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Sunday, November 26, 2000 -- Hopewell, PA
Raccoon Township Cyclocross #1
Story by Dave McKain Photos by Don Parks

[Details] [Coverage] [Overall Results] [Pic Set 1] [Pic Set 2] [Pic Set 3]

Racing under bleak skies
When most cyclists think of cyclocross racing they picture skinny europeans covered with mud sporting grim looks on their faces. For the last couple years the PA/WV area has been pretty much spared of mud during the cyclocross season but the opening race in the Raccoon Township Cyclocross series may be a harbinger of things to come as the season winds down. Sundays race at Raccoon Township Community Park didn't enjoy the turnout it normally gets for CX racing (possibly due to the inclement weather and to the holiday weekend). Only 12 hardy souls (including myself) showed up to take on each other and the course. Surprisingly, a majority of the racers travelled up from the Morgantown, WV area and Ohio while only two local racers left the warmth of their abodes for the event.

WVU well represented
The course was muddied from heavy rains over the previous several days which prompted several of the racers to switch over to their mountain bikes and their fat tires and lower centers of gravity but the CX bikes would rule the day. Several sections of the course had only recently been cleared and quickly turned to muck after the passing of several bikes. Luckily, a majority of the course has been in use for a long time and was well bedded.

The race kicked off several minutes late due to the tardiness of the Shogren family (fresh off over 2000 miles of travelling including a trip to the CX Supercup in Boston). Even without a warmup, Gunnar Shogren (Fort Frames) turned up the race pace soon after the start, quickly scattering the field.

Gunnar puts another "X" in the win column
Ernesto Marenchin (Speedgoat) was able to match Shogren over the first lap but eventually had to turn it back a notch and watch the gap begin to grow. Marenchin (54:20) kept the gap from growing too much but in the end couldn't catch the speedy Shogren (53:46). Rounding out the top three was WVU rider Steve Gergely (56:36).

Race #2 in the series takes place Sunday the 3rd, same bat time, same bat channel. Hope to see more participants from the 'burgh next time. Thanks to Gary Dugovich, Gary Bywaters and all their helpers for putting on yet another great race.

Yours Truly was put the pedal to the metal but couldn't quite break into the top ten and had to settle for an 11th overall finish (please check results) ...... almost forgot how much fun it is to race.