As Joe Dombrowski (Haymarket Bicycles-SEAVS) made his way through the final turns of his warm-up lap at the 2010 Tacchino Ciclocross he came upon a shocked announcer who informed the pre-race favorite that the men’s elite field had already started and the lead group was about two minutes up the road. Calm beyond his years, the 18-year old Dombrowski began stripping off his extra gear as he rolled down to the start line. After a brief conversation with the officials, it was game on.
It’s not often you get to see a cyclocross race handicapped in this manner, but spotting the field over two minutes gave the spectators at the Ommegang/Duvel Pavilion, as well as those that lined the course, a cheering interest in seeing if or when Dombrowski would catch the leaders. The quick answer is he would, and it did not take long. As the laps ticked by and the crowd began timing the gaps, the over two minute gap was quickly reduced to one minute, then 30 seconds, then under ten.
Dombrowski eventually integrated into a small chasing pack with about three laps to go. He made quick work of that group and started tracking down race leader Greg Wittwer (ALAN) who was putting in a sensational effort at the front. Despite Wittwer’s display of power, even he knew what would inevitably happen. After a quick glance back as he passed through the finishing stretch with two laps to go, Wittwer shook his head a little because not 100 meters behind, Dombrowski was reeling him in. After taking the lead, Joey D continued his sustained effort, opening up a sizable gap on the elite field before coasting across the finish line.
Wittwer held off the chasers for a well-deserved second place. Jared Nieters (Haymarket Bicycles-SEAVS) finished third and the Adventures for the Cure duo of Pat Blair and Adam Driscoll completed the men’s elite podium.
The 2010 Tacchino Women’s race played out at the front similar to the 2009 race. Dee Dee Winfield (C3-Athletes Serving Athletes) went to the front early, opened up a sizable gap over the rest of the field, and cruised to an easy victory. Following Winfield across the line was current Verge Sport MABRAcross jersey holder, Patty Buerkle (Haymarket Bicycles-SEAVS) and Erin Silliman (ALAN). Filling out the fourth and fifth steps on the podium were Katrina Dowidchuck (Team TBB) and Elizabeth Harlow (C3-Athletes Serving Athletes).
Rosaryville State Park, the Tachhino Ciclocross venue, is most frequented by two groups, mountain-bikers and equestrians. During course set-up on Saturday, a local hunt club was on the grounds with a dozen horses and a pack of dogs. Squadra Coppi team member Scott Thompson swears he was joking when he said that for Sunday’s races they were going to bring back the horses and dogs to hunt down slower riders. Evidently somebody didn’t get the joke as a riderless horse joined the 1/2/3 35+ race on the third lap, showing good form by working into a large chase group behind Thompson’s wheel, and ahead of race sponsor and Family Bike Shop owner Jon Seibold.
Fearing for the safety of the racers and the horse, the referees neutralized the race and restarted the field after the horse was caught and led away. The three leaders—Blair Saunders and Mike Birner of Ben’s Performance Bikes, and Chris Harshman of Annapolis Bike Racing Team, were given preferential starting positions and the remainder of the grid started in waves. Blair Saunders took up where he left off, powering away from the field, while Mike Birner held off a hard charging Glenn Turner (Human Zoom), which was good enough to earn Birner the Verge Sport MABRAcross series leader jersey. Chris Harshman and Kris Auer (C3-Athletes Serving Athletes) rounded out the podium.
Along with the traditional categories found at most cross races, Tacchino Ciclocross also included events for single-speed and tandem races. Greg Capelle (Adventures for the Cure) took home the single-speed prize and the Adventures for the Cure team of Adam Driscoll and Pat Blair, known collectively as Padam Blairscoll, won its second tandem cross race to remain undefeated in the discipline. The tandem race is quickly becoming a favorite on the MABRAcross circuit and two more races—Rockburn and MABRAchamps—have made time in the schedule for the tandem class. races—Rockburn and MABRAchamps—have made time in the schedule for the tandem class.
The prize slate was generous, with high quality swag going to many racers thanks to the generosity of Squadra Coppi’s race sponsors. Major sponsors included All Hail The Black Market.com, Duvel USA (which sponsored the masters racers, and provided swag to hundreds of other racers); and Conte’s Bikes of Arlington and Bethesda.