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First Annual Bloomington FitnessFest
Bloomington, IN, August 4, 2002
Brrroom Brrroom Baumburger
By Mark Zalewski
Similar to the Elite Road Nationals two weeks ago in Nashville, TN, the temperatures at the First Annual Bloomington FitnessFest were spiking well into the mid 90's. And also like the Elite Nationals, the West Virginia/GoMart team showed why cycling is a team sport.
Set in downtown Bloomington, IN, against the beautiful backdrop of Indiana University (home of the famous Little 500), the mainly flat L-shaped course had one small incline up to the first turn. The start/finish straight saw riders flying past some of the local favorite hangouts, such as Nick's English Pub and Kilroy's Bar and Grill (optional post-race feed zones).
The women's open race was lightly attended in numbers, but not in talent. Heather Woodhouse, of the Trek/VW Midwest team, lined up with her teammate Susan Gasowski. That was the last time Gasowski, or any other of the 15 riders, saw her. From the start, Woodhouse flew away from the pack and chased the pace car the rest of the time. Gasowski then controlled the pack. Woodhouse eventually lapped the field and cruised in with a solo win, with Gasowski sprinting in for second.
The men's Pro 1/2/3 race saw a field of more than 60 line up in the early evening heat. Wearing the stars and stripes jersey of National Champion was Benjamin Sharp of the West Virginia/GoMart team. Luckily for him, the singing of the National Anthem was sung at a slow pace, since two of his three other teammates were held up by an traffic accident and were still rolling into town.
Having a talented team made all the difference for West Virginia/GoMart, again. The pace was quick in the first few laps, as the field was strung out down Kirkwood Ave. Ever present at the front were the stars and stripes jersey and friends. Breaks began to form; eventually, the break that stayed away contained three WV/GoMart riders (Sharp, Braumberger, Martin) and a fourth, Decklan Doyle of the Bicycle Action Project team. Doyle, a former Irish National Champion, was not facing the best of odds.
The break continued it's blistering pace, while the three WV/GoMart riders tried to shake their extra baggage loose, with attack after attack. Dunn made a noble effort in trying to cover, but it was only a matter of time, as Jeff Braumberger finally escaped. The high speed of the breakaway group meant that they were close the back end of the main field. Braumberger rode hard and caught on to the back, insuring his win so long has he stayed upright.
Well he didn't. Into the sixth and final narrow turn, a group of riders at the back of the field went down, including Braumberger. With his rear derailleur bent, Braumberger coasted back into the wheel pit for his free lap. Lucky for most, the wheel pit was located right in front of a local bike shop. However, Braumberger's inner wire was bent, meaning no shifting. As the pack came around again, the race leader simply put his chain on the 12 tooth, and asked for a push.
Braumberger rode the entire last 15 minutes of the race like this: "I only had two shifting choices - either a 53x12, or a 39x12." He stayed within the pack long enough to coast across the line for the win. His teammate, Paul Martin, out sprinted Decklan Dunn for second, in a photo finish. Benjamin Sharp took fourth.
Images by Mark Zalewski
USCF Men 1/2/3 1 Jeff Baumburger (West Virginia/Go-Mart) 2 Paul Martin (West Virginia/Go-Mart) 3 Declan Doyle (Bicycle Action Project) 4 Ben Sharp (West Virginia/Go-Mart) 5 Joel Kelly (Montgomery Cyclery) 6 Todd Hancock (Stacy McKay) 7 Aaron Hubbell (Bicycle Action Project) 8 Ben Weaver (Bicycle Action Project) 9 Harry Clark (Sam Swope) 10 David Blackburn (Commonwealth Eye Surgery) 11 Pat O'Donnell (West Virginia/Go-Mart) 12 Jason Sonneborn 13 Erik Fagerberg (KY Flyers) 14 William Bedwell (Estridge) 15 Keith Leonard (Team Bloomington) 16 Mike McShane (Sam Swope) 17 Steve Meek (Team Bloomington) 18 Greg Mueller (Bicycle Action Project) 19 Mike Feske (Team Tortuga) 20 Robert Rhamy (Team Bloomington) Women Open 1 Heather Woodhouse (Trek-VW-Midwest) 2 Susan Gasowski (Trek-VW-Midwest) 3 Katy Hair (Stacy McKay) 4 Jennifer Hawkins (Team Tortuga) 5 Susan Stader (Stacy McKay) 6 Allegra Searle-Lebel (BikeAid) 7 Signe Anderson (BikeAid) 8 Christy Blakely 9 Angela Caprarotta (BikeAid) 10 Evelyn Quigley 11 Shanda Ross (BikeAid) 12 Tatyana Margolin (BikeAid) 13 Megan Quigley (Stacy McKay) USCF Men 4/5 1 Jesse Nethammer (Indiana Hand Center) 2 Charles Buckwalter (Indiana University CC) 3 Bennet Vandergenugten (Team Bloomington) 4 Brad Davies 5 Chris McIntire PCW 6 Mike Crawley (Team Tortuga) 7 Scott Carson (Bike Station) 8 David Choinalky 9 Charlie Metzger 10 Bryan Drummy 11 Scott Jensen 12 Jason Smith 13 Zach Hoffman (Indiana University CC) 14 Jay Record 15 Lucas Matlon (BikeAid)