A rider hurdles the barrier in Day 2 of Granogue © Jamie Mack

by Jamie Mack

Earlier this season, Charm City Cycling set a new standard for events in the mid-Atlantic region. C3 Director Kris Auer commented that he saw race promotion as a good-natured competition, and by stepping up his event he hoped to challenge other promoters to do the same. This weekend in Wilmington, Delaware, the promoters of the Granogue races answered the challenge and came out with a tremendous event. For its 10th year Granogue expanded to a two-day event and came into the weekend with almost 1,300 pre-registered entrants. The races brought together competitors from around the country, as many riders used them as a warm-up event for the upcoming USGP races in Louisville. From the Victory Brewing Company Beer Tent to the beautiful surroundings of the historic DuPont estate, the races at Granogue rose to a new level this season, and people are already talking about next year. [See our coverage of Granogue Day 1 here.]The two courses used the same terrain and some of the same features, but were so unique from each other that the rides were almost incomparable. Saturday’s course featured the same long climb to the picturesque tower that has been used in previous events, but included a slalom-like downhill section that was one of the best flowing features around. Saturday’s classic, rip-your-heart-out tough course gave way on Sunday to what at the outset seemed to be a more forgiving layout. But riders quickly realized that the new setup was as demanding, if not more difficult, because the various features were linked in a way that limited the recovery time as riders were on the gas almost constantly.

Elite Juniors

The UCI Elite Juniors race began with Yannick Eckmann bolting off the front, taking a 10-second gap out of the field mid-way through the first lap. Karl Hoppner, who took third on day one, hit a section of pavement on the course and the little bump and turn onto the asphalt pulled one of his tubulars off the rim, leaving the EMD Serano-Specialized rider lying on the pavement in a state of shock. Sam O’Keefe rolled into, over actually, Hoppner and stumbled, which held the pack up just as Eckmann and Bahnson, who was leading the pack just ahead of Hoppner, entered one of the faster section of the course. That was the last the field would see of Eckmann as he powered through the day to take the win. Bahnson would chase throughout the day, but could never catch the Boulder-based rider and settled for second in the end. Eckmann commented later that the race was “really fun….the second day after travel is always better. I tried to get a gap right away, ride my lines and do what I do.” The strategy obviously worked as Eckmann stayed out of trouble and rode to a smooth victory. He’s already looking forward to coming back to race with the Elites next year as a U23.

Elite Women

Laura van Gilder left no doubt who the rider to beat in the mid-Atlantic is this year, and her C3-Athletes Serving Athletes team continued its domination by taking the top three spots on the podium for a second day. Van Gilder took the lead from the gun and stayed smooth throughout the race, never leaving a question about the win. C3-Athletes Serving Athletes’ Dee-Dee Winfield was the closest competitor to van Gilder during the race, but never closed the gap and cruised in for second. Ann D’Ambruoso (LadiesFirst Racing) rode a steady race to eventually break the C3 strangehold and slot into third. Arley Kemmerer, the third shot in the C3 arsenal, cruised in for fourth to put a third C3 jersey on the podium.

After the race, van Gilder was smiling, as she usually is, as she talked about her race and the rest of her season. “It was very hard, the course was challenging but in a different way…longer grinds, tricky downhill to the 180-runup and the remount was kind of like a roller coaster.” Van Gilder went on to talk about her season, including her next races in Louisville, and how she’s using the intense efforts of races like Granogue to get her fitness ready to compete on the national and world level at upcoming races, against riders such as Katie Compton and Georgia Gould.

Elite Men

The Elite Men’s race provided some of the most exciting race action of the weekend as Valentin Scherz (Cyfac-Champion Systems p/b Revolution Wheelworks) battled with Jesse Anthony (California Giant Berry Farms) throughout the race, and equally exciting races were going on behind for the rest of the podium spots. Weston Schempf (C3-Athletes Serving Athletes) and Adam Myerson (Cycle-Smart) took the holeshot, leading the pack from the starting straight onto the grass, but Anthony quickly took over and established a gap. Scherz worked over the next two laps to connect with Anthony, finally catching the leader and moving past him to take control of the race. Anthony fell back over the next couple of laps and it seemed for a time that Scherz would take the win. But Anthony regrouped and took the victory with a bike throw after a ferocious two-man sprint to the line.

Behind the two leaders, Justin Lindine (’s Garage) spent most of the day in no-mans land, never connecting with the leaders but maintaining a gap to the riders behind. Myerson, Josh Dillon (Richard Sachs-RGM Watches), Andy Wuhfulke (C3-Athletes Serving Athletes) and CXM contributor Adam McGrath (Feedback Sports-Van Dessel) battled through the last several laps to decide the remaining two podium spots. Dillon was the first to fall off the pace, while Wuhfulke held on until the final lap. In the end, Myerson and McGrath took it to the line in another sprint finish, with Myerson using his road experience to take the sprint at the line. McGrath was happy with the weekend though, seeing the efforts as a good way to shake off some of the recent travel as he gets ready for the USGP in Louisville.

Incredible racing, wonderful surroundings and cooperative weather made for a great weekend in northern Delaware. But the one thing that stands out about Granogue is the passion and energy that drives the army of volunteers responsible for this event. Lead by three dedicated community members – Tom McDaniel, Marc Vettori and Lauri Webber – the Granogue events are the culmination of the dedication to ’cross that defines what the (DCCofD) and the Mid-Atlantic community are about. Rather than just an event, the Granogue weekend was true ’cross racing. No gimmicks, no circus, no attempt to make the weekend anything more that it was – unadulterated cyclocross, created simply to be enjoyed by the community that supports it. And in true community fashion, the Granogue races ensured that everyone had a chance to grab a Victory, even if most of them were in the beer tent.

Full Results:

Elite Men

1 0:57:31 103 Anthony Jesse
2 U23 0:57:31 101 Scherz Valentin Cyfac-Champion System Racing Team p/b Revolution
3 0:59:21 102 Lindine Justin / Joe’s Garage / Scott
4 0:59:58 104 Myerson Adam Cycle-Smart
5 0:59:59 110 McGrath Adam Feedback Sports/Van Dessel Cyclocross
6 1:00:02 111 Wulfkuhle Andrew C3-Athletes Serving Athletes
7 1:00:35 105 Dillon Josh RICHARD SACHS – RGM WATCHES – RADIX
8 1:00:43 121 Nieters Jared Haymarket / SEAVS
9 U23 1:00:58 115 Fisher Steve Rad Racing NW / Hagens Berman LLP
10 1:00:58 109 Schempf Weston C3-Athletes Serving Athletes
11 U23 1:01:34 120 Grand Anthony Cyfac-Champion System Racing Team p/b Revolution
12 1:01:44 137 Lea Bobby Van Dessel Factory Team
13 1:01:51 131 Bradshaw Peter Embrocation Cycling Journal
14 1:02:13 119 Cummings Stephen Haymarket Bicycles / SEAVS
15 1:02:37 138 Wilcox David PEDROS
16 1:03:16 128 Driscoll Adam Adventures For the Cure
17 1:03:20 139 Rugg Timothy Battley Harley-Davidson/Sonoma Restaurant/Teaism
18 1:03:20 132 Mihalik Michael Freddie Fu Cycling Team
19 1:03:20 143 Burns John
20 1:03:37 144 Frederick Scott Inland Construction
21 1:03:50 112 Adamson Shaun Cycle-Smart
22 1:04:01 127 Fridrich Cary EMBROCATION CYCLING JOURNAL
23 1:04:24 125 Weaver Dave ALAN North America Cycling Team
24 lap-1 134 Pierce Stephen Cambridge Bicycle / Igleheart Frames
25 lap-1 135 Crooks Andrew NYC Velo
26 lap-1 114 Wyatt Nathanael Carolina Fatz pb Industry Nine
27 lap-1 117 Consorto Christopher Louis Garneau
28 U23 lap-2 130 Bradley Patrick Rutgers University | Raleigh | Kim’s Bike Shop
29 lap-2 124 Broadwater Mark C3-Athletes Serving Athletes
30 lap-2 140 Brown Timothy Battley Harley-Davidson/Sonoma Restaurant/Teaism
31 lap-4 141 Peppo Kyle Cyfac-Champion System Racing Team p/b Revolution Wheelworks
32 lap-5 133 Spohn Matt Cyfac-Champion System Racing Team p/b Revolution Wheelworks
33 lap-6 145 Sommerville David Cyfac-Champion System P/B Revolution Wheelworks
DNF U23 106 Townsend Jerome / Joe’s Garage / Scott
DNF 113 Wittwer Greg ALAN North America Cycling Team
DNF U23 122 Dombrowski Joseph Haymarket / SEAVS
DNF U23 123 Adams Zach C3-Athletes Serving Athletes
DNF 142 Szczepanski Adam Wissahickon

Elite Women

Place U23 35+ Time Bib # Last Name First Name Team
1 35+ 36:52 201 van Gilder Laura C3 Athletes Serving Athletes
2 35+ 36:57 202 Winfield Deidre C3 – Athletes Serving Athletes
3 37:25 206 D’Ambruoso Ann LadiesFirst Racing
4 38:17 207 Kemmerer Arley C3 – Athletes Serving Athletes
5 38:38 208 Popovic Carolyn
6 38:56 211 Blatt Rebecca silverbull centralwheel
7 38:57 205 Thiemann Nicole Team CF
8 35+ 39:32 210 Maxwell Jennifer Van Dessel Factory Team p/b Sterke Meiden
9 35+ 39:34 221 Dowidchuk Katrina Team TBB/Deep Blue
10 40:19 232 Kuliecza Julie ALAN North America Cycling Team
11 40:45 215 Pipes Lenore The Wistar Institute
12 35+ 40:56 213 Webber Lauri Secret Henry’s Team
13 41:36 212 Church Kristine Human Zoom/ Pabst Blue Ribbon
14 35+ 41:51 228 Barbossa Stacey Montclair Cyclists
15 42:05 231 Silliman Erin ALAN North America Cycling Team
16 35+ 42:51 217 Harlow Elizabeth C3 – Athletes Serving Athletes
17 42:55 230 Larsen Laurel Syn-Fit Race Team
18 42:58 224 Hayes Conroy Jessica North American Velo
19 43:47 218 Hillesheim Lindsey Squadra Coppi
20 44:31 225 Luebbe Andrea Human Zoom / Pabst Blue Ribbon
21 U23 lap-1 226 Santiago Nina Watchung Wheelmen
DNF 35+ 209 Yozell Erica
DNF 219 Cutler Amy Team EPS/CSS p/b Brielle Cyclery
DNF 35+ 220 Maldonado Lynda Cannondale/Cadence Women’s Racing