ATLANTA, GA. – Elk’s Aidmore Children’s Center in Conyers, Georgia hosted the finals for the 2010 Georgia Cross series. Racers were greeted by cold temperatures and windchills in the 30s. Many said that they were happy for real ’cross weather as the races before had highs in the 50s and 60s. The course was run backwards from years past. There was more climbing, one run up and a set of barriers. With rain earlier in the week, several of the sections were wet, testing bike handling skills. Masters racer Lamar Mauney said, “Interesting and difficult course; the more racing was done on it, the better it became.” After their race, the Masters racers grilled out pot luck-style with grass fed beef burgers provided by Wayne “Hillbilly” Nix. Other spectators enjoyed hot beverages while ringing cowbells. The most popular place to watch the race was by the barriers.
The Masters race was smaller than usual, but the racing was fierce. Nate Zukas (ACC) took off early and did not look back. Perry Thomas (New Leaf Adventures) fought hard and took 2nd. In the Masters 45+ Gregg Turner (RBM) took the win in the 35+ with Alan Burton (Bikeways of Tucker) in 2nd. The 45+ series overall came down to the final lap as the top two riders were separated by only a few points. Alan Burton finished just ahead of Lamar Mauney (Fulton Flyers), which allowed Lamar to retain the lead.
With Brody Hartley moving up to the B’s, the Men’s C race was wide open. Gary Gomez (Aarons) won, and Junior Andrew Hodges (Frazier Cycling) was in 2nd. The Single Speed race was fast from the start. Travis Book (Biker’s Choice) won with Eric Nicoletti (Faster Mustache) in second despite that he missed the start. Fourteen B Women lined up for the start. The race was won by Kristi Hawken (Grace Law), and Ellison Fidler (Ike and Jane) got 2nd. Brandon Pruett (Cycle Therapy) won the Junior 15-18 race, and Brody Hartley (Fulton Flyers) won the Junior 14 and Under. The lone Junior girl, 9 year old Annalisa Oestreich (Fulton Flyers), stole the hearts of the tifosi. She will be a threat for the U14 title in a few years. The Men’s B was won by Jansen Linder (Fulton Flyers).
The Women’s A race provided a great spectacle. While professional mountain biker Kym Flynn (Grace Law) flew off the front early, the real battle was for the rest of the podium spots. A group of riders including former series champion Lisa Randall (Outspokin), Rebecca Graham (Faster Mustache), Becca Phelan (ACC), and Kim Sawyer (Nouveau Velo) stayed together the first two laps. Lisa pulled away and took 2nd. Becca was 3rd. Once again, the final race determined the Series Overall winner. Taking it by just 3 points was Rebecca. Becca finished 2nd.
Shey Linder (Faster Mustache) challenged the A Racers to come out for the final race, and they did! A field of 23 toed the line. Ryan Leech (Hilton Head Cycling) and Thomas Turner (Jamis-Outspokin) quickly separated themselves from the rest of the field. They traded the lead throughout the race but stayed together. Ryan put 10 seconds on Thomas in the final lap to take the win.