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Jacksonville Classic
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Bryan Park Cycling Series

July 13, 2004

Matt Mega sprinted past Jon Wirsing to win the mud speckled Bryan Park Cycling Series last Tuesday evening. Richmond Ciclismo's Mega used his team-mates to sap some endurance and speed from Wirsing of Team Snow Valley.

It's easy to pick on the lone, local rider Wirsing. His Snow Valley team is based out of Annapolis, MD. The Bryan Park Series is a Ciclismo sponsored event – so Ciclismo team colors are everywhere.

"It's real tough for me to race against a team that big," Wirsing said. Then he added, "I'm mean, it's good. I'm not complaining."

"We worked together as a team the whole race. He (Stephen Selby) tried to get away with four laps to go," said Mega. "Then Wirsing bridged up. From the last corner, it was a drag race to the finish line."

Ciclismo's newly upgraded category 4 rider, Keck Baker placed third, followed by team-mate Stephen Selby. Sean Tunstall of SP Imports / Palani Drive placed fifth.

An earlier rain hurt rider attendance. Some people were surprised the race wasn't canceled. Because of the humidity, the course couldn't dry. On the lowest point of the course, a puddle of water splattered most of the riders each lap.

Halfway through the race, a rider slipped on the course, causing the pack to string out. Most of those riders behind quit. A front pack of 15 riders kept the pace.

For many of the teams, this is no time to let up in the training. The next few weeks will have some important races.

The weekend of July 24 and 25 is especially important. Team Cobblestone will sponsor a criterium in on the campus of Randolph Macon College on Saturday, July 24. They will also sponsor The Senior State Road Race Championships in Hanover County on Sunday, July 25.

Race organizer Dan Trsic said the team has worked hard to showcase state's riders. He hopes to encourage more women to race with better prizes.

Matt Forbes of Ciclismo will defend his District 20 (Maryland) road race championship from last year on July 17. The he will defend his District 42 (Virginia) road race championship on July 25. The Maryland event is important to local riders because many of the teams from the Washington D.C. area share riders in both districts. For Forbes, who's been nursing an injured hamstring, it's important to be strong for the team.

"It (hamstring) feels okay. Some days it bothers me more than others," said Forbes. He placed ninth in the Virginia State Criterium Championships two weeks ago. "The more racing and the more hard riding I do the better I feel.

"I love doing the hilly, hard road races," Forbes said.

After racing next weekend's Commonwealth Games and the following weekend's District 42 road race, SP Imports / Palani Drive's Leigh Carter will have surgery to repair his broken right shoulder.


Category 3 riders Terry Ashby and Jon Gaudio, of Ciclismo, will race in a collection of races in the Milwaukee area known as Superweek. Ashby placed second in the Cat. 3 race during Norfolk's Conte's Cycling Classic. Gaudio said he hopes his performance will help him upgrade to a category 2.

Wirsing's Team Snow Valley will use the Maryland state road race as a tune-up for the stage race, Tour De ‘Toona in Pennsylvania. Two weeks after that is the Criterium Nationals.

Earlier in the evening, SP Imports / Palani Drive's Mason Haynes saw Ciclismo set up its youngest rider for the sprint. He took advantage of the Ciclismo lead-out class and took the lead to win the earlier b-race.

Haynes usually stays visible in the races. He's always near the front. He's always pushing the pace and chasing the breaks.

"In the previous races, I was just killing myself riding up at the front," Haynes said. "Today, I worked a little bit. It worked out in the end."

Fifteen-year-old Mark Saunders showed that he understands how the big boys race. He followed Ciclismo's team tactics of Rick Barlow and Joe Notoricola that placed him in the perfect spot for the finish.

Mark Connelly finished third. Wes King of Team Cobblestone placed fourth. Richmond Ciclismo's Jim McCaskill finished fifth.

The Bryan Park Cycling Series is a weekly United States Cycling Federation event sponsored by Richmond Ciclismo of Richmond, VA.

Local results 2004