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Sunday, March 4, 2001 -- Slippery Rock, PA
Slippery Rock & Roll Circuit Race (iPO Event Id#: 2887)
Story and photos by Dave McKain

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

Race Pic
Army brings out the troops
The 2001 road racing season finally got underway with the Slippery Rock & Roll Circuit Race. Army brought out the troops, the Penn State team was in full force, and Ivy Leaguers from Harvard and Princeton made the journey west. By the end of the day, most were heading for a warm dry place; be it the Slippery Rock recreation center or their cars. USCF categories, and NCCA classes raced alongside each other to provide a great mix of racing.

Joe Papp (UPMC PGH Cycling) put the hurtin' on the Cat 1/2/3 NCCA Class A crowd. The riders dreams of a couple leisurely laps were dashed when Papp put the pedal down on the first climb of the first lap. Hanging with Papp was senior circuit racer Gunnar Shogren (FORT Frames) and together, the pair left the rest of the pack far back in their wake.

Things would have probably worked out fine for Shogren if the race were about 6 laps shorter. After working with Papp for the first 12 laps and building a 1 1/2 minute lead, Shogren fell back for a breather while Papp was able to bridge up to the next group. Shogren was not able to turn it up again as the chase group caught up and passed him with 3 laps to go. In the end it was Papp taking first followed by teamate Mike Friedman (PGH Cycling) in second and Shogren in third.

Race Pic
Kelly, Tina & Jennifer keep the pace
Due to a low turnout, the Women's classes were combined into one race. teamates Kelly Yoder and Tina Skellely-Kunstbeck along with WVU's Jennifer Shogren broke from the pack and quickly built a lead. The group continued to build their lead throughout the raceand, with 1 lap to go it looked to come down to a sprint finish.

With the teamates racing in the USCF 1/2/3 category and Shogren in the NCCA A class the battle would be for bragging rights. As expected, the group flew down the last hill and headed up the slight incline to the finish. At the line it was Yoder taking the win followed by Skellely-Kunstbeck then Shogren. The obviously masochistic teamates hadn't had enough apparently as they later raced around with the boys for 18 laps. Penn State made a strong showing with Teri Strayer, Elizabeth Gross and Angie Koban going the distance.

Race Pic
Not a day for the faint-hearted
In the other races on the day, Bret Baronak (TRBC/Trek) took first place honors in the USCF Mens 3/4 race while Ben Turits (Bucknell) took the NCCA Mens B class. In the NCCA Mens C, Darin Shriver (WV Wesleyan) took first followed by local boy Joe Stavish (SRU). While unattached rider Marco Muretuzzo edged out Matt Tinkey (Rocket Cycling) for the Cat 5 win while Christian Skinner (Penn State) took first in the NCCA Men's D class.

SRU's Kevin Cramer and his crew did a fine job organizing and pulling off the event. Special thanks to all of the race marshalls who braved the dismal weather and did their best to ward of errant automobiles.

If you have any race experiences from this race, and you want to share them with the general public then send them in, and I'll do what I can. I'll try to quote you, but I reserve the right to edit out bad words and the like... so be nice.
Joe Papp - UPMC:

Doesn't pay for Gunnar though
Joe and Gunnar bust a move!
"At the start, I had three goals: stay warm, avoid a crash and get in a good workout. Breaking away with Gunnar on the first lap helped me to accomplish them all!"

"I was definitely surprised when Gunnar dropped off the pace with six laps to go. Until then, he'd been pulling steadily, never missing a turn. I certainly didn't attack him, since I had no desire to go it alone for the remainder of the race."

"I honestly didn't think I'd be caught, but the final 5km was tough, especially after riding 120km yesterday!"

"Gotta love the collegiate riders. They're hardcore and snow doesn't faze them. Where was the rest of the Pittsburgh-based USCF crowd? As Phil Ligget would say, 'it's a hard day for the hard men of the sport.'"

"This race is a gem. Reasonable entry and prize list, great course, super-supportive volunteer staff and excellent facilities. I haven't raced near Slippery Rock since 1994, the last year for the ACA's Plain Grove Road Race Series. Coincidentally, that final race was also characterized by horrendous weather."

John Munhall - East Suburban Sports:

Race Pic
Through rain, sleet, & snow... Johnny Munhall leads the pack
Although our beloved Nor Easter tried to put a hamper on this first Annual race, neither the lack warm air or dry roads could prevent of the stew heads from South-West, PA, and beyond from kicking off this 2001 road season in relentless fashion.

Although many rider's dropped their motivation and senses of humor on the first turn, there were those who stayed upright and smiling as they drank the endless roster tails of Slimy Pebble (Slippery Rock) road spray. Savoring every tasty chip, some even hours after the race had finished; and well into the night.

Kudos to all who volunteered, and ran the affair. Well done, because their tolerance of the conditions deserves as much praise if not more than the racers who reaped the benefits.

Hites Bikes/Fox Velo Cycling Team

March 04, 2001
Slippery Rock & Roll Criterium
Slipper Rock University
Slippery Rock, Pa.
32 degrees F, raining& sleeting

The following race review was contributed to by members of the Hites Bikes/Fox Velo cycling team...told from the "eyes of the rider"!

Freezing rain, cross winds, wet slippery roads, bumpy downhills, cars turning/passing/pulling out in front of you, riders going down, people walking across the course, and frozen marshals met the racers at Sunday's 1.4 mile loop multi-lap criteriums. While the races continued well into the afternoon, the conditions remained ugly for all riders in all races including many college teams and USCF teams from the Pittsburgh area. Darned if that pesky groundhog was right.....6 more weeks of winter! Welcome to The Spring Classics!


LAP 1:

JIM MILLER - Already cold and wet with ice chips stinging you in the face as you pass into the cross winds. People's gun-shy braking in the corners (before checking the road conditions) creates a nice yo-yo. I should have started in the front or moved up faster.

HENRY DIMMICK - On the "slippery part" of the course, a curving downhill, a rider went down just in front of me. I stayed off my brakes and was able to steer just clear of his hand as he slid off the road.

LUKE SCRIVANICH - Steered left of fallen rider on this slick turn. (We should have expected slick conditions -- after all, this was "Slippery" Rock!) rode the next 11 laps cautiously in this turn, impeding my performance.

STEVE JACKSON - Turned inside of fallen rider, glanced back to see him pop back up after hitting curb.

LAP 3:

HENRY DIMMICK - Still in the main group...Jim (miller) and Brion (Linnon) are just up in front of me. Riding three wide in that same curving descent, the inside man on the turn floated out, forcing Jim Miller out, forcing me off the course. After coming to a complete stop, I was now faced with a solo chase to get back on.

LUKE SCRIVANICH - Fell off main group after the "Slippery" turn.

JIM MILLER - A small break formed with about 14 riders, I seemed to be in the 2nd group of about 12 riders.

LAP 4:

LUKE SCRIVANICH - Hooked up with Dave "Cosmo" Kramer, caught (Doug) Frost, and later lost Cosmo.

JIM MILLER - Riding solo now, just trying to keep the rubber side down...watching the lead group slowly make the gap bigger.

LAP 5:

HENRY DIMMICK - Caught up to Doug Frost and Luke Scrivanich, in no man's land.

LUKE SCRIVANICH - Frost was the work horse mid-race. I was contented with swallowing gallons of dirt-slushie cascading off his tail.

LAP 6:

HENRY DIMMICK - Slowed and bridged Luke back up to Doug so we could continue to work together.

BRION LINNON - Still in lead group, yet another rider goes down....can't help but think of my pregnant wife 5 days from her due date...gotta pull out and be responsible....I hate being "mortal".

STEVE JACKSON - Worked with another USCF rider and 2 Army riders.

LAP 7:

HENRY DIMMICK - Now just Doug and I with Doug doing much of the work.

JIM MILLER - Worked with a guy who crashed on the 2nd lap. Enjoying the free ice-cold-mud-shower but at the same time keeping the HR down.

LAP 8:

HENRY DIMMICK - Still in no man's land, now over a 1/2 lap off the front group, cold, wet, growing tired of eating Doug's "dirt slush".....decide to sit up and abandon.

LUKE SCRIVANICH - Worked with Cosmo laps 8-11, with Cosmo doing more than his fair share of work.

LAP 9:

JIM MILLER - Caught about 5-6 guys who got dropped off the front group and enjoyed more free ice cold mud rooster tails.

LAP 10:

STEVE JACKSON - After getting bell on (Lap 9) accelerated past group I was with on flat between down hills and dropped them on finish straight only to find out I had one last lap to go....memo: gotta learn how to count!

LAP 11:

JIM MILLER - Bell lap decided "Enough mud in the face for today" Hit the gradual climb pretty hard with the original rider who crashed on the 2nd lap. We had a gap on the other wheel suckers. On the small hill I attacked to make the gap bigger on the chase group and put a few meters on the original worker. Down the icy bumpy luge-run into the straight with a super high cadence (afraid to stand up and slide across the finish line like another rider did just after I finished. GOOD DECISION.) Lunged the bike forward across the line. I was glad it was over. Some people said this was racing. I said it was survival!

Even after all this, within 30 minutes of getting in the warm cars, we all couldn't wait to race again!

Until Next Time......

Henry Dimmick
Hites Bikes/Fox Velo


Rich Allen
Rich Allen....First to Race in 2001

Rich Allen
Rich Allen....Nipped in the end by Army


Henry Dimmick
Henry Dimmick....Working to catch back on to lead group

Rich Allen
Dave Kramer.....Drafting Big Army.

Mud-Slush Puppies
Doug Frost, Luke Scrivanich & Henry Dimmick......Teamwork & Mud-Slush Puppies!

Steve Jackson
Steve Jackson.....Looking for Cover!

Luke Scrivanich
Luke Scrivanich......In "Ghost Mode".

Jim Miller
Jim Miller....On the hunt.

Luke Scrivanich
Luke Scrivanich.....Monkey See - Monkey Do (Notice their pedal position & formation).

Doug Frost
Doug Frost....Still in "no-man's land".

Luke Scrivanich and Dave Kramer
Luke Scrivanich & Dave Kramer.......about to "sink" Army.

Doug Frost
Doug Frost......Finally, the finish. (Camera hog! ...must be the "see me" yellow helmet!)

Luke Scrivanich
Luke Scrivanich.......a moving dirt-clod! (Maybe we should change your name to Pig-Pen?!)