Scherz takes the win © Tom Olesnevich

Scherz takes the win © Tom Olesnevich

Reston, VA – The snow started falling early Saturday morning in Reston, Virginia, and didn’t stop until late evening, leaving a 4-inch blanket of wet snow all over the Capital Cross Classic course. Below-freezing temperatures overnight left many sections of the course covered in slippery ice patches that had race organizers scrambling for bags of sand to add traction. In the true spirit of cyclocross, the final race in the MAC series and the last race of the season for many of the region’s riders offered epic conditions.

The amateur races in the morning were slowed by the conditions on the course, but excitement levels were high as riders battled the churned snow and slippery ice. The course offered a paved start and finish, a mix of grass and hard pack terrain, and several obstacles and off-camber turns. As the day progressed, the ice and snow thawed in many sections, leaving mud that caused numerous crashes and forced dismounts.

Kristin Gavin worked with teammate Nikki Thiemann all afternoon © Tom Olesnevich

Kristin Gavin worked with teammate Nikki Thiemann all afternoon © Tom Olesnevich

From the start of the Elite Women’s race, Nikki Thiemann (Human Zoom/Pabst Blue Ribbon) and Kristin Gavin (Human Zoom/Pabst Blue Ribbon) were at the front of the group, along with Jennifer Maxwell (ATAC Sportswear p/b Bike Rack DC), Arley Kemmerer (Hub Racing), and Lauri Webber (Secret Henry’s Team). Thiemann and Gavin increased their lead throughout the race, pulling ahead of Kemmerer and Maxwell. Three laps later, the ladies had held their positions steadily in the mud and snow. Gavin and Thiemann sprinted it out for the win, with Gavin pulling ahead at the last second. Kemmerer took a solid third, with Maxwell in fourth and Webber finishing a minute later to earn fifth place. The Elite women were rewarded with prize payouts equal to their elite men counterparts, a move greatly appreciated by many racers.

Gratuitous mud shot #2 © Tom Olesnevich

Gratuitous mud shot © Tom Olesnevich

By the time the Elite men raced, temperatures had dropped and the course was a chilly, muddy mess. The lead group formed quickly, dominated by Valentin Scherz (Pro Cycles-Scott-Newwork) and rounded out by Joseph Dombrowski (Haymarket Bicycles/HomeVisit), Greg Wittwer (ALAN North American Cycling Team), Andrew Wulfkuhle (C3-Athletes Serving Athletes), Jared Nieters (Haymarket Bicycles/HomeVisit), and Weston Schempf (C3-Athletes Serving Athletes). Scherz pulled ahead quickly and continued to increase that lead, winning by over a minute and a half and clinching the MAC series title.

Behind Scherz, Dombrowski, Wittwer, Wulfkuhle, and Nieters fought for second, with Schempf trailing just behind. A few mishaps in the mud dropped Dombrowski back off the lead pack, and Schempf was eventually able to pass. Wittwer and Wulfkuhle pulled steadily ahead of Nieters in the last few laps, and race ended with Witter in second, Wulfkuhle in third, Nieters in fourth, and Schempf rounding out the top five in fifth.

Photo Gallery:

Elite Men Results

PlaceTimeLast NameFirst NameTeam
10:58:24ScherzValentinPro Cycles Scott Newwork
20:59:56WittwerGregALAN North America Cycling Team
31:00:13WulfkuhleAndrewC3-Athletes Serving Athletes
41:01:38NietersJaredHaymarket Bicycles/HomeVisit
51:01:52SchempfWestonC3-Athletes Serving Athletes
81:04:30cummingsstephenIndiana Regional Medical Center
91:06:25FuentesDaveBattley Harley Davidson-Sonoma
10-1 LAPGreenSimeonC.A.Castelsarrasin/Bouygues Telecom
11-1 LAPEscobarGonzaloHaymarket
12-1 LAPSeymourNateEvolution Cycling Club
13-1 LAPRiskusStephenAABC
DNFMayhewChrisJBV Coaching
DNFJeffreyTomTeam Natures Path/3Sports
DNFCarrawayChrisNCVC/Spokes Etc.
DNFStoopMichaelSpeedy’s Hot Sauce  pb Fuji
DNFKnottKyleSpeedy’s Hot Sauce pb Fuji

Elite Women Results

PlaceTimeLast NameFirst NameTeam
10:30:00GavinKristinHuman Zoom/Pabst Blue Ribbon
20:30:00thiemannnikkiHuman Zoom Pabst Blue Ribbon
30:30:33kemmererarleyHub Racing
40:31:06MAXWELLJENNIFERATAC Sportswear p/b Bike Rack DC
50:32:21webberlauriSecret Henry’s Team
60:32:54KulieczaJulieAlan North America Cycling
70:33:06ChurchKristineHuman Zoom/ Pabst Blue Ribbon
80:33:09SheldonLibbeyT.E.A.M. Fuji
90:33:55PopesLenorezC3 – Athletes Serving Athletes
100:34:39SpanogleTerriNCVC/Inova Health System
110:35:21GrimDianeC3 – Athletes Serving Athletes
120:35:23HarlowElizabethC3 – Athletes Serving Athletes
130:35:29MostLisaWissahickon/Engin Cycles