. The race was Tim’s. Mclean put a small gap on Dave, which he could not close. They finished in that order.

Dingo Cross and Swap – Race Report

WORDS AND PHOTOS: Trish Albert/Southeasterncycling.com

While it was not rainy, the first day of Dingo Cross was cool, overcast, and breezy. The race was held at Hayes Chevrolet, Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge in Baldwin, GA. The auto dealership provided the backdrop for a twisty, off camber course. Much of the course weaved through a freshly mowed open field. There was a small spiral and a set of barriers to break things up. The one run up was on the back side of the course and was so steep that only a few could ride it.

You want to learn how to run barriers fast? Watch Daryl Sawyer. Smoooooooooth.

The Masters 35+ saw a small group form in the first 2 laps. Brady Rogers (Litespeed/BMW), Michael Schmid (Reality Bikes), and Daryl Sawyer (Toyota Forklifts) battled it out for the win. Michael, who sometimes races the 45+, showed the two young guys how to really ride on the last lap when he put a small gap on them. Brady was second with Daryl in third.

In the 45+ Masters Tom Butler (Smyrna Bicycles) took the holeshot and held the lead until Greg Casteel (Harper Auto) took the reins leading into the spiral. Greg C. remained on the front with Alan Burton and Dub Smith (Toyota Forklifts) in tow as the three opened a small gap on the field over the next lap and a half. Heading into the third lap Greg C. turned over pacing duties to Alan. Behind Tom, Timothy Gotsick (Lupus Racing Team) and Greg “Farmer G” Schisla (GTC) worked to close the gap to the leading trio. Realizing the threat from behind, Alan increased the pace, eventually leaving everyone else in the dust as he exited the run-up. While Alan continued his solo effort, Timothy reeled in Dub and Greg Casteel, leaving Farmer G and Tom behind. Greg C. was the next to succumb to Timothy’s power. Dub initially held station ahead of Timothy to protect teammate Alan but eventually lost it as Timothy took control in his continued pursuit of the front of the race. Alan held off a quickly closing Timothy for the win with Dub taking a comfortable third.

The Juniors 15-18 had 5 fast entries. Fletcher Lydick (Frazier Cycling) used the race as his warm up for the Pro/1/2/3. He flew around the course and came out for the win. Ellis Kyle got second, and Luke Broadwell (L5 Flyers) was third. Three 10-14 year old Juniors toed the line. Davis Branyon (Frazier Cycling), one of the tallest Juniors at age 14, towers over the 10 year old Waine twins. He rode away for the win on Saturday. Troy Waine (Junior Flyers) put in a good fight for second, staying close to David on the first lap. His brother Leon (Junior Flyers) rounded out the podium. The Cat. 4 Women started out the first lap with the top riders staying together. Eventually Sophia Broadwell (Junior Flyers) won with Lisa Bongiorno (Frazier Cycling) in second. Last year’s Cat. 4 Women’s Series Winner Lori Ballistreri (ATLX) got her first podium of the year with third.

The Men’s Cat. 3 race was fast on the twisty course. Mclean Harris (Smyran Bicycles) took what would be his first of four wins for the weekend. Calvin Cheung (College Park Bicycles) was second. Michael Schmid took third. The Women’s 1/2/3 competition was hot. Recent New Hampshire transplant Karen Tripp (Blue Steel Cyclery) took off at the start. Kim Sawyer (Toyota Forklifts) and Elizabeth Lee (LG Factory) put in a valiant chase. Elizabeth beat Kim to take second.

The Men’s Cat. 4 racers decided to start crashing in the third turn. No one seemed immune, with even a couple crashes reported from the podium finishers. Blake Bridges (Northstar) took the lead within the first half lap. A pack of about 6 riders avoided the more chaotic midfield, but before long, the tight turns separated them. No one seemed to work together, and a nasty sounding ankle sprain took one rider out of contention on the third lap. Alex Newton (Faster Mustache) took the win on a mountain bike by stealthily passing by Blake on the final laps. Twenty seconds later, Ben Braxley and Shane Collins (OCRC) were neck and neck coming to the line with Braxley sliding past by inches to round out the podium.

Hank Beaver and DAT X-NIGHT!

The Men’s Cat. 1/2/3 was the Red Beard show. Thomas Turner (Team Jamis) took control of the race early and decisively. Nick VanWinkle (Litespeed/BMW) tried valiantly to stay with him, but a bobble on one of the early laps cost him several valuable seconds. He was never able to recover them. Unlike the roadie friendly Savannah courses, the Dingo course was lumpy and twisty, favoring those with good bike handling skills-often a mountain biker. Thomas won followed by Nick and Artur Sagat.

The Single Speed race had a large number of entries on Saturday. As they have for the last few weeks, Masters racer Dave Marbut (Toyota Forklifts) and young Mclean Harris (Smyrna Bicycles) traded blows throughout the race. Dave stayed glued to Mclean’s wheel the first two laps. Mclean eventually pulled away for the win with Dave in second. Matthew Reeves (LNC) rounded out the podium.

Dave Marbut chases Mclean Harris. I (Mark Ryan Babcock, The First) believe that there is a Mclean-shaped hole in the 1/2/3 race. How's that for peer pressure?

Savannah – Race Report

SATURDAY words and pictures by Trish Albert/southeasterncycling.com

The Savannah Superprestige is the double race weekend that all Georgia Cyclocross racers look forward to. This year it was also part of the Southeastern Cyclocross Superseries, which is a 7 race series across 4 states. Saturday’s course is the shorter of two day’s courses as it eliminates going around the pond and through the woods. Riders are kept closer to the race track to avoid being in complete darkness after sunset. Lights are set up on the back of the course, illuminating the steps and a small hill. As always, riders loved the flat terrain, and the Halloween decorated Flyover was included. Racing Saturday started at 1:15 pm with the Cat. 5 and ended under the lights with Single Speed at 7:00.

The Masters 35+ saw a strong field. Ian Prunier (Smryna Bicycles) took the win over Brady Rogers (Litespeed-BMW). Daryl Sawyer (Toyota Forklifts) came in just behind them for third. In the Masters 45+, Sonni Dyer (ABRC) took off early in the race. Alan Burton and Dub Smith, Toyota Forklift teammates, worked together but could not catch him. They sprinted each other for second with Alan pipping Dub at the line.

A small field of Women Cat. 4 and Juniors lined up for the start. Jennifer Rossignol (Sorella Cycling) opened up an early gap, which she would hold until the end. Lisa Bongiorno (Fraizer Cycling) was second, and Rhys Mays (ATH CX) was third. In the Juniors, North Carolina rider Anthony Bailey caught the entire Women’s field except for Jennifer on his way to the win. Leon Waine (Junior Flyers) was in second and his teammate and brother Troy in third.

In the Men’s Cat. 3, Mclean Harris (Smyrna Bicycles) took his first win of the weekend. Jake Andrews (Macon CX Team) and Wesley Burruss (Outspokin Bicycles) rounded out the podium. In the Women’s 1/2/3, series leader Lisa Randall (Sorella Cycling) was not absent. This opened the race for another rider to win. On the first lap, Kim Sawyer (Toyota Forklifts) and Elizabeth Lee (LG Factory) opened a large gap on the rest of the field. They played cat and mouse for the next 35 minutes. It came down to a sprint with Elizabeth beating Kim at the line. Floridian Katherine Adams (GearLink Racing) was third.

The Men’s Cat. 4 race Ben Braxley took the hole shot and pulled away on the first lap. A group of 2 and then 4-5 riders worked together to try to reel him back in, coming within about 4 bike lengths. He was able to stay off the front and finished with a 10 second gap. There was a close contest for 2nd and 3rd with Scott Morris (Village Volkswagon) and Yoni Pollack (Bikeways) taking the other two spots on the podium.

Nick VanWinkle beats Thomas Turner by an inch! Though Nick got the win, they were both fined 100 Swiss francs for sprinting in the hoods like loons.

The Pro/1/2 Men’s race looked more like a crit than a cyclocross race with a large group staying together for the first several laps. On the dismounts, the roadies would fall off slightly but catch back up on the flats. Eventually, Thomas Turner (Team Jamis) and Nick VanWinkle (Litespeed-BWM) pulled away as they worked together. Neither had an advantage on the other one. They came into the final turn with even wheels. Nick proved the cunning roadie and waited until just the right second to unleash his sprint. The official’s camera and two photographers got the shot of Nick winning by one inch. Spectators erupted in applause and cowbells at such an exciting finish. Thomas got second, and Frank Trevieso (Smart Stop) took third.

Justin Bristol (Handsome Dude p/b Balloons) says that these are "clearly white grapes."

The Single Speed race, always fun to watch, was even better with several riders in costume. Seen were a green grape, Josh Frank (ATLX) as a a rockin redneck (complete with mullet and his wife Amy’s bike shorts), Tim Barrett (EPTC) as a Christmas tree, and Dan Mccarthy (Smyrna Bicylces) in a sombrero helmet. Even with the fun, there was a race to ride. Mcclean Harris (Smyrna Bicycles) won his second race of the day. 14 year old Mikey Waine (Junior Flyers) beat up on the old guys to take second, and Michael James (Prima Tapps) was third.


Cat. 4 Men by Ben Braxley
Sunday: The Cat 4 group started Sunday’s race as a much tighter group than that seen on Saturday. There were a few additions to the field with fresh legs but no one seemed eager to set the pace in the first half lap. The field was very tight coming through the spiral of death and it didn’t start to spread out a bit until the whoop de doos on the back side of the pond. Coming over the fly-over 6 riders were together and gaining slight separation from the field. Ben Braxley and Scott Morris were towards the front but as the breakaway rounded the 180 away from the pits, a Sunday only rider went down and carried Braxley’s wheel with him. By the time he had his chain back on the field was gone. The front five held together with Scott Morris pulling away with two about two to go. Ethan Sealy and Alex Newton (currently 4th and 5th in the point series respectively) battled onto the podium to round on the day.

Masters 45+ by Alan Burton
A chess match broke out in the Sunday Masters 45+ race. Having been schooled the previous day as Sonni Dyer rode away for an unchallenged win, the GACX regulars planned a conservative strategy relying on Sonni to animate the Sunday proceedings. Bobby Thrash and Tom Butler initially took the reins with strong pulls around the oval and into the infield. Sonni made his first acceleration following the flyover with only Dub Smith and Alan Burton able to follow. The trio continued on for a few laps alternating between covered accelerations by Sonni and steady tempo pulls by Alan and Dub. By lap four Tom and Bobby rejoined the front group adding to the cat and mouse games that were playing out. On the final lap Alan took the lead with a fast tempo through the pond terrain in an attempt to lure Sonni into a mistake. The group was stretched but reformed exiting the flyover and entering the track when Tom made the next move accelerating off the front. Sonni took chase with Alan and Dub in tow catching Tom at the barriers. Alan accelerated over the barriers and through the trees pulling away from Sonni and Dub but the gap proved to be too small as Sonni chased and passed Alan in a drag race to the line. Dub followed in for third with Tom taking a strong fourth ahead of Bobby.

Macon – Race Report

Georgia Cross continues to experience typical fall weather-sunny and a high in the lower 70s. Rain earlier in the week did not touch Central City Park in Macon, GA. It was flat, fast, dry, and little dusty. The course was made up of a number of technical turns to break up the flats. There were 4 possible dismounts although most rode at least two of them-a sand pit, a set of telephone poles, 2 barriers, and the river levee. A beer garden was set up on the side of the course allowing those attending to buy an adult beverage to benefit charity as part of Macon Octoberfest. There was also a trolley running to Octoberfest for those that wanted to check out the rest of the festivities.

In the Masters 35+, the dismounts proved a key to the win according to Eric Smith (Guardian Auto). Riders who bunny hopped the telephone poles were going faster than those who ran them. On the first lap Daryl Sawyer (Toyota Forklifts) and Eric bunny hopped the poles and went from 7-8th to the front of the pack. It also created a small gap. Eric said “We rode together for a couple of laps until Daryl faded a bit. I was a little worried about going it alone on such a flat, fast, windy track with long drafting sections but I think the 3 skill features on the track helped me to maintain the gap…by adding 3 skill features and some fast corners it made for a great test of fitness and finesse.” Eric held on for the win with Grayson Tudor (Round Here Racing) in second and David Hicks (L5 Flyers) in third.

In the Masters 45+, Alan Burton (Toyota Forklifts) led the group from the pavement to grass. He remained on the front until the start of lap two when Tim Shank took the lead. At that point Alan, Tim, and Dub Smith (Toyota Forklifts) formed a small gap to Lamar Mauney (Toyota Forklifts), who had pulled away from rest of the field. Lamar was unable to close the gap, and lead trio continued on with teammates Alan and Dub collaborating to try to dispatch “Tallahassee” Tim. After tenaciously neutralizing previous attacks and initiating a few of hisown, Tim made a small mistake exiting the sand on lap five. Alan took advantage of it and accelerated. Only Dub was able to stay with him. For the next two laps the duo continued distancing themselves from Tim with Dub taking victory. Tim and Lamar took third and fourth, respectively.

The Junior fields were very small. Many of our youngsters that also race road and track decided to rest this weekend in anticipation of the double weekends coming up. Three Frazier Cycling riders lined up for the Junior 15-18 race. The trio crossed the finish line in the following order: Parker Haney, Madeline Haney, and Blake Wilson. Only 2 riders contested the Juniors Under 14. In this race, there is a large difference in ability between the 14 years olds and the youngest riders. Davis Branyon (Frazier Cycling) was twice as tall as Reece Latham (Junior Flyers). Davis caught many of the Cat. 4 Women and held on for the win. Reece held his own and took second. In the Women’s Cat. 4, Sophia Broadwell (Junior Flyers) won. Victoria Haney was second, and Lisa Bongiorno (Frazier Cycling) was third.

The Men’s Cat. 3 saw a nice field of entries. Mclean Harris (Smyrna Bikes) took his second win in as many weeks. He was followed by Calvin Cheung (College Park Bicycles) and Grayson Tudor (Round Here Racing). The Women’s 1/2/3 had 8 riders vying for the $500 first place prize money. Having raced a 6 hour solo mountain bike race before, the pack hoped Lisa Randall (Sorella Cycling) was tired. Lisa went off the front from the gun and was never seen again. By the third lap, Kim Sawyer (Toyota Forklifts) and Elizabeth Lee (LG Factory) were working together to chase. Lisa caught half the men’s field and held on for the big payday. Elizabeth and Kim rounded out the podium.

The Cat. 4 Men’s field was fast from the start. Blake Bridges (Northstar) and Ethan Sealy (The Bike Store) established an early gap. James Hendershott (Georgia Collate) and Alex Newton (Faster Mustache) began to chase. Cat. 4 is about getting experience and learning race tactics. Alex said in a post race interview “Had I of known (3rd place was in front of him), I would of tried to go with the eventual 3rd place winner when he attacked on the last lap for a possible spot on the podium but just didn’t have it in me. I countered soon after the only hill, which most were riding, coming around Scott Morris (Village Volkswagen) to secure 4th place by putting in little digs where I could on the last sections of tape. “

The large cash purse brought out local big guns in the Pro/1/2/3 Men’s race, The flat course kept the top 5 including Tim Barrett (EPVA), Thomas Turner (Team Jamis), and Nate Sibley (Atlanta Cycling) together for the first two and a half laps. Unfortunately, Nate Sibley flatted out of the front group on the third lap. (Nate’s bad luck didn’t end there—he took a nasty fall on the last lap and cracked his fibula. Get well soon, Nate!) At this point front group began to break apart. Thomas Turner and Nicholas VanWinkle (Litespeed-BMW) were pretty close for a few laps until Red Beard shifted into a harder gear and pulled away. He held on for the win. Frank Travieso (Smart Stop) took second, and Nick was third.

In the Single Speed, it was a pretty even start, and everyone seemed to have similar gears. The field went through the first corner 10 wide then McLean “Crash” Harris (Smyrna Bicycles) punched it going into the ball field. Tim “Mustache” Barrett (EPVA) and David “Gluten” Marbut (Toyata Forklifts) gave chase. McLean held and hit the gas. David caught Tim Barrett with one lap to go, finishing second. Tim was 3rd.




Boundary Waters – race report

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.


Grant Park – Race Report

WORDS: Trish Albert/Southeasterncycling.com

No CX makes Bob a dull boy. Photo courtesy Kyle Shutlz

Sunshine and unseasonable hot temperatures greeted riders at the Grant Park Cyclocross Race. For years racers have wanted a venue ITP (Inside the Perimeter) in Atlanta. The Litespeed-BMW and the L5Flyers p/b Maxxis teams delivered a fast, fun course! In addition to the race, the Grant Park Farmer’s Market was a 5 minute walk across the park, the venue was family friendly with plenty of playground equipment, and Zoo Atlanta was right around the corner.

In the Masters 35+, a small group broke away early in the race including Grayson Tudor (Peachtree Bikes), Daryl Sawyer (Toyota Forklift), Eric Smith (Guardian Auto) and Brady Rogers (Litespeed-BMW). On the second lap, Eric pulled away from the group. Dave Gearhart (Litespeed-BMW) caught the chase group, which also now included Nate Zukas (ACC). Eric held his lead while Dave and Nate battled for second. Eric won while Dave got second and Nate third.

Alan Burton (Toyota Forklift) took the holeshot in the Masters 45+, but his lead was short lived as he rode straight through the tape at the first turn. Dub Smith (Toyota Forklift) then took charge by opening a gap on Tim Shank (Guardian Auto), who in turn opened a gap to the chasing pack by the end of the first lap. Over the next two laps a group of four formed in pursuit of the two leaders. The group included Greg “Farmer G” Schisla (GTC), Alan, and two other riders. Approaching two laps to go Alan broke free from the chase group joining Tim the following lap. While Dub maintained his lead for the win, Tim and Alan spent a lap together before Alan accelerated at the barriers opening a small gap that held to the line.

A small number of Juniors 15-18 toed the line. The number was down a bit from last year as several older Juniors are now beating up on the adults in their category races. Thomas Petit (Frazier Cycling) was first. Parker Haney (Frazier Cycling) took second, and Keegan Schimmelman came in shortly thereafter for third. The Juniors 14 and under had a nice field. Michael Garrison (Mission Source Juniors) won. Showing no signs of slowing down from last year Leon Waine (Junior Flyers) came in second. He was followed by Davis Banyon (Frazier Cycling). Nearly 20 Women lined up for the Cat. 4 race. Looking smooth in her lines, track racer Salma Huque (Junior Flyers) took the win. She was followed by teammate Sophia Broadwell and Lisa Bongiorno (Frazier Cycling).

Photo courtesy Trish Albert/Southeasterncycling.com

One name comes to mind this cross season for the Women’s Elite race-Lisa Randall (Sorella Cycling). She dominated the first race of the year at Old Grey Barn. At Grant Park, she would do no less. In fact, she caught nearly half of the Cat. 3 Men’s field that started a minute in front of the Women. Coming in for second was Elizabeth Lee (LG Factory Team). After being absent from the GA CX series last year, Lori Palmer (Unattached) proved that she is still a strong cross racer with her third place finish. In the Men’s Cat. 3, Calvin Cheung (College Park Bicycles) won. William Vargas (Atlanta Cycling) took the second step on the podium, and Michael Schmid (Reality Bikes) got third.

Photo courtesy Trish Albert/Southeasterncycling.com

The front of the large Cat. 4 field stayed close to one another for most of the race. Junior Willem Kaiser (Mission Source Juniors) rocked his sunglasses and rode in first over the line. James Hendershott (Georgia College) was second. Harry Boxler was third.

The Men’s Elite field saw a large turn out since Cat 3s can choose to do their own race and/or race with the Big Guys. Red Beard (aka Thomas Turner of Team Jamis) was back to defend his series win from 2012. It was not as easy today as it was for some races last year. He was trailed closely by Nicholas VanWinkle (Litespeed-BMW). Eventually, he pulled away and won. Nicholas held steady for second with Artur Sagat in third.

The Single Speeders had a hard time choosing a gear for this course—too hard and getting up the few hills was difficult but too easy and they would spin out on the flats. David Marbut (Toyota Forklist) took a well deserved win. Michael James (Prima Tappa) took the second step of the podium, and Matthew Reeves (LNC) was third.

Cyclocross Brakes—Disc vs. Canti

The author on his disc bike--sometimes neither bike is fast. Photo by Travis Neumuller

by: @mrbabcock

In 2010, the UCI lifted the long-standing ban on disc brakes in cyclocross. This opened the floodgates for manufacturers to start designing and building disc-specific component groups, frames, and wheels. Three years later, we are seeing the fruits of these labors. With cyclocross-specific disc offerings from SRAM, Shimano, and TRP and disc-ready frames from almost all major manufacturers, cyclocross racers have more options than ever.

Last year, I was fortunate enough to race the season with two bikes—one disc and one canti. Apart from brakes and hubs, they were identical. I feel that this experience has put me in a unique position to comment on the disc vs. canti debate.

The Bikes

Both bikes were Ridley X-Rides with SRAM components. The disc bike had Hayes mechanical brakes, and the canti bike had TRP EuroX brakes. Both bikes were equipped with wheels built by Chris Shadburn of Built to Last Wheels. The disc bike used Velocity Major Toms laced to SRAM X9 mountain bike hubs, while the canti bike used the same rims laced to DT Swiss hubs. Both wheelsets were glued up with Clement PDX tires.

Disc Bike – Pros & Cons


  • One-fingered stopping power
  • Ability to brake later than riders on canti bikes. This was especially beneficial on fast courses.
  • Increased confidence on MTB trails and especially technical ‘cross courses.
  • Ability to use 29er MTB wheels.


  • Heavy
  • Lots of pad noise in mud or wet sand/gravel. Also pads wore out very quickly in mud.
  • Inability to use standard road wheels.

Canti Bike – Pros & Cons


  • Lightweight
  • Great mud clearance/pads lasted much longer in mud
  • Ability to use any road wheel.


  • More force required at the brake lever
  • Less confidence on MTB trails or especially technical ‘cross courses.


At the beginning of the season, I expected disc brakes to be a game changer. I thought I would never ride my canti bike again. I was wrong.

Based on my experience, the benefits of disc brakes and the shortcomings of cantilevers—in a race environment–have been greatly overstated. I felt equally capable of success (or failure) on either bike. There were some situations to which I found one bike  better suited than the other, i.e. the cantilever bike in mud and the disc bike in “grass crits,” but most of my races fell right in the middle of these two extremes. That said, I still think that “disc vs. canti” is an important decision. The decision should be made, however, based on how you plan to use your bike outside of racing.

My ‘cross bike doubles as my mountain bike. I love taking it places where it’s not “supposed” to go. Disc brakes greatly extend a cyclocross bike’s ability to manage on technical MTB trails.

My other ‘cross bike doubles as my road bike. Come February, I throw on a 53/39 and some 25c tires and take to the road. For this bike, rim brakes make more sense. I can use any standard road wheel (a huge benefit where neutral wheels are concerned), and I can use the bike in UCI road races that still don’t allow disc brakes. Also, those TRPs are pretty dang light!

For me, the answer to “disc vs. canti” is both. But I’m willing to bet that I’m the exception. What are you going to ride this year?


Cyclo-cross Bike Fit

BY: @mrbabcock

Cyclo-cross puts unique demands on its participants. A CX racer needs to be able to put down power over bumpy grass, slog through mud, blast through sand, and fly down tricky descents. They also need to be able to mount and dismount quickly and safely. These demands require a fit style that is unique to cyclo-cross.

The cyclo-cross fit is a compromise between bike handling, power output, and comfort (in that order). Bike handling comes first because all the watts in the world won’t do you any good if you spend your race braking through turns and bouncing off every bump on the course. Remember when Lance raced CrossVegas? He was arguably the fittest guy there, but he struggled because his handling skills were not up to par, and his ‘cross bike was set up like a road bike. Comfort comes last because a cyclo-cross race is, at most, 60 minutes long.

Many of you, dear readers, have spent the last six months exclusively on your road or mountain bike, so now is a good time to get back on the ‘cross bike and dial it in. To help you with this, I have enlisted John Verheul of JBV Coaching, Adam Myerson of Cycle-Smart coaching, and Eddie O’Dea of 55 Nine Performance.


If your road racing and ‘cross racing bikes are set up with identical positions, one of them is not optimal.” – John Verheul, JBV Coaching (www.jbvcoaching.com)

I asked John to tell me more about his view of road vs. CX fit, and here is what he had to say:

“For a road fit, you want to be stretched out for an aerodynamic position that also enables maximal steady state power. You don’t have to worry a lot about absorbing bumps or dramatically moving your body over the bike for technical stuff. Front/rear weight distribution is relatively even, so the bike handles predictably in corners, and it’s balanced so you can do rides of over 4 or 5 hours without too much weight on either the seat or hands.

“In CX, you need the seat a bit lower (~5mm, plus pedal stack height difference) to allow the bike to ‘float’ underneath you on bumpy stuff, and you need the bars a bit closer in so that you don’t get ‘over stretched’ on every bump. That also allows you to move your weight over the bike more to get the weight where you need it. Weight distribution is a bit further over the front wheel, to get the bike to go where you steer it, and to enable repeated accelerations (after every obstacle). You don’t need to worry as much about being aero, due to lower speeds, and the faster drafting sections being shorter in CX. You also don’t need to worry about 4-5 hour rides, you can use your road bike for the odd long training ride. Races are never more than one hour, and training rides on your CX bike are rarely more than two hours.”

In addition to the above advice from John, I think it is important to make a special point about hood position. Most of the new ‘crossers I see  run their hoods way too low. I asked professional road and CX racer and coach Adam Myerson (Team Smart Stop p/b Mountain Khakis & Cycle-Smart Coaching) about hood position, and he had this to say:

“For ‘cross, I prefer a hood height and angle that allows the wrists to be straight, rather than angled slightly down as they would be in a traditional road position. In ‘cross, you don’t rest on your hoods as much as you grip them in your hands like baseball bats. This allows you to push and pull on the bars with equal force, and really drive your bike across changing terrain. This can be achieved by rotating the bars up, or by moving the hoods higher up on the bars. Usually a combination of both works best.”


The transition from MTB fit to ‘cross presents different challenges than the transition from road to ‘cross. Here is what Eddie O’Dea of 55Nine Performance (http://55nine.com) had to say:

“Cyclocross fitting, like the sport itself, takes a little from road and from mountain biking. CX does not require quite the same high torque that MTB does, but certainly higher than on the road so I use a mid point between the road and MTB solutions provided by WN Precsion (http://www.wnprecision.com/). The reach out to the hoods should be similar to the mountain bike, which is ideal for low speed handling. Get rid of those concave shaped saddles and get a flat one that allows you to move about instead of locking your hips in one position. This will let you get the torque while seated and still slide up on the nose when you need the high turn over on the flats.”


No matter which discipline you are coming to ‘cross from, you will need to make some adjustments to your fit. Roadies, in general, need to drop their saddle a few mm and shorten their reach a little. Mountain bikers need to adjust their position to let their arms and legs do the job that the suspension on their MTB does.

While the above are good rules of thumb, there is no “one size fits all” cyclo-cross bike fit. A proper fit must take into account height, weight, leg length, flexibility, and many other variables, so I suggest contacting a pro bike fitter like Eddie (www.55nine.com), John (www.jbvcoaching.com), or Adam (www.cycle-smart.com).