|Cyclingnews TV News Tech Features Road MTB BMX Cyclo-cross Track Photos Fitness Letters Search Forum|
Results and Reports from the USA
Promoters wishing to submit results should send them to cyclingnews
Tour de Christiana
August 11, 2002
Gragus revs up kids' racing
By Michael Doupe
Former U.S. professional cycling champion Eddy Gragus probably wasn't too surprised when he was asked to be the official starter of the 4/5 race in Christiana, PA. He may have been surprised when he realized it was 4 and 5 year olds for whom he would wave the flag.
Gragus (Sierra Nevada Brewery) started nearly a dozen childrens' races in the late afternoon, as the small Lancaster County town crowded around and cheered with as much excitement and enthusiasm as found on the Champs Elysees at the end of the Tour de France. Christiana loves this event, celebrating its eleventh year, and the organization, support, and energy of the community helped to create great racing on the challenging 1.25 mile circuit.
As the opening events were played out with the Masters 40+, 4/5, and 3/4, events, the crowd grew, and as the women lined up, the whole town knew from experience that the kids races were coming, then the really, really fast guys.
In the Women's race, the fireworks blasted away on the first lap as Michelle Bote (Lateral Stress Velo) attacked from the gun - gaining 20 seconds on the field in one circuit! The lead grew to 30 seconds before the pack started to reel her in and caught her about a third of the way into their 20 miles. So Michelle sat for a couple of laps and then launched herself against theshort, steep climb to the finish line. The move netted a dozen or so seconds on a much more wary pack. They pulled Bote and a bridged-up Kristi Scheffonacker (Snow Valley) after a few more laps, but the dwindled group was rejoined before the finish, leading to a bunch finish won by Scheffonacker. Bote got 11th.
Asked about her strategy, Michelle related a quote from a teammate: "You work just as hard off the front as you do off the back." Inspired by these words, she wanted to choose which end of the field to ride on, and went from the start. The quote inspired her second move, too, which nearly took the win.
After the chaos, crashes, and cacophony of eighty kids racing, the featured Cat 1/2/3 event was almost predictable - almost. Eddy Gragus was very strong and very aggressive, and the regional powerhouses of Team Snow Valley and Lite Bites/Bean's (with eleven riders on the line) would fight tooth and nail for the rest of the glory.
The expected hammer fell as Gragus and Ryan DeWald (Lite Bites) left the pack at mile seven of thirty, and Snow Valley took a lap or two to get their man Scott Zwizawski on the short train. With teammates disrupting the chasers, the lead grew and grew, while the heat, the speed, and the hill steadily shrank the field.
The trio looked ready to lap the bunch, but the three were of different strengths, and Gragus attacked hard to drop his cohorts with eight miles to go. Zwizawski clawed his way onto the former champ's wheel, and DeWald time trialled in no-man's land.
The stage was set for an exciting, maybe confusing, two-up sprint as the lead duo had the tail of the field in sight, then the Lite Bite rider scrambled his rear derailleur after the free-lap benefits expired! The once-dropped DeWald passed a struggling Zwizawski on the side of the hill, who managed to get on the bike before getting caught by the field for an ignominious finish. Meanwhile, Gragus caught the very tail of the pack in time to hear the last-lap bell, leading to a hurried officials' powwow contemplating the rules of when to announce the sprint. It was all worked out as the clusters that constiituted the field were given the bell the next time through - as scheduled - while Gragus had plenty of time to give the two-handed salute of victory. DeWald rolled in for second, and Zwizawski, perhaps enthused that he wasn't caught from behind, wheelied across the line in third.
As the shadows lengthened along the hills and roads of little Christiana, many kids were at home admiring their medals, and many racers could admire their efforts as well, and plan their escapes for next year.
Masters 40+ 1 Aubrey Gordon (Team Squiggle) 2 Bryan Barret (Lehigh Wheelman) 3 Jefferey Gustafson (Tri State Velo (TSV)) 4 Desmond Slatterly (QCW) 5 David Howes (First Cap Velo) 6 Curtis Mease (LWM) 7 Steven Schneider (TSV) 8 Scott Butler (BikeLine) 9 George Theall (Bike Addicts) 10 Brian Saylor (TSV) 11 Keith Cramer (Bike Works) 12 Kevin Kolodzieski (TSV) 13 James Weidna (TSV) 14 Joseph Manacchio (TSV) 15 Doug Long (ERA Cycles) 16 Mike Speranza (Bike Addicts) 17 Dan Stockard (ERA Cycles) 18 Robert Kehl (TSV) 19 John Weller (LWM) 20 Jon Butler (LWM) 21 Keith Kahlbagh (First Capital Velo) Women 4 1 Bonnie Stoeckel (Evolution) 2 Sue Heckler (Evolution) 3 Shannon Korchrak (First Capital Velo) 4 Lori Kort (U of Vermont) Women 1/2/3 1 Kristi Scheffonacker (Snow Valley) 2 Lenora Felker (Amorosa'a) 3 Lauren Franges (Amorosa's) 4 Jennifer Scott (All american) 5 Kristy Gomes (Nat'l Capital Velo) 6 Katherine Powers (Century Road Club) 7 Beth Leasure (Artemis) 8 Diane Gilllam (Snow Valley) 9 Sheba Sarrin (Lateral Stress) 10 Linda Maldonaldo (TSV) 11 Michelle Bote (Lateral Stress) 12 Caroline Hecker (Evolution) 13 Tammy Ebersole (Evolution) 14 Nonnie Howard (Evolution) Cat 3/4 1 Eric Slick (Monkey Hill) 2 John Spittal (GS Lancaster) 3 Keith Wilson (GS Lancaster) 4 Garrett Shreier (GS LAncaster) 5 Matthew Doyle (Velocity) 6 John Cameron (High Speed) 7 Keith Gerber (Main Line) 8 Alex Gilliam (Beans) 9 Mike Carney (Team Harisburg) 10 Greg Hodge (Main Line) 11 Kevin Swanson (Mercury) 12 Kurt Dodds (Wissahicken) 13 David Howes (First Capital) 14 Darco Lalevic (QCW) 15 Travis Pidcock (Red Rose Rockets) Cat 4/5 1 David Flesher (Limited) 2 Nathan Deibert (Team Harrisburg) 3 Joaquin Carvalko (QCW) 4 Charles Denton (MCVC) 5 Chris Kuhl 6 Charles Chinemilly (Evolution) 7 ? 8 Andrew Vankuren (Tioga) 9 Bill Deen (NVC) 10 Cameron Reider (BCRC) 11 John Smith 12 Dan Burke (BCRC) 13 Neil Gussman 14 Chad Smeltzer (FCV) 15 Wendell Christopher (NY) 16 Mike Brevort 17 Jon Furminger (Tioga) 18 Ryan Schmeer (Limited) 19 Nino Misita (Main Line) 20 Hans Schneider (Harrisburg) Cat 1/2/3 1 Eddy Gragus (Sierra Nevada) 2 Scott Zwizawski (Snow Valley) 3 Ryan Dewald (Lite Bites) 4 Shawn O'Neill (Northern Districts) 5 Steve Speaks (Mercury) 6 John Wirsiing (Snow Valley) 7 Russel Langley (Snow Valley) 8 Ramon Benitez (Artemis) 9 Josh Beck (Lite Bites) 10 Kyle Wamsley (Team Fuji) 11 Jason Snow 12 Jason Moore (Lite Bites) 13 Ray Sanchez (Bike Doctor) 14 Mike Pudlinski (CRC) 15 Mark Light (Lite Bites) 16 Zachary Zimmerman (Trek Volswagen) 17 Kevin Bouchard-Hall (GS Mengoni) 18 Rod Myers (BCRC) 19 Greg Marini (Bike Doctor) 20 Craig Dodson (Bike Doctor) 21 George Menard (Snow Valley) 22 Ryan Mckinney (Evolution) 23 Kris Stein (AVC) 24 Blair Saunders (Limited) 25 Jason Baer (GS Mengoni) 26 Tim Yost (Liberty) 27 Wayne Work (Lite Bites) 28 Dave Black (Lite Bites) 29 Greg Ferguson (Somerset) 30 Kris Hhedges (Bike Doctor) 31 Rob Hathcher (Bicycle Therapy) 32 Jeff Tonski (Bicycle Doctor) 33 Pete Pewzell (Bike Doctor) 34 Ryan Leech (Nittany Velo) 35 Ryan Dewald (Lite Bites)