Cummings leads Waite at the mid-way point. Keith Hower

Cummings leads Waite at the mid-way point. © Keith Hower

by Keith Hower

After a star studded round #1 that featured the current National Champ, Jeremy Powers, the Super 8 Cyclocross Series rolled into Historic Winchester, Va. for round #2. Apple Cross took place is one of the more historic towns in the Mid-Atlantic. Winchester, it’s self has several serious ties in helping shape the outcome of the American Civil War and with it’s preservation and wonderful Fall atmosphere, it provided a wonderful backdrop for the day’s festivities

In the Men’s premier event of the day, Men’s 1/2/3, the VergeSport Super 8 Leader’s Jersey would be up for grabs seeing as the current point’s leader, Jeremy Powers, was not in attendance.  The race started fast, as expected with just more than a handful of the “usual suspects” powered the lead group away from the rest of the field very early on. Nick Waite, Stephen Cummings, Weston Schempf, Keck Baker, Ben Frederick and Greg Wittwer passed through the start/finish line for the first time, pressuring the rest of the field into micro-splits and gaps as they tired reel the lead group back in.  As the race started to enter the “meat” portion of the event, the lead group was whittled down to an elite 4 man pack, and the riders appeared to be content with sharing pace around the long, undulating course. About 1/3 of the way into the race, one of the heavy pre-race favorites, Weston Schempf, suffered a mistake after the barriers and lost serious time and several positions before he could get back up to speed. With Weston out of the picture, for now, the lead group of Cummings, Waite and Baker flowed around the course like a locomotive on rails.

And then there were two. The high-flowing pace of the lead pack became too much for Baker, and he lost contact with his lead group partners with only a few laps remaining in the race. Meanwhile, further back, it was Weston Schempf who was on the move and trying to pick up the pieces to salvage a good result and at the same time Ryan Fawley was also making a spirited charge up to the front of the race.

Cummings and Waite were stuck to each other like glue for the remainder of the race and it was apparent that the duo would have to clash in it out for the win in a Mano a Mano sprint. The finish line pavement section was preluded by a tight and twisty grass section, for the majority of the day; it was evident that it was hard for a rider to overcome another rider in the short paved finish line section, so it was not really a race to the finish line, but a race to the pavement. Waite came into view first and out of the right hand sweeper, but Cummings was right on his wheel as the two opened up a full blown sprint for the line. Waite was able to deter Cummings from coming of his slipstream and really powered away in the last 75 meters.  Nick Waite, Arms up, crossed the finish line taking the win. Cummings rolled by in second, Keck Baker managed to hold off and out sprint a hard charging Schempf for 3rd and 4th respectively. The battle for the last podium position also appeared out of the right hand sweeper, as it was Ryan Fawley and Ben Frederick going heads up, and as the two went into a full sprint, Fawley blew his right foot out of the pedal, but in a Gentleman’s gesture, Frederick also sat up and allowed Fawley to claim 5th place despite his misfortune.

The series keeps up the momentum and returns to action this Sunday, October 7, with Round #3 of the Super 8 Series Hyattsville CX in Magruder Park, Hyattsville, Md.

Men’s Elite

  1. Nick Waite-Pro Tested Gear
  2. Stephen Cummings-C3/Athletes Serving Athletes
  3. Keck Baker-Carrytown Bicycle
  4. Weston Schempf-SEVAS/Haymarket
  5. Ryan Fawley-Pro Tested Gear
  6. Ben Frederick-Kelly Benefits Strategies
  7. Greg Wittwer-Bob’s Red Mill
  8. Collin Becker
  9. Jake Sitler-Nuts about Granola
  10. Nicholas Taylor-Bike Docter

Women’s Elite

  1. Sue Haewood-Trek
  2. Erin Sillman- Corsa Concepts
  3. Alice Henriques-Zanconato Racing
  4. Julie Hunter-Bikebeat/vaassetgroup
  5. Samantha Rynas-NCVC/United Healthcare