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Sunday, March 25, 2001 -- Pittsburgh, PA
Pittsburgh Spring Road Race Series - Race #2 (iPO Event Id#: 3011)
Story by John Galt and Photos by Jeff Martello
Additional Commentary from the Hites Bikes / Fox Velo Team
Additional Commentary from Henry Wang of the TRBC/Trek Team

[Details] [Coverage] [Results] [Series Standings] [Pic Set 1] [Pic Set 2]

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Bundled up against the cold north winds
To paraphrase Phil Ligget, today was a hard day for the hard men and women of the sport. While many a summer champion opted out of the second event in the Pittsburgh Spring Road Race Series, 37 athletes braved frigid temperatures and a sharp North Wind to contest the day's races.

Mike Friedman (UPMC Pittsburgh Cycling), back on the bike after his frightful crash last week, attacked on the first lap of the Senior Men's 1-2-3 race. Rob Dolby (unattached) and Joe Papp (UPMC Pittsburgh Cycling) joined Friedman soon after, and the leaders moved clear of the bunch. They completed lap one in record time, despite a strong chase from the peloton and unfavorable winds on most of the course.

Twenty-nine year old Dolby, an Ohio native who moved to Colorado to further his cycling career, displayed shades of the brilliant form that once carried him up the hills of the Thrift Drug Classic. Yet Friedman matched his rival pull for pull, while Papp struggled to find his legs in the cold winter air. Dolby was unwilling to risk the chance of towing Papp-a feared sprinter-to the line along with a teammate, and launched a series of attacks against the UPMC riders. Despite making several desperate bids to break free over the top of the course's main climb, Dolby could not shed his companions, and eventually the East Suburban led field caught the trio with four laps to go.

Race Pic
Rounding the curve at speed
A quick reshuffling of the bunch saw Dolby and Friedman again off the front with another UPMC rider in tow. This time, Chris Mayhew, signed by UPMC as a stagier on a trial basis, was at Friedman's side, though the pack refused to allow them more than a few seconds lead. Charlie Chulack (TRBC/Trek) and John Munhall (East Suburban) both took strong pulls to limit the break's advantage.

Another regrouping before the fifth ascent of the hill left four UPMC riders (Friedman, Mayhew, Papp and Jeff Timinski), two East Suburban's (Munhall and Bob Riffle), two TRBC/Trek's (Chulack and Ryan Mele) and three single riders-Dolby, Gunnar Shogren (Guinness) and Denis Osowski (Summit Freewheelers)-together in the main bunch. Unhappy with his odds in a pack sprint, Dolby launched a brutal attack over the top of the climb in an attempt to shatter the group. A strong response by Timinski kept him in check, but both Papp and Riffle punctured during the chase. With no support vehicles in sight, they were effectively out of the race. Timinski was dropped soon after, but Dolby failed to inflict the damage necessary to ride clear of the group. Frustrated by this, he derisively referred to his competitors as "a weak bunch of @%#&*!" He would go on to finish last in the field sprint, eighth overall.

Race Pic
Not too cold to smile for the camera
Having effectively neutralized their main competition, the race was UPMC's to lose. In a twist, it Mayhew who launched the winning move and not Friedman, when he rode away from the field on the seventh lap with Osowski on his wheel. "I didn't intend to attack, since I was setting tempo on the climb for Mike," explained Mayhew. "When I saw we had a gap, however, I punched it." The duo worked seamlessly to the line and Mayhew claimed victory for only the second time in his road-racing career. Friedman won the sprint for third ahead of teammates Chulack and Mele, and Shogren finished sixth in front of East Suburban's Munhall.

The Men's 4-5 field raced an extra lap this week, completing five circuits for 43km. At the request of several competitors, promoter Papp and Chief Referee Gary Bywaters increased the distance to enable the riders to earn category upgrade points. The tough conditions and some disparities in early-season fitness resulted in several splits, and a group of seven riders eventually contested the finish together. Last week's victor Hansel Lucas (TRBC/Trek) flatted out of the race on the final lap, leaving Hites Bikes/Fox Velo/ACA and East Suburban Sports Medicine to duel for the win. Andrew Wulfkuhle (Vicious Cycles), fourth last week, surprised both teams and rode to a well-deserved victory, two seconds ahead of Rob Masterson (ESSM) and Todd Copeland (ACA/Cycleworks). James Miller was the best Fox rider, finishing fourth, and Brad Best (ACA/Cycleworks) came fifth. Betsy Schauer (East Suburban) was the only woman to race.

Thanks to the following all-around-great-folks who volunteered their time and energy at today's race:
Gary Bywaters-Chief Referee
Jimmy Paulovitch-Official
Jeff Martello-Photographer
Don O. Mosites-Pace Car
Mr. and Mrs. Lucas-marshals
Doug Riegner-marshal
Jeff Paul-marshal
Jeff Bell-marshal
Scott Osterrieder-marshal
Kristin Weinzierl-marshal
Jay Downs-hot coffee on a cold day for volunteers
Henry Dimmick-new-and-improved signs warning motorists that race was in progress


Race Recap from the Hites Bikes / Fox Velo Cat 4/5 Racers

PRERACE

Leaving home this morning the temperature was 20 degrees, there was 1/2 of snow covering the ground and dime sized flakes falling from the sky..... more sounds like a cyclocross race day....but no, today was Race #2 of the Pittsburgh Cycling Club's Mingo Creek Spring Road Race Series.


LAP ONE

Cycle Works (The Pizza Guys!) riders led this moderate paced warm-up lap as everyone checked out how the holes have changed over the week and the extent of the frozen-over puddles and 2 "ice-rivers" completely across one section of the rollers up top. On the descent, Hites Bikes/FoxVelo riders Linnon, Miller, Kundman and Hickey set the pace through the descending rollers back to the start-finish line sprint between Hansel Lucas (TRBC/Trek) and Henry Dimmick (Hites Bikes/FoxVelo).


LAP TWO

Again CycleWorks riders (Todd Copeland, Brad best and Bryan Routledge) led the first half of the second lap with a Rob Masterson and Colin Sandburg (East Suburban Sports Medicine) rotating through. This time up the climb, riders started stretching their legs. No real attacks took place, but the pace picked up a click. After the single files top section of the course, again the descent stretched out the peleton, with members of Hites / Fox Velo leading the descent and East Suburban, CycleWorks and TRBC/Trek riders Hansel Lucas and Henry Wang leading the flat, windy section of the course into another Lucas/Dimmick attack across the finish line and up over short climb to begin LAP 3.


LAP THREE

A repeat of lap Two unfolded in the first part of the lap until the first two flat tires occurred initiating a higher pace split in the group over the climb section. Most of the remaining 20 riders were brought back together on the descent with an attempted breakaway by Andrew Wulfkuhle (Vicious Cycles) at the bottom section of the descent. By the start finish, this group was all back together with a third Lucas/Dimmick sprint across the line.


LAP FOUR

DIMMICK
The 4th lap brought more jockeying for position with Jim Miller (Hites/Fox Velo) getting impatient and going to the front. Brion Linnon (Fox Velo) moved up and took the pace up to through the climb. By the top of the climb, the remaining riders began to stretch out single file across the top of the course just a Steve Kundman (Hites/Fox Velo) flatted. In the descent, Hansel Lucas (Trek) had to abandon with a double flat after being forced to bunny hop over a bad section of pavement. With this, Brion Linnon (Fox Velo) again moved to the front to set tempo on the descent, pulling the group into the bottom section of the course where Dimmick went off the front solo through the start/finish. Everyone now started to eye each other up for the fifth and final lap.


LAP FIVE

This lap started off slower with various leaders taking pulls at the front. At the base of the climb Jim Miller (Hites Bikes/FoxVelo) got impatient and went to the front. Linnon (Fox Velo) immediately went forward to take a pull off Jim and into the climb the group went. Just before the crest of the final step, Linnon's chain came off, blocking Miller and others just as an attack was made by Andrew Wulfkuhle (Vicious Cycles) and Rob Masterson (East Suburban Sports Medicine).
Immediately faced with a chase were now Miller, all three riders from CycleWorks, and Henry Want (TRBC/Trek). The group never got organized so at the bottom of the descent, Miller attempted a solo attack trying to bridge. Less than 1 mile from the finish, the scattered chase group caught Miller resulting in a group sprint to the line.


Post-Race Note

At the time of this weeks finish, only one volunteer Marshal had committed for Race #3. Without people to help set up the course, marshal the race (qty 6) and drive the pace cars, and take care of all the registration and officiating, this race will not happen. I would like to suggest that each team be responsible for supplying at least one marshal for each race before one of these fun(!) races gets called off.

Until next week...riding our Mr. Tuffys(!), Hites Bikes/Fox Velo


Race Recap from Henry Wang of the TRBC/Trek Team

If you are interested in what happened in the 4-5 race . . . the whole race was really relaxed . . . we even let Betsy Schauer go to the front to enjoy her solo victory in the women's race. The pace picked up near the end of the fourth lap. I was working to get my team leader Hansell Lucas (TRBC/Trek) in position for the last lap, but he double-flatted on a big pot-hole, so that killed our team plans . . . On the hill of the last lap, Andy Wulfkuhle and Rob Masterson (ESSM) attacked, opening up a small 5-second gap. Brad Beste (Cycle Works) and James Miller (I think) followed their lead but fell off the pace. With Colin Sandberg (Rob's ESSM teammate) at the front of the chase group ready to counter-attack, no one seemed really eager to chase down Rob Masterson. But Sandberg then punctured. Todd Copeland and his Cycleworks teammates came to the front to help push the pace. We went all out, but Andy and Rob were just too strong and stayed away to the finish line. (As you can see from the finishing times, we almost caught them! Darn!)