CINCINNATI, OHIO — In July of 2010, Niki Dallaire was run over by a car while riding her bike. On November 21 of 2011, Dallaire clinched her second consecutive Elite Women’s Championship in the Zipp OVCX Tour presented by Papa John’s. With her victory at Promotion Cross in Lexington, Kentucky, this past weekend, Dallaire defended both her season title and her Kentucky State Championship. Even more impressively, Dallaire (who rides for Racin’ for Riley presented by Alderfer-Bergen) secured her second consecutive perfect score in Zipp OVCX action with one race to go. Dallaire is undefeated on the Tour this season with seven wins in a championship that counts a racer’s best seven races toward the season points title.
While Dallaire has been dominant, Zipp OVCX’s Elite Men and Masters divisions head into the year’s final race at Ohio’s Kingswood Park with the closest points battles in memory. The Elite Men’s race on December 4 will start with three riders from three of the Midwest’s biggest teams having legitimate opportunities to win the season title. Rob Kendall of Bob’s Red Mill, Luke Haley of Red Zone and Shawn Adams of Cycle-Smart will be the three main protagonists, with Ray Smith of Bob’s Red Mill waiting to pick up the title if all three falter. Kendall is currently in the driver’s seat with both the highest points total so far and the lowest potential drop score.
While the Elite Men’s championship is close, the Men’s Masters 35+ is a virtual dead heat with just one point separating current points leader Brian Schworm (Pedal Power Cycling) from Micah Fritzinger (Schellers Fitness & Cycling). But even a one-point difference does not convey the competitiveness of the Zipp OVCX 35+ division. While Schworm and Fritzinger each have their full quota of seven scores and are looking to improve on their lowest score, DRT Racing’s Andy Messer sits in third place in the standings with only six of the seven races he needs and the highest average score of anybody in the division. Messer has won the Masters division in the past three races, setting himself up for a last-second, come-from-behind lunge at the title.
The Women’s 35+ is a bit more defined as Geraldine Schulze needs only to keep within a few places of her Bio-Wheels/Reece-Campbell Construction teammate Malissa Petrov to take the crown. In the Men’s 45+, Frederick Rose of BikeReg.com has a comfortable lead over Keith Lucas (Schellers Racing Team).
In the Elite Juniors, it looks as though the season-ending Kings CX on December 4 will be the culmination of a very successful year for Louisville’s Red Zone Cycling Team on the Zipp OVCX Tour. Led by Nick Dietrich and Katherine Santos, Red Zone holds the top five positions in the Men’s U19 and two of the top four positions in the Women’s U19. Only Rachel Dobrozsi and Mackenzie Green of Cincinnati’s Queen City Wheel – Lionhearts club have been able to interrupt a complete sweep by Red Zone.
As noted, the final race of the 2011 Zipp OVCX Cyclocross Tour presented by Papa John’s will be the Kings CX at Mason, Ohio’s Kingswood Park on December 4. The race will be part of a double-header weekend that includes the USAC Midwest Masters and Juniors Regional Cyclocross Championships at the same venue the previous day. Details for both events can be found by searching for “Kings CX” on BikeReg.com.