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Saturday, October 2, 2010 -- Waynesburg, PA / Greene County Airport
Kickoff Cross - APCXS # 1 (iPO Event Id#: 12589)

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

    This was the FIRST RACE of the 2010 Appalachian Cyclocross Series (APCXS) presented by the Appalachian Bicycle Racing Association (ABRA). For more series information go to

Story by: J.R. Petsko with photos by Ben Stephens.

On Saturday, October 2, the ABRA Cyclocross Series got underway with its first event of the year, Kickoff Cross. The first year event took place on the grounds of Greene County Airport in Waynesburg, Pennsylvania. The 148 racers were welcomed by blue skies, sunshine and comfortable temperature (not your typical cross weather, but I am sure no one was complaining about the nice weather).

Things got underway with the Men's Cat 4, Single Speed and Junior's race. It was pretty clear with the first heat that cyclocross is starting to really catch-on in our area as the field contained 51 riders. There have been entire past events in the area that have had fewer riders than that. I was really excited to see things starting to take off!

Out front in the SS division was a group of six containing Don Powers (Pro Bikes), Gerry Pflug (Salsa/SPK/Pro Bikes), Rob Lochner (Iron City Bikes), Montana Miller (Speedgoat), Josh

Feazell and Justin Pokrivka (Pro Bikes) trying to pull away early from the rest of the field. Unfortunately for Pflug, he dropped a chain on the first lap and found himself dead last in the field. That was going to make things just a bit harder on the newly crowned NUE Series Single Speed Champion, as his teammate Pokrivka was out front and pushing the pace. However in just two laps of the course, Pflug was able to pass the entire field on his way back to the front. The final results had Pflug 1st, Pokrivka 2nd, Miller 3rd, Feazell 4th, Lochner 5th, and Powers 6th . Impressive ride, Gerry.

In the Cat 4 field, Ryan Day managed to be the only rider to finish on the lead lap to take the class win.

Derek Reager (Sargents Electric) of Pittsburgh rode to a strong second place finish, while Michael Appel (DPS Penn) and Matt Cozza (Pro Bikes) battled all the way to the line with Appel taking the third spot. Aaron Bennett (Steel City Endurance) took home the number five spot. On a side note, my victory of the day was not letting Bennett lap me.

It was so close to happening. Sixth went to Matt Kettering (Varmint Sweater) of Morgantown, WV. In the Juniors 12-18 category it was young speedster Matthews Phillips (Haymarket/SEAVS) taking the win and finishing on the lead lap, I may add. Second was Tyler Mower (Team Citius) followed by Ethan Kraus in third.

Next up was the Masters 40+, Women's Cat 1/2/3 and the Women's Cat 4. As the field started, Gunnar Shogren (Dynamic Physical Therapy Cycling), Andy Gorski, Craig Cozza (Pro Bikes), Robert Gottlieb, James Wright and Kean Bird (Breakaway Velo) all made the dash towards the front. As the laps ticked off, Shogren and Gorski made it a two-man race as they pulled away from the others.

Lap after lap the two worked at the front to extend their lead. Cozza looked to be riding comfortable and alone in the third spot but behind him it was anyone's game. Last Lap!

On the back stretch Shogren made a move and it stuck. First place went to the Morgantown, WV resident followed by Gorski in second. Cozza held onto his third spot with Robert Gottlieb in fourth. James Wright just edged out Kean Bird to take the final podium spot.

For the women, Traci Rodosta (Breakaway Velo) put in one of her best rides to date since moving to the area. The Cat 1/2/3 rider took home the victory in style. Second in the Women's 1/2/3 field was Gray Patton, followed by Chrissy Buerkle in third. Stephanie Swan (Iron City Bikes) took home the fourth spot. In the Women's Cat 4 event, Nina Wilczek (Global Ride) rode to victory while Cynthia Johnson was second. Lauren Mika (Pro Bikes) finished strong in third in front of a large Cat 4 women's field.

The Cat 3/4 Men with their 1:15 start time was the third field to see action on the day. It was pretty clear even before the race begun that this was going to be a great race to watch, as the field was full from top to bottom with fast riders.

Todd Schoeni (Pro Bikes), Ed Krall (Indiana Regional Medical Center), Jake Grantham (UMPC Cycling), Samson McHugh (University of Pittsburgh), Andrew Seitz and Mike Quigley (Pro Bikes) jumped to the front as the whistle blew. However a whole host of others were hot on their heals. Riders like Bill Westover (Thick Bikes) and Rob Spreng (Dirty Harry's) were just waiting for one small mistake by the guys in front to move up in the field; unfortunately for the middle of the pack, those mistakes never came.

It came down to the wire as Andrew Seitz came away with the win and the points lead in the 3/4 category. Quigley finished a strong second with McHugh hot on his heals. Jake Grantham held down the fourth spot less then a minute behind the riders ahead of him. Fifth was Ed Krall followed by Todd Schoeni in sixth. Clearly, this is going to be an exciting class to follow throughout the entire ABRA Cyclocross series!

The final race of the day brought the fastest folks to the line! The Men's Cat 1/2/3 was filled with a host of riders who could take home the win. Pflug, Shogren and Phillips were back for more racing, despite having already won once on the day. However, Steve Cummings (Pro Bikes), Mike Mihalik (Freddy Fu Cycling Team), Chris Mayhew (JBV Coaching), Matthew Weeks (Bike Authority) and Andy Wiedrich were all fresh and ready to fight for the win in the first ABRA Cross event.

The hole shot and $50 prize went to Wiedrich but after an early crash he let go of the lead. Cummings, Weeks and newcomer to the area, Karl Vanderwood, (Montana Velo) took off as they formed a group at the front. Milhalik and Pflug tried to chase them down but the pace was high. At the halfway point Vanderwood was dropped from the lead group and was alone in third. Lap after lap Cummings and Weeks took turns at the front trying to crack one another, but neither was showing any sign of weakness. As it did in the Master's race earlier in the day, it came down to the last lap. Cummings and Weeks were over the barriers and Cummings threw in a monster attack!

Weeks jumped from the saddle and tried to answer but Cummings continued to pull away! The crowd was pumped when they saw the attack happening. Cummings held his lead for the final few hundred feet to take the win, with Weeks in second. Vanderwood cruised to third while Mihalik and Pflug rounded out the top five.

As most everyone knows, this year we have added a top team award for each race and for the overall series. Round one went to the folks at Pro Bikes (pictured below)! Also the weekend "Rock Stars" award goes to Don "I did 4 races in 2 days" Powers, Steve "For Hire" Cummings, Stacie "the Bulldog" Truszkowski and Gray Patton.

The "Rock Star" awards were based on the best and most notable rides of the weekend at both Kickoff Cross and the Month of Mud Cyclocross race at Grove City the following day! Congratulations!

It was a great day of racing and I would say that the ABRA Cyclocross series is off to a great start! Don't forget the rest of the series events, we'll see you there!

Thank You Sponsors & Friends

Thanks to Ben Stephens for the great photos.

Special Thanks to:

Pro Bikes, DPS Penn, Southwest Regional Medical Center, The Vanishing Oath A Crash Cart Production, Mike Miller D.D.S., Pathfinder of West Virginia, JBV Coaching, Wamsley Cycles,Casdorph Piano Service, Hammer Nutrition, Dynamic Physical Therapy, Performance Coaching Service.

Special Special Thanks to:

Keith Hower, Chris Clark, Mike Kraus, Jeff Gernert, John Pillo, Gina Desmond, Dan Desmond, Margie Desmond, Gunnar Shogren, Marc Glass, Traci and Gary Rodosta, Nick Rossi, Sharon Slovenec, Ron Mower, Chad Lowers, Todd Schoeni, Anya Vasilis, Moore's Hot Dogs, all the guys from the DPS Penn Cycling Team,, and

Thanks again to our 2010 ABRA Series Sponsors!

Superior Ford - Cannondale - Hammer Nutrition - Swiftwick - - Panaracer - Pathfinder of WV - Pro Bikes - Performance Coaching Service -Global Ride Productions - Twin Six - Smith Optics - Planet Bike - Wamsley Cycles - Dynamic Physical Therapy - Honey Stinger - Verge Sport - Race Face -Sierra Summits Skin Products - Joey's Bike Shop - Camelbak - Fat Tire Cycle - - ProGold Lube - Kenda - Spoke Art - - Rising Creek Bakery & Cafe -Mountain Roaster - Sports N Spokes - Chris King Precision Components