ADAMSTOWN, MD—Early iterations of the Ed Sander Memorial CX event included what used to be referred to by many as “the back nine.” For those who never raced it, it was an out-of-the-way part of the Lilypons Water Gardens property that included a unique, steep ramp up to a “shelf” (a run-up for most) requiring a quick remount, and a return down off the shelf at the same steep pitch a few feet further along. After the shelf, the course typically twisted around for one more short, sharp climb before returning back toward the front of the course. This small area became a signature feature that created a natural focus for spectators and revelers to gather. A PA system was even set up with a tent for music and color commentary, where free waffles would be cooking all day for fans and racers alike.
Features and atmosphere like that are what solidify races as regional staples of the scene, and the National Capital Velo Club (NCVC) have done a wonderful job to recreate the vibe of those “back nine” days with the current version of the course. With the barriers set up underneath a beer tent with chairs and a popcorn popper going all day, it gives the new version of the course a natural focal point for people to gather, cheer and revel.
Ed Sander Memorial CX Course Conditions
Evening and early morning rain provided many muddy sections through several low-laying spots, in many turns, and all the way throughout sections that ran through ponds that dot the property. While some of the earlier races had deep slop in spots, by the time the elite men took the course in the late afternoon, many of the corners had become tacky and soft after being subjected to wind and intermittent sun, providing better traction.
Among many notable morning results, junior racer Annamaria McHugh (Rock Creek Velo) won the Beginner Women’s Cat 4 race in her second win of the weekend after taking first in the same field at Biketoberfest Cross the day before.
In the 45+ Master Men’s field, Gunnar Shogren (Pathfinder WV) continued his winning ways by riding away from second place finisher and VergeSport jersey competition leader Jay Morali (Sportif Coaching Group).
The afternoon Elite races were characterized by large time gaps. With the slow conditions, clawing back time became difficult, favoring aggressive leaders able to stay on the gas. On the women’s side, Allyson Tufano (Sportif Coaching Group) won in decisive fashion by almost 30 seconds over second place finisher Julie Kuliecza (Cutaway p/b Black Hand Coffee), with Evie Edwards (SpokesWomen Syndicate Inc.) taking third more than a minute after Kuliecza.
On the men’s side, the Elite race was essentially a battle between Pat Blair (Adventures for the Cure), and Jared Nieters (SEAVS/Haymarket p/b Van Dessel). After both riders had already warmed up with a race earlier in the day in the Single Speed field (which Nieters won), Blair and Nieters separated themselves early on stringing the field out and riding out of sight of the rest of the competition after several laps. Both riders would test each other in the closing stages, taking turns attacking, creating gaps, and chasing, but never allowing the other to get more than a few seconds ahead. On the final lap, both riders entered the final third of the course together through the muddy pond section. Nieters suffered leg cramps on the last lap that he was forced to manage, and was unable to respond to the decisive attack. Blair entered the finishing straight with the winning margin that he would comfortably hold all the way to the line. Nieters rolled in 24 seconds later, with Blair’s teammate Lance Byrd (Adventures for the Cure) following about a minute and 45 seconds later to round out the top three.
The next stop for the Bikereg Super 8 Cyclocross Series will be event number five at Tacchino Cyclocross on Sunday November 8th at Rosaryville State Park in Upper Marlboro, MD. Registration closes on Friday, November 6.
Ed Sander Memorial CX Elite Men's Results
Ed Sander Memorial CX Elite Women's Results