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Guy's Cyclo-cross, Verge MACCS #6 (NE)
Conshohocken, PA, USA, November 18, 2006
Schempf and Shogren slog out wins in mud bog
The Guy's Racing Club/Colonial Subaru VW 'Cross brought the Verge MAC series to a new venue for the first of a weekend double-header of racing in the tourist Mecca of New Hope Pennsylvania. Held on what had been a beautiful private estate a few hours earlier, the course became so muddy that riders were forced to run downhill. Soaking mid-week rains coupled with a storm with torrential rains, extremely high winds and tornado warnings that ripped through the entire Philadelphia metropolitan region 18 hours before the race turned to course, which was primarily grass and farm fields, into a quagmire. Still, the region (and the estate) fared much better than North Carolina, where the same storm system had hit a day earlier and killed a dozen people.
Despite some apprehension on the part of the landowner and the promoters (who didnt want to alienate their new-found host), the go-ahead was given. The so-called classic cyclocross conditions were not only hard on the landscaping, but also on the racers. This was a day for cyclocross survival rather than handlebar-to-handlebar tactics. Bike exchanges and running were the order of the day with a good portion of the course close to un-ridable. The 214 racers faced dragging false flats, creek beds, logs, and The Crop Circle which Elite Masters winner Kris Auer referred to as The Donut of Death.
The afternoons Elite Triple-Header got off to a great start in the Elite Masters with Kris Auer (C3/ADG/Joes) leading from the gun and holding off a charging Gunnar Shogren (FORT Frames) and Joe Ruggery (Freddy Fu). 52 year-old Randy Root of Team Snow Valley/Sibex finished sixth overall in the Elite Masters and second-best 45+ rider. In the Womens Elite race, FORT Frames had a great afternoon with Betsy Shogren and Erica Yozell finishing first and second ahead of BikeReg.com MABRAcross series winner Lisa Vible (C3/ADG/Joes). Wrapping up the afternoon was the Mens Elite battle in the slop. Wes Schempf continued the winning ways for Fort Frames taking the win against Ryan Leech of GPOA-Cannondale. Mike Yozell rounded out the podium in third.
The weekend double-header continues on Sunday, November 19, with the Evo Cross in Memory of Todd Ebersole to benefit the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. Promoter Tammy Ebersole will be busy throughout the night reconfiguring the course for another tough day of racing.
Elite Men 1 Weston Schempf (FORT Factory Team) 2 Ryan Leech (Meredith Group/GPOA/Cannondale) 3 Mike Yozell (FORT Factory Team) 4 Andrew Wulfkuhle (C3/ADG/Joe’s Bike Shop) 5 Peter Rubijone (Harris Cyclery/Igleheart Frames) Elite Women 1 Betsy Shogren (FORT Factory Team) 2 Erica Yozell (FORT Factory Team) 3 Lisa Vible (C3/ADG/Joe’s Bike Shop) 4 Lisa Most (Wissahickon Cyclery) 5 Beth Mason (C3/ADG/Joe’s Bike Shop) Elite Masters 45-plus 1 Kris Auer (C3/ADG/Joe’s Bike Shop) 2 Gunnar Shogren (FORT Factory Team) 3 Joe Ruggery (Freddie Fu) 4 Eric Schlauch (Team Somerset/Van Dessel) 5 Ralf Warmuth (Highland Park Hermes)