Crisp cool temperatures and sunny skies greeted the MABRAcross Constituency as they converged in Taneytown, Maryland, for the BikeReg.com MABRAcross Championships, which also served as the Delaware and Maryland/DC State Championships. The Bobby Lea designed course was a balanced affair that rewarded cross racers with a well rounded skill set. Rain earlier in the week made some of the turns a bit greasy, which put a premium on strong cornering skills.
The elite master’s race was a two man showdown for the overall Verge Sport leader jersey. Mike Birner (Ben’s Performance Bicycles) led the series and needed to finish no more than one spot behind his closest series rival Kris Auer (C3-Athletes Serving Athletes). On the first lap Birner encountered trouble and Auer went up the road with Andy Gorski and Birner’s teammate Blair Saunders. Saunders eventually flatted, leaving Gorski and Auer to battle for the win. Gorski would take the top step, with Auer taking the silver. Fighting back from a disastrous first lap, and clinching the overall series championship, Birner rounded out the podium in third. Auer said of Birner, “the guy showed the heart of a lion today for sure.”
The elite women’s race saw Katrina Dowidchuk (Team TBB Deep Blue) take a stranglehold of the race at the end of the first lap, and not look back. She built a 30 second lead and successfully held it to line. Meanwhile, the battle for second heated up as four women each took their turn fighting for the silver medal. In the end, Evie Boswell-Vilt (Performance Bicycle Racing) would out fight her fellow chasers Allyson Tufano (cardio lab), Elizabeth Harlow (C3- Athletes Serving Athletes) and Amy Breyla (C3-Athletes Serving Athletes) to claim the silver medal.
In the elite men’s race a group of five formed at the front containing Wes Schempf (C3-Athletes Serving Athletes), Bobby Lea (Van Dessel), Ryan Leech (Hilton Head Cycling), Adam Driscoll (Adventures for the Cure) and Sam “The Hammer” O’Keefe (C3-Athletes Serving Athletes). Jared Nieters, the 2010 Verge Sport MABRAcross Series Champion dangled off the group early on. Schempf was able to separate himself from the group with three laps to go. He would build a 23 second gap, and carry that to the finish. Behind him track Olympian Bobby Lea was able to edge out 2x National Champion Ryan Leech to nail down the silver medal.
Race report by FatMarc Vanderbacon
1. Katrina Dowidchuk (Team Tbb/Deep Blue)
2. Evie Edwards (Performance Bicycle Racing)
3. Alison Tufano (Cardio Sport Lab)
4. Amy Breyla (C3-Athletes Serving Athletes)
5. Elizabeth Harlow (C3-Athletes Serving Athletes)
6. Rebecca Frederick (Kelly Benefit Strategies/Lsv)
DNF. Laura Hanlon (Adventures For The Cure)
Top 10 Men 1/2/3
1. Weston Schempf (C3-Athletes Serving Athletes)
2. Bobby Lea (Van Dessel Factory Team)
3. Ry Leech (Hilton Head Cycling)
4. Adam Driscoll (Adventures For The Cure)
5. Sam Okeefe (C3-Athletes Serving Athletes)
6. Dave Weaver (Alan N. American Cycling Team)
7. Patrick Blair (Adventures For The Cure)
8. Blair Saunders (Benns Bikes)
9. Ryan Fawley (Trek Mtn Co-Op)
10. Matthew Bartlett (Toms Shoes P/B Kindhuman Sports)
Full results from the MABRAcross Championship are available at BikeReg.com