Juniors Haunt Podium at Zipp OVCX Storm Eva Bandman CX

Posted on 30. Oct, 2013 by in race

As the Zipp OVCX Series rolls toward this weekend’s Toyota Cincy 3 CX Festival (UCI C2/C1/C2) and the following week’s MudFund Derby City Cup, juniors continue to dominate the Elite races. 15-year old Spencer Petrov (Sophisticated Living p/b Bob’s Red Mill) and 16-year old Chloe Dygert (Midwest Devo) stood atop the Halloween themed podium Sunday at Storm Eva Bandman Cyclocross hosted by the Papa John’s Racing Team in Louisville. Elite results below, full results at USACycling.com.

Sunday’s Eva Bandman course featured many of the obstacles that Sven Nys tamed at the World Championship in February including the Stonehenge Steps and numerous sandy sections. Sunshine and warmer temperatures dished up dry, dusty and fast racing. After the races, costumed competitors, including the Twinkie Cowboy, took to the podium for the costume contest judging.

Despite a front row start on the pavement, Dygert didn’t get off the line as quick as she would’ve hoped and was boxed in. “Once we hit the grass I took the outside line to take the lead,” she said after the race. Featuring a handful of long flat straightaways, the course suited Dygert’s power. With a big early comfortable lead she occasionally looked back, “to if see KK and Mackenzie were still second and third.”

Like last week’s race at John Bryan, she added, “I was hoping we would all pull off 1/2/3 again but it didn’t work out that way this race.”

Instead, Sierra Siebenlist (Mathews Bicycles) solidified 2nd place with a comfortable gap to Katherine Santos (Red Zone Cycling) while Mackenzie Green (Borah) dug deep in order to try and hang on for fourth. It wasn’t to be. Contorting her body as she put power into every pedal stroke, AnnaJean Dallaire (Clarksville Schwinn Racing) steadily picked her way through the pack lap after grueling lap, eventually edging past Green late in the race. Green would drift into sixth behind a steady Shera Clark (McDonalds Cycling Team.)

With fellow junior Gavin Haley off to Belgium, this was the week for Sophisticated Living p/b Bob’s Red Mill teammates  Petrov and Ian McShane to shine. However, Andrew Messer (Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld) and Robert Kendall (Papa John’s Racing) had their own plans to spoil the party.

Petrov let the first cannonball loose into the side of the ship by taking the holeshot and breaking off an early group of 7 or 8. Then, with admirable maturity for a 15 year old, Petrov “slotted in and observed the other racers.” He said after the race. It wasn’t an easy ride. In the long power sections he was gapped off 2 or 3 times, but clawed his way back each time.

His persistence paid off as the group whittled down to himself, teammate McShane, Messer, and Kendall. A well matched bunch, you could’ve flipped a four-sided coin as to who would win.

“We all stayed together into the last lap with lots of mini attacks testing each other,” said Petrov. On the bell lap, going into 2 long straightaways, the powerful Messer took to the front in hopes of shaking loose the caboose. The effort taxed Kendall, bringing the group down to three.

Running out of real estate, the elder Messer guarded the front. “Going past the 2nd pit entrance and into the 180 that followed, I tried to get around Andy, but he shut the door fast,” said Petrov. He tried again on the next corner, and got the gap he needed. Petrov held it through the technical sections leading into the last steep climb before the finishing straight.

With teammate McShane unwilling to chase, Messer was forced to try and close as the trio hit the pavement. They finished on the same time, with Petrov raising his long arms at the finish. “I feel very honored to get my first Elite Men’s Podium in the OVCX.”

Full results at usacycling.org

While Dygert will take the Elite Women’s start line alongside the likes of Katie Compton in Cincinnati, the slightly younger Petrov will try to make his mark on the U19 races.

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