After a much needed recovery week following DCCX, the MABRAcross Super 8 Series is back in full swing this Sunday with the always exciting Ed Sander Memorial Cyclocross. Heading into the second half of the season, the Verge Sport leader jersey races begin to really heat up as the points become scarcer with only four races left on the schedule.

In the men’s elite field, jersey-holder Ben Frederick (Team Traveller) has hung up his zebra stripes for 2011 and will not defend his lead this weekend. With the next four contenders for the top spot all signed up for Sunday’s race, the points lead is truly up in the air. Jared Nieters (Haymarket), Chris Beck (TeamCF), Pat Blair (AFC) and Wes Schempf (C3-Athletes Serving Athletes) will all have their eyes on the prize in the coming weeks.

In the women’s elite field, Libbey Sheldon (Four Boys Racing) holds a 31 point lead over Jennifer Maxwell (Van Dessel) and is 41 points ahead of Allyson Tufano (Sportif). The battle for the final jersey will most likely come down to these three racers. Late season spoilers, however, have shown up in the past, so keep your eyes on this field in the coming weeks.

If the Super 8 featured a “field of the week,” and who’s to say it can’t, the men’s elite masters field would definitely be in the running. Wily old veterans doing wily ol’ things  on bikes are always worth watching. Paul Rades (November Bicycles) sheds the Raymond “Eternal Second” Poulidor sobriquet with a big win at DCCX. He now holds a 25 point lead over Dave Fuentes (XO Communications/Battley Harley). Jason Lins (Adventures for the Cure), Mike Birner (Sportif) and Rob Huebner (Evolution) are also within striking distance.

The men’s masters 45+ 1/2/3 race is also a tight one. Andrew Shaw (NCVC) maintains a narrow 10 point leader over Randy Root (Evolution) with DCMTB’s Marc Gwadz 55 points out of first. The men’s masters 55+ field has Tony Bilotta (Van Dessel) holding down the top spot by 25 points over Fred Wittwer (ALAN). Peter Czapiewski (AMVC) is in third.

The men’s masters 3/4 35+ field is led by Sportif teammates Jon Hicks and Cory Smith. Hicks holds a 45 point lead over Smith and a 67 point lead over Steve Fife (Bike Doctor). In the men’s 3/4 field, Kyle Murphy (The Bike Lane) hangs on to a narrow lead over Josh Doorly (Haymarket Bicycles/SEAVS). Chris Carraway (November Bicycles) and Kimani Nielsen (Squadra Coppi), in third and fourth, remain in striking distance. Bernie Shiao (Kelley Benefit Strategies) has a nice lead in the single-speed category over Daniel Atkins (Trek 29er Crew) and Jared Nieters.

In the women’s 3/4 Emily McDonald (Momentum Racing) holds a 25 point lead over what appears to be the entire field! Log-jammed at 120 points are Diedre Ribbens (C3-Athletes Serving Athletes), Madi West (AFC) and Laura Murray (Baltimore Bicycle Works). Jessica Hall sits in fifth with 101 points. This field is basically wide open and one worth watching closely.

The junior 15-18 category is another field worth keeping an eye on. Tanner Browne (Bike Doctor) holds the jersey based on his high DCCX result, but he is tied with Matthew Ammann (NCVC) for most points. Tied for third place 55 points back  is Jake Thompson (Squadra Coppi) and Nolan Yager (Rock Creek Velo). Caleb Merriam (Four Boys Racing) rounds out the top five.

Anastasiya Mack continues to lead Rock Creek Velo teammates Joanna Millstein and Kiran Kumar in the junior women 15-18 category with Kelsey Joyce (Route1Velo/Arrow Bicycle) in fourth. George Schulz (The Bike Lane) has a commanding lead in the junior men 10-14 and Svetlana Mack (Rock Creek Velo) holds a 45 point lead over Evie Wolfe (Juggernaut) in the women 10-14 field.

In the team standings, C3-Athletes Serving Athletes is in the lead with 48 points. Sportif sits second at 32 points with Adventures for the Cure in third, one point back. Route1Velo/Arrow Bicyle is in fourth place with NCVC capping off the top five. Daryl “Gus” Grissom (November Bicycles) continues to lead the beginner category in kill points. Andrew Suchoki (Kelly Benefit Strategies) leads the mens 3/4 in kills and James Studebaker (DCMTB) leads the masters 3/4 35+.

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