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Sunday, November 12, 2000 -- Hopewell, PA
Month of Mud MTB/Cyclocross #5
Story and photos by Dave McKain

[Details] [Coverage]
Results: [Overall Results] [Results by Class] [Series Standings]
Pictures: [Set 1] [Set 2] [Set 3] [Set 4] [Set 5] [Set 6] [Set 7]

MoM #5
Another grueling day of Western PA cyclocross
While Gunnar Shogren (Fort Frames) set an early pace which nobody could match, there was still quite a race going on behind him. Quickly, after the start of the Expert/Masters/Vet/SS race, Shogren (1:01:09) started building what would turn out to be a winning lead on the rest of the field. The fast start quickly warmed all of the racers up in the chilly but bearable weather. The appx. 1 1/2 mile course wound through the Raccoon Township park over well worn, smooth trails with four forced dismounts and several run ups.

Fighting for second place behind Shogren were the trio of John Oshlick (Presque Island Cycling Club), Mike Walewski (Fisher/Saab) and Ernesto Marenchin (Speedgoat). Several times during the 8 lap race, Oshlick was able to build a lead over the chasing Marenchin and Walewski but was not able to maintain it for very long. It seemed that every time he would look over his shoulder the other two would be right there.

In the end, the spectators and race officials were in for a treat as the three entered the last section of the course neck and neck. As the group rounded the turn into the straightaway to the finish line, Oshlick started the sprint. In the end, Oshlick (1:03:54) was able to out sprint his adversaries while Walewski (1:03:55) held off Marenchin (1:03:56) for third.

MoM #5
Walewski & Marenchin chase Oshlick
In the masters class, Darrell Vreugdenhil (Snow Valley, 1:05:33) took the win and a 5th overall finish followed by veteran class winner and 6th place overall Steve Hutter (Pittsburgh Cycling Club, 1:05::50). Finishing in seventh overall and winning the Single Speed class was Fort Frame's rider John Munhall (1:06:02). With the win, Shogren took over first place in the series from Walewski by 4 points going into the final race at Moraine State Park the 19th.

In the morning's second race, sport racer Charlie Chulak (Pittsburgh Cycling Club, 48:56 @ 6 Laps) was able to take an early lead and hold it over second place finisher Wade Andrews (49:30). In doing so, he closed the gap in the overall series to two points behind series leader and 6th place finisher Doug Riegner (TRM Cycles, 51:34).

Danny Wilson (Dirty Harry's) and Steve Olson battled it out in the junior class for the entire race. Olson put the pressure on Wilson throughout the race, not letting Wilson build a clear lead. As the race wound down, Olson wound up, and closed the gap.

MoM #5
Charlie Chulak is charging hard toward a series title
With less than half a lap to go, it looked as though Olson would be able to catch Danny and, as with the first race, the spectators were in for a show. Rounding the turn for home, Wilson had a 20 yard lead on Olson and it looked like whoever had the sprint legs would take the win. With the crowd cheering them on, Wilson (57:18) was able to outlast Olson (57:19) to take the win but not without a cost. As he found the finish line and the win, Wilson lost his lunch before a cheering crowd. Even so, he was still smiling as he maintained his lead in the series (Beginner/Junior Class) over beginner George Latkey (56:55).

In the womens class, Jennifer Shogren (Fort Frames) took an uncontested win with a time of 49:31 (-1 lap) while Daryl Vettori (56:01) won the Beginner class.

In addition to having a good time at the race, everyone was able to preview the course possibilities for the upcoming Raccoon Township CX Series to be held later in the season.

Kudos go out to Veronica Constantine Eye Health and Vision Care, Rocket Cycling Apparel, Snitgers Bicycle Store, Grove City Bicycle Sports, and Bakers Bike Shop for supporting the series and to Gary Dugovich for putting together a nice course. Thanks also to Gary Bywaters keeping everyone in line, scoring the race, and (as usual) getting the results out to iPlayOutside in record time. And don't forget, the Month of Mud series closes out the weekend of the 19th at with a mountain bike race at Moraine State Park, see you there.