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Arrowhead Farm Cyclocross
Milford, Ohio, November 1, 2003
Noble, Senft take Milford mudfest
As the race organizers put the finishing touches on this year's Arrowhead Farm cross course, Mother Nature provided about an hour of rain, turning the course's only steep hill into an unrideable, muddy run-up.
The skies cleared as the racing action began with the C category. After Fred Schauer held off David Hays to win the early SmartFuel prime, the duo never looked back. Hays eventually overtook Schauers, who rode the race on a mountain bike, to take the win. John Thomas, Tim Williams, and Sean Eldridge rounded out the top 5. The Junior race went uncontested, but not undeserved, to 11 year old Jarrett Fraulinger.
Eighteen cyclists toed the line for the 45 minute category B race. With over $200 plus a 2nd lap SmartFuel Prime on the line, the pace was rapid from start. Team Cyclesport rider, Scott Stanford, seemed to have things well in hand taking the prime and riding away from everyone . 20 seconds behind the field was being led by Bloomington, Indiana rider Tim McKay, but things would change drastically. First McKay flatted and dropped out, then Luke Stifler and BradWunderlich, both riding for Team Louisville, caught and overtook the tiring Stanford with 4 laps to go. Stifler took the win easily. Wunderlich held off Stanford for 2nd, Michigan Wolverine Sports Club rider Wayne Cook was 4th.
Sheila Senft, Airborne, easily beat Katherine Kakis, Savage Hill Cycling, to take top prize in the Women's race.
"The most exciting cross race I have ever seen," was one of the comments heard from a spectator after the Category A's finished. Ten talented Category A racers started with a blistering pace. The course, now rutted and muddy, required finesse and power. 19 year-old Mike House, Team CSK, snatched the 2nd lap SmartFuel prime from pre-race favorite Phil Noble, Team Airborne. The duo opened a gap on the field and looked to be clear. Four riders, Al Senft, Nuvo/BAP, Bill Crank, CES Cycling, TJ Turner, Airborne, and Ezra Taylor, Mid-State Velo, tried to limit their losses and keep the pair in sight. Taylor, riding a single-speed rig, was fastest up the 100m run-up. He dropped the chase group and dangled 20 - 30 seconds behind House and Noble.
Half way through the 1 hour race, the real excitement started. First, Mike House went down in a slippery turn and was gapped by an attacking Noble. Two laps later the solo Noble flatted his front tire and was caught by House during the change. Then a tenacious Taylor caught them both. Ezra Taylor went straight to the front and turned the screws. With just over 10 minutes to go, House dropped back leaving Noble and Taylor to battle for the win. Noble was quickest up the run-up just before the finish and managed to out sprint Taylor for the win. The action didn't stop though. Behind Senft and Turner were caught by a late-charging Bill Crank. Crank ended up 4th, Al Senft 5th, TJ Turner 6th.
Thanks to our sponsors: VeloSport Vacations, Brinker Animal Hospital, Montgomery Cyclery, Ted's Toys & Trains, Nature Outfitters, Dr. Frederick A. Heiselman Dentistry, SmartFuel, Triumph Realty, RoadID.com, and the Milford Pottery.
Images by John Gatch
A Race 1 Phil Noble (Airborne) 2 Ezra Taylor (Mid State Velo) 3 Mike House (CSK America) 4 Bill Crank (CES Cycling) 5 Al Senft (Nuvo/Bicycle Action Project) 6 TJ Turner (Airborne) 7 Mike Rucker (Unattached) 8 John Koury (Montgomery Cyclery) B Race 1 Luke Stifler (Team Louisville) 2 Brad Wunderlich (Team Louisville) 3 Scott Stanford (Cyclesport) 4 Wayne Cook (Wolverine Sports Club) 5 Rick Toler (Airborne) 6 Kurt Buddendeck (Team Clariton-Biker Bob) 7 Harry Wicks (Bio Wheels) 8 Chip Ellison (Wright Brothers) 9 Tyler Dugar (Unattached) 10 Layne Peters (Mid State Velo) 11 Andrew Millard (Campus Cyclery) 12 Mark Lanterwasser (Bio Wheels) 13 Tim Hill (Team Louisville) C Race 1 David Hays (Unattached) 2 Fred Schauer (Unattached) 3 John Thomas (Cyclesport) 4 Tim Williams (Unattached) 5 Sean Eldridge (Unattached) Junior 1 Jarrett Fraulinger (QCW) Women 1 Sheila Senft (Airborne) 2 Katherine Kakis (Savage Hill)