Winterberg sets pace through the stairs ©Keith Hower

Winterberg sets pace through the stairs ©Keith Hower

By Keith Hower

Round #4 of the MABRAcross Super 8 Series marked the midpoint in the schedule of the high profile racing series.  Noted as being Washington D.C.’s only Cyclocross race, the event brings in sold-out fields, vendors, wild spectators, and major, major talent.

Schempf attacks Dombrowski ©Keith Hower

Schempf attacks Dombrowski ©Keith Hower

The Men’s 1/2/3 race managed to muster up a large field for MABRA’s premier event,  the racing did not disappoint, and at least a dozen of the region’s heavy hitters where on the line when the start whistle blew.  Greg Wittwer (ALAN) jumped out to the early lead, but it was short lived as Lukas Winterberg (Philadelphia Cyclocross School) moved past Wittwer on the pavement section by the parking lot. Wittwer retained second place followed by MABRAcross Series Leader Ben Frederick (Team Traveller) 3rd, Jared Nieters (Haymarket/SEAVS) fourth, and Steve Cummings (C3 p/b 20Twenty).  By the time the pack made it through the pits for the first time, Winterberg had already opened up a large gap of six seconds and was not looking back. That was, until Jared Niters bridged up to the solo leader early on in the second lap in the twisty top part of the course.  With Niters and Winterberg looking unstoppable at the front, the alarm bells went off in the pack.  Weston Schempf (C3 p/b 20Twenty) attacked and attempted a bridge effort to join the two leaders, the effort was matched by local hero Joe Dombrowski (Trek-Livestrong), and the two began tango their way to the front.

Some of the best racing of the day was the battle for fifth place. Lukas Muller (Philadelphia Cyclocross School) dangled in front of a strong pack near the midway point of the race, the pack was built by Wittwer, Cummings, Frederick, and Olympian Bobby Lea (Pure Energy-ProAirHFA).  The four-man chase group displayed some solid flawless riding for a majority of the race, but couldn’t appear to close in on the solo fifth place rider, Muller.

On the front of the race, the intense pressure and pace making applied by Winterberg for 47 minutes finally broke Nieters, and Winterberg took off for the race win as soon as he noticed the weakness in his companion.  Meanwhile, at almost the same time, the battle for third place was starting to come to a climax. Schempf kept turning the screws on Dombrowski , and for a while, it looked like Joe D. was able to withstand anything Weston would throw at him, but finally, the Veteran got the best of the youngster and moved into a solo third place.  Even further back, as the battle for fifth more or less became a battle for sixth, thanks to a strong Muller, the pressure rose and Bobby Lea started to crack right around the 50 minute mark eventually losing contact with Wittwer and Cummings.

With a sizeable gap, Lukas Winterberg put it on cruise control for the last lap and came to the line hands in the air taking the win after leading for 58 minutes. Nieters proudly rode in for an impressive second place, Schempf for third, Dombrowski for fourth, Muller for fifth, and Cummings got the better Wittwer on the final lap for sixth, Wittwer seventh.

An apology does have to be given though, the author of this article had poor time management skills and missed a major chunk of the day’s racing (arriving only 30 min before his own race, Men ¾) so unfortunely, the Women’s 1/2/3 race was missed.  I’m sorry ladies!  I’ll make up for it!

DCCX-V did not disappoint, it’s proved to be the marquee event in the MARBAcross Super 8 Series and provided excellent racing all day long and racers and spectators alike! Round # 5, Ed Sander Memorial Cyclocross,  goes down on November 6, 2011 in Adamstown, MD.

Photo Gallery:

Results: Elite Women

  1. Laura Van Gilder
  2. Arley Kemmerer
  3. Allyson Tufano
  4. Laura Murray
  5. Jennifer Maxwell
  6. Erin Silliman
  7. Alice Henriques
  8. Libbey Sheldon
  9. Liz So
  10. Kristine Church

Elite Men:

  1. Lukas Winterberg
  2. Jared Nieters
  3. Weston Schempf
  4. Joe Dombrowski
  5. Lukas Muller
  6. Stephen Cummings
  7. Greg Wittwer