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Verge MAC series #8 - NE
Fair Hill, DE, December 4, 2005
Gould breaks the fort in Verge Mac final
When the Fort Frames/Greater Pittsburgh Orthopedic Associates team traveled to the final stop of the 2005 Verge Mid Atlantic cyclocross series on December 4, they had one goal - "defend the fort!" With defending champions in both pro classes, and a dominator in the Master's class, the Fort/GPOA team had their eyes on championships in all three money classes and the team championship. Ryan Leech and Mike Yozell pedaled their Fort bicycles into the record books, but Kona's Georgia Gould was fast enough to penetrate the fort before the drawbridge was pulled up, taking her first cyclocross championship.
Race day dawned to greet racers with a cold, damp, overcast day, complete with wind and fog. An overnight mix of rain and snow, compounded by the previous day's MABRA championship races that used many of the same sections of the park, turned most of the track into slippery mud. It was the kind of day that even professional meteorologists might describe as "icky". And, with relatively little elevation change, it was also a good course for the growing contingent of single-speed racers. This was in evidence in the day's opening race for class c men, where Tim Bowman of Trophy Bike/Team Shiftless beat local racer James Ambagis of Fort/GPOA. Team Shiftless placed two riders in the top three, and three riders in the top six. The concurrent B women and junior 10-16 races were won by Amy Breyla (Henry's Bikes) and Morgan Gerlak (Alan Mid Atlantic).
Fort/GPOA's first big test came in the Master's race with Mike Yozell. Yozell,
a long-time elite rider and husband of Pennsylvania champion Erica Yozell, started
the first two races of the season in the elite class. But, a severely sprained
ankle changed his season. "My first race back was Granouge," said Yozell, "but
I didn't want to come back with a sprained ankle in a C1 race. So, I did Masters."
He won Granouge in the most exciting sprint of the year, and backed it up by
winning the following day's Wissahickon race to take over the points lead. Coming
into Fair Hill, he had a remarkable string of five consecutive wins in the Verge
MAC Masters - which he extended to six with a wire-to-wire victory.
Coming into the elite women's race, Kona's Georgia Gould of Idaho held a slim lead in the points standings over two-time and defending champion Betsy Schauer from West Virginia and Fort/GPOA. A confirmed mudder, Gould loved the conditions, starting strong and extending her lead throughout the race to finish with a comfortable 3 minute, 25 second advantage over Schauer. It was the first major championship for ever-smiling Gould, who started racing 'cross only last year and who quickly endeared herself among her fellow racers. Such was the relationship that when Gould realized that her number wasn't pinned on properly while standing on the start line, she turned to her closest competitor Schauer - who carefully pinned it back in place, without drawing blood. The surprise of the race, if not the entire season, was the performance of Marilyn Galegher of Hunt Valley Bicycles. Moving up to the Elite field for the first time, Galegher put in a strong and composed performance to finish third ahead of many established Verge MAC competitors.
The Elite Men, the final race of the 2005 Verge MAC season, started with Fort/GPOA's Ryan Leech needing only to finish the race to defend his championship, but he was more concerned with honoring unofficial MAC photographer Dennis Smith. Taking the starter's megaphone on the start line, Leech awarded "Den" with a certificate of appreciation and a cash gift collected from the MAC brotherhood. An hour later, Leech came across the finish line hand-in-hand with Fort/GPOA teammate Gunnar Shogren to clinch the 2005 Verge MAC Championships for both Elite Men and Overall Team. Roger Aspholm (Westwood Video) was able to make a small dent in the fort by beating out Weston Schempf for third place to avoid a 1-2-3 finish by the Fort/GPOA team.
Winning any championship series, let alone a series as prestigious as the Verge Mid Atlantic Cyclocross Series is cool. After her race, Georgia Gould was seen beaming ear-to-ear. Asked if she was smiling because of the championship or because she got to play in the mud, Gould replied, "Both," then laughed and said, "Actually, it's not really a smile - it's more of a grimace. I'm so cold." And so, the new champ proved that racing in the Verge MAC is "way cool".
Elite men 1 Ryan Leech (Fort-GPOA !) 2 Gunnar Shogren (FORT-GPOA!) 3 Roger Aspholm (Westwood Velo) 4 Weston Schempf (FORT-GPOA!) 5 Andrew Wulfkuhle (Alan Mid-Atlantic) 6 Dan Wilson (Henrys Bikes) 7 Greg Wittwer (FORT-GPOA!) 8 Nathan Deibert (Evolution Racing) 9 Chris Scott (SMT) 10 Joseph Piccillo (Evolution Racing) 11 Greg Marini (Coffee Plus FNC) 12 Alistair Sponsel (Colavita Racing) 13 Sean Galegher (Hunt Valley Bicycles) 14 Joe Reynolds (Wissahickon) 15 Peter Whittlock (Team Siegler Imports/CVCC) 16 Chris Newell (Hunt Valley Bicycle Club/HVB) 1 lap down 17 Nate Seymour (PVC) 18 Jay Downs (FORT-GPOA!) dnf Jon Hansen (Richmond Ciclismo) dnf Tyler Wren (Colavita/Sutter Home) Elite women 1 Georgia Gould (Kona) 2 Betsy Schauer (FORT- GPOA !) 3 Marilyn Galegher (Hunt Valley Bicycles) 4 Heidi Von Teitenberg (Alan) 5 Lisa Most (Wissahickon) 6 Erica Yozell (FORT- GPOA !) 7 Lisa Vible (Velo Bella) 8 Tammy Ebersole (Evolution) 9 Laura Stark (Somerset Wheelmen) 10 Kristine Church (Human Zoom) Men B 1 Adam Szczepanski (Bike & Blade - Serfs) 2 Chris Mayhew (FORT/GPOA) 3 Sean Mealey (Hunt Valley Bicycles/HVB) 4 Dusty Labarr (ALAN Mid-Atlantic) 5 Mike Ohara (LSV/Kelly) 6 Tom Mains (Velocity Sports/CCE) 7 Joseph Foley (City Bikes) 8 John Hostetter Iii (ALAN Mid-Atlantic) 9 PJ Huges 10 Charles Chichester (CRC OF A) 11 Chris Harsaman (Team Snow Valley) 12 Emerson Loustay 13 Christopher Allen (Action Wheels) 14 Daniel Brill (Team Beacon) 15 Eric Morgan (Wissahickon) 16 Alec Riendeau (Highland Park Hermes) 17 Johnny May (Joe's Bike Shop) 18 Marty Mckeon (Green Mountain Cyclery) 19 Mark Vareschi (Rutgers Cycling) 20 Theo Procopos (Wissahickon) 21 Montana Norvell (Wissahickon) 22 Craig Callan (Highland Park Hermes) 23 Dusan Strika (Kissena Cycling Team) 24 David Covell (Guy's cycling club) 25 Ed Fisher (ShoreVelocity) 26 Rodney Rios (Tem Beacon) Women B 1 Amy Breyla (Henry's Bikes) 2 Jessica Singerman (Lehigh Valley Bike Line) 3 Krista Schultz (Hunt Valley Bicycles) 4 Laura Csira (Trophy Bikes Team Shiftless/singlespeed) 5 Karen Tourian (Club Wissahickon) 6 Tracy Lea (TEAM Fuji) 7 Anne Rock (NA) Men C 1 Tim Bowman (Trophy Bikes - Shiftless) 2 James Ambagis (FORT-GPOA!) 3 Daniel Wiedziocha (Trophy Bikes - Shiftless) 4 Dave Troop (FSVS) 5 Andreww Webster (UDEL) 6 Peter Dalkner (Trophy Bikes - Shiftless) 7 Mark Ginn 8 Keith Ely (First State Velo Sport) 9 Syd Lea (TEAM Fuji) 10 Timothy Whitemore (All American Bike Center) 11 John Hendrickson (FSVS) 12 Steven Burke (Hunt Valley Bicycles) 13 Andre Lopez (Peddler's Shop Racing) 14 Jay Prudente (Guys Racing) 15 Sean Croce 16 Joseph Orsini (Cycle Works) 17 Mark Fitzwater (Wooden Wheels) 18 Ron Herman (LSV/Kelly) 19 Jason Falconio 20 Patrick Gillham (Ferehouse Bike) Masters 1 Mike Yozell (FORT-GPOA!) 2 Christopher Long (Independent Fabrication/Gotham) 3 Kris Auer (Alan Racing) 4 Joseph Ruggery (Freddie Fu) 5 Mike Hebe (Fort-GPOA) 6 Blair Saunders (Henry's Bikes) 7 Randall Root (Team Snow Valley/SIBEX) 8 John Lux (Hunt Valley Bicycles/HVB) 9 Eric Schlauch (Somerset Wheelmen/Van Dessel) 10 Kelly Cline (Wissahickon) 11 Jeff Cordisco (CAPOforma) 12 Douglass Gray (First State Velo Sport) 13 Robert Lyon Iii (HUNT VALLEY BICYCLE CLUB) 14 Marc Vettori (Secret Henry's Team | Spot Brand) 15 Larry Kaufman (Velocity Sports/CCE) 16 Kevin Saint Clair (QCW/Bike Addicts) 17 John Miller (Guys Bicycles) 18 Rob Frederick (Evolution Racing) 19 Donald Morrison (Wissahickon) 20 Patrick Leonard (evolution racing) 21 David Lowe (Human Zoom) 22 Michael Czupryna (First State Velo Sport) 23 Chris Evans (Wissahickon) 24 John Sarmousakis (WWR) 25 Kevin Breckenmaker (Yellow Breeches Racing) 26 Rolf Windh (Guy's Racing) 27 Bill Feasley (DC Velo) 28 Scott Wilson (Evolution Racing) 29 Paul Incognito (QCW/Spot Brand) 1 lap down 30 Gary Kelly (South Mountain Velo) 31 Steve Heede (Hunt Valley Bicycles) 32 R. Michael Williams (Wilmington Velocity) 2 laps down 33 Karl Dittebrandt (kissena cycling club) dnf Richard Bauch (Colavita Racing Team) dnf Mike Connair (First State Velo Sport) dnf Gustavo Sanchez (Evolution Racing) dnf Henry Tremper (First State Velo Sport) dnf Mark Featherman (Guys Bicycles)