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Nebraska Cyclocross Series # 1, Bellevue, NE - October 21, 2006

Wilhelm Dominates First Cyclocross Race

by Sean Weide

Trek/VW’s Tony Wilhelm of Lincoln easily rode away from the field Saturday to win the Category I-II-III field race of the Nebraska Cyclocross Series at Swanson Park in Bellevue. Wilhelm finished more than two minutes ahead of second-place finisher Darin Schlake of Lincoln’s Team Kona/Monkey Wrench. Cowtown’s Mark Studvicki of Lenexa, Kan., was third.

How dominating was the Wilhelm’s performance in temperatures in the upper 30s on a muddy course? "I didn’t even see him," Schlake said afterwards. "I was too far back right at the start. He was pretty impressive." Saturday was Wilhelm’s fourth cyclocross race of the season and his first victory. He finished 75th and 66th respectively, in the first two races of the Crank Brothers U.S. Grand Prix of Cyclocross two weeks ago at Gloucester, Mass. Those results, he said, didn’t exactly boost his confidence heading into Saturday’s race.

"You never know what’s going to happen," Wilhelm said. "The last two weeks have been really hard national races, so I didn’t know what to expect today." Other winners Saturday were Jay Chesterman of Sioux City, Iowa (Cat. III-IV), Thomas Price of Overland Park, Kan., (Masters 35-and-over), Bill Becker of Bellevue (Category IV) and Sydney Brown of Lincoln (Women’s Open). Wilhelm was one of the few participants Saturday who rode a single-speed bicycle. It wasn’t exactly a choice, though, he said. "One of my bikes is in Portland and the other is being shipped, so this is the only bike I had. This is my ‘mountain’ bike," he said.

Competitors in the Cat. III-IV and Masters races endured a brisk north wind and snow flurries. But the winds subsided a bit and the sun briefly broke through the clouds after it quit snowing during the Cat. I-II-III race. Highgear’s Steve Jarrett, who helped design the course, said he was pleased with the comments he heard about it. "We actually designed it to go the other way," Jarrett said after finishing fifth in the Cat. I-II-III race. "It was pretty tehcnical, with a lot of off-camber. With the wet conditions, it was more technical than we planned." Though it did not feature any artificial barriers, racers were forced to dismount on each of two trips across a sand volleyball course at the midpoint of the course.



USCF Category I-II-III

1 Tony Wilhelm (Trek/VW)                                      
2 Darin Schlake (Kona/Monkey Wrench)                          
3 Mark Studvicki (Cowtown)                                    
Category III-IV

1 Jay Chesterman (Powerade/Independent Fabrication)           
2 Chris Hansen (MBWC/Team 14)                                 
3 Thadeus Neil (MBWC/Team 14)                                 
Category IV

1 Bill Becker (unattached)                                    
2 Paul Eichler (Bike Way)                                     
3 Alex Edwards (Team X)                                       
Masters 35-and-over

1 Thomas Price (Trek KC)                                      
2 Steve Songer (Team X)                                       
3 Cody McCullough (Powerade/Independent Fabrication)          
Women’s Open

1 Sydney Brown (Lincoln Plating)                              
2 Janna Vavra (Ciao Baby)                                     
3 Theresa Blume (Team Kaos)                                   

Local results 2006