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Greensboro Velo Club "Bury Me at Bur-Mill" Cyclocross Kick-Off
Greensboro, NC-Bur-Mil Park, October, 26 2003
Race #1, North Carolina Cyclocross Championship Series
Record turn-out for NC mudfestBy Dahron Johnson
(Note: Your intrepid, but never-quite-impartial, race reporter of the North Carolina scene promoted and organized this event. Leave notions of objectivity at the door.)
Sunny skies and warm temperatures in the days prior to Sunday's "Bury Me at Bur-Mill" Cyclocross Kick-Off, held in Greensboro, NC, fooled many into thinking they'd have a dry run of things-North State rather than Northern Europe. By the time races started at 11AM, though, heavy fog transformed to drizzle, and drizzle eventually gave way to sporadic heavy rain. And while the temperatures stayed comfortable, the phrase "classic cyclocross conditions" was heard from an ever-increasing number of grinning, muddy, faces as the day went on. A North Carolina record 141 racers tackled the slick grass descents, off-camber twists & turns, and tough, grinding climbs of Bur-Mil Park in the day's events, many times fighting it out elbow-to-elbow with their challengers. Even in this first event, riders came ready to serve up fierce racing and hot competition. It is safe to say that with appetites whetted from this first course of the seven race North Carolina Championship series, and with a taste of the series battles to come, James Beard and Julia Child never had it so good.
In the Men's A race, no one knew for sure what would cook up from the curious mix of racers on hand. Certainly, long-time series regulars like Cycles De Oro/NorthState Chevrolet's Colin Barry, Cycling Spoken Here's Rob Moran and John Degele, as well as Sandhills Cycling's Michael Ventola could be counted on to spice up the action. However, without the punch of such 'cross powerhouses as Charlie Storm, Andy Applegate, and Ryan Trebon-all of whom were testing their mettle at the back-to-back UCI events in Delaware and Pennsylvania-predicting outcomes seemed a risky business. And to confound things further, mountain biking strongman Charles Pendry of Team Fuji/Diet Cheerwine and North Augusta, SC's T.J. Behm joined the fray, both new faces in the North Carolina cyclocross scene.
With an unusual first lap prime up for grabs, the racing was furious from the gun. De Oro's Barry jumped out to a quick lead in the opening third of his home course, but Pendry jumped ahead shortly thereafter. Degele sensed this had the marks of a winning move, and surged trying to join Pendry, but managed only to come around Barry. Pendry went on to take the first lap, and every lap thereafter, collecting the win in convincing style. Degele fought hard, and had one of his most impressive rides in several series, finishing a strong second. His face displaying the price of his early efforts, Barry continued to fade, eventually finishing in fifth. Ahead of him, Hendersonville's Michael Scholtz and Rob Moran of Cycling Spoken Here took third and fourth respectively.
There was an equally dominating display of power in the Women's A race. Riding a mountain bike, Genesis Scuba's Candice Blickem obviously had no problem in transferring her late season road form (that led her to wins at Greenville, SC's Michelin Classic weekend) to the slick grass and tricky barriers that dominated the Bur-Mil course. After winning an opening lap prime for tasty adult beverages supplied by one of the race's contributors, Blickem stayed in the lead for the remainder of the race. Behind her, though, Team Fuji/Diet Cheerwine's Kathleen Billington turned in a stellar performance, taking second-an especially surprising feat considering she had felt unsure enough of her cyclocross skills that she took part in the previous day's skills clinic. A new entrant into the Women's A race ranks, Mandy Lozano of Raleigh, NC raced herself into third, while Chapel Hill's Daniele Staskal and perennial A-series contender, Amber Krieger of the Cycling Spoken Here squad, rounded out the top five.
Familiar faces mixed with those not so frequently seen in the Masters 35+ and Masters 45+ categories. Derek Powers of Cat's Cradle/Donut Boy Racing seems to only get faster each year, and his strong time-trialing skills-like being able to put out tremendous power at redline for extended periods-worked to his advantage, as he fought his way to a well-earned win in the 35+ race. Behind him, years of cyclocross experience helped Cycles De Oro/NorthState Chevrolet racer Peter Hymas take second, even though he had not even decided to race until the night before. With Hymas now focusing on his work towards a Masters in Library Science, his participation in the fall series will be spotty. This is especially noticeable, as Hymas has been a top-five series contender in either the Men's A or 35+ categories for the last two years. With him taking a back seat, it opens up the field for other challengers-like Cycling Spoken Here's Jimmy Breuner, Sandhills Cycling Club's Marcus Jones, and series promoter/Asheville Bicycle Racing Club's Tim Hopkin. These three took 3rd through 5th, and will certainly be watching each other warily heading into next weekend's race in Cary.
In the Masters 45+ event, the lanky mountain man Martin Visser, racing for Nantahala Outdoor Center, made his way down from the hills for a rare appearance and a sweet victory, as he outpaced a field loaded with exceptional racers. Kerry Shields of Winston Salem, NC, who dominated last fall's series winning every race but one, looked to be somewhat off his best form, riding hard but only managing fourth. However, two of his fiercest rivals showed they were ready to duke it out for the overall title this years, with Charlotte's Arthur Reaves taking second, and Statesville's Andrew Ammon riding neatly into third in conditions that were probably the worst of the day.
Many Men's B veterans looked shocked when hitting the starting line. After consecutive years of inexplicably low turnouts in this usually hotly contested class, 34 racers crowded the opening chute of Sunday's race. The competition seemed to shake things up a bit, as a bevy of new faces took the top places. After spending most of the race duking it out with Christiansburg, VA's David Goodwin-who was putting his trusty old Bridgestone mountain bike through the paces-Jacob Brimlow of Raleigh, NC was able to finally pull away and take the victory. Matt Skeen, a up-and-coming junior expert mountain biker for Cycles De Oro/NorthState Chevrolet, showed that his dominant performance in last January's Winter Cup was no fluke, taking a solid third. Another Virginia resident made an impression by taking fourth-Brian Segar, a regular riding partner of second place Goodwin's. Sometime-ultramarathoner Kenneth Borgeson guided a beautiful Waterford 'cross bike into fifth.
Cat's Cradle/Donut Boy Racing continued to make an impact in other categories, as their racer Sarah Worthington took home the win in the Women's B race. She was followed by Sara Legrand of Charlotte, NC, and Corrie Hanscom up from Spartanburg, SC. In the Men's C race, another big field saw heated battles, with Cross Creek Racing's Dave Standridge eventually taking first. Asheville Bicycle Racing Club's Lloyd Jones grabbed second, while Daniel Ingram of Raleigh rode into third.
Greensboro Velo Club's "Bury Me at Bur-Mil" Cyclocross Kick-Off weekend-replete with a clinic, swap meet, and eight different races-convincingly demonstrated just how popular and exciting North Carolina cyclocross racing can be, and in turn, hopefully prepared the table for an equally thrilling and well-attended series. Racers and spectators alike now await what delicious action will be served up in the second race of the series in Cary, NC next weekend. But with some of the big names returning-Trebon, Storm, and Applegate for the men; Cara McCauley in the women's-an especially tasty course of hot racing is sure to be on the menu.
Men's A, 17 riders 1 Charles Pendry (Team Fuji/Diet Cheerwine) 1.02.50 2 John Degele (Cycling Spoken Here) 3 Michael Scholtz 4 Rob Moran (Cycling Spoken Here) 5 Colin Barry (Cycles De Oro/NorthState Chevrolet) 6 Kevin Hall 7 Michael Ventola (Sandhills Cycling Club) 8 Richard Harper (Cane Creek) 9 T.J. Behm 10 Mark Johnson 11 Dan Miller 12 Chad Gibson (Cycles De Oro/NorthState Chevrolet) 13 Tim Hopkin 14 Andrew Oishi 15 Jody Dumond (Capitol City Cycling) 16 Jeremy Waldrop DNF James Hyatt Women's A, 12 riders 1 Candice Blickem (Genesis Scuba) 39.15 2 Kathleen Billington (Team Fuji/Diet Cheerwine) 3 Mandy Lozano 4 Daniele Staskal 5 Amber Krieger (Cycling Spoken Here) 6 Anne Bolyea; Team Fuji/Diet Cheerwine 7 Bess Arendall; Asheville, NC 8 Laura Weislo (Spin Cycle Racing) 9 Lauren Trull (Carolina Cyclocross Association/Kona) 10 Annette Bednosky; Boone, NC 11 Sylvia Hiller; Chapel Hill, NC 12 Maureen Chambers; Chapel Hill, NC Masters 35+, 18 riders 1 Derek Powers (Cat's Cradle/Donut Boy Racing) 41.15 2 Peter Hymas (Cycles De Oro/NorthState Chevrolet) 3 Jimmy Bruner (Cycling Spoken Here) 4 Marcus Jones (Sandhills Cycling Club) 5 Tim Hopkin (Asheville Bicycle Racing Club) 6 Stephen Weiler 7 Guy Spiher 8 Jason Thompkins 9 Farrell Smith 10 Jarrett Deerwester (Sandhills Cycling Club) 11 Lonnie Brooks (Cycles De Oro/NorthState Chevrolet) 12 Mike Warren (Sandhills Cycling Club) 13 Mike Culpepper 14 Howard Rhyne (Sandhills Cycling Club) 15 Douglas Powell 16 John Kuenck 17 Dana Johnson (Cycling Spoken Here) 18 Charles Ball; Raleigh, NC Masters 45+, 15 riders 1 Martin Visser (Nantahala Outdoor Center) 2 Arthur Reaves 3 Andrew Ammon 4 Kerry Shields 5 Dean Lyons (Boone Velo Club) 6 Dale Bryant (Sandhills Cycling Club) 7 John McBurney (Freewheelers of Spartanburg) 8 Todd Thornton 9 David Hall 10 Gary Trull (Cycles De Oro/NorthState Chevrolet) 11 Tony Patriode (Sandhills Cycling Club) 12 Dave Fuller (Cycles De Oro/NorthState Chevrolet) 13 Howard Hesterberg (Magic Cycles Racing) 14 Steve Baker (Spin Cycle) Men's B, 34 riders 1 Jacob Brimlow 36.19 2 David Goodwin 3 Matt Skeen (Cycles De Oro/NorthState Chevrolet) 4 Brian Segal 5 Kenneth Borgeson (Cycles De Oro/NorthState Chevrolet) 6 Mike Seek 7 Jim Molnar (Cycling Spoken Here) 8 Andrew Raab 9 Shaw Brown (Boone Velo Club) 10 Todd Hanscom (Freewheelers of Spartanburg) 11 Andrew Mitcheltree (Cycles De Oro/NorthState Chevrolet) 12 Steven Levine (Cycling Spoken Here) 13 Max Shute 14 Aaron Brown 15 Alec Durrell 16 Scott Hill (Cycles De Oro/NorthState Chevrolet) 17 Line Dempsey (DeFeet Racing) 18 Chris Wade (Easton/Clif Bar Race Team) 19 David Matyjasik (Cycling Spoken Here) 20 Skip Salo 21 Steve Drake 22 Shawn Kane 23 Mike Lockhart 24 George Santucci 25 Douglas Pearson; Kenansville, NC 26 Jared Reed (Cycles De Oro/NorthState Chevrolet) 27 Tim Jackson (Cycling Spoken Here) 28 Billy Bradshaw (Cycles De Oro/NorthState Chevrolet) 29 Jim Laudolff 30 John Golden 31 Randy Dockery (Cycling Spoken Here) 32 Emory Ball 33 Colin Middleton DNF Timothy "Bo" Glenn Women's B, 11 riders 1 Sarah Worthington (Cat's Cradle/Donut Boy Racing) 28.48 2 Sara LeGrand 3 Corrie Hanscom 4 Cathy Beck 5 Sarah Althum 6 Trish Durrell (Sandhills Cycling Club) 7 Janet Edgerton 8 Hope Ann Snyder (Paul's Schwinn/Aquafina Racing) 9 Stephanie Swinerton 10 Shannon Goff (Cycling Spoken Here) 11 Amanda Mabry Men's C, 34 riders 1 Dave Standridge (Cross Creek) 33.38 2 Llloyd Jones (Asheville Bicycle Racing Club) 3 Daniel Ingram 4 Abram Woodward (Virginia Tech Racing Team) 5 Dwight Wyatt 6 Hans Ramm (Paceline Bicycles) 7 Anthony Dorage (Boone Velo Club) 8 Chris Young 9 Sean Kurdys (DeFeet Racing) 10 Brad Smythe 11 Charles Durrell (Sandhills Cycling Club) 12 Alan Johnson 13 Michael Cobler (Paul's Schwinn/Aquafina Racing) 14 Chris Craig (Cycles De Oro/NorthState Chevrolet) 15 Matt Tynan (Cycling Spoken Here) 16 Robert Libbert 17 Joshua Motta 18 Christopher Green (Sandhills Cycling Club) 19 Robert Prestwood (Paul's Schwinn/Aquafina Racing) 20 Eric Peterson (RideAnalyzer.com Race Squad) 21 Mario Enriquez (Outspoken Racing) 22 Gordon Limb 23 Pete Wade (Easton/Clif Bar Racing) 24 Mike Smithy 25 Ken Gillie (Cycles De Oro/NorthState Chevrolet) 26 Jeremy Goldstein 27 Greg Atchison (Tricyclists Racing Team) 28 Shannon Stewart (DeFeet) 29 Sean Bir (Paul's Schwinn/Aquafina Racing) 30 Tommy Jonas 31 Jim Smalley (Paul's Schwinn/Aquafina Racing) DNF Ray Brooks DNF Brendon Eller DNF Kevin Westwood