Racers took on wintery conditions © Steve Vorderman

Racers took on wintery conditions © Steve Vorderman

by Geraint Parry and OVCX staff

After a season of dirt tracks and dust, winter finally engulfed the Zipp OVCX Cyclocross Tour presented by Papa John’s as the series headed for the final weekend of action in Indianapolis. Saturday evening saw six inches of snow fall on the Fort Benjamin Harrison State Park on the east side of the city, the venue for the inaugural St. Mary’s Cyclocross to benefit St. Mary’s Children Center. This did predictable damage to the course so when the Cat 4 men toed the line at 10:30, their bikes were already covered in a sloppy mess of snow, dirt and ice. Conditions did not improve throughout the day, which necessitated Elite riders having to rapidly remember their pit skills as bike changes every few laps were the order of the day. Sunday’s race was both the Indiana State Championships and Zipp OVCX Tour Finale at the classic Brookside Park course featuring the “44 Steps of Pain”. Conditions were colder but a little firmer under wheel, but the entire weekend pleased those lovers of old school cyclocross who say “dirt helps the hurt!”

Elite Men:

Mitchell Kersting (Bobs Red Mill) prevailed on both days in the Elite Men’s division but his wins came in very different manners. Saturday saw Kersting attack from the gun and ride solo for the entire hour. Kersting’s Bob’s Red Mill teammate Rob Kendall, Josh Johnson (DRT Consulting) and Drew Dillman (Redzone) battled for the lower steps on the podium before Dillman came out on top. The sloppy conditions will prepare Dillman well for his upcoming stint with the US Euro Camp in Belgium over Christmas.

While Kersting went from the gun on Saturday, on Sunday he bided his time in a lead group with Johnson and Kendall, who alternatively applied the pressure on for the entire race. On the final lap, Kersting made his move going shoulder-to-shoulder with Johnson at the top of the stairs to quickly claim a decisive margin. Youngster Johnson held on for 2nd and first Indiana rider ahead of Kendall, Weston Luzzader (NUVO) and Steve Swecker (Lindsey Wilson College).

With his two wins on the weekend, Mitch Kersting became the 2010 Zipp OVCX season champion.  And though Josh Johnson beat Rob Kendall in both races on the final weekend, he fell just one agonizing point short of overtaking Kendall for second place in the season standings.  Even closer was the battle for fourth place overall for the season, with Ryan Gamm (Kenda Pro Cycling p/b Gear Grinder) and Chris Nevitt tied with 638 points apiece at the end of the 15 race series.  With the tie, Nevitt became the third Bob’s Red Mill rider in the top five of the season’s ending standings.

Elite Women:

It was also a tale of two races in the Women’s Elite division during the Indy DoubleCross weekend, even though Nikki Dallaire (Alderfer Bergen) won on both days of the weekend. On Saturday Amanda Virostko (Shamrock Cycles) had Dallaire on the ropes and facing a rare defeat when Virostko’s seatpost snapped, forcing a disappointingly premature end to her race. Dallaire was then able to roll in for the win ahead of Becca Finley (Marian University) and Bridget Donovan (Trek Bicycle Store). Normal service was resumed at Brookside where Dallaire took the hole–shot off the long concrete section and was never seen again. Virostko took a very strong second-place finish to win the Indiana State Championship and demonstrate the strength that was thwarted by her bad luck the day before. Finley finished third in her penultimate weekend as a Marian racer as she’ll head to Bend next weekend for Collegiate Nationals.

With her two wins, including Sunday’s double-points finale, Nikki Dallaire increased her lead in the point standings to win the Zipp OVCX season championship.  Dallaire was so dominant in 2010 that she actually had to drop two wins from her final score because she had more victories than the number of races she could count toward the standings.  In fact, the only races on the 2010 Zipp OVCX Tour presented by Papa John’s that Dallaire started and did not win, were won by Katie Compton and Georgia Gould.

Other Classes:

The Elite Masters saw a dominant win for Fred Rose (Bikereg.com) on Saturday and an equally impressive ride by Eric Anderson (NUVO) on Sunday. Anderson avoided the worse conditions on Saturday and arrived fresh to do battle for the Indiana State title at Brookside and after riding with Erik Fagerberg (Papa Johns) for the opening couple of laps, dispatched his rival by repeated accelerations on the deceptively tricky uphill asphalt section.  Fittingly, both Rose and Fagerberg were able to claim Zipp OVCX season titles.  Rose took the 35+ season championship, while Fagerberg won the season title in the 45+ division.

Arguably the most enduring battle of the weekend was between Ray Smith (Humana) and Jason Monk (Main Street Velo) in the Cat 3 Open race. They were locked together throughout Saturdays race and, after slip-sliding down the final treacherous descent, Smith won a tight finale after Monk seemed under-geared or (as was common) had pedal issues in the sprint. Smith again prevailed on Sunday where he took the lead earlier in the final lap to have a more comfortably winning margin. But while Smith won the battle, Monk won the war by taking the Zipp OVCX season championship.

Other double weekend winners included Nolan McQueen (Cat 4), Cooper Ambjorn (Womens 3/4) and Nick Dietrich (Junior 17/18). A fun, if chilly, weekend was enjoyed by all who participated and was a fitting send-off to another remarkably successful Zipp OVCX Tour presented by Papa John’s.  Full season standings and information on the series are available at OVCX.com.


Full Results Saturday and Sunday:

Elite Men Saturday

1mitchellkerstingBob’s Red Mill p/b Focus Bikes
2AndrewDillmanRed Zone Cycling
3JoshJohnsonDRT Racing
4RobKendallBob’s Red Mill
5WestonLuzadderNUVO-Cultural Trail / Marian University
6AlderMartzMarian University
7AdamRodkeySpeedway Wheelmen
8JoshuaPraterSpeedway Wheelmen
9ZacharyEdwardsDRT Racing
11seanweddellWay 2 Finish Coaching
12JoeKukollaMarian University
14taylorladdlindsey wilson college
15JakeZimmermanOhio Valley Velo EDT
16JamesBilliterBioWheels/Reece-Campbell Racing
17MatthewDooleylindsey wilson college
18JohnathanFreterlindsey wilson college
19PeterDeucherMarian University
21IsaiahNewkirkMarian University
22JoeyIulianoReCycling p/b Ascension
23DavidYoheMarian University
24MatthewCurinGray Goat-Lilly Cycling Team
0ryangammKenda Pro Cycling pb Gear Grinder
0davidhauberBicycle Sport Inc.
0AdamLeibovitzMarian University
0ChrisNevittBob’s Red Mill p/b FOCUS

Elite Women Saturday

1AnnaJeanDallaireAlderfer Bergen
2RebeccaFinleyMarian University
3BridgetDonovanTrek Store Cincinnati/ Seven Cycles
4GerrySchulzeBioWheels/Reece-Campbell Racing
5JackieKurthMarian University
6SierraSiebenlistMarian University
7AllieDragooMarian University
8MalissaPetrovZWS Cyclesport
10MadisonMillsLindsey Wilson College

Elite Men Sunday

1mitchellkerstingBob’s Red Mill p/b Focus Bikes
2JoshJohnsonDRT Racing
3RobKendallBob’s Red Mill
4WestonLuzadderNUVO-Cultural Trail / Marian University
5StefanSweckerLindsey Wilson College
6ryangammKenda Pro Cycling pb Gear Grinder
8ChrisNevittBob’s Red Mill p/b FOCUS
9AlderMartzMarian University
10AdamRodkeySpeedway Wheelmen
11JoshuaPraterSpeedway Wheelmen
12ZacharyEdwardsDRT Racing
13MatthewKielLilly Gray Goat
14jacobvirostkoShamrock/Biowheels Racing
15AdamLeibovitzMarian University
16TomaszGolasDRT Racing
17JoeKukollaMarian University
18JohnathanFreterlindsey wilson college
19taylorladdlindsey wilson college
20edwincolvinTrek/BGI Racing
21JakeZimmermanOhio Valley Velo EDT
23IsaiahNewkirkMarian University
24DavidYoheMarian University
25JamesBilliterBioWheels/Reece-Campbell Racing
26MatthewDooleylindsey wilson college
27RyanO’ConnorBarbasol Racing
28JoshuaNagodeLindsey Wilson College

Elite Women Sunday

1AnnaJeanDallaireAlderfer Bergen
3RebeccaFinleyMarian University
4GerrySchulzeBioWheels/Reece-Campbell Racing
5BridgetDonovanTrek Store Cincinnati/ Seven Cycles
6MalissaPetrovZWS Cyclesport
7SierraSiebenlistMarian University
8JackieKurthMarian University
9AllieDragooMarian University
10BridgetSempsrottBioWheels/Reece-Campbell Racing
11BrookeCrumLindsey Wilson College
12MadisonMillsLindsey Wilson College