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Wednesday, April 12, 2000 -- Pittsburgh, PA
2000 ACA Summer Criterium Series
Story by Don Parks with photos and contributions from Dave McKain and Gunnar Shogren

[Details] [Coverage] [Overall Results] [Pic Set 1] [Pic Set 2]

Class B Race
The Class B Race gets rolling
The Allegheny Cycling Association kicked off their 2000 Summer Criterium Series on Wednesday evening, April 12. With a race time temperature of 40 degrees, the Pittsburgh 1/2 Mile Oval was a "mighty cold" stage for the start of a summer series.

The C Race (Cat 4-5) starting promptly at 6:00pm with a group of 20 riders ready to challenge the banked oval for 15 laps (7.5 Miles). With a mix of skill levels comprising this novice road racing class, it didn't take long for the group to spread out. Working hard to stay out in front was Charles Chulack, whose efforts earned him the most aggressive rider award. It also put him in the front at the finish to take the win in 18:17, followed by Michael Walewski and Ian Sandberg, respectively.

Banked Turn
Having fun on the banked turns at the Pittsburgh Oval
Soon after the C Race finish, the B Race (Cat 3-4) began and included several women riders in the mix. This 20 lap (10 Mile) event was a bit of a contrast to the previous race in that this group of 20 held together in a tight bunch for much of the race.

When it was all said and done, David Burke pulled out the win in 24:41 with a field sprint at the finish. Second went to Robert Riffle, third went to John Gamble and the most aggressive rider award was taken by Bill Kranrek. Among the ladies, it was Jennifer Shogren and Barb Grabowski taking home first and second place honors, respectively.

Rob & Gunnar
Acciavatti and Shogren help keep the pace fast in the A race
The final event of the evening, the A Race (Cat 1-2-3), demanded 35 Laps (17.5 Miles) and attracted a crowd of 27 competitors. It didn't take long for some aggressive riders to do their best to warm up the chilly evening. A bunch of early attacks tested everyone's early season legs with Gunnar Shogren often playing instigator and, in the end, taking home the most aggressive rider award.

It wasn't until about 5 miles into the race that a break finally held. A group of about a half-dozen riders relentlessly hammered the pace and eventually went on to lap the rest of the field.

With just a handful of laps left in the race, Scott Zwizanski launched himself on a one-man break that no one seemed willing to try and chase down. Zwizanski's solo efforts took him to the finish line with a healthy gap on the field. His winning time of 40:56 paced him at an average speed of 25.65 mph.

Money Winners
To the victors go the spoils
The remaining half-dozen riders in the lead group were led to the line by Rob Acciavatti. He charged early and held an edge to the finish with a time of 41:15. The sprint to the finish for third was won by Joe Papp who crossed the line at 41:16.

The weather is sure to get warmer and they'll be racing again every Wednesday evening through September 20th. So, whether you're a seasoned veteran or just a curious beginner, get out for an evening of fun competition on the Pittsburgh Oval. You can learn from the experts, enjoy a little racing, and maybe even win a bit of pocket change. To find out more, click on over to the ACA web site.