The Women's Elite Podium. © Chris Scott

The Women’s Elite Podium. © Chris Scott

by Neil Schirmer

ADAMSTOWN, Md. – Mid-Atlantic racers were treated to more traditional cyclocross weather on Sunday at the Ed Sander Memorial Cyclocross race held at Lilypons Water Gardens. Cool and windy conditions prevailed on a course that was mostly dry, punctuated by a few corners and short sections of thick, tacky, Play-Doh mud from recent rains.

In some of the early races, Patrick Blair (Adventures for the Cure) notched the win in the singlespeed contest, but with yet another consistent performance, Jonathan Seibold (DCMTB/Family Bike Shop) would regain the Verge Sport jersey competition lead in that field with his solid fifth place finish.

Curtis Southern (NCVC/UnitedHealthcare) took the top spot in the Men’s 55+ race, edging out former Masters national champion Fred Wittwer (C3-Twenty20 Cycling Co.). In other age-graded action, Martha Whitlock (Rock Creek Velo) took the victory in the Women’s U19 contest, and Jerzy Wozniak (Winchester Wheelmen) rode away to take the win in the Men’s 35+ 1/2/3 race.

Fresh off her third place finish in the Women’s Elite field at La Ruta de los Conquistadores MTB stage race in Costa Rica, Cheryl Sornson (Team CF) came to Ed Sander Memorial looking to keep the good times rolling with more “W’s” in the Super 8 series. Sornson continued to parlay her endurance MTB fitness and skill to perfection as she posted an incredible fourth consecutive Super 8 “double” with wins in both the Women’s 45+ race and the Women’s Elite race.

With her wire-to-wire win in the Elite race on Sunday, Sornson also took over in the Verge Sport jersey competition in that field by a slim five point advantage over previous leader Allyson Tufano (Sportif Coaching Group).

In the Men’s Elite race, an early three-way battle emerged at the front that included Blair, Nick Waite (Pro Tested Gear) and Greg Wittwer (C3-Twenty20 Cycling Co). Waite and Wittwer quickly gained an advantage over Blair who already had a win in his legs from the singlespeed contest earlier in the day.

The battle at the front of the Elite Men's race. © Neil Schirmer

The battle at the front of the Elite Men’s race. © Neil Schirmer

As Waite and Wittwer continued on, the two would battle back and forth trading leads and gaining small gaps over each other, but stayed together until well into the second half of the race.  With just a few laps to go, Waite muscled open a small five second advantage on a series of uphill turns leading into the course’s barrier section.

Wittwer put in a massive effort to keep the margin close for several minutes, almost regaining contact before a critical series of turns through the venue’s signature ponds. In the exit straights from the ponds and on the paved, uphill start/finish section, Waite made the decisive move of the race by regaining the seconds lost with one final attack that he would expand and hold all the way to the line, eventually beating Wittwer by 30 seconds. Blair would hold on for third 21 seconds later.

The next race in the Super 8 Series is Schooley Mill Cross on Sunday, November 10th.