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Sunday, July 23, 2000 -- Murrysville, PA
5th Murrysville Cycling Classic
Article contributed by Fred Baldassare with photos by Don Parks

[Details] [Coverage]
[Overall Results] [Primes]
Pictures: [Set 1] [Set 2] [Set 3] [Set 4] [Set 5] [Set 6] [Set 7] [Set 8]

The Peloton
Rolling through the Murrysville countryside
On Sunday, July 23rd., Murrysville, Pennsylvania played host to some of the best athletes in the country as over 200 amateur and professional cyclists from many areas of the country and Canada converged to race in the 5th Annual Murrysville Cycling Classic.

The course, a 10 mile loop on the rural roads of Murrysville has been described as one of natural selection and one of the toughest in the east. The race has earned its reputation because of 3 climbs, all back to back. With no time to recover, it's a sure bet that only the strongest will finish in the top positions. This year, the weather gods smiled on Murrysville as high heat and humidity were not an added factor.

Looking for speed on a tough course
Team strategy was the order of the day as former Olympian Graeme Miller and teammate John Lieswyn riding for team Shaklee, rode a very tactical race in this high speed chess match controlling the pace until the last lap of the 60 mile Pro race. It was on the last trip up the brutal climbs that the two turned on the afterburners and pulled away from Canadian Alex Lavallee (Kissena) and a very talented field of Pro-1/2 riders to finish first and second respectively. It was Miller's third consecutive win in Murrysville who also set a course record winning the race in just 2 hours 27 minutes for a blistering average speed of over 25 mph.

Race Co-Director and Promoter Fred Baldassare noted that this was the strongest field of cyclists in its 5 year history. The cyclists competed for $10,000 cash and over $2,000 in merchandise thanks to the race sponsors. For the 5th straight year, Jay Mangold w/Gateway Fasteners, Inc. was the principal sponsor. Other sponsors were Dr. Freddie Fu w/UPMC Center for Sports Medicine, Mike Ruane w/Murrysville Giant Eagle, Jim Rumbaugh w/The Meritage Group, Peg Hill w/National City - Murrysville Branch, Pat Tiani w/Watson Chevrolet-Oldsmobile, Kristin Bunta w/Pepsi-Aquafina, Gattos Cycling and Fitness, Rudy Project Sunglasses, East Suburban Sports Medicine Cycling Team, Murrysville McDonalds, and SWPA Ozone Action Partnership.

Team Shaklee takes the Pro-1/2 win
A special thanks to Murrysville Mayor Ruth Fowler, Diane Heming, Finance Director, Rick Ingram, Public Works Supervisor, Mike Hoy, Chief Administrator, and Co-Race Director Joe Dietrick for their work and support and Murrysville Chief of Police Tom Fitzgerald, Murrysville Police Officers Rob Liermann, and Buzz Yahske, Murrysville Public works, Murrysville, Sardis, and White Valley Fire Companies, Medic One, and the many Murrysville residents who volunteered their time to marshal the intersections and make this race safe and an enormous success.

Winners in the other races were: Ed Dickenson in the Sr 3/4 race from Virginia, Wayne Luther in the Masters 35+ race from New York, Roz Reekie in the Women's race from New Zealand, Jason Bierly from Pennsylvania in the Jrs. race, Marcus Tullio from Ohio in the Jrs./Espoir, and Ken Learn from Pennsylvania in the Sr. 4/5 race.