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Asheville Mellowdrome

Asheville, North Carolina, May 3, 2005

Mellowdrome Back in Action for Rumble on the River

It could have been the winter of our discontent after the floods of last September tore up turn three of the Mellowdrome, left Carrier Park under a heavy layer of mud and debris, and ended the 2004 race series. However, thanks to the City of Asheville and the Department of Parks and Recreation, all is well at Carrier Park. Alongside the commitment from the City, there was a concentrated clean up effort from the Mellowdrome cyclists over a dozen Saturdays. Shovels, wheelbarrows, and many hands turned the Park into an archaeological site throughout the fall, and by December we were rewarded with the ability to again ride laps. Special mention must be made of two people who led the way in this effort. Rostand Smith is the one among us who came to work every Saturday morning without exception. And, after the pavement repair was completed, Byran Watson took charge of restriping the oval. Everyone thanks these two men and the City of Asheville for getting it done.

Last Tuesday marked the renewal of the Rumble on the River. Needless to say the riders in this area have been anxiously awaiting a return to Tuesday night racing, and the fields were big for the opener under clear skies and freshening breezes. When the lower division for road bikes took to the asphalt, there resumed the battle played out last season by Jeff Frazier (defending series champion) and his nemesis, John Garrett. Frazier continued his custom of winning the 15 kilometre points race by just enough. Greg Brown and a resurgent Will Sagar swept up the crumbs. In the upper division, a new look appeared. A thundering herd of forty took to the 500 metre oval for a 30 kilometre points race. Jonas Peterson (Cane Creek) went off on lap one, taking with him Chris Ernst (Hearn's) and a succession of others who filtered in and out of the break of four riders. The lead group held a half lap advantage for two thirds of the race before giving in. By then, barring an extraordinary development, it was mathematically over. Peterson won easily, followed by Alexander Sebastian (Colavita) and Ernst. It is safe to say that had Sebastian been present in the break for more of its duration, the outcome might have been different.

The fixed-gear ranks also turned out two good fields. The B grade side revealed a freshman class eager to assert themselves. Byran Watson was in command throughout the three race Omnium and took top honors. Following him were Bill McBee (who is back from a year off), Ron Henninger, and Marshall Hance. These guys rode with poise and style, the result of many Saturday morning sessions over the winter. In the A ranks, it appears Andrew Erskine added a few horsepower over the winter. Last year's clear second best has served notice to defending champ, Blair Hobgood, that he had better hurry up in 2005. When Erskine won the Scratch Race by a lengthening half-bike length, a buzz went through the crowd. And while Scott Langford made off with the Unknown Distance, thanks to impeccable timing, it was Erskine in second with Hobgood missing completely. This set the stage for a reversal of fortune. In the concluding Points Race, Mr. Hobgood made no mistake and registered a convincing win. However, his rival put a tight grip on the rest of the field and that was enough to secure the top spot for the evening. Next race at The Mellowdrome at Carrier Park will be May 16.


Track bike A race
8 Lap Scratch
1 Andrew Erskine         
2 Blair Hobgood          
3 Michael Koerschner     
4 Marc Mullinax          
5 Don Lux                
Unknown Distance
1 Scott Langford         
2 Andrew Erskine         
3 Michael Koerschner     
4 Blair Hobgood          
5 Marc Mullinax          
20 Lap Points Race
1 Blair Hobgood          
2 Andrew Erskine         
3 Michael Koerschner     
4 Marc Mullinax          
5 Bob Wright             
Track bike B race
6 Lap Scratch
1 Byron Watson           
2 Ron Henninger          
3 Paul Christopher       
4 Bill McBee             
5 Wendy Coin             
1 Ron Henninger          
2 Byron Watson           
3 Bill McBee             
4 George Riedesel        
5 Jim McMillen           
15 Lap Points Race
1 Bill McBee             
2 Byron Watson           
3 Marshall Hance         
4 Wendy Coin             
5 George Riedesel        
Road bike A race
1 Jonas Petersson        
2 Alexander Sebastian    
3 Chris Ernst            
4 Jacob McGahey          
Road bike B race
1 Jeff Frazer            
2 John Garrett           
3 Greg Brown             
4 Will Sager             

Local results 2004