by Keith Hower
Jeremy Powers, JBV Coaching, Fulcrum Coaching, great weather and all of MABRA descended upon Rosaryville State Park, located just outside of the Capital Beltway in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, for what became a great season opening-weekend long event. The weekend was kicked off on Friday with the start of the sold out Jeremy Powers/JBV Coaching/Fulcrum Coaching Clinic at The Bike Doctor meet and greet along with the publishers responsible for Molly Hurford’s new book, Mud, Snow and Cyclocross. This led into Saturday’s all-day Cross Clinic Camp in Rosaryville State Park. Campers were able to learn and hone their cyclocross skills under the tutelage of Jeremy Powers and his council of coaches. Momentum kept building and seemingly exploded on Sunday with the capstone event of the weekend: the Elite Men’s 1/2/3 race, featuring none other than … you guessed it … Jeremy Powers.
Conditions started out slick and wet for the early morning amateur races, but as the effects of the previous night’s rain wore off and several 100+ rider fields had their chance to contest the course, conditions molded into a perfect mixture of moisture and ruts. The Elite Women had the honor of being the first elite race of the day and it ended up being Laura Murray (Race Pace/Trek) picking up exactly where she left off last year in the MABRAcross Super 8 Series by taking a close win over second place’s Erica Yozell (South Mountain Cycles) and third place Kristin Gavin(Team CF), Allyson Tufano (Sportif Coaching/BPB) and Avanell Schmitz (Bikebeat/vaasset) rounded out the podium in fourth and fifth places, respectively.
The last event on the bill was the Men’s Elite race, and it proved worth the wait. MABRA was not 100% sure J-Pow would saddle up and race due mostly to his name missing from the list of pre-entries on the Bikereg.com registered rider’s list. But as I, myself was out fighting the good fight in the Men’s 3/4 race, I, along with everyone else caught an ear full during an interview that J-Pow gave over the P.A. System confirming that yes, indeed Jeremy Powers would race. Things got underway quickly as almost all of the heavy hitters were in the front row of the starting grid. Jeremy Powers (Rapha-Focus) pulled the holeshot and nabbed the early lead, but before the end of the prologue lap, it was the SEAVS/Haymarket power duo of Jared Nieters and 2011 Super 8 Champion Weston Schempf running 1-2, Powers in third, and Ben Frederick(Kelly Benefits) in fourth.
The front of the race stayed tight and compact for the first two laps, as everyone else outside of the top 10 began to settle in and wage great mid-pack battles. Early on it appeared that Haymarket’s solid team was working the entire field over, Powers included, but just after the quarter mark the “can and cannot” moment struck. Not surprisingly it was Powers and a Haymarket rider breaking off of the front group, but to everyone’s surprise, it was Jared Nieters and not defending champ Weston Schempf who was ready to duke it out with the current national champ. It appeared that Powers was unable to really open a secure gap over the stubborn Nieters over the next couple laps, and around the mid-way point, it was Nieters who moved to the front and dictated the pace to Powers, who was content to match the pace and wait. Meanwhile, Weston Schempf, Ryan Dewald(Batley-Harley Davidson) and Ben Frederick all kept each other honest until the waning laps of the race, with Schempf riding away from the other two into a solid but distant third place.
As the bell rang for the last lap and the shadows started to grow off of the riders, Powers was still glued to Nieters’ wheel, but then bang!, the move came on the lower side of the course going into the wooded valley and it was Jeremy Powers who came back into view first with the separation he wanted over Jared Nieters. The gap escalated quickly, but it was obvious that Jared wasn’t going to go down with out of a fight as he sprinted hard out of every turn trying to close the gap on the fleeing Powers. It was to seemingly no avail though, as the pair disappeared out of spectating view and onto the top part of the course. Upon reentry into the finishing section, it was Jeremy Powers yielding a large gap. He crossed the line with a solid victory and the his claim to the Bikereg.com MABRAcross Leader’s Jersey to open up his 2012/2013 cyclocross campaign. Jared Nieters, acknowledging his effort, took home a well earned second, Weston Schempf in third, Ryan Dewald with fourth and Ben Frederick rounded out the podium in fifth.
Racing in the Mid-Atlantic continues next weekend, September 15 & 16, with UCI racing at the MAC Cross season opener, Nittany Lion Cross at the Valley Preferred Cycling Center in Breinigsville, Pennsylvania. The Bikereg.com MABRAcross Super 8 Series continues on September 30, with Round 2: Winchester Apple Cross in Winchester, Virginia.
1. Laura Murray Race Pace/ Trek
2. Erica Yozell South Mountain Cycles
3. Kristin Gavin Team CF
4. Allyson Tufano Sportif Coahing/bpb
5. Avanell Schmitz Bikebeat/vaasset group
6. Jennifer Pope Velocita
7. Jennifer Tillman Kelly Benefits
8. Samantha Rynas NCVC/United Healthcare
9. Sarah Iepson Cawes/Specialized
10. Alyssa Severn My Wife, Inc.
1. Jeremy Powers Rapha-Focus
2. Jared Nieters SEVAS/Haymarket
3. Weston Schempf SEVS/Haymarket
4. Ryan Dewald Battley Harley-Davidson
5. Ben Frederick Kelly Benefits
6. Michael Yozell Kapelmuur Ind.
7. Colin Becker Race Pace Bike
8. James Ribbens C3 Athletes
9. Nicholas Taylor Bike Docter
10. Jake Sitler NAG