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Wednesday, May 24, 2000 -- Pittsburgh, PA
2000 ACA Summer Criterium Series
Story by Joe Papp with photos contributed by the 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.

B Race
Racing to beat the rain in the B race
"Rain rain go away, come again another day" - that was the chant heard throughout the A field before the start of their 50 lap event. Unfortunately, despite the shaman-like efforts of several riders, the rain fell long and hard. While both the C and B races were completed under relatively clear skies, tonight's feature resembled the final 40km of a very tough, very wet Liege-Bastogne-Liege. Only 25 riders braved the conditions and took to the line, though even far fewer finished.

Undeterred by the weather, perennial strongman Gunnar Shogren (Guinness) put the field to shame early on, gaining almost a half lap lead during his solo attack. Only Kelly Yoder (Freddie Fu), coming off a disappointing Olympic Trials road race where she flatted on lap two, made an effort to bridge to Shogren, though she failed to get across. After several laps, GoMart-WV's Rob Acciavatti rallied the field and brought things back together, though not for long. After catching his breath, Acciavatti immediately began attacking the field, joined each time by Joe Papp (Pittsburgh Cycling Team). It was not until the duo countered Matt Brungard (who'd just won a PAOutside prime) with 18 laps to go that they succeeded in finally breaking away from the field. With Team Freddie Fu's Brian Wieczorek in tow, the leaders quickly separated themselves from the rest of the peloton and went on to build an insurmountable lead.

Papp, Acciavatti & Wieczorek on the break
On the final lap, while Acciavatti and Papp, their faces blackened by road grit, watched each other like cagey match sprinters, Wieczorek launched a surprise attack into turn three. Alas, it was not sneaky enough, as Acciavatti passed Wieczorek with 150 meters remaining, only to be caught himself by Papp with 50 meters to go. Papp took his second win in two weeks with Acciavatti second for the second week in a row. A determined Wieczorek finished third. Bret Baronak (MVVC) won the field sprint for fourth ahead of Saysana Ithavongsa, with Wieczorek's teammate George Yoder in sixth.

In the B race, Team Brooklyn attacked from the gun, sending several riders up the road on the first lap. They were quickly reeled in, but in a change of pace, the attacks continued for the rest of the race. Wade Andrews(Pittsburgh Cycling Club) and his teammates Charlie Chulack and Bob Masterson were constantly at the front, winning three primes between them, as were the East Suburban Sports Medicine riders. When Chulack won the PAOutside prime late in the race, ahead of Ryan Mele (Volpatti's), it looked as if the two might actually break away from the field. Alas, having missed the move, Team Brooklyn chased it down. The race finished in a field sprint, with Andrew Mor in first, Mele second, John Graham (Pittsburgh Cycling Team) in third, Bob Riffle (East Suburban Sports Medicine) fourth, and Colin Sandberg (Pittsburgh Cycling Team) in fifth.

Bret Goodpaster, grinning a bearing it on the oval
Kevin Cramer won the 20 lap C race, finishing in a time of 23:57. Gary Fisher/SAAB's Mike Wolinski finished second and David Kramer (Nail City) was third.

In other news, a new Monday night race series is schedule for May 29-September 4 at the Pseudodrome. Organized by the Pittsburgh Masters Velo Club, the races will cater to new riders who are interested in learning the fundamentals of bike racing before they test the waters in the Wednesday night ACA Summer Criterium Series. There will be skills sessions each week, before a program of mass-start and individual events. See for more information.