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Sunday, April 30, 2000 -- Mingo Creek Park, PA
2000 ACA Spring Road Race Series #5
Story by Joe Papp with photos courtesy of Rob Frazzini, Pittsburgh Cycling Club.

[Details] [Coverage] [Overall Results] [Pic Set 1] [Pic Set 2]
For more information on cycling in Southwest PA, check with the Allegheny Cycling Association.

More ACA racing action coming right at you!
"It's the most beautiful circuit race I've ever ridden!" exclaimed a competitor after the conclusion of the final event of the Allegheny Cycling Association's Spring Road Race Series. Organized by ACA President Don Mosites, the races were held on a picturesque, 5-mile loop through the farmland of Nottingham Township, PA. The course included a variety of terrain, including false flats, a little-ring climb, a blazingly fast downhill section and a stretch of road straight out of the Tour of Switzerland. With sunny skies and temperatures near 70 degrees, the 45 riders attending this last race enjoyed an ideal day of racing.

After receiving their instructions from long-time USCF official Gary Bywaters, competitors in the Class C/Women's combined event headed out onto the circuit for five laps (26.5 miles). After several gentle kilometers, a break eventually distanced itself from the field. Led by Charlie Chulack (Pittsburgh Cycling Club), who has dominated C racing this year, the escapees established a 40 second lead on the field. After toying with his opponents on the circuit's major climb, Chulack handily dispatched them in the final sprint. Joseph Moore (ACA/Brooklyn) finished second, James Miller (ACA/Fox Velo) was third, Brian Keffer came fourth and Michael Walewski (Gary Fisher/SAAB) finished fifth, 14 seconds adrift of the leading quartet.

Papp & Dixon
Joe Papp and Kyle Dixon battle up a rolling hill
Dee Frazzini, rider/coach of the PCC women's squad, finally beat her arch nemesis, Barbara Grabowski (Pittsburgh Master's Velo Club). While these two women have waged a slugfest since Frazzini's arrival in Pittsburgh from New Mexico in 1996, Grabowski claimed two of three spring races in which they both rode. Without a doubt, spectators will be treated to an epic battle when next these strongwomen meet.

As Frazzini and Grabowski dueled in the Women's race, so too did Kyle Dixon (Schwinn) and Joe Papp (PCC) in the A/B combined feature. Two laps into the seven-lap, 37-mile event, Papp rode away from the field on the climb, only to be joined by Dixon on lap three. After holding the breakaways in sight for several laps, the field began to come apart when John Evanko (Schwinn) tested his climbing legs on lap six. His repeated attacks in support of teammate Dixon wore down the field and put several riders straight out of the back.

The Pack
The pack rolls on in pursuit of the leaders
Up front, Dixon and Papp worked smoothly together to increase their lead, though with one lap to go, they were both showing signs of fatigue. Papp, nursing a broken hand sustained last month when he was hit by a car while training, sounded like a tuberculosis patient at the top of the climb because of a case of bronchitis. Dixon, meanwhile, rode the entire event with a serious case of tendonitis in his left knee. Nevertheless, the experience of these two elite riders gave them an almost unfair advantage over the other local riders

Unwilling to tow around the remnants of the less-than-enthusiastic field, Evanko launched a solo attack on the last lap and almost bridged to the leaders. However, Papp jumped Dixon in the final kilometer before Evanko could make contact, finishing in a record time of 1:36:06. Dixon held on for second, while Evanko crossed the line only 16 seconds adrift of his teammate. The PCC's Mark Nicoll won the field sprint for fourth in the A's, ahead of the regrouped pack. Matt Frey (PCC) was the fifth and final A rider to finish.

Though the A and B fields were combined, the B race was scored separately. Ten B riders contested the final sprint together, with Bob Riffle (East Suburban Sports Medicine) defeating young Ryan Mele (Volpatti's) and Chris Sale (ESSM).