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By Matt Pachoca
With a fresh blanket of snow on the ground, and temperatures toppingout in the 20s, Boulder Racing’s final series race proved to be classiccyclo-cross in all forms. Freezing temps, snow, ice and mud brought thetrue cyclo-crossers out to test their skills. As the day progressed thesnow on the well-ridden track turned the dirt to mud, making clipless pedalsa disadvantage. Indeed, the master’s winner claimed the victory on a veryretro’ pair of toe clips and straps. Both pro races proved to have it abit easier, with the mud refreezing during the races and making it muchless sticky and making the mechanical failures less frequent than in theearlier races.
In the women’s race all of the key players were in attendance, GretchenReeves (Rocky Mountain), Kerry Barnholt (Sobe-Cannondale), Julie Emerman(Epic Roots) and of course Colorado’s cross queen Heather Szabo (TokyoJoe’s). Of note Szabo had the Boulder Cross Series in the bag garneringenough points in race three to secure the series win, but Szabo being atrue cyclo-cross racer could not pass up the chance to test her skillsin the adverse conditions of the day.
A hard start up the snow packed start finish drag, gave Barnholt andReeves a small gap. Gretchen held on, and even challenged Kerry for thelead, running shoulder to shoulder on the first run. As soon a Barnholt’sCannondale hit the ground, she let everyone else know they would be racingfor second. Reeves let a small gap open and that was all Barnholt needed.
Behind the two leaders, Szabo and Emmerman were locked in battle. Withtwo laps to go the two women were able to bridge the gap to Reeves whohad been riding in that no-woman’s-land between Barnholt and the chasers.On the final lap – and in the same spot where she had lost Barnholt – Reevesput in a hard effort and gained a gap on her two companions. Reeves heldthe gap until the end.
Barnholt crossed the line with a huge gap and her arms high taking hersecond consecutive win in Boulder Racing’s Cyclo-cross Series. Reeves,Emmerman and Szabo followed for second, third and fourth respectively.
The men’s race was absent many of the big players, with Marc Gullickson(Redline) on a break, and Travis Brown (Trek) out sick. The absence ofthe big powers again opened the doors for some of Colorado’s less well-knownpros.
A tight battle had shaped up before the start between series leaderJonathan Baker (Pro Peloton) and Christian McCarthy (Vitamin Cottage).The two came to the race only separated by one point.
The start was fast and somewhat sketchy up the snow covered start-finishdrag. Sixteen-year-old Brady Kappius (5280-Tokyo Joe’s) came off the frontlike a bullet leading the race for the first lap, all of major playersfell into a chase group behind.
On lap two upon catching Kappius eighteen-year-old Zak Grabowski (HotTubes) became the animator going to the front of the lead group containingKappius, McCarthy, Baker, Brandon Dwight (7UP-Maxxis) Mike West (Full Cycle)and Matt Pacocha (Red Rocks Velo). Exhausted by his early efforts,Kappius was one of the first to fall off, with West and Pacocha comingoff soon after with minor bike problems.
Dwight gained and advantage when he jumped a ditch Grabowski couldn’ttake. McCarthy then flatted, leaving Dwight and Baker to battle for thewin. Baker scored the victory, with Dwight coming in for second.
1 KERRY BARNHOLT (SOBE/ CANNONDALE)
2 GRETCHEN REEVES (ROCKY MOUNTAIN)
3 JULIE EMMERMAN (EPIC ROOTS)
4 HEATHER SZABO (TOKYO JOE’S)
5 LORA HECKMAN (LAURAL ST RACING)
6 MARGELL ABEL (BOULDERRACING.COM)
7 NICOLE WANGSGARD (LA FORZA)
8 CHRISTINA BEGY
9 ANNE LANNAN (VALDORO)
10 MEGHAN BLADES
1 JONATHAN BAKER (PRO PELATON VELO)
2 BRANDON DWIGHT (7-UP/MAXXIS)
3 ZAK GRABOWSKI (HOT TUBES)
4 CHRISTIAN MCCARTHY (VITAMIN COTTAGE)
5 MATT PACOCHA (RED ROCKS VELO)
6 BRADY KAPPIUS (5280/SUBARU- TOKYO JOE’S)
7 JEFF WARDELL (LOUISVILLE CYCLERY)
8 CHRIS HOPWOOD (GARY FISHER)
9 JON CARIVEAU (MOOTS)
10 NICK MARTIN (TREK/VW)
Shogren and Itle score wins at Raccoon ‘cross
Gunnar Shogren (Fort-GPOA) and Amber Itle (Wissahickon) rode to victory on Saturday at the Raccoon Township ‘Cross in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania.
The elite men’s race in round nine of the Vergegear.com Mid-Atlantic Cyclo-Cross Championship Series started with Shogren and teammates Greg Ferguson and Ryan Leech all making their presence felt at the front.
A few laps into the race, Leech was dropped as a group containing Shogren, Ferguson and Joe Reynolds (Wissahickon) separated from the main field. Then Ferguson dropped off as Shogren’s group continued to push the pace.
With Ferguson in no-man’s-land between the Shogren-Reynolds duo and the group behind him, Leech dug deep and bridged to his teammate, who then buried himself to tow Leech up to Shogren.
Shogren, meanwhile, sat on Reynolds’ wheel, hoping Leech would make contact and throw the odds in Fort-GPOA’s favor. With two to go, Leech leapt off Ferguson’s wheel and charged up to Shogren.
Leech was leading as the group of three got the bell, and the odds were not looking good for Reynolds. Things quickly got worse as Reynolds flatted halfway through the final lap. As Reynolds headed towards the pit, the Fort-GPOA duo took off towards the final section of the course. Reynolds rejoined the race quickly, but lost a spot to Peter Morse (Mid-Week).
As Shogren and Leech headed into the final muddy section, all eyes were trained towards the final set of barriers. Shogren came into sight first, having gapped his teammate through the deep muddy section, and rolled across the line solo to take the win. Leech followed close behind for second. Morse held off Reynolds for third.
In the elite women’s field, Itle took the early lead and never relinquished it. Behind her, the field strung out with Sami Fournier (Snow Valley) crossing second and Betsy Schauer (Fort-GPOA) finishing third.Next week the action moves to New Castle, Delaware for the final raceof the 2003 series. For race details or additional series details, pleasego to www.monkeyhillcs.com/mac/2003
Raccoon Township Results
1. Gunnar Shogren, Fort-GPOA
2. Ryan Leech, Fort-GPOA
3. Peter Morse, Mid-Week
4. Joe Reynolds, Wissahickon
5. Kyle Wamsley, Fuji
6. Paul Martin, West Virginia
7. Greg Ferguson, Fort-GPOA
8. Bill Elliston, Ideal Tile
9. Joey Thompson, Balance Bar-Devo
10. Bobby Lea, Fuji
11. Mike Friedman, Fuji
12. Andrew Wulfkuhle, Wissahickon
13. Nathan Diebert, Faulkner Honda
14. Jonathan Hansen, Snow ValleyWomen
1. Amber Itle, Wissahickon
2. Sami Fournier, Velo Bella
3. Betsy Schauer, Fort-GPOA
4. Julie Lewis, Team Lake Effect
5. Laura Hanlon, Fuji
6. Lisa Most, Wissahickon
7. Carolyn Hall, Mid-Week
8. Tammy Ebersole, Evolution Racing-IF
9. Sheila Senft, Airborne
10. Michelle Suplick, Wissahickon
11. Donna Anderson, Evolution Racing
Did you promote a cyclo-cross race this weekend? Do you want to let the world know about it? Send us a quick race report, results and even a photo or two, and we’ll post it all to our weekend wrap-up. Send your race report – with formatted results and JPG photos – to WebLetters@7Dogs.com Race reports may be edited for length and clarity.