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by Chip Atkins
Beautiful skies and a strong breeze greeted the competitors of this year's edition of the Chimborazo Grand Prix cyclocross race. The course featured a new run-up, a new off camber section, and a new T shaped triple barrier that required some fancy footwork to negotiate. MC Rick Bevel was on the mic keeping the flow going and the atmosphere festive.
The racing opened at 11am with the C race: Beginners (C's) and Juniors. Mark Wilson dominated the race and later went on to take fourth in the B race (Mark will definitely be riding in the B race next year)! The C race was fun nonetheless for the other competitors who were trying out cyclocross for the first time. Members of the Richmond Triathlete Club were plying the skills they'd picked up at X-Terra over the summer and having a big time. We hope to see more tri-folks taking up cross in the future. The entire Junior class was brought by Lou Sabino. The kids are students at the Blue Ridge School near Charlottesville and all walked away with prizes and smiling faces.
At 12pm the B race started up with Intermediates (B's), Masters, and Women. Ben Fitts picked up his first Intermediate cyclocross victory comfortably ahead of Zack Rickey and Mark Winbourne. In the Masters race, Tony Billota has really come into his own this season, winning today and placing third overall in the Virginia Cyclocross Series last week. Tom Gillespie nipped Joel Street by a few centimeters at the line to round out the podium for the Masters. The Women's competition saw Catharine Johnson and Kirsten Plehn dueling it out for first place. Plehn was unable to respond to a last lap attack by Johnson who had been chasing Plehn all season long.
This is the best cyclocross race in Virginia! exclaimed Jeremiah Bishop as he poured beer from a giant three liter bottle into the pint glasses of his competitors after winning the A race. Bishop put on a great show bunny-hopping barriers and coming back from a puncture to beat Rob Dinterman. Jonathan Wirsing took third. Fourth and fifth went to Greg and Fred Wittwer. The father/son duo who both decided to abandon their respective categories (Fred is 50 and Greg is 18) and race against one another in the A's. The two embraced emotionally after Fred crossed the line twenty seconds behind his son.
C Grade   1 Mark Wilson 2 Mark Tooker 3 Chad Rathbone 4 James Racre 5 Frank Blendino 6 Eric Bane 7 Laura Meyers 8 Catherine Davidson 9 James F. Bell 10 Treacy O'Hanlan 11 Shawn Lanning   Juniors   1 Gordon Johnson (BRS) 2 Sam Burt (BRS) 3 Joe Backe (BRS) 4 Emeke Okocha (BRS) 5 Parker O'Sullivan (BRS)   B Grade   1 Ben Fitts (VCU Cycling) 2 Zack Rickey (Cobblestone Velo) 3 Mark Winbourne 4 Mark Wilson 5 Lou Sabino (BRS) 6 Chase Tunnel 7 David Harlow 8 Calib Jervay 9 Myron Kemp (MVC)   Masters   1 Tony Bilotta (CRC/Extreme Sports) 2 Tom Gillespie (Cobblestone Velo) 3 Joel Street (Conte's/Richbrau) 4 Dave Olds (East Coast Bikes) 5 Jeff Weatherly (Cobblestone Velo) 6 Scott Scudamore (PVC)   Women   1 Catharine Johnson (NCVC) 2 Kirsten Plehn (Independent Fabrications) 3 Melanie Swartz (PVC) 4 Cass Perkins (Conte's/Richbrau) 5 Stephanie Tuttle 6 Pamela Zimmerman (HDK Cycles)   A Grade   1 Jeremiah Bishop (Trek/VW) 2 Rob Dinterman (VBV/BCS Toshiba) 3 Jonathan Wirsing (Snow Valley) 4 Greg Wittwer (CRC/Extreme Sports) 5 Fred Wittwer (CRC/Extreme Sports) 6 James Connell (Bike Stop/Mountain's Edge) 7 Nick Atkins (Bayside Velo) 8 Chip Sovek (PVC) 9 Jeff Haight (Bike Works) 10 Roger Sattler (Courier One/Main St. Beer) 11 Jamie Fitzgerald 12 Judd Milne (PVC) 13 Tom Gillespie (Cobblestone Velo) 14 Rick Barlow (Cobblestone Velo) 15 Leon Chou (Power/MAMA) Previous US Results