Ohio state champ Card would lead 99% of the race, but not the 1% that counted. © Jeffrey B. Jakucyk

Ohio state champ Card would lead 99% of the race, but not the 1% that counted. © Jeffrey B. Jakucyk

Yellow Springs, OH – Greasy, to bone-chilling, to idyllic — three contrasts in weather conditions and three words that characterize the last three years of Zipp OVCX Tour events at John Bryan State Park near Dayton, Ohio.  If this year’s race weather had been any more perfect, it wouldn’t have been cyclocross.  Sunny skies and temperatures in the high 40’s (about 9° C) greeted the 300 riders from 8 states that made the trek to Yellow Springs for the penultimate event of the 2009 Zipp OVCX Tour calendar: the Buckingham Financial Ohio State Cyclocross Championships at John Bryan State Park.With Southwest Ohio’s two most experienced racing teams, Team Dayton and BioWheels, combining forces to run the event, race logistics couldn’t have been smoother.  John Bryan State Park consistently ranks as one of the more popular venues on the Zipp OVCX calendar with a challenging course that snakes its way around old growth trees and just enough elevation to create strain and technical challenge.

As the penultimate event on the Ohio Valley schedule, serious bragging rights were on the line for anyone in the hunt for Zipp OVCX category awards.  Point standings in many categories were super-tight going into the final races, with mathematical ties possible in a couple of them.  More importantly for Ohioans: custom-made Ohio State Championship jerseys were on the line, underwritten by Kenda Tire and Roll Bike Shop.

Although it was the State Cyclocross Championships for Ohio, there were seven other states represented, and many of them shook up the overall standings.  Only three out of nine elite podium finishers were from the state of Ohio, so there was quite a bit of prize money poached by out-of-state racers!

The Elite Masters 35/45+ race saw a lot of new faces, but towards the front it was all names familiar to the Zipp OVCX Tour.  Fred Rose (Bicycle Garage Indy) took to the front from the gun, taking with him USGP 45+ leader Mike McShane (Calistoga), former Elite Zipp OVCX Champion Phil Noble (BioWheels) and northern Ohio’s Brent Evans (Spin – Second Sole).  Rose’s pace eventually dropped all but McShane, which left a group of three behind consisting of Noble, Evans and John Mandrola (Calistoga).   Noble capitalized on a sand pit bobble by Mandrola to start a gap that he was able to keep to the line for the final podium placing, and the state championship jersey.  Rose and McShane (the hottest rivalry in the OVCX) battled throughout, neither able to drop the other.  With less than a lap to to, Kentucky’s McShane came to the front for the first time, and attacked all the way to finish first at the line.

The Elite Women’s race contained all the Zipp OVCX heavy-hitters with the notable exception of  last year’s Zipp OVCX champion Amanda McKay.  DRT Consulting’s Nicole Borem was first off the line, stringing out all of the elite women single file.  Current Zipp OVCX leader Niki Dallaire (a Kentucky native), found herself within proximity of Borem (Indiana) after working her way through some early traffic.   Borem’s strong bike handling skills and smooth rhythm kept Dallaire at bay, and rewarded her with her fourth Zipp OVCX victory of the season.  With Dallaire’s five Zipp OVCX victories, this is one of the closest rivalries coming into the series finale in Louisville next week.  Speaking of Louisville, Bikeclicks.com/Team Louisville’s Terri Meek, who is actually from Ohio, rode a strong race alone in third to seal the Elite Women’s Ohio State Cyclocross Championship, the state jersey and the last step on the podium.

With many of the top elite Zipp OVCX riders taking a bye week, the field was wide open in the Men’s Elite race.  Many new faces were on the line, so for observers following the series all bets were off when it came to who was going to be up on the podium.  All curiosities were satisfied soon though, with a group of three—Jonathan Card (Saturn of Toledo), Timothy Saari (Essex Brass) and Alder Martz (Hot Tubes)—creating a big split from the remainder of the field.  While these three stayed together the entire race, the rest of the top-ten continually fluctuated throughout the event.

With Card the only rider in the lead group from the state of Ohio, the final Ohio podium spots were still up for grabs.  Team Lake Effect (Cleveland) riders Shawn Adams and Matt Weeks chased hard through the field after missing the early split.  Another Ohio rider chasing through the pack was 2007 Zipp OVCX Elite Champion Ryan Gamm (Kenda Pro Cycling), back from hip surgery that’s kept him out of most of this year’s series.

With Card and Saari’s collective race experience spanning over two decades, Hot Tubes’ youngster Alder Martz found himself either on the front or off the back.  Regardless, Martz took the helm and led through the John Bryan sand pits with one lap to go.  With no damage done in the course’s most technical section, it was going to come down to a three-up sprint to the line.  Card led much of the final lap after the sand pit, but it was Michigan’s Saari that dropped the hammer and held it to the line for the big win.  Card came in second by half a wheel, with Martz finishing strong in third.  Cleveland’s Lake Effect teammates Weeks and Adams held off Gamm for the final Ohio podium spots.

Next week’s final race in the 2009 ZIPP OVCX Tour will be “Storm the Greens” in Louisville, Kentucky (read our race announcement here).  The event will be the final race ever at Champion’s Park in Louisville, site of many Zipp OVCX and international races over the past half-decade.  Zipp OVCX’s series awards and the annual ZIPP Hard Core OVCX Racer Raffle will be staged immediately following the final event of the day, along with a bonfire and BBQ courtesy of Louisville Cyclocross Association (LCX).  In order to accommodate the Zipp OVCX awards, Storm the Greens is pre-registration only on Truesport.com.

Photo Gallery

Elite Men – Full Results

1TimothySaariESSEX BRASS
3AlderMartzLindsay Wilson
4MatthewWeeksLakeEffect/Bike Authority
5noahmetzlerVO2 Sports
6shawnadamsLake Effect
7MichaelKennedyBob’s Red Mill/ Rocky Mountain
8ChristopherBogedinWolverine / American C & F
9ryangammKenda Pro Cycling pb Spinergy
10DanQuinlanCarbon Racing
11RobKendallBarbasol / Rapid Transit
12TonyMarutLake Effect Racing
13JoshJohnsonDRT Racing
14AaronHubbellNUVO Cultural Trail
15ChrisNevittBob’s Red Mill / Rocky Mountain
16garthprosserCannondale Factory Racing
17nathanaelziccarditeam awesome/ jeni’s ice cream
19ZacharyEdwardsDRT Racing
20andrewhagueechelon cycling team
21KatsuhiroTandaTeam Athens p/b KT Prototype
22kylewingleralan north america
23davideskerteam flippin’ awesome
24masonmorganTeam Awesome/Jeni’s Ice Cream
DNFJohnProppeTeam Lake Effect

Elite Women – Full Results

1NicoleBoremDRT Racing
2AnnaJeanDallaireAlderfer Bergen
3TeriMeekBikeClicks/Team Louisville
4SamanthaHouseCarbon Racing
5GerrySchulzeBioWheels/Reece-Campbell Racing
7MelissaCorlissNational Engineering/COBC
8NancyHendersonNational Engineering/COBC

Elite Masters – Full Results

3philnobleBio Wheels/Reece-Campbell Racing
4johnmandrolaCalistoga Racing Team
5brentevansSpin / RR Donnelly
6BrucePisarekCOBC National Engineering
8RudySrokaLake Effect Racing
9ThomasBrockmanLouisville Firefighters
10BrianAndriotLouisville Firefighters
11JeffreyCraftLake Effect Racing
12AndyKlumbDrakes Coffee
13MarkWolowiecFlying Rhino Cycling Club
14scottgoocherjack’s bicycle
15PeteThompsonFlying Rhino Cycling Club
16RobSelleMPI-Mainstreet Bikes
17JasonKarewUniversity of Arizona
18scottfabijanskiWolverineSportsClub/American Cycle & Fit
20MitchGrahamBioWheels/Reece-Campbell Racing
22ScottBondSpeedway Wheelman
23DaveJohnsonDrake’s Coffee
DNFMatthewKoehnSpeedway Wheelmen
DNFDanielLachZypher Clcyloesport