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Amphitheater of Pain Cyclocross Series #3

Memphis, TN, November 17, 2002

Russ Griffin Turns Series Battle into a Yawn-Fest

By Tony Roy

Nothing against Russ Griffin (Motorwerks/ACCM), but so far this year he has made the battle for first place in the A Race nothing short of a big yawn-fest. Every dismount is perfectly timed. Each run-up is performed with precision. Gone are the constant frustrations of 2001. Gone are the weeks of endless mechanical ailments. 2002 has seen a new Russ Griffin emerge. Forget the Amphitheater of Pain Series. Forget the Tennessee State Championships. Russ is poised to take his act to the national stage.

In the opening lap of the A Race, Russ toyed with the other racers as he led the pack through the race's longest run-up. By the second lap, Russ was dancing on his pedals as other struggled to remount up the long, grass knoll. The battle for second became a showdown between Donny Forsyth (Los Locos/MSV) and Thad Ferrell (Motorwerks/ACCM), in Thad's first race back from a broken wrist. And, as predicted, Thad pulled Donny around for several laps before Donny swept by before the final run-up to grab second place. Maybe Thad should borrow from Donny's race strategy: Ride smarter, not harder.

A few other one-on-one battles proved to be exciting to watch. No one can forget Boomer Leopold vs. Dean Freeman or Bert Hull vs. John McLauchlin. Or how about Vivian Chwalinksi (J & P Bikes/Subway) vs. anyone on two wheels who gets in her way? Hey Vivian, did you really have to ride both races to prove you were fitter than most of the men?

The B Race brought a new winner with Tom Gee, in his first Amphitheater race, taking the overall win. Tom was followed closely by Beau Rathburn, Miles Fortas and Jim Sullivan. Last week's C Race winner, John Schmidt had a strong showing, with a sixth place finish in his first event as a B-level racer.

Les McDonald and Steve Albers continue to dominate the C race, with Ryan Carmichael placing an impressive third. Greg Gilbert and Darrin McBee also had fine races in their second outings of the season.

Last week's Women's Race winner, Suzanne Beck (VeloClips/Sun and Ski) had to be wondering what Vivian Chwalinski (J&P Bikes/Subway) ate for breakfast as Vivian launched a brutal attack in the opening lap, catching all (Yes, all!) the C Race participants. Suzanne finished in second place, with Laurie Terrell and Cathy Baker taking third and fourth place.

A complete list of series results, standings and a photo gallery is available in the "Photo Gallery" section at www.memphiscycling.com. A big "thank you" to Darrin McBee for all the cool photos.

Thanks to all of our series sponsors: Bartlett Pediatric Dentistry, Bike Lane of Germantown, Carb-Boom, Centrifugal Designs, Memphis Motor Werks Cycling Team, Midtown Bike Co. , Rapid Blueprint & Supply, The Beauty Shop, True Temper, and Wesley Neurological Clinic.

Special thanks Eric Doran from The Beauty Shop, for cooking up a storm; Brad Anderson for his DJing skills; and David Pitts from Rapid Blueprint & Supply for financial support for MCA's new generator. Thanks to our post-race clean-up crew, Nicole Roy and Andrea Perry, for endless and thankless hours of devotion to the sport of 'cross.

A Race
1 Russ Griffin
2 Donny Forsyth
3 Thad Ferrell
4 Boomer Leopold
5 Dean Freeman
6 Bert Hull
7 John McLauchlin
8 James Sharp
9 Eric Wondergem
10 Shay Glass
11 Kenny Allen
12 Zack Perry
13 David Sentor
14 Vivian Chwalinski
15 Forest Owens
16 Vic Perini
B Race
1 Tom Gee
2 Beau Rathburn
3 Miles Fortas
4 Jim Sullivan
5 Matt Joiner
6 John Schmidt
7 Stephen Franklin
8 Anthony Siracusa
9 Michael Terrell
10 Tom Ambrose
11 Gabe Adams
12 Joel Glasgow
13 Dennis Korzekwa
14 Dustin Finley
15 Daniel Duckworth
16 Eric Doran
17 Forest Owens
C Race
1 Les McDonald
2 Steve Albers
3 Ryan Carmichael
4 Rick Carpenter
5 Welsey Hale
6 Greg Gilbert
7 Darrin Mcbee
8 Tony Brown
9 Charles Crail
1 Vivian Chwalinski
2 Suzanne Beck
3 Laurie Terrell
4 Cathy Baker
5 Julie Davidzuk
6 Bobbie Hembree
7 Mary Ambrose
8 Natalie Ragland
9 Bridgette Brown 

Previous results from the USA