15-Year Old Bahnson Nipped by Bishop at MABRA Championships
If you’ve been following MABRA results this year, you likely have noticed National Champ Jeff Bahnson winning the 2/3 races most of this season. He’s recently upgraded to battle the Elite Men, and hasn’t missed a beat, nearly winning Sunday’s MABRA Championships. He’s quickly becoming a future star and looks ready to try his hand at a repeat in Kansas City. Full race report below.
by Marc Vettori
Thirty-five degrees…steady showers…gray skies. In short, perfect conditions for the final round of the BikeReg.com MABRAcross series, which also served as the Maryland, Delaware and DC State Championships. The course was a long loop with many off-camber sections made treacherous by the weather conditions.
In the Elite Men’s race, 15 year old phenom (and current Junior 15-16 National Champion) Jeff Bahnson jumped to a quick lead, and was successful holding off a chase group containing the C3-Sollay.com duo of Wes Schempf, and Michael Gallagher, and Trek-VW rider Jeremiah Bishop. Young Bahnson (Secret Henry’s/Van Dessel Factory Team) was able to hold off the group for the better part of the first 3 laps. Then Bishop took it upon himself to bridge up to the young upstart. Bishop seemed to have things well under control with a little over one to go when he flatted. Bahnson attacked and reclaimed the lead and about 20 seconds starting the final loop.
With half a lap to go Bishop had closed the gap to 10 seconds. When Bahnson bobbled on an off-camber corner, Bishop capitalized capturing the lead. More drama would unfold as with a quarter lap to go, Bishop bobbled, and young Bahnson charged to the front. Bishop maintained his composure and slipped by the 15 year old on top of the final run up, and led-out the sprint on the tarmac finish. Despite every effort, and the majority of the now very pro-Bahnson crowd, Bishop proved to be half a bike faster than his young rival. Wes Schempf finished a solid 3rd place and solidified his grasp on the BikeReg.com MABRAcross season championship.
In the Elite Women’s race, Melanie Swartz (Vello-Bella Kona) surged to an early lead. Betsy Shogren (SoBe-Cannondale) would take over the lead at the race’s mid-point to place a stranglehold on not only today’s race, but the overall series championship as well. Third place came down to a two-up sprint between Laurie Webber (Secret Henry’s team) and Libby Sheldon (Tokyo-Joe’s), won by Webber in an exciting bike throw.
The Elite Master’s race would find Kris Auer of C3-Sollay.com needing a victory to secure the 35+ MABRA BIKEREG.com Series championship. Marc Gwadz (DCMTB-CITY BIKES)2007 MABRA BIKEREG.com Champion held a slim lead in the series, and needed to best Auer to capture his second title in two years. The conditions favored Auer who took the lead of the race half way through the first lap and would not relinquish it. Gunnar Shogren (SoBe-Cannondale) would finish second in the overall master’s race, but first for the 45+ division, and thus captured the 2008 MABRA Cross 45+ division Championship. Fatmarc Vettori (C3-Sollay.com) finished third in the race.
- Jeremiah Bishop (Trek/VW)
- Jeff Bahnson (Secret Henry’s/Van Dessel)
- Wes Schempf (C3-Sollay.com
- Betsy Shogren (SoBe-Cannondale)
- Melanie Swartz (Velo Bella-Kona)
- Laurie Webber (Secret Henry’s)
Elite Masters (Overall):
- Kris Auer (C3-Sollay.com)
- Gunnar Shogren (SoBe-Cannondale)
- Marc Vettori (C3-Sollay.com)
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