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Van Gilder, Driscoll, Bahnson win MAC opener

Against the impressive backdrop of the Lehigh Valley’s South Mountain, the best of the MAC Cyclocross Series opened their 2008 season with the UCI Nittany Lion Cyclocross at Penn State University’s satellite campus in Fogelsville Pennsylvania on Saturday.

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By Press Release

Against the impressive backdrop of the Lehigh Valley’s South Mountain, the best of the MAC Cyclocross Series opened their 2008 season with the UCI Nittany Lion Cyclocross at Penn State University’s satellite campus in Fogelsville Pennsylvania on Saturday.

By the end of the day, some of the results were as stunning as the scenery. Though the UCI races were the main event, the most lasting memory of the race may turn out to be the performance of Jeff Bahnson (Secret Henry’s/Van Dessel Factory Team) in the men’s “B” race. Unlike many series, MAC’s secondary men’s division includes Category 2 men, as well as the usual category 3 and 4, because of the high percentage of UCI-listed races that make up the series. Yet the 15 year-old high school sophomore, who many have tagged as a future superstar, convincingly beat some of the fastest racers in the Mid Atlantic at an age when he should be competing for a spot on his school’s Junior Varsity sports teams. It was the Junior 15-16 National Champion’s first outright win against adult competition, and it came before he’s even eligible to apply for a learner’s permit to drive a car.

Like Bahnson, Laura Van Gilder (C3-Sollay.com) took a stunning first win. With a grand total of just three cyclocross races under her belt, two them years ago before her professional career began, Van Gilder toed the line for the first-time at a big-league ‘cross race to start a new chapter in her legendary cycling career.

One of her main rivals would be defending MAC Champion Maureen “Mo” Bruno-Roy, who was once Van Gilder’s soignier on the dominating Saturn road team. Bruno-Roy took the hole-shot and deliberately extended her lead throughout the early portion of the race, with Van Gilder and the Velo Bella teammate of Dee Dee Winfield and Anna Milkowski forming the chase.

For both Winfield and Milkowski, the race marked the return to top-flight competition following layoffs: Milkowski after suffering a broken leg in a racing crash in the spring and Winfield after giving birth to her second child late last year.

Bruno-Roy seemed to have the race under control when she started getting visibly tired.

“I’m at the very end of a four-week training block,” she said afterwards. “I was really tired. It’s too early in the season to peak for ‘cross yet.” Winfield drove the chase and even broke free at one point. But with two laps to go, Winfield, Bruno-Roy and Van Gelder were all together.

Ten seconds after the announcers, alluding to Van Gelder’s road sprinting prowess, said “two of those three riders don’t want this race to stay together”, Winfield crashed at the tricky double sand pit. “I don’t know what happened,” she said later, “but my bike got wrapped up in the course tape and I was yelling ‘get off my bike!’ at the tape.” Bruno-Roy was unable to escape the ever present Van Gelder, who took the sprint easily.

Afterwards, Van Gelder said that she had first contacted her C3-Sollay.com team as far back as July after deciding to pursue ‘cross. “I’m really happy at C3-Sollay.com because it’s a cyclocross focused team. I wanted a team with the experience and guidance to really help me.”

The UCI Men’s race turned out to be a two-act play, with Matt White (BikeReg.com/Joe’s Garage) and Jamie Driscoll (Cyclocrossworld.com/Cannondale) working together to stay ahead of Colovita/Sutter Home Wine’s Tyler Wren for most of the race. Wren appeared to be throwing caution to the wind, but couldn’t catch the lead duo, who were concentrating on staying smooth together.

“We just wanted to maintain the lead,” said Driscoll, who was wearing his University of Vermont summer road kit to stay cool in the early season heat.

With a little less than two laps to go, Driscoll dropped the hammer and was able to gap White to take the win.

Runner-up White summarized the end game, “When Jamie took off and we sped up, it was just a matter of time before one of use screwed up. I was hoping it would be him, but is was me who spiked a pedal (into the grass) and I was done.”

In the Elite Masters Race, defending series champ Roger Aspholm dominated the proceedings and led his Westwood Velo teammates Troy Kimball and Ralf Warmuth to a podium-sweeping 1-2-3 finish.

Results

UCI Women
Laura Van Gilder C3 Sollay in 39:46.5
Maureen Bruno Roy Unattached in 39:51.8
Deidre Winfield Velo Bella – Kona in 40:01.8
Anna Milkowski Velo Bella-Kona in 40:44.8
Arley Kemmerer Hub Racing in 41:12.0
Melanie Swartz Velo Bella – Kona in 41:26.0
Nikki Thiemann Human Zoom Pabst Blue Ribbon in 41:39.5
Kristin Gavin Human Zoom/pabst Blue Ribbon in 41:54.6
Heidi Von Teitenberg C3-Sollay.com in 42:39.0
Lauri Webber Secret Henry’s Team in 42:55.0
Kristen Kelsey Evolution Racing in 43:22.8
Kristy Swope Eps/css/riptide Cycling in 43:30.3
Kristine Church Human Zoom/ Pabst Blue Ribbon in 44:23.2
Beth Mason C3-Sollay.com in 44:53.6
Lynda Maldonado Cadence Cycling & Multisport in 45:30.7
Alicia Hamblen Nc Cycling in 46:04.1
Diane Grim C3-Sollay.com in 48:04.6
Tammy Ebersole Evolution Racing in 48:04.7

Laura Van Gilder C3 Sollay in 39:46.5
Maureen Bruno Roy Unattached in 39:51.8
Deidre Winfield Velo Bella – Kona in 40:01.8
Anna Milkowski Velo Bella-Kona in 40:44.8
Arley Kemmerer Hub Racing in 41:12.0
Melanie Swartz Velo Bella – Kona in 41:26.0
Nikki Thiemann Human Zoom Pabst Blue Ribbon in 41:39.5
Kristin Gavin Human Zoom/pabst Blue Ribbon in 41:54.6
Heidi Von Teitenberg C3-Sollay.com in 42:39.0
Lauri Webber Secret Henry’s Team in 42:55.0
Kristen Kelsey Evolution Racing in 43:22.8
Kristy Swope Eps/css/riptide Cycling in 43:30.3
Kristine Church Human Zoom/ Pabst Blue Ribbon in 44:23.2
Beth Mason C3-Sollay.com in 44:53.6
Lynda Maldonado Cadence Cycling & Multisport in 45:30.7
Alicia Hamblen Nc Cycling in 46:04.1
Diane Grim C3-Sollay.com in 48:04.6
Tammy Ebersole Evolution Racing in 48:04.7

UCI Men
1. Jamey Driscoll Cyclocrossworld.com/cannondale in 00:55.9
2. Matt White Bikereg.com/joe’s Garage, at 00:57.2
3. Tyler Wren Colavita/sutter Home, at 01:35.1
4. Jonathan Hamblen Time Pro Cycling, at 01:50.1
5. Weston Schempf C3-Sollay.com!, at 02:39.0
6. Alec Donahue Bikereg.com/joe’s Garage, at 04:01.2
7. Josh Dillon Fiordifrutta / Cannondale, at 04:07.5
8. Michael Gallagher C3 Sollay.com, at 04:08.6
9. Nathan Wyatt Carolina Fatz/santa Cruz/sram, at 05:24.8
10. Adam Myerson, at 05:25.3
11. Bobby Lea Fuji, at 05:26.7
12. Bill Elliston Fuji, at 05:27.0
13. Zoltan Tisza Pnivo-Betonexpressz 2000, at 05:28.2
14. Stephen Cummings Indiana Regional Medical Center, at 06:06.1
15. Greg Wittwer Alan North America Cycling Team, at 06:28.7
16. Matt Kraus Rgm Watches – Richard Sachs – B, at 06:36.5
17. Nathaniel Ward Bikereg/joe’s Garage, at 06:46.7
18. Andrew Wulfkuhle C3-Sollay.com, at 06:48.0
19. Mukunda Feldman Spooky Bikes, at 06:56.5
20. Christopher Consorto Human Zoom Cycling, at 06:57.1
21. Shawn Adams Lake Effect, at 07:18.9
22. John Brewer Haymarket Bicycles P/b Function, at 09:01.0
23. Sean Galegher Hunt Valley Bicycles/hvb, at 11:08.4
24. Chad Totaro Human Zoom / Pabst Blue Ribbon, at 13:08.4
25. Todd Hesel Hunt Valley Bicycles/marathon R, at 14:01.2