A brave soul fights the ice and mud on Sunday. by Ryan Dudek
While racers from across the world were racing for the rainbow jersey in Hoogerheide, the Netherlands, Maryland offered a fine alternative for east coast ‘cross diehards. Race report below:
College Park, MD. The crew from Proteus Bicycles couldn’t anticipate the weather when they planned for the event.
A lot of people anticipated freezing temps and hoped for snow. A Tuesday Snowstorm was welcome before the race, but the freezing rain of Wednesday and low temps that followed complicated things a bit. Cherry Hill RV Park provided an excellent, albeit totally unknown, venue for Sunday’s Race. Even if it were totally dry, the course would have been fairly technical. It featured some tricky mulch piles, a fast descent onto a narrow bridge followed by an uphill punctuated with railroad ties, a set of stairs with a rideable uphill next to it for a “run it or gun it” option (provided you could hop the log at the bottom.
Even after considerable work with shovels, rakes, sand, salt, and a front loader, there were still some patches of ice for the A and B Men’s Race at 11AM. The forecast for the day was warm and as the day went on, the ice and snow melted forming some epic peanut butter mud pits. This type of mud is something we don’t get too often in the Mid Atlantic. Some welcomed the change, and some dreaded it. It was even the cause of a couple DNS’s.
The Elite Men needed to dig into all of their skills to navigate the icy course. Jared Nieters from Haymarket came out on top with Kris Auer (C3-Sollay.com) in a close second and Mike Birner from Ben’s Performance Bikes/BMC in 3rd.
The B Men were let loose 2 minutes after the A race and the top 3 were Stephen Wahl from ABRT, Scot Stahl from SEAVS racing/Ben’s Performance Bicycles and Brigham Lumm.
C Men was the largest field with 57, but enjoyed the abilty to hit the course AFTER the A and B races. A number of first-timers filled the pack and this was quite a course to cut your teeth on. Podium Spots were Alex Siegel of Georgetown U, Ken Morris of the Winchester Wheelmen, and Tim Phillips of Team BBC.
Elizabeth Harlow was the only Elite woman to post for the day but she flew through what was essentially a CX Time Trial. In her second cyclocross race ever, former Baltimore bike courier Kate Schrock finished with a fairly significant lead over the rest of the women’s field. She was followed by Kathleen Herndon of Richmond, VA and
Kathryn Bradford of Glen Burnie, MD.
The day ended with the Superbowl of Single Speed CX. A number of the racers were extremely disappointed that their original race attire was deemed unacceptable by race officials and were forced to wear jerseys. The talk of “A Gentlemen’s Lap” the first time around was quickly abandoned. This was to be expected as the first podium position would be taking home a handmade steel cx fork from Baltimore’s Palermo Bicycles. Tom Palermo was seen at various points in the course waving the fork at the racers. The 4 lap race was won by Elite Master Randy Root of the Evolution Cycling Club, followed by Thomas Mackay and Jonathan Seibold (both from the Family Bike Shop).
Following the race, while some folks were taking advantage of the hot showers, sauna and hot tub, Proteus Bicycles arranged for Kona, Jamis, Felt, and Bianchi to provide demo bikes for anyone who wanted to try some out some of the ’09 ‘cross, mountain, or road line.
Full results are available at www.proteusbicycles.com