Results and Reports for December 8-9, 2001


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Georgia Cross Series Championship

Athens, Georgia, December 9, 2001

By E. Andra Whitworth

Duathlete John Phillips, 24, of Athens, Georgia, has swept the Georgia Cross championship with his second consecutive title win during the second year of the series.

On Sunday, December 9, Phillips attacked competitor and pro mountain bike racer Andy Johnston at the top of a steep run-up to win the championship race by a 29-second lead.

"Twice is nice," said Phillips, who entered the state series as defending champion, only to teeter between first and second place throughout the six-race series due to mechanical failures.

The Elite men's race was dominated by four riders including Phillips and Johnston, as well as James Hyatt and Frank Mathews. Phillips attacked on a road section to join Johnston at the front and leaving Hyatt and Matthews behind.

With 6 laps to go, the race was man-on-man between Phillips and Johnston, with Johnston moving ahead when Phillips had to swap bikes due to a mechanical. Johnston maintained the lead with 3 laps to go. At 1.5 laps remaining, Phillips pulled ahead to definitively beat Johnston by half a minute and claim the state title.

Phillips competed in the Georgia Cross Series wearing the Zaxby's cycling jersey. Phillips was the multi-sport athlete for the Zaxby's cycling team during the 2001 season.

In September of this year, Phillips finished 17th overall and first in his age group at the Powerman Zofingen Duathlon in Zofingen, Switzerland. He will turn professional in January, when the new duathlon licenses are issued.

Cyclocross is a fledgling sport in Georgia and the American South. The Georgia Cross Series was begun in 2000 by James Tomko, and receives primary sponsorship from Subaru and Verge Sports.

"I wanted to race 'cross, and there were only a few races," said Tomko. "So I worked with different teams and groups to get five races together last year. This year we had six, and next year we're shooting for eight."

Phillips confirmed that cyclocross is taking off in the South, and said the caliber of racers is getting better even though the athlete pool is still relatively small.

"Cyclocross is a growing sport in the South. There are more and more people finding it and discovering that it's fun. Some of those people are pretty talented and make the field tougher, which is good," he said. Phillips will represent Georgia as the state champion in the 2001 Cyclocross National Championship to be held December 14 through 16 in Baltimore, Maryland.

"I didn't do the national championships last year, so this will be my first year to race with the super big dogs," said Phillips. "I don't really know what to expect. I think if I have a perfect race, I can maybe get in the top 15, but I really don't know."


Tina Cyr kindly supplied these pictures from Athens.

Final Series Results

Category A (Elite Men)
John Phillips          267 pts
James Hyatt            232
Frank Mathews          172
Andy Johnston          144.5
Robert Giannini        128.5
Category B (Master's Men)
Daryll McKenzie        329.5 pts
Lamar Mauney           233.5
Brad Harper            195
Mike Huckaby           134
Dub Smith              97.5
Category C (Category 4 & 5 Men)
Jody McDanal           219 pts
Jerrod Dorminey        189.5
Andrew Guthrie         177.5
Brad Rogers            125
John Cheaves           107.5
Lisa Ropke             290 pts
Kim Budde              188
Nicole Messenger       142
Trish Albert           106
Jan Andrews            101.8

Previous US Results