Champion Systems Mid-Atlantic Cyclocross
This Saturday’s non-UCI First State Velo Sport Xross at Fair Hill, Maryland, looms large in the Champion System MAC Series as the Elite Men’s and Women’s points leaders both have the opportunity to mathematically clinch season championships. But any points drama missing from the pro classes is more than made up for in MAC’s amateur divisions, many of which look to be coming down to a metaphorical bunch sprint.
With two wins this past weekend in New Jersey, Valentin Scherz has opened a dominating lead in the Elite Men’s Division and needs only a second place finish at any of the remaining three races to clinch his second consecutive MAC Championship. The Women’s championship is somewhat tighter; the leading C3-Athletes Serving Athletes trio of Laura Van Gilder, Dee Dee Winfield and Arley Kemmerer have a large, though not insurmountable, advantage over Kristin Gavin, the only other rider with a mathematical shot at the championship. If van Gilder scores top-10 finishes in any two of the three remaining races in Delaware and Long Island, or one more win, she will clinch her third consecutive season title.
Of the money-paying classes, the season championship for the Champion System MAC Elite Masters is by far the most entertaining. Stephen Kincaid, who took his third win of the year this past Saturday at Beacon, leads the consistent Mike Yozell by a comfortable margin. But the wild card in the deck is the dropped race. So far, both Kincaid and Yozell have perfect attendance, which means their total scores will eventually be lowered as they drop their worst score. Meanwhile, Roger Aspholm has the best finish average, by far, of any racer in the class, but missed the first three races. If you take into account the dropped races, Aspholm is in a virtual second place, just 95 points off Kincaid’s adjusted first-place score. Even if Kincaid were to finish on the podium at every remaining event, Aspholm (who has won all but one race he’s entered this year) could still overtake him for the season title with three wins. The Women’s Masters race, which runs as a sub-class of the Elite Women, sees Jennifer Maxwell riding a three-race win streak to a slim lead.
The tightest races, though, are in the amateur divisions. The Elite 45+ Men, B-Men, B-Women, B-Masters, 55+ Men and Cat. 4 men are all virtual ties at the moment, making this weekend’s races in Maryland crucial for racers wanting to remain in contention for the season points title and the right to wear the Champion System “MAC Champion” skinsuit next year.
Just two weekend’s of racing remain on this year’s Champion System MAC. This weekend’s race sees a new course and location within the 5,633 acre Fair Hill Natural Resources area just outside of Newark, Delaware, that promises to be spectator-friendly, and organizers are billing the event as a way to enjoy a day of cyclocross racing with multiple viewing vantage points and food concessions. The recent relocation of the season-ending double-header weekend in Long Island will not affect the MAC points – except that many more riders are expected to compete for those points at the much more convenient location. The full points tables for all Champion System MAC classes can be found at www.MidAtlanticCross.com.