Racers Battle at Super8 Series and Raise Money for Special Olympics
by Neil Schirmer
HYATTSVILLE, Md. – The federal government may be shut down, but the race promoting dirt merchants at Route 1 Velo, Arrow Bicycles, and Crosshairs Cycling were “open for business,” making Hyattsville CX happen inside the Capital Beltway on another hot and dry autumn weekend in the Mid-Atlantic.
HCX was the second race in the 2013 Bikereg.com Super8 Cyclocross Series, and on October 6th, the “business” of ‘cross racing was booming at Magruder Park. With the generous and continuing support of the City of Hyattsville, the event was able to raise over four thousand dollars for Maryland’s Prince George’s County Special Olympics.
With an increased field size at Hyattsville, the Women’s 45+ Verge Sport jersey competition continued to heat up. After strong performances in consecutive weeks, Christine Fuentes (Evolution Cycling Club p/b Long & Foster) took possession of the leader’s jersey with her 4th place finish on Sunday behind race winner Cheryl Sornson (Team CF).
In other age-graded highlights, the Men’s 55+ competition took a similar turn with Shawn Downing (C3-Twenty20 Cycling Co.) cranking out a scorching effort to grab the race win almost a minute clear of second place. In doing so, Downing took possession of the leader’s jersey after putting up a strong second place finish in the season opener the previous week. In a testament to the hot conditions, Downing noted, “it was one of the few times I have mounted a water bottle on a cross bike.”
In the featured Pro/1/2/3 elite races, Cheryl Sornson (Team CF) took her second win of the day in the Women’s race ahead of Allyson Tufano (Sportif Coaching Group/Western Howard County Cycling) in second, and Traci Rodosta (Breakaway Velo) in third.
On the Men’s side, teammates Wes Schempf and Jake Sitler (SEAVS/Haymarket p/b Van Dessel) put on an impressive performance by working together and continually growing a large gap between themselves and the rest of the field after the opening laps.
In the end, to the delight of the fans, both competitors decided to duke it out on the home stretch, with Schempf taking the win in a sprint for the line just ahead of Sitler who retained the leader’s jersey with his second place result. Jordan Snyder (Pro Bikes) rolled in for third place over a minute behind.
The real winner of the day was Maryland’s Prince George’s County Special Olympics. Including the proceeds from Sunday’s edition of the race, Hyattsville CX has been responsible for raising over $20,000 over the past four years for the organization. After the Men’s Elite race, several of the participants from that contest took a fun parade lap on course with several athletes from the local Special Olympics team, providing a perfect end to a great day of racing.
Next stop for the Bikereg.com Super8 series will be Tacchino CX in Upper Marlboro, Maryland on Sunday October 13th.
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