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Rumble on the River #2 - Asheville, North Carolina, May 17, 2005
All's well at the Mellowdrome
As reported two weeks ago, things at the Mellowdrome are good indeed. The second night of the 2005 series confirmed that the aftermath of the floods is ancient history and that the new lines laid out around the oval are good for racing. The lap distance is now an even 500 meters and the turns could be mistaken for symmetry. This is a great achievement for such an idiosyncratic course.
The freshmen fixies ably demonstrated the value of a winter of Saturday morning training. Three times the officials had to untangle a blanket of four or five riders whenever points were on the line. And although it looked as if a wreck or two was unavoidable, the B Grade riders demonstrated style throughout and no one hit the floor. Bill McBee used consistency and a win in the weighted Points Race to emerge the winner. In doing so, he turned the tables on Aaron Renner and Byron Watson who completed the trifecta. And it must be said that George 'The Diesel' Riedesel continually stirred the pot all night, preventing any neutral laps save the first of each race.
In the upper division, a shift in the balance of power is apparent. Two weeks ago Andrew Erskine wrested the win from Blair Hobgood by sheer force. This time around the side in the Hearn's kit took advantage of their superior numbers and accounted for two of the three races as well as three of the top four Omnium positions. The evening's big winner was Scott 'The Flying Freckle' Langford. He made off with the Scratch Race while the heavies were busy eyeing one another. And he rode by himself to a win in the Points Race while lieutenants Kurt Begeman and Erskine neutralized Hobgood in the field. To his credit, Hobgood won the Snowball Race with enterprise and grit. However, the Hearn's onslaught was too much and Langford was followed by Begeman and then Hobgood to complete the podium.
The roadies also added colour to the spectacle that is Carrier Park on Tuesday nights. The lower division produced a beauty in their 30-lap Points race. In the span of six points laps, the contest seesawed among four leaders and five lead changes. Of course it rested on the double points finale to sort it out. Robert Watkins gave up the lead by missing completely at the end. He fell to second as John Garrett claimed the win. Dennis Melton finished third on points. The coolest thing about this race was the presence of the Johnnie Garrett Cheering Section, which crowded onto the bridge. They were pleased with the outcome.
And yes, the A Grade roadies ran the customary 60-lap Points Race. Two similarities followed the result of two weeks ago. Chris Ernst organized an early breakaway that held until two-thirds distance. And, Ernst finished second on the back of this initiative. However, replacing Jonas Petterson in the break and with the win was Jacob McGahey. Sitting calmly on his steed, Jacob blew by all riders again and again, and collected the biggest pile of points. It was educational to watch how much faster it is to drive your bike forward rather than side to side in the heat of an all out sprint. McGahey made it look easy over and over. After 40 laps the race regrouped and Randy Parker salvaged his evening by quickly amassing 18 points in the waning laps to finish third.
Next race at The Mellowdrome at Carrier Park will be May 31.
Fixed Gear 'A' 8 Lap Scratch 1 Scott Langford 2 Andrew Erskine 3 Blair Hobgood 4 Marc Mullinax 5 Kurt Begemann Point a Lap 1 Blair Hobgood 2 Kurt Begemann 3 John Derry 4 Andrew Erskine 5 Don Lux 20 Lap Points Race 1 Scott Langford 2 Kurt Begemann 3 Andrew Erskine 4 Blair Hobgood 5 Marc Mullinax Fixed Gear 'B' 6 Lap Scratch 1 Aaron Renner 2 Bill McBee 3 Byron Watson 4 Mike Smith 5 Paul Battenfeld Miss-n-Out 1 Aaron Renner 2 Byron Watson 3 Bill McBee 4 Frank Melvin 5 Mike Smith 15 Lap Points Race 1 Bill McBee 2 Byron Watson 3 Ron Henninger 4 George Riedesel 5 Aaron Renner Road 'A' 1 Jacob McGahey 46 pts 2 Chris Ernst 30 3 Randy Parker 18 4 Jonas Petterson 13 5 Scott Langford 10 Road 'B' 1 John Garrett 23 pts 2 Robert Watkins 19 3 Dennis Melton 17 4 Paul Edmonds 7 5 Matt Grainger 7
Local results 2004