Share |

Saturday, November 21, 2009 -- Bruceton Mills, WV
Bruceton Mills CX VI - WVCXS Series #5 - Series Championship Race (iPO Event Id#: 11735)

[Details] [Coverage] [Photos] [Overall Results]

Finale on the Farm

Story and photos by J.R. Petsko, www.ABRAracing.com

Bruceton Mills CX VI, Photo by J.R. Petsko
ABRA Racing Photo
On Saturday afternoon, cyclocross racers from all around the area headed to the Parks Farm outside of Bruceton Mills, West Virginia for the final WVCXS race of the year. This marked the sixth year for the event and each year the number of competitors taking part has increased. This year was no different as a record number of racers showed up to get their cross fix. A few folks were there to try their hand at their first ever cross race, but the majority was there because they wanted to place well in their respective WVCXS classes.

With much warmer temperatures than the previous year, race #1 competitors gathered at the start line. Race #1 included (as it has all year) the singlespeed, the women, and the masters.

GO! Jon Martin (WV Night Club) took the hole shot as he does on many occasions. He was followed closely by the rest of the singlespeed field which included Stephen Rowand (Wamsley Cycles), Montana Miller (Pro Bikes), Morgan Miller (Colorado University) and Justin McKeel. Martin held on strong for the first lap but then an attack came from the Montana Miller ride and Rowand was quick to jump on his wheel. The pace was more than the rest could hold and quickly it was a two-man race. Rowand would attack, Miller would counter. It was like a heavyweight fight watching the two riders go toe to toe.

Bruceton Mills CX VI, Photo by J.R. Petsko
ABRA Racing Photo
Rowand had the experience of winning the Marilla Cross race earlier this season, in which Miller finished second. However Montana clearly wanted his own win in the 2009 cross season as he attacked with three laps left to go and was able to put a gap on Rowand. Miller would continue to push his fixed gear machine through the remaining laps to take his first series victory of the year. Rowand hung tough in second, followed by Morgan Miller in third. Martin, after his hole shot effort, eventually fell to fourth, and rounding out the top five was Justin McKeel. Despite finishing second on the day, Rowand took home the title of WVCXS singlespeed series champion.

In the women's race, Betsy Shogren (Cannondale Factory Racing) was looking to make it a clean sweep of WVCXS events in 2009 by trying to capture her fourth win in four tries. However, Kristy Lanier (Dirtbean.com), Emily Moy (WVU Cycling) and Laurie Johnston (WV Night Club) were going to try and have something to say about that first! At the start Shogren found herself mid-pack amongst the singlespeed and masters riders and Lanier was not far behind. However by the third lap Shogren found herself out front of the women and running third overall in the entire field. Things never changed after that. Shogren took the win and the women's series title. Lanier finished second on the day as Moy and Johnston finished third and fourth respectively.

In the masters race there were points on the line and a series to win as Fritz Kessler (Breakaway Velo) and Joel Harris held the top two spot in series points. At the start Kean Bird took the lead followed by Bob Vernon who was sporting a super cool vintage Whitetail bicycles jersey. Wish I still could find mine.

Bruceton Mills CX VI, Photo by J.R. Petsko
ABRA Racing Photo
Vernon was seen following Kean for the first few laps but the course was suited for a cross bike and not a mountain bike. This was in Bird's favor. Bird finished first and captured his first series win of the year. Vernon took second followed by Kessler who used the great ride to claim enough points to take the masters series title. Fourth went to Scott Mabry and fifth was Jeff Bernstein. Sixth went to Joel Harris which gave him the runner-up spot in the series.

Race #2 was the Men's B and the Clydesdale/Tandem class. From the gun it was Bill "Sticks" Westover (Thick Bikes) and Rob Lochner (Iron City Bikes) out front and riding hard. Westover, who was wearing jeans, was feeling good and turned the screw 25 minutes into the race and dropped Lochner. Behind the two leaders the racing was excellent. Scott Benson, Duncan Oliver (WVU Cycling), Robert Chaney and Danny Welsch (Western Maryland Wheelmen) all took turns battling for the third through sixth position.

"Just when you thought someone was gapped and behind you, here they came again." Welsch said. Westover went on to the win followed by Lochner. Benson was able to push his way to the front of chase pack and score his best finish of the year in third. Oliver, last week's winner, rallied back after a slow start to finish in fourth. Chaney was fifth followed by Welsch in sixth. On a side note the best race was between Ryan Post (WVU Cycling) and James Braswell (WVU Cycling); the two rode the entire race neck and neck. The crowd was into it just as much as the two riders. In the end Braswell took eighth and Post was ninth. In the series, the top spot went to Oliver followed by Welsch, Benson, Chaney, and Post.

The Clydesdale/Tandem class saw the duo of Betsy and Gunnar Shogren (Cannondale Factory Racing) take their fourth series victory of the year along with the overall series title. Second on the day went to Mike Miller (Miller D.D.S.) which also helped propel him into second in the series.

Bruceton Mills CX VI, Photo by J.R. Petsko
ABRA Racing Photo
The final race of the day was the Men's A class. Series points leader Brad Schmalzer (Bikeman.com) had the series in-hand; all he needed was to finish the event. That was a thankful fact to Schmalzer who had fallen ill with the flu just days before the race.

I asked Schmalzer had he thought about not racing: "you couldn't have kept me away from this race," Schmalzer said. Behind him in the series there was much left to be decided. Jason Cyr (Cannondale), round number 1 and 4 winner, held a one point lead over Gunnar Shogren (Cannondale Factory Racing) in third. Cyr gave Shogren all he could handle in Davis and he was going to need to do it one more time to hold him off in the series points.

Also racing on the day was Gary Rodosta, Gerry Pflug (Speedgoat/SPK), Ed Krall, and Nate Annon (Cannondale/Pathfinder). Montana Miller, Rob Lochner, and Bill Westover also decided to pull double duty by racing their second event of the day.

From the start it was Pflug out front and looking to run away with the race. Pflug has been having a year to remember. With wins in cross, road and XXC racing, to say the newly crowned NUE singlespeed series champion is on fire would be an understatement. However just when it looked like it was going to be a cake walk for Pflug, Montana Miller tried to bridge the gap between the leader and the chase group of six riders. Miller was unable to make the jump but he did launch Shogren out of the chase group to make a successful bid to bridge the gap. All of a sudden it had turned into a two-man race.

Bruceton Mills CX VI, Photo by J.R. Petsko
ABRA Racing Photo
For the next forty minutes the two leaders put time into the rest of the field making sure no one else was going to challenge for the win. With just three laps to go Shogren came across the start finish line alone. What had happened to Pflug? "The hills were starting to burn me up." Pflug said. He had stopped at the pit for a bike change and grabbed his geared bike.

The former UCI Police and Firemen World Cycling Champion was back on Shogren's wheel one lap later and attacked. Pflug's attack worked as he rode home to victory with Shogren second. Behind the leaders Rodosta was in his own dog fight with Krall. The two riders looked to be in pain as each rider took turns attacking one another. If you remember just one week before Rodosta was in a similar battle with Brad Schmalzer in which Schmalzer got the better of Rodosta. However Rodosta was not about to let history repeat itself and used a great attack on the final lap to take home the third spot. Jason Cyr rounded out the top five with Schmalzer in sixth to clinch his series title!

All in all, it was a great race and a great series! If you have not heard yet, things are going to be bigger in 2010. Check out the new series information at www.ABRAracing.com

Also I want to thank everyone who came out to race and all the folks who helped set up and tear down at each race. Thank you!

Last but not least I want to thank the series sponsors one last time!

  • Spoke Art
  • Pathfinder of West Virginia
  • Hammer Nutrition
  • iPlayOutside.com