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Powerhouse Gym Pace Bend Road Race
Austin, Texas, February 24, 2003
By Barry Lee
This race was an annual event put on by United Youth Sports Cycling Club. United Youth Sports is a non-profit program that exposes minority youth, and disabled kids to cycling and other non-mainstream sports. They target at-risk kids and attempt to introduce them to positive role models with a healthy and more active way of life. This helps to counteract a sedentary lifestyle, and creates a higher sense of self-esteem and promotes self-empowerment. The East Austin Parks and Recreation kids are prepared along with the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired kids by attending spin classes and weekly rides. They also have attended and participated in the last three Lance Armstrong Foundation fund raising tours.
The Powerhouse Gym Pace Bend Road Race is on the kick-off weekend of Texas Bike Racing Association. This year the race set a new attendance record, with Carrabba's cooking and serving grilled chicken and pasta, free to everyone. There also were booths set up by Clif Bar giving away shirts caps, and bars while Red Bull were there with podium girls and drinks. There were also free massages available to racers after each event.
The weather was perfect, crystal, clear and sunny all day with a cool morning start of 48 degrees and ending with an afternoon high of 70 plus. We welcome all the racers from up north to come down for some sunburns and bike racing in hill country of Texas in springtime.
The celebrity tandem race included Chann McRae, the current US PRO Champion of Schroeder Iron. Kevin Livingston, former Telekom tour specialist, JB of 94.7 Mix morning show on Team Lucky Lounge, Jenn Olsen, a local KXAN news anchor, Mark Gronquist, the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired Director and 5 other volunteers racing it up Texas style in the warm February sun.
Bicycle Sport Shop mechanics working on all the bikes and tuning the tandem rigs brought in from all over the state for 11 kids from Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired. This was an aggressive and hard fought battle from the start. There were 3-4 tandems tangled up in the first 10 meters. A couple of more push starts from the starting crew and they were off! It was not long before the Telekom uniform came up the finish line hill, team Livingston/Brandon in for the big Victory! It was the first tandem win for each of them. The large crowd of media, spectators and racers roared as the kids along with captains charged past the finish line.
There was a great turn out from all across the state, region, and US. There were many racers from up north staying in Austin to prepare for this season. Ian Dille from Team Snow Valley, a former UT student, who took out 8th place in the Pro race, has been here with five team members for a weeks training. For the Tough Man competition, some doubled up, like Jr Troy Dunton racing in the pro race then the junior open event, and Robbie Robinette placing 15th in the pro race then 8th place in the 35 plus race. The Mirage team from Richardson Bike Mart showed up ready to play for the weekend winning masters 35 plus races on both days with Mike Brown on Sat and Joe Howard on Sunday. Will Ross, from Austin was 3rd on Sat and 2nd on Sunday in this event.
Steve Cate, former National Champion, from Oklahoma, was the winner in the Pro race. Steve races for Mathis Brothers Furniture Team, who had a great weekend as they totally dominated the race on Saturday in the REI/Walburg race. This was done by sending three racers up the road with 12 Pro 1/2 racers chasing but to no avail in a brutal wind gutter fest. They rose up and took the top four spots. Very impressive for team cohesiveness and all on the team being a level above the others at this early season race.
Austin racers dominated the Cat 3 race with a group of six going up the road in the rolling hill course and local mountain bike expert racer Josh Kravetz and Brig Brandt coming in solo for the first and second places. The Cat 4 race came down to a two-up sprint with Bradly Gunter edging out Ben Pifer of UYS for the win. Ben is an up and coming road racer, who just got started crossing over from mountain bikes where he is the top Texas junior. Ben was second place on Saturday also.
For the youth category, it was all Travis, Travis Enmon first, fresh off his Valley of the Sun victory, and Travis Brandt second place.
Richard Bonner was the winner in the first Cat 5 race, and due to the great registration, a second Cat 5 race was held with Henry Skowronek coming across the line first.
Andrea Hannos was the pro women's winner, and Kate Bell was the Cat 4 winner. This year was an increase in women's and Cat 5 racers due to the promotions and grass roots influence from United Youth Sports Cycling Club and Powerhouse Gym with its focus on cardio and multi sport athletes.
For coverage of the event, the Austin American Statesman was busy interviewing winners, as well as am racers. KXAN Jenn Olsen will be doing a follow up story, and Liz Kreutz the local professional photography company donated her expertise, along with former RAAM racer and Ultra Man Racer, turned semi-professional photographer Rick Kent.
Race Directors Russ Carr and Stephanie Hartley did an excellent job. The race was perfectly controlled by the elite group of officials led by Susan Bravenec and Bonnie Walker. There was a huge group of volunteers that have worked for months to prepare for this annual event. The City of Austin was even more behind this year than ever before with huge help from Jason T. Martin from Austin Travis County EMS. City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department with Victor Davis and Travis County Park Rangers. All were coordinating to provide a safe a challenging event.
A special thanks to all the sponsors that made it possible from Powerhouse Gym, Carrabba's Italian Grill, Runtex, Clif Bar, Bicycle Sport Shop, Red Bull, Hooters, City Of Austin Parks and Rec, Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, Austin Travis County Emergency Medical Services, Kreutz Photography, Texas Racing Post, TXBRA, and all the staff of volunteers.
We look forward to the race again next February and to the next TXBRA race at Lago Vista on the 8th and 9th of March.
Images by Rick Kent
Blind Tandem Thanks to the local celebrities who helped out with this great event: Jen Olsen, Chann McRae, Kevin Livingston and JB from Mix 94.7 1 Chris Brandon 2 Ramero Rodriquez 3 A.J. Read 4 David Herrera 5 Mike Sanchez 6 Jose Zapata 7 Bryan Moffet 8 Chasmon Denus 9 Billy Speeks 10 Cody Grooter 11 Luis Ramirez Jrs 1 Travis Enmon 2 Travis Brandt 3 Drage Redfern 4 Jordan Hester 5 Jacob Scott 6 Josephine Eggenschwiler 7 Austin Monson 8 Chris Crow Jr. Open 1 Scott Veggeberg 2 Brad Armstrong 3 Cameron Ruth 4 Marcus Torres 5 Paul Sollenberger 6 Troy Dunton 7 Joel Williams 8 James Smith 9 Andrew Coghion 10 Adam Portman Women Cat 4 1 Kate Bell 2 Leslie Smith 3 Kim Jupe 4 Kelley Ruud 5 Claire Brown 6 Laura Holdsworth 7 Terra Castro 8 Miranda Quigley 9 Karyn Webb 10 Jennifer Allis Women 1/2/3 1 Andrea Hannos 2 Mina Pizzini 3 Jennifer Purcell 4 Alex Robinette 5 Mia Scheufele 6 Anna Garnett 7 Tina Scheufele 8 Charlotte Miller 9 Jennifer Buntz 10 Amy Tucker Cat 5A 1 Richard Bonner 2 John Curtis 3 Sergio Angulo 4 Unknown UT Rider? 5 Mathew De Lisa 6 Kevin Holubar 7 Mason Quintana 8 Jason More 9 George Hoobler 10 Matt McCollough 45+ 1 John Gray 2 Peter Staneland 3 Kevin Ferdinand 4 Marty Soetaert 5 Dana Chamness 6 David Parks 7 Joseph Hanig 8 Jim Wilkinson 9 Willie Allen 10 Greg Hall 55 plus 1 James Deer 2 Stephen James 3 Mickey Allen 4 Jim Exum 5 Greg Smith 6 Walter Sosnowski 7 Dennis Wilson 8 Stephen Zinkgraf Cat 5B 1 Henry Skowronek 2 Scott Koehler 3 Scott Sullivan 4 Chris Hamilton 5 Kevin Bain 6 Jonathan Roach 7 Matt Sergrave 8 Freddy Moore 9 Marcus Fuest 10 George Langford Cat 4 1 Bradly Gunter 2 Ben Pifer 3 David Hassan 4 Nicholas Williams 5 Kevin Yeh 6 Clay Worthington 7 Paul Ray 8 John Hobbs 9 Stacy John O' Hallovan 10 Hector Hernandez Cat 3 1 Josh Kravetz 2 Brig Brandt 3 Kevin Callaway 4 Michael Kincaid 5 Paul Knot 6 Thomas Hallock 7 Peter Erdoes 8 Steve Kidd 9 Michael Molak 10 Nathen Larimer 35+ 1 Joe Howard 2 Will Ross 3 David Thornton 4 Tom Lattig 5 Mike Brown 6 Paolo Torchzo 7 Andrew Yates 8 Robbie Robinette 9 Mike Reade 10 Scott Helm P12 Men posted 1 Steve Cate (Oklahoma) 2 David Wenger (West Virgina) 3 Bret Crosby (Dallas) 4 Nathan Rogut (Dallas) 5 Michael Voight 6 Mat Stephens (Texas A and M) 7 Chris Aarhus (San Antonio) 8 Ian Dille (Washinton DC) 9 Paul Read (Houston) 10 Rory Adams (Wichita Falls)