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Weekend ‘CrossWrap: Fort-GPOA rules Evo Cross; Wilhelm, Neville in Nebraska; Pontoni is Scary Fast

The "Weekend 'Cross Wrap" is a service of VeloNews.com.Stories and results are provided by race promoters and are not producedby VeloNews or VeloNews.com. Promoters are welcome to submit race reportsthroughout the cyclo-cross season to Rosters@7Dogs.com.Reports may be edited for length and clarity.PENNSYLVANIA: Fort-GPOA rules Evo CrossFort-GPOA teammates Betsy Schauer and Mike Yozell rode to wins in round two of the 2004 Verge Mid-Atlantic Cyclo-Cross Championship Series on Sunday in Buckingham, Pennsylvania. Thunderstorms Saturday night heralded a cold front that brought low temperatures

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The “Weekend ‘Cross Wrap” is a service of VeloNews.com.Stories and results are provided by race promoters and are not producedby VeloNews or VeloNews.com. Promoters are welcome to submit race reportsthroughout the cyclo-cross season to Rosters@7Dogs.com.Reports may be edited for length and clarity.


PENNSYLVANIA: Fort-GPOA rules Evo Cross
Fort-GPOA teammates Betsy Schauer and Mike Yozell rode to wins in round two of the 2004 Verge Mid-Atlantic Cyclo-Cross Championship Series on Sunday in Buckingham, Pennsylvania.

Thunderstorms Saturday night heralded a cold front that brought low temperatures and high winds to the Evo Cross, held on a new course that provided no room for rest and no shelter from the wind.

The elite women’s race saw a battle that wasn’t decided until the final lap. Early in the race, a group of five rode away from the field — Schauer, Amber Itle (Yellow Breeches Racing), Melanie Swartz (Squadra Coppi), Caroline Hacker (Evolution Racing) and Sami Fournier (Velo Bella).

As the pace quickened, Fournier and Hacker fell back while first-time ’crosser Melissa Maurer powered forward, picking off riders at surprising speed after a less-than-optimal start. When Maurer reached the leaders, they ramped up the pace, hoping to drop her. Instead, Swartz lost contact, and on the final lap Itle started to fade.

Coming off the road and onto the grass for the last time, Schauer gapped Maurer and quickly cleared the barriers before the final turn. Maurer, still learning technique, bobbled badly, and that gave Schauer all the time she needed to round the corner and cross the line for the win. Maurer hung on for second and Itle crossed the line three seconds behind for third.

In the men’s race, Yozell and Fort-GPOA) teammate Ryan Leech quickly took charge. With Leech doing the lion’s share of the work, the pair put distance between themselves and a group containing Greg Wittwer (Cyclocrossworld.com), Joe Reynolds (Wissahickon) and another Fort-GPOA teammate, Gunnar Shogren.

Just as everyone thought that Leech and Yozell were gone for good, Wittwer jumped away from Shogren and Reynolds and bridged to the Fort-GPOA duo, then immediately attacked again. Leech couldn’t follow, but Yozell matched his acceleration and continued to drive the pace, eventually riding away from Wittwer.

Yozell stayed away for his second consecutive Evo Cross win as Greg Marini (Bike Doctor) and Shogren passed the fading Leech and Wittwer to take second and third, respectively.

Verge Mid-Atlantic Cyclo-Cross Championship Series #2
Evo Cross
Buckingham, PA. October 17

Elite men
1. Mike Yozell, Fort-GPOA
2. Greg Marin, Bike Doctor
3. Gunnar Shogren, Fort-GPOA
4. Joe Reynolds, Wissahickon
5. Kris Auer, Alan MidAtlantic
6. Gregory Wittwer, Cyclocrossworld.com
7. Chris Samuel, Pro Pedals
8. Kyle Wamsley, Fuji
9. Al Senft, NUVO-Bicycle Action Project
10. John Verheul, Ideal Tile-Brielle Cyclery

Elite women
1. Betsy Schauer, Fort-GPOA
2. Melissa Maurer, unattached
3. Amber Itle, YBR
4. Melanie Swartz, Squadra Coppi-IM Saab
5. Caroline Hacker, Evolution Racing
6. Sami Fournier, Velo Bella
7. Megan Clark, Cycle-Smart
8. Lisa Most, Wissahickon
9. Sheila Senft, CITGO-PBF
10. Lisa Vible, First State Velo Sport

NEBRASKA: Wilhelm, Neville take charge
Tony Wilhelm (LBC-Highgear) wasted little time taking the lead and his first win of the season at the second round of the Nebraska Cyclo-cross Series Sunday at Pioneers Park in Lincoln.

Wilhelm charged to the front in the opening moments of the 60-minute race, building a 20-second advantage over teammate Jay Thomas and Mark Savery (Scheels-Specialized) in the first two laps. Thomas and Savery battled for second place, with the LBC-Highgear rider pulling away from Savery with four laps to go.

In the women’s race, Marie Neville (Team Kaos) continued her dominance of local and regional women’s cross racing with another impressive win. — John M. Lefler, Jr.

Nebraska Cyclo-cross Series #3
Pioneers Park, Lincoln, NE. October 17

Men
1. Anthony Wilhelm LBC-Highgear
2. Jay Thomas LBC-Highgear
3. Mark Savery Scheels-Specialized
4. Matt Tillinghast LBC-Highgear
5. Jesse Petersen Cycle Works-Mooses Tooth
6. Sam Rosenau LBC-Highgear
7. Matt Gersib Monkey Wrench-Kona

Women
1. Marie Neville, Team Kaos
2. Kristi Newcomb, Mountain Magnolias
3. Renee Carter, LBC-Highgear
4. Beth Thacker, Mountain Magnolias

CALIFORNIA: Pontoni schools SoCal ‘crossers
Italian champion Danielle Pontoni won the Scary Fast Cyclo-cross on Sunday in Thousand Oaks, California.

Pontoni had been scheduled to travel to Utah but chose instead to race the third event in the Southern California Cyclo-cross Cup, held at California Lutheran University, where showers overnight added a bit of mud to what otherwise would have been a fast course.

The men’s A race saw the Italian sit comfortably in a group composed of Southern Californians Brent Prenzlow, Mark Noble and Alan Coates. Short of midrace, Pontoni put in a sharp acceleration and left the local boys behind for good, even riding a slippery mud bog in a shallow creek that caused many another racer to take an impromptu bath. —Sam Ames


The “Weekend ‘Cross Wrap” is a service of VeloNews.com.Stories and results are provided by race promoters and are not producedby VeloNews or VeloNews.com. Promoters are welcome to submit race reportsthroughout the cyclo-cross season to Rosters@7Dogs.com.Reports may be edited for length and clarity.