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Microsoft Seattle Metro Cyclo-cross Series #6

North Seatac, Washington, November 24, 2002

When the Cat's away...

Crosier, Berg take wins with big-hitters out of town

By Joe Zauner, nwracereport.com

It is said that, when the cat is away, the mice will play, and that was the case Sunday at the Microsoft Seattle Metro Cyclocross Series in North Seatac, Wash.

With Jonny "The Cat" Sundt, along with a handful of other top cyclocross racers, out of town for the Redline Cup in Salt Lake City, Steve Crosier (Redline) and Christi Berg (Bicycle Centre) took convincing wins over what was left of the local talent pool.

It was the sixth round of the Metro Series, this round sponsored by Gregg's Greenlake, with a course that was equal parts technical and power. Crosier, who is noted for his power in the flats and on steep ride-ups, overcame a surprising challenge from Vancouver rider Andrew Kyle (Norco).

Berg, on the other hand, was not challenged after the opening 400 meters. The former downhill mountain biker undoubtedly made time in the technical sections and maintained that advantage in the power sections.

In the elite men's race, Crosier was out of the blocks quickly, followed closely by Alex Andel (Ragnarok). Andel mechanicalled on the first lap and never saw the front thereafter, but a tight pack formed from which emerged Eric Atwood (Ritchey Roots), Matt Hill (Ti Cycles) and Kyle, who made contact with Crosier.

Atwood and Kyle, both mountain bikers, bridged on the technical first half of the course and Hill followed soon after. The foursome stayed together until six laps of the nine-lap event when Crosier threw a surge that completely broke Kyle and had Atwood and Hill on the ropes.

Atwood and Hill were in the process of working their way back to Crosier when Hill experienced the beginning of what would be a string of bad luck. A flat dropped him off Atwood's pace and a miscommunication in the pits left him standing still for about 15 seconds waiting for his "B" bike, which was enough time for Kyle to pass him.

Once Hill got his "B" bike, he flatted again soon after and found himself just ahead of Richard McClung (Broadmark) and Ronnie Schmeer (Saturn of Bellevue) - two road veterans waging a polite, though heated battle for fifth and sixth. Behind them was Steve Williams (Recycled Cycles) riding in no-man's land.

"I got some of Crosier's bad luck today," Hill said, referring to Crosier's string of punctures and pinch flats over the course of the 2002 Metro Series. "I felt like I could have won today but the mechanicals just took me out of it. I just played it like a stage race and got the points I needed to stay close to the lead."

Hill, with 82 points, is third in the series points standings, which is led by Dale Knapp (Kona-Kenwood; 112 points) and Sundt (90 points). Crosier is in seventh place with 58 points.

Soon after Hill's misfortune, Kyle regained contact with Atwood and the pair set their sights on Crosier. This time Kyle bridged across but crashed on that same lap and lost Crosier's wheel for good. With the exception of a few hundred meters, Crosier led the race from start to finish. Kyle was second, 15 seconds behind Crosier, and Atwood third, 45 seconds off the winning pace.

Hill crossed the line in fourth with McClung close behind. Schmeer held on for sixth and Williams was seventh.

"I ran high pressure in my tires today because I didn't want to flat for once," Crosier said, adding that the top Northwest riders were not in attendance but, "a 'W' is a 'W.' When the cat is away the mice will play."

Despite the fact that Hill, Kyle and Atwood all regained contact with Crosier at some point in the race, Crosier appeared unchallenged on the day.

"I did not feel good today," he said. "It was a tough course - power the whole time with short recovery spots. I think my fitness is good, not great. I've got another two or three weeks to get it where I want it."

In the women's race, Berg led from start to finish without a challenge. Second place went to Kelly Jones (Sugoi) who was more than three minutes off Berg's pace.

Berg had a situation that most riders would be envious to have.

"I felt good in the hard sections when my heart rate was high, but felt terrible when my heart rate was low," Berg said, adding that she's been sick lately and the higher heart rates seem to clear her lungs of congestion. "I have trouble at the start, but after I warm up I feel much better - as long as I'm going hard."

Berg's win was significant in that it moved her into a tie for first place in the Metro Series points standings with Jeannette Nussbaum (Kona/Kenwood). Both riders have 104 points. Josie Beggs (Bola/Bianchi) is third with 97 points.

In the masters race, Christian Young (Ragnarok) won convincingly. He and Randy Iddings (Rad Racing) set the early pace, with Iddings thinking better of the fast start. He dropped back before the start of the second lap, opting instead to race with a group of seven that included Dan Peterson (Ti Cycles), Dave Hull (Hull Racing), Doug Graver (Ragnarok) and Tom Philips (Dirtworld.com).

With three laps to race, Young was riding comfortably, 12 seconds ahead of a charging Peterson who was slowly making ground on Young.

With two laps to race Peterson was joined by Iddings. A lap later Peterson flatted. Iddings held on for second, 39 second off Young's winning pace. Philips was third, seven seconds behind Iddings. Peterson struggled home in eighth place.

"It would have been a tough battle. On the last lap I told (Peterson) I was going for the points and he told me to go ahead - he had a flat," said Iddings, 43, who added that he didn't think it was possible to catch Young even with Peterson's help. "He's come a long way with what little racing he's done. He's not even getting challenged by the masters."

Young is in his first year of cyclocross. In fact, Sunday's race was his fourth try at the sport. He said he's planning on stepping up to the elite men's race on Saturday at Steilacoom, Wash.

"It might be a mistake," said Young, who holds a semi-pro NORBA license. "I'm still learning a few things about strategy."

In the junior race David Volkert (ASC) was the early leader but a crash on the first set of barriers on lap one set him back and he was unable to recover. He maintained visual contact with the two leaders - Rad Racing teammates Tristan Skolrud and Morgan Freeman.

Skolrud appeared set to take his second win in as many weekends but couldn't get clipped back into his pedals after a steep run-up section on the backside of the course on the last lap. This opened the door for Freeman to earn the victory.

Freeman finished about seven seconds ahead of Skolrud. Volkert held on for third about 30 seconds back.

"I was expecting to catch them on the last lap," Volkert said of Freeman and Skolrud. "I just couldn't close it. I had someone wreck in front of me and that was it."

In the men's B race, Troy Heithecker (Husky Racing) was the winner. He was the early leader, but Ian Mackie (Ragnarok) rode a well-measured race and established contact with Heithecker into the second lap.

The pair raced in tandem from that point onward. On the last lap, Heithecker, a mountain biker, gave Mackie the slip on a technical section of the course, finishing 12 seconds ahead.


Images by Joe Zauner/nwracereport.com

Images by Hyun Lee


Cross A
1 Steve Crosier (Enumclaw/Redline)             26 pts
2 Andrew Kyle (Vancouver BC/Norco)             20
3 Eric Atwood (Seattle/Richey Roots)           16
4 Matt Hill (Seattle/Ti Cycles)                15
5 Rich McClung (Kirkland/Boadmark)             14
6 Ronnie Schmer (Seattle/Saturn)               13
7 Steve Williams (Seattle/Recycled Cycles)     12
8 Dale Plant (Bellingham/Kona)                 11
9 Chad Berg (Marysville/Bicycle Center Racing) 10
10 Mark Hanson (Issaquah/Adidas)                9
11 Ben Smith (Seattle)                          8
12 Rick Rudland (Vancouver BC/Flash 5)          7
13 Stephen Howard (Enumclaw/Rad Racing)         6
14 Nick Adsero (Edmonds/Bicycle Center Racing)  5
15 Ben Kaplan (Seattle/Saturn)                  4
Cross B
1 Ian Mackie (Ranorok)                         26 pts
2 Ben jamin Perin (Seattle)                    20
3 Peter Groblewski (Bellevue/S3)               16
4 Matt Hayes (Bremerton/YVCC)                  15
5 Brian Carver (Seattke/Rcycled Cycles)        14
6 Mark Howlett (Old Town)                      13
7 Michael Murdin (Renton/Seattle Velo)         12
8 Ben Thompson (Ranorak)                       11
9 Lance Simanek (Renton/K2)                    10
10 Greg Carmickael (Bellevue)                   9
11 Chris Baker (Seattle/Road Runner)            8
12 Matt Cary (Seattle)                          7
13 A Dickson (Seattle/Broadmark)                6
14 Chris Johns (Tumwater)                       5
15 Patrick Tongue (Tukwila)                     4
16 Pablo Espinosa (Seattle/S3)                  3
17 Larry Doll (Seattle/Subway)                  2
Women A
1 Kristie Berg (Marysville/Bicycle Center)     26 pts
2 Kelly Jones (Vancouver BC/Sugoi)             20
3 Wanda Howlett (Kent/S3)                      16
4 Tela Crane (Sammamish/Rad Racing)            15
Master Women
1 Nicola Mann (Seattle)                        26 pts
2 Kathy Smith (Bellingham/Running Shoes.com)   20
Single Speed
1 Adam VanDyke (Sulton)                        26 pts
2 Paul Priest (Seattle/Armondos)               20
3 Kevin Beshlian                               15
4 David Sawyer                                 14
Junior C
1 J.D. Fette                                   26 pts
2 Bryan Gravar (Ragnarok)                      20
3 Brendon Anderson (recorded as 2nd on 9/22)   16
4 Tavish Taylor (JF2)                          15
5 Cole Cutright (Kent/ASC Genisoy)             14
6 Peter Weiler (Maple Valley/ASC Genisoy)      13
7 Brittany Wentz (Olympia/Rad Racing)          12
8 Skyler Carson                                11
9 Garrett Anderson                             10
10 Austin Clevenger (Running Shoes.com)         9
11 Kyle Howlett                                 8
12 Michael Wright (Wheelsport)                  7
13 Mathew Wright (Wheelsport)                   6
14 Lydia Young                                  5
15 Brandon McNamura (****)                      4
16 Avi Mahan (SeaTac/ASC-Genisoy)               3
17 Kristan Smith                                2
Women B
1 Jenny Loestscher                             26 pts
2 Sarah Bender (Everett/Bicyle Center Racing)  20
3 Anne Spaete (Yakima/Chinook)                 16
4 Diane Conway                                 15
5 Renee Duprel (Seattle/Gregg's PSCC)          14
6 Jodi Hess (Seattle)                          13
7 Kim Birgh-Pitkanen (Lakebay WA)              12
8 Danielle Crandall (Seattle/Dirt World)       11
9 Paula Schmitz (Edgewood, WA)                 10
Master A
1 Christian Young (Port Townsend/Ragnarok)     26 pts
2 Randy Iddings (Covington)                    20
3 Tom Phillips (Seattle/Dirt World)            16
4 #174 - no name???                            15
5 Ted Middelstaed (Maple Valley/K2)            14
6 Dave Hull #172 (Seattle/Hull Racing)         13
7 Doug Graver (Monroe/Ragnarok)                12
8 Dan Peterson (TI Cycles)                     11
9 Phil Oppenhemier (Snohomish/Bicycle Center)  10
10 Pat Bentson (Seattle/Rad Racing)             9
11 Mark Knoky (Spokane/Elephant)                8
12 David Brunning (Seattle)                     7
13 Andy Dalhstrom (Seattle/GSFlash)             6
14 Mike Rolcik (Seattle/Dirt World)             5
15 Sean Maynard (Seattle/Ragnarok)              4
16 Ed Arthur (Bellingham/Running Shoes.com)     3
17 Mark Landsaat                                2
18 Glen Conley (Bothell)                        1
Junior A
1 Will Freeman (Bellingham/Rad Racing)         26 pts
2 Tristan Skolrud (Yakima/Rad Racing)          20
3 David Volkert (Seattle/ASC)                  16
4 Dan Neyens (Seattle/Broadmark)               15
5 Severin Skolrud (Yakima/Rad Racing)          14
6 Aaron WillKinson (Olympia/Rad Racing)        13
7 Walker Duvall (Olympia/Rad Racing)           12
8 Josh Hansen (Olympia/Rad Racing)             11
9 Aaron Renner (ASE Genesa)                    10
10 Keith Robinson (Normandy Park/ASC)           9
Beginning Men
1 Matt Gossage (Bellevue/Ti Cycles)            26 pts
2 Dave Henson                                  20
3 Mavco DeSimone (Mercer Island)               16
4 Pete Brunner (Tacoma/Spoke and Sprocket)     15
5 Jeff Evans (Tacoma/Spoke and Sprocket)       14
6 Craig Companion (Duval)                      13
7 Thomas Sowards (Auburn)                      12
8 Mike Brandt (BikeFit)                        11
9 Joseph Ferazza (Tacoma)                      10
10 Tom Frank                                    9
11 David Lanier (Saturn)                        8
12 Chris Pickett (Borders)                      7
13 F Donald Duval (Olympia/Rad Racing)          6
14 Ken Embrey (Poulsbo)                         5
15 David Prenslow                               4
16 JJ Ecker (Seattle)                           3
17 Steve Jordheim (Seattle)                     2
18 Dan Wood (Gregg's PSCC)                      1
Junior Women
1 Robin Emery                                  26 pts
Master B
1 Aaron Turner (Seattle)                       26 pts
2 Brad Collins (Vancouver BC/Sugoi)            20
3 Nicholas Rhodes (Issaquah/Sound Velo)        16
4 Brian Wentz (Olympia/Rad Racing)             15
5 Nathan Kiger (Seattle/DirtWorld)             14
6 Jim Clevenger (Bellingham/Running Shoes.com) 13
7 Alex Rohde (Shoreline)                       12
8 Francis McGrody (Seattle/Bella Cycles)       11
9 Dave Stanton (Armondos)                      10
10 David Sullivan (Seattle)                     9
11 Jeff Moran (Seattle/TI Cycles)               8
12 David Graves                                 7
13 Kevin Hornback                               6
14 Brian Vickers (Bainbridge Island)            5
15 Don Tyler                                    4
16 Tom Popowski (Everett)                       3
17 Rick Heckenliable                            2
18 Tero Pitkanen                                1
Junior B
1 Chris Buckley (Ballard/Rad Racing)           26 pts
2 Grady Weiler (Maple Valley/Super Squadra)    20
3 Nathan Bannerman (Anacortes/Rad Racing)      16
4 Luciano Worl (Woodinvile/Rad Racing)         15
5 Grant Boursaw (Stanwood/K2)                  14
6 Evan Schmitt (Roslyn/Rad Racing)             13
7 Jason Ridge (Sumner/JF2)                     12
8 Steven Skeehan (Tacoma/ASC)                  11
9 Noah Buckly (Seattle/Rad Racing)             10
10 Jonathan Skeehan (Tacoma/ASC)                9
11 Spencer Mahon (SeaTac/ASC Genison)           8
12 Ian Crane (Sammamish/Gregg's)                7
13 Amara Boursaw (Stanwood/K2)                  6
14 James Shafon                                 5
Beginning Women
1 Kirstin Sandaas (Seattle/Subway)             26 pts
2 Jane Vitkuske                                20
3 Kristen Smith                                16
4 Maria Arcorale (Seattle)                     15
5 Virginia Coffman (Seattle)                   14
6 Lisa Miller (Seattle/Dirt World)             13
7 Marta Metcalf (Vashon)                       12
8 Leslie Bechtel                               11
1 Troy Heithecker (Seattle/Husky Racing)       26 pts
2 Troy Coleman (Seattle/Husky Racing)          20
3 Byan Sandoz (Seattle/Husky Racing)           16
4 Jimmy Lingwood (Seattle/Husky Racing)        15
5 Tye Howell (Seattle/Husky Racing)            14

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