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.