As we head in to race six of the BikeReg.com MABRAcross Super 8 Cyclocross Series, the Verge Sport points competitions are really starting to hot up. Schooley Mill Cross, which goes down this Sunday, could be the race folks look back on as the one that turned tide in several categories. And in case you did not know, there is more to the points chase than those sweet looking Verge Sport jerseys. There is cold hard cash for the winners in the masters 1/2/3 35+, 45+ and 55 + fields, women and men elite fields, and single speed. Depending on the field, payouts go anywhere from five to 10 deep. Final points prizes will be awarded at Capital Cross Classic, the Super 8 finale.
Racers get 60 points for the win, 50 points for second place, 45 for third and on down the line. This means that a good showing by any of the riders near the top of the standings, or an off day by others could drastically change the outcome in most of the categories.
In the excitement of last week’s points update we failed to report on the womens 3/4 category. To make sure there is no repeat of that transgression, this week’s rundown starts with that very field. At the top is Emily McDonald (Momentum Racing) who holds a 35 point lead over Madi West (Adventures for the Cure). Amanda Gilbert is another 21 points back in third place. Laura Murray (Baltimore Bicycle Works) and Diedre Ribbens (C3-Athletes Serving Athletes) are tied for fourth 70 points out of the top spot.
The womens elite field continues to be ruled by consistency. The top five riders, after five races have accounted for just two victories. Libbey Sheldon (Four Boys Racing) continues to lead the field with 221 points. Allyson Tufano (Sportif) remains in second with 175 points. Laurel Larsen (Syn-Fit) and Jennifer Maxwell (Van Dessel) are tied for third with 145 points and Elizabeth Harlow (C3) rounds out the top five with 134 points.
In the mens elite field, Ben Frederick (Team Traveller) remains in the lead despite his decision to end his season before last week’s Ed Sander Memorial Cross. Maybe he didn’t realize there is PRIZE MONEY on the line! Come on Ben. Three more races. Taking advantage of Frederick’s absence was Chris Beck (Team CF) who moved into a tie for second place with Jared Nieters (Haymarket Bicycles). A good showing at this Sunday’s Schooley Mill race could see Beck in the leader’s jersey. Or possibly, it could be Wes Schempf (C3), who put in a strong showing on Sunday and is ten points behind Beck and Nieters. Pat Blair (Adventures for the Cure) sits in fifth after suffering an untimely mechanical and DNF on Sunday.
Hey singlespeeders! It’s time to swap out that cog for something a little more robust and get back in the game. Because right now Bernie Shiao (Kelly Benefit Strategies) is running away with this competition. He holds a 95 point lead over Daniel Atkins (Trek 29er Crew). Pretty sure that means two guys on mountain bikes are sitting atop the field in a cyclocross series. Alexander Castro remains in third place. In fourth place, Jared Nieters, after winning the first two races in the series, seems to have pulled a Ben Frederick and hung up the one-by-one for the remainder of the season. Mike Esmonde (Raw Talent Ranch) rounds out the top five.
The masters men 35+ 1/2/3 field remains a close race between Paul Rades (Gam Jams/November Bicycles) and Dave Fuentes (Haymarket/Battley Harley). Rades has never finished lower than second the entire season and has ticked off two impressive back-to-back wins at DCCX and Ed Sander. Fuentes has been right behind Rades for the past two races and sits 45 points off the lead. Ron Huebner (Evolution Cycling) is in third with Jason Lins (Adventures for the Cure) and Jay Morali (Sportif Coaching) rounding out the top five.
In what remains the closest race in the series, the masters men 45+ 1/2/3 is definitely going to come down to the wire. Andrew Shaw (NCVC) holds the top spot with 240 points. Five points behind is Randall Root (Evolution Cycling) and another 35 points back is Marc Gwadz (DCMTB). In fourth spot at 180 points could be the spoiler to this party. Jerzy Wozniak has 180 points. He’s raced only three of the five series races but won all of them. If Jerzy shows up for the final three, the others in this field may be looking up at him by the time its’ all said and done at Lake Fairfax in early December. Shawn Downing slots into the fifth place spot with 168 points.
The masters men 55+ 1/2/3 field is another that is too close to call. Tony Bilotta (Van Dessel) remains in the lead but by missing the Ed Sander race he has allowed the field to move a bit closer. Peter Czapiewski (Arlington Master’s Velo Club) sits in second place 21 places off the lead. Fred Wittwer (ALAN), much like Jerzy in the 45+, has entered three of the five series races and won them all. If Fred finishes the season in the Super 8 he could be pocketing the most prize money in the field. William Feasley (DC Velo) is in fourth place with 165 points and Galen Wallace (Kelley Benefits) is in fifth.
In the mens 3/4 field Josh Doorly (Haymarket Bicycles/SEAVS) takes over the top spot from Kyle Murphy (The Bike Lane) who falls to second. Kimani Nielsen sits in third after an impressive Ed Sander win. These three racers are within 25 points of each other and all have a legitimate shot at the top spot. Chris Carraway (GamJams/November Bicycles) sits in fourth and Jared Janowiak (Gripped Racing) is fifth.
The masters men 35+ 3/4 field is topped by Sportif Coaching teammates Jon Hicks and Cory Smith. Chris King (Route1Velo/Arrow Bicycle) despite racing up holds enough early season points to remain in third place. Steve Fife (Bike Doctor) sits fourth and Luke Swift (NCVC) moves up to fifth after stepping up for the host team and winning Ed Sander.
In the Junior 15-18 field Matthew Ammann (NCVC) also took home the win at Ed Sander and in doing so broke the tie at the top with Tanner Browne (Bike Doctor) who falls to second place. Jake Thompson holds third place with Caleb Merriam (Four Boy Racing) and Nolan Yager (Rock Creek Velo) rounding out the top 5. In the junior women 15-18, Anastasiya Mack (Rock Creek Velo) holds a commanding lead. Svetlana Mack (Rock Creek Velo) remains atop the women 10-14 field while Evie Wolfe (Juggernaut) remains in second place. George Schulz is unstoppable in the men 10-14 field with five straight wins. Owen Brenneman (Keystone Velo Club) and Samuel Monaco (Sportif Coaching) are second and third.
The team standings remain close with C3-Charm City Cycling holding on to the top spot and Sportif Coaching one point behind in second. Four points farther behind is Adventures for the Cure. DCMTB and Route1Velo are tied for fourth.
Kill points are still being tabulated. We will post those with all of the other series standings at http://www.crossresults.com/?n=results&sn=mabra2011.
See you at Schooley Mill Cross.