PICTURES AND WORDS BY Trish Albert/Southeasterncycling.com
PHOTO CAPTIONS BY Mark Babuck… or Bacock… or Bobcat. I’m pretty sure it’s Bobcat.
A gorgeous December day greeted a large turn out at the Serenbe Community in Chattahoochee Hills, GA. With temperatures in the 60s there was not a thermal fleece skinsuit in sight. Faster Mustache transformed the cow pasture into a great cross course. There was a little bit of wooded area, a fast gravel road downhill, and three dismounts including the Rutted Hill. The Marlay House Food Truck provided yummy Irish fare for hungry racers and spectators.
The Masters 35+ had a small group off of the front within the first two laps. In the end Bob Kuhn (HUP United) took the wheel throw from Chris Wyatt (Peachtree Bikes). Brady Rogers (Litespeed-BMW) was third. In the 45+ Michael Schmid (Deeds Publishing) reminded everyone why he is the series leader by gaining a gap on the first trip through the twisty woods after the start that would never be closed. He would have time to do a long victory salute. Lamar Mauney (FFCC) initially led the chase to close the gap with Jeff Clayton (Georgia Neurosurgical Institute) taking over pace making duties as the gravel road entered the woods. Jeff and Alan Burton (FFCC) gained a small gap on Lamar as the first lap continued, but Lamar never let off the gas. He reeled them in by the second trip through the run-up. Finding a time advantage in running vs. riding, Lamar took full advantage after remounting, maintaining the pressure and putting a gap on Jeff and Alan. With Alan having no intention of chasing his teammate, chasing duties fell on Jeff while Lamar and Alan took advantage of team tactics. Lamar increased his gap over the remaining five laps taking a comfortable second while Alan, having been relieved of chasing duties, started the sprint for third approaching the barriers, gaining a gap that would hold to the line.
In the Juniors 15-18, two riders took off and would battle it out for the win. Fletcher Lydick (Frazier Cycling) came out on top with Elliot Barring (Cycle Youth) in second. The Juniors 14 and under saw a good group on the start line. Davis Branyon (Frazier Cycling) took first, Keegan Schimmelman was second, and series leader Leon Waine (Junior Flyers) was third. The Women’s B field was very competitive. Jean Miller (Sorella Cycling) took the holeshot into the woods. She was followed by Kim Pounders (Smyrna Bicycles), Lori Ballestri (ATLX), and Zoe Frazier (Frazier Cycling). They three were close the entire race. Jean held on for the win with Zoe and Kim rounding out the podium in 2nd and 3rd.
Unfortunately, the Men’s Cat. 3 field started with a crash going into the woods in the first lap. Mikey Waine (Junior Flyers) hit a wooden post very hard and ended up on the group. Dr. Muse “Bumblebee” Davis (ALTX), displayed a great example of sportsmanship and immediately dismounted and rushed to assist the the fallen rider, forgetting about his own race. Luckily, Mikey’s injuries were minor, and both of them were able to go on and finish the race. In the Men’s Cat. 3 race, Amos Harvey (Round Here Racing) won; Fletcher Lydick took another podium spot for the day with second place. Charles Lessing (RHR) was third. In the Women’s 1/2/3 Shannon Greenhill (Peachtree Bikes), Paula Burks (Team Mystique), and Lisa Randalll (Sorella Cycling) broke away on the first lap. Shannon would take her first victory in over a month with Paula in second. Lisa was third.
The Cat. 4 fields have been close all year. In the Cat. 4 race, Kinzer Hewitt (Atomic Cycles) took the top step of the podium. Scott Morris was second. In the Masters Cat. 4 Brian Murphy came out on top with Scott Morris in second.
The Cat. 1/2/3 race was, once again, the Thomas Turner (Team Jamis) show. Thomas took off early and never looked back. He is on track to better his silver medal from the 2012 Masters World Championship. Newcomer Frank Travieso (Miami Chasis) was second, and Artur Sagat (Litespeed-BMW) was third.
The Singlespeed start was pandemonium. Everyone was trying to reach the woods first. Dust was flying everywhere as the large field swept by the spectators. It finally strung out, and riders were able to settle into their rhythm. Many beer hand ups were taken throughout the race. Spectators marveled at how smooth riders stayed and kept their speed when grabbing the adult beverages. Meanwhile at the front, there was a battle brewing. Mclean Harris (Smyrna Bicycles) took off early. He was followed by several riders. Slowly, Mclean pulled away and was victorious by over a minute. Rob Simpson (ATH CX) was second, and Kelly Edwards (ACC) took a well deserved third place after being just off the podium several times this year.