by Chris Halioris
Indianapolis, IN – The 13th race in the Zipp OVCX Tour was held at Brookside Park in Indianapolis today, the second day of a double Indy weekend coming on the heels of the Southeastway Park race yesterday. This race also served as the Indiana State Championships, adding a little extra to the race that already held great meaning for many racers with only two races remaining in the series. The Elite Men’s race was once again captured by Mitchell Kersting, while Nicole Borem managed to grab her third win of the year in the Elite Women’s race. The Elite Masters race once again belonged to Mike McShane, taking both the overall and 45+, while Fred Rose grabbed the 35+ crown.
The weather was a non-factor, providing beautiful conditions yet again for both racing and spectating. This was quite a contrast from a year ago, when Brookside was the series finale for the OVCX and featured several inches of snow and temperatures in the teens. Brookside ‘s trademark steps to the office complex once again provided the spectators with an absolutely magnificent view of the course as well as the toughest obstacle. Coming down a steep off-camber descent, riders made a right turn to the base of the steps. The concrete steps, consisting of two flights of about 15 steps each with a platform about 30 feet long between them, gave the racers the opportunity to show who had the best off-the-bike cyclocross skills, while giving spectators the opportunity to stand right next to them and yell encouragement. Directly across from the base of the steps was the finish line, adding to the view. The last 500 meters consisted of a set of barriers leading through a pass where riders made a 180-degree turn onto the pavement for the sprint finish.
Unlike yesterday, when Mitchell Kersting (Rapid Transit Racing) ran away from the field, today was a three-man battle all the way with Kersting, Mike Sherer (Alderfer Bergen) and Tom Burke (Lathrup Industries/Giant Bicycles) taking shots at each other for the entire hour. Sherer took the lead on the last lap and held it all the way to the finishing stretch. He appeared to be in total control as nobody had managed to win all day when coming into the final barriers without the lead. Burke attempted to pass Kersting at the barriers but failed and ruined his chances for the victory. Kersting sat on Sherer’s wheel and as they made the 180 onto the pavement it was all Kersting to the line.
In the Elite Women’s race, Nikki Dallaire (Alderfer Bergen) appeared to be in great shape for a double weekend herself, but somehow lost track of the lap count. Dallaire and Nicole Borem (DRT Consulting) had been racing all day when Dallaire attacked and put a big gap on Borem with two laps to go. Dallaire sat up and coasted up the hill through the finish line as she watched Borem motor by. Dallaire clearly thought she was done and had miscalculated her attack. The effort had clearly taken everything she had and even though there were two laps remaining, Borem was relentless as she flew through the final two laps, never giving her opponent a chance.
The Elite Masters race also saw an exciting finish as Mike McShane (Calistoga Racing Team), Don Galligher (DRT Consulting) and Fred Rose (BikeReg.com) kept things tight the entire race. Gallagher again did some good work on the front and looked like he might be able to challenge McShane with a sprint, something he couldn’t do yesterday. With a couple laps to go, as they reached the top of the steps in a Galligher – McShane – Rose order, Rose decided to attack. He cut to the inside as he dropped his bike to the pavement preparing to mount and gave McShane a friendly push into the bushes. That surely instilled a little extra motivation in McShane, who doesn’t take kindly to being pushed around as he is almost always the smallest guy out there. As they came into the final barriers with McShane leading, it appeared to be over with Galligher and Rose left to battle for 2nd. Galligher slid out and hit the turf leaving the 2nd place spot and Indiana State Championship to Rose.
Next week, the Zipp OVCX Tour heads to Dayton, Ohio for the Buckingham Financial Ohio State Championship at John Bryan State Park on Sunday, November 29. As at today’s Indiana State Championships, next week’s event in Ohio is open to riders from any state or country, with the highest-placing Ohio residents in each class be declared the 2009 Ohio State Champion. Details and pre-registration for next weekend’s penultimate race on this year’s Zipp OVCX Tour can be found on BikeReg.com.