Sunday, September 11th saw the 33rd running of the Carolina Cup in Greensboro North Carolina. In the past, this race has been won by numerous big names of the United States domestic cycling scene. Names such as Jonas Carney and Cyclingnews.com diarist John Lieswyn to name a couple. This race has always had a special place in North Carolina cycling. The secret has been the unique combination of the beautiful Greensboro Country Park setting, seemingly designed for a cycling event, and the local folks who love exciting outdoor events.
The highlight of the day was of course the Pro-Am event. Taking the line for what may be his last professional bike race of his career was none other than John Lieswyn from Health-Net presented by Maxxis. A smattering of pros also took the start of this race including Karl Menzies from Endeavour, Ivan Stevic. Hugh Moran, Eric Murphy, Radisha Cubric, Prokic Predraig (all from Aerospace Engineering), Christophe Herby from Snow Valley presented by Seal On, Bruno Langlois from Jittery Joes, and Scottie Weiss riding for Hincapie Bianchi. The field was pretty stacked for a more or less local event (The Cup was an NRC event last year), and the quality of the field guaranteed one thing. A hard race was at hand for the Pro-Am racers.
The gun went off, and the men were off on a 100k cruise through the park in Greensboro. Soon after the start, the pace quickened considerably. People were getting dropped from the back of the field almost as quickly, and soon, the field was whittled down to about 40 some odd racers. At that point in time, a small break group formed off the front of the pack which contained about 12 racers all told. As the pros in the race came to the front, the pace was upped once again, and a very select group of 4 racers was left to duke it out for the glory of the win. John Lieswyn looking to take a win in his final pro race threw down the gauntlet with approximately 3 laps to go of the 2km course, and left his breakaway companions far behind. A bit of history. Mr. Lieswyn took his first bike race win ever at the Carolina Cup when he was a junior racer just starting out (see his diary entry about this at: http://www.cyclingnews.com/riders/2005/diaries/john/?id=john0521 ). So John was especially motivated to take this win. He soloed off the front of the break group, and was never seen again. He crossed the line victorious, arms aloft. Behind him, Karl Menzies took 2nd place followed by Ivan Stevic capping off a great first season of racing in the US with 3rd place. 4th and 5th were taken by Hugh Moran and Christophe Herby respectively. The rest of the field filtered in shortly after that, in tatters and looking a little haggard.
The women's Pro-Am event saw only 14 women take the start line. With a prize list going 20 places deep, every woman lining up for the race today was going to get paid no matter what place they finished. It's too bad that this event is not well attended by the women racers. The prize money is decent, and the course is good, but we can't get women to turn out. So if there are any women racers out there in the Southeast, come to Greensboro next year for the Carolina Cup, you won't be disappointed. At the onset, it looked like local powerhouses, and international women's racers Candice Blickem and Grace Fleury (both riding for Quark Cycling) were ready to throw it down. Also ready to jump into the fray, Mandy Lozano of BMW Bianchi, Lauren Trull of Diet Cheerwine. As anyone who knows anything about bike racing, smaller fields normally equal harder races, and this wasn't an exception. A hard attack came first from Ms. Blickem, drawing out the field, and stretching the small peloton to its breaking point. A small group formed off the front at this point. Once Candice had tired of pulling, and ripping the race to shreds, her teammate Grace came to front and threw down a very hard attack, that a few women tried to roll with, but couldn't hang. Grace then continued on the attack, and rode away from the rest of the field to take a well deserved solo victory in the women's race. Behind her, Holli Steelman of Team DeFeet took a nice second place, with young Lauren Trull (now at her first year of college at Appalachian State in Boone NC) rounding out the podium for 3rd.
Other category winners for the Carolina Cup were:
Jake Byrd in the Junior 10-14 race
John Garrett in the Junior 15-18 race
Cate McLean in the Category 4 women's race
Cyrus Hogue in the Masters 50+
Wesley Wilmer in the Masters 35+ Category 4,5
Aaron Frahm in the Masters 35+ Category 1,2,3
Ben Swaim in the Men's Category 3
Michael Rigby in the Men's Category 4
Kurt Brechnitz in the Men's Category 5
Pro Men 1 John Lieswyn (Health Net p/b Maxxis) 2 Karl Menzies (Advantage Benefits Endevour) 3 Ivan Stevic (Aerospace Engineering) 4 Hugh Moran (Aerospace Engineering) 5 Christophe Herby (Snow Valley p/b Seal-On) 6 Eric Murphy (Aerospace Engineering) 7 Garrett Peltonen (Advantage Benefits Endevour) 9 Bruno Langlois (Jittery Joe's/Kalahari) 10 Shawn Willard (Bike Source) 11 Mark Hekman (Savage Hill Cycling) 12 Daniel Holt (Locos cycling) 13 Scottie Weiss (Bianchi/Hincapie Sports) 14 John Patterson (outdoorlights.com) 15 Zach Bolian (Krystal/SCV) 16 Jon Livengood (Bike Zoo) 17 Radisa Cubric (Aerospace Engineering) 18 Philip Wikoff (Cane Creek) 19 Owen Nielsen (Manulife Financial/Kane Bikes) 20 Gen Kogure (3brt) 21 Andrew Olson (Richmond Ciclismo) 22 Prokic Predraig (Aerospace Engineering) 23 Hoyt Halvorson (outdoorlights.com) 24 Chad Gibson (outdoorlights.com) 25 Chris Knetsche (Bianchi/Hincapie Sports) 26 Rich Harper (Cane Creek) 27 Spencer Leuders (John Deer) 28 Solomon Kobes (Spin Cycle/Fat Sound Guitar) 29 David Osborne (Artemis) 30 Kris Stein (CCC/Spin Cycle) 31 Thaddeus Dulin (Jittery Joes/Kalahari) 32 Hatcher Rosebrock (Manualife Financial) 33 Joey Coddington (Cane Creek) 34 Matt Lee (EC Velo) 35 Peter Hymas (Inland Construction/BTD) 36 Chris Blake (Bitter Dose Racing) 37 AT Stamp (Bianchi/Hincapie Sports) 38 Bryan Collins (Verge Test Pilot) 39 Mike Kelly (Bianchi/Hincapie Sports) 40 Chris Harkey (Bianchi/Hincapie Sports) 41 David LeDuc (Mercy Cycling) 42 Randy Parker (Herbalife) Andy Applegate (Honey Stinger / Spinergy) Mitchell Luck (Artemis) Robert McConville (UNC Chapel Hill) Mark Jellous (CCC/Spin Cycle/Fat Sound Guitars) Chris Monteleone (Hincapie / Bianchi) Stuart Lamp (Gran Fondo/Sonic) Jered Gruber (Locos cycling) Steve Bednash (Atlantic Velo) Charles Eller (Spin Cycle/Fat Sound Guitar) Thomas Evans (Spin Cycle/Fat Sound Guitar) Corey Fisher (Pactimo Sport Apparel) Chris Foster (Bianchi/Hincapie Sports) Mark Griffin (Printery-Cycles de Oro) Brandon McKeever (Rio Grande) Blair Palmer (Printery-Cycles de Oro) Patrick Weddell (Just Fresh/Clif Bar) Ben Faulk (Just Fresh/Clif Bar) Mike Vanden Heuvel (Spin Cycle/Fat Sound Guitar) Charlie Storm (Inland Construction/BTD) Scottie Jackson (Wachtung Wheelmen/Highgear) Boyd Johnson (Meredith Group/GPOA) Charlie Pendry (Inland Construction/BTD) Dean Lyons (Boone Bike) Wes Hartman (Advantage Benefits Endevour) Zac Lake (Bianchi/Hincapie Sports) Jonas Petterson (Cane Creek) Emile Abraham (Team Monex) Grad Husanoza (Aerospace Engineering) Tiago DePaula (unattached) Curtis Staples (Manualife Financial) Jacob Brimlow (Manualife Financial) Jacob Fetty (Fiordi Frutta) Shane Weaver (Bianchi/Hincapie Sports) Jonathan Hamblen (Fiordi Frutta) Jamie Bennett (Hearts Racing) Steven Wagner (Bri Cycling Team) Lee Showers (Atlanta Cycling) Pro Women 1 Grace Fleury (Quark) 2 Holli Steelman (Team Defeet) 3 Lauren Trull (Diet Cheerwine) 4 Mandy Lozano (BMW-Bianchi) 5 Candace Blickem (Quark) 6 Daniele Staskal (BMW-Bianchi) 7 Cara McCauley (BMW-Bianchi) 8 Robin Farina (DeFeet) 9 Janet Edgerton (BMW-Bianchi) 10 Susan Wilson (Inland Construction) 11 Jessica Ables (BMW/Bianchi) 12 Hope Ann Snyder (Paul's Racing) 13 Nicole Bossie (DeFeet) 14 Sharon Jones (James River Velo Sport) Men Cat 3 1 Ben Swaim (Benissimo/Chisholm) 2 Justin Kraft (outdoorlights.com) 3 Jon Gaudio (Richmond Ciclismo) 4 Travis Livermon (Pacesetter Steel Service) 5 Greg Powell (Just Frech/Clif Bar) 6 Michael Hosang (Tripower) 7 Ross Bowden (ASU) 8 Chris Judy (Fastcoaching.com) 9 Jason Ward (Pactimo) 10 Paul Patterson (Franklin Street Cycles) 11 Jason Laxton (Morgan Stanley/Specialized) 12 Joel Darden (Printery-Cycles de Oro) 13 Ron Glowczynski (Team El Toro) 14 James Whitaker (unattached) 15 Ken Johnson (outdoorlights.com) 16 Daniel King (3 SPORTS) 17 Steven Sherman (Inland Construction Co) 18 Daniel Rotroff (Inland Construction Co) 19 Brad Messenger (Just Frech/Clif Bar) 20 Adam Little (Bianchi/Hincapie Sports) 21 Robert Vogt (Glenwood) 22 Michael Stoop (Atlantic Velo) 23 David Duncan (Just Frech/Clif Bar) 24 Adrian Meger (Franklin Street Cycles) 25 John Wall (Printery-Cycles de Oro) 26 David Goodwin (Human Zoom) 27 Robert George (Cycling Spoken Here) 28 Jay Cox (Benissimo/Chisholm) 29 Joseph Carpisassi Jr (EC Velo) 30 BJ Rieter (Lowcountry VW) 31 Alez Durrell (Sandhills Cycling Club) 32 Bill Malone (Team Cobblestone) 33 Alex Barry (EC Velo) 34 John Benoit (ODA Racing) 35 Brian Tester (Benissimo/Chisholm) 36 Emory Ball (Spin Cycle/Fat Sound Guitars) 37 Taylor Jones (Inland Construction Co) 38 Clifton Abare (ODA Racing) 39 Michael Rigby (ASU) 40 Joseph McGowin (Benissimo/Chisholm) 41 Sterling Swaim (Benissimo/Chisholm) 42 Zandy Collins (Franklin Street Cycles) 43 Jesse Walters (Hearts Racing) 44 David Johnson (Team El Toro) Matthew Janeway (Virginia Tech) Russel Williams (ODA Racing) Women Cat 4 1 Cate McLean (Asheville Bike Racing Club) 2 Stephanie Swinerton (Diet Cheerwine) 3 Stacy Brown (Printery-Cycles de Oro) 4 Claudia Penaloza (Coastal Carolina Velo Race Club) 5 Hadley Trotter (Tri-Cyclist) 6 Robin Nance (Core Racing) 7 Gina Dulude (Paul's Racing) 8 Sharon Jones (Sharon Jones) 9 Michelle Horvath () 10 Rhonda Phillips (Triadventure Multisport) 11 Gail DeCamp (BMW-Bianchi) Men Cat 4 1 Michael Rigby (ASU) 2 Terry Huss (Raleigh Allstars) 3 Robert George (Cycling Spoken Here) 4 John Garrett (ABRC) 5 Bruce Fenn (Unattached) 6 Tom McDonnell (Boone Bike and Touring) 7 Parker McConville (Unattached) 8 Tyler Crabtree (Carolina Velo) 9 Justin Tucker (ASU) 10 Craig Appaneal (Printery-Cycles de Oro) 11 Alder Martz (John Deere Junior Development) 12 Madison Siegrist (Hearts Racing Club) 13 Richard Nance (Just Fresh/Clif Bar) 14 Todd Terry (Freewheelers of Spartanburg) 15 Michael Sweat (Sycamore Cycles) 16 Timothy Goelzer (ODA Racing) 17 Eric Chrabot (Atlantic Velo) 18 Cole Harden (East Coasters) 19 Travis Hunt (ASU) 20 Ronald Hutchens (Paceline) 21 Matthew Rotroff (Paceline) 22 Alex Galeano (Spin Cycle/Fat Sound Guitars) 23 Reid Beloni (John Deere) 24 Dan Pawlicki (Spin Cycle/Fat Sound Guitars) 25 Thomas Lebosqueset (Spin Cycle/Fat Sound Guitars) 26 Jimmy Clegg (Unattached) 27 Mark DeBusk (Unattached) 28 Gregory Robitaille (ccc spincycle/fat sound) 29 Wesley Best (East Coasters) 30 John Wolsow (Appalachian Cycling) 31 Patrick Jacques (Coastal Carolina Velo) 32 Brian Damore (Rock & Road/HVC) 33 Keith Walter (Paceline) 34 Matthew Phillips (The Man-Hating Dyke/East Coasters) 35 Sean Meyers (Lone Star Cycling) 36 Andrew Durward (Tri-Cyclists BRC) 37 Brent Lyons (Hearts Racing Club) Tony Stone (Paul's Racing) Michael Davis (Tri-Cyclists) Mason Washington (Evolution Cycling / Team DLS) Parker McConville () Chris Conway (Evolution Cycling / Team DLS) Todd Gray (Hearts Racing Club) Michael Vestal (Hearts Racing Club) Claude Gregory (Low Country VW) Barry Goldenberg (Just Fresh/Clif Bar) Matthew Rublewski (Unattached) Bryan Smith (Rock & Road/HVC) Evan Smith (Paceline)