Sunday, September 16, 2007

2007 Ithaca Grand Prix of Cyclocross - Report

2007 Ithaca Grand Prix of Cyclocross - Woodland Park

Matt Jankowiak and myself

Wow! What a great day for an event. The weather, although a bit chilly at 7:00 a.m., was a perfect fall day. Saturday was equally as nice, although a bit colder during the course preparation time.

Matt Jankowiak, Jeff Weinert, Matt Baroli, my dad, and I went to Woodland Park at 3:00 on Saturday to start setting up the course. 5 hours later we put the finishing touches on everything and were off to a pasta buffet at my house. Deb, Shannon, my buddy Sam and girlfriend Maureen, and Kristie prepared a great dinner after a long day of course preparation. We were all pretty much exhausted and we had an early start today so it was a pretty short night with every bedroom in my house full (that's a first!).

This morning I drove out to the course with a truck load of registration and course fixing materials. Let's not forget the sweet prizes from our sponsors...those made the trip too. I also brought my bike, with hopes of racing in the Elite Men's race today. That would proove fruitless as I was pretty exhausted from the busy days prior.

My buddy Darin came over to the park as we were putting up the final signage on the course, setting up registration, and setting up the concession stand. Before I knew it the 10:00 race was upon us and the band (Nervz End) was setting up.

The start of the 10:00 race saw 8 "C-men" and one junior 10-14. Unfortunately, no B-women showed, so they missed out on some sweet prizes. The 10:00 race did 3 laps on the great course that we set up. As I expected the entire race blew apart very quickly. Results are at the bottom of this page.

By the time Nervz End was playing the atmosphere of the park started to increase, with the Elite's arriving and the 11:00's warming up. Again, the 11:00 start time came quicker than I expected. Down to the starting stretch I went with my checklist, prepared for our biggest fields of the day.

Nervz End rocked throughout the day! (Tallon, Right, guitar, is 16 years old!)
The B-men started first with 11 racers. One minute back would go the combined Masters 35+ (5 racers) and 45+ (4 racers), followed by the Elite Women (4 racers) 30 seconds back. The starts were clean for all events except for the Masters categories which saw a bit of a slip up at the top of the course (sorry!!!).

The Killer B's started fast and the race was dominated by Joe Slonecki and Cory Strange...two FAST racers! Leading the masters charge were the usual suspects...Mike Seaman, Matt Baroli, Joe Brown, and Andy Klumb. Anne Schwartz killed the Elite women's field, which was spread out over 3 laps!! Results are below...

Matt Baroli and Mike Seaman charging up the sled hill

Joe Brown rollin'
The main event for the day was the Elite Men's race. Starting at 12:3o, the weather had warmed up nicely in the sunny areas. Wind was picking up from the SE which would make for a difficult back stretch. The race was fast from the gun and within a lap there was a SIGNIFICANT gap between the leaders (Wissink, Weinert, and Sarri) and the rest of the field (Budacki, Cameron, Stark). The leading trio charged around the course churning laps around 6:00. Eventually Sarri's elastic snapped and it was left to the dual "W's" to fight it out. Coming into the last staircase in front of the band it was neck and neck. Weinert took a slight lead at the top but Wissink quickly closed that gap. The charge from 200 m out would prove to be fruitless for Weinert as he popped out of his pedal at the top of the hill to the finishing straight, leaving Wissink alone by about 10 m to the finish. Needless to say, Mike, Jeff, and Tim DESTROYED the rest of the elite field (sorry, I don't have time gaps...). Any chance there'll be a top 10 in store at the UCI's for either Jeff or Mike??

Weinert, Sarri, and Wissink up the sledding hill
At the conclusion of the Elite Men's race the boy scouts plus some GREAT volunteers erased the course in about an hour. Not bad work considering all the flags and ribbon we had out there. The awards ceremony was quickly over, prizes and purses passed out, and it was time to head home to talk about successes and things we'd change.

The bottom line is that today was a great day of racing! 43 'cross die hards showed up to hone their skills pre-Davisburg. Wish we could have seen a few more but we'll get it next year. For those of you who missed it, with the band and the SWEET course it was an event to remember.

Special thanks to Robert Linden and Rick Plite for their help and support in this...and there's no chance in the world this could have been pulled off without Kristie's help and support either!

Hope to see you next year, but for now I'll see you next weekend.


Juniors 10-14
1) Addison Evon

1) Marc Dettman
2) Mark Caffyn
3) Brian Jankowski
4) Greg Johnson
5) Curt Potocki
6) Dennis Bauer
7) Ben Miller
DNF) Dominic Wieczorek

1) Joe Slonecki
2) Cory Strange
3) Tedoro Ramos
4) Patrick Russell
5) Russ Greenwood
6) Matt LaVasseur
7) Tony Wieczorch
8) Jeff Zimmerman
9) Doug Gatto
10) Scott Chapin
DNF) Tom McArdle

Masters 35+
1) Mike Seaman
2) Ray Auger
3) Bob Sisson
4) Adam Slough
5) Brian Mitchell

Masters 45+
1) Andy Klumb
2) Matt Baroli
3) Joe Brown
4) Dennis Dodson

Elite Women
1) Anne Schwartz
2) Rachel Steele
3) Lisa Meils
4) Whitney Kroll

Elite Men
1) Mike Wissink
2) Jeff Weinert
3) Tim Sarri
4) Don Cameron
5) Rich Stark
6) Joel Budacki
7) Todd Frerichs
8) Matt Ashley
9) Eric Muehl

Again, thanks to everyone who came out and helped or raced in this event!


lil pony said...

Huge props JB for putting on what I though was the best race atmosphere I've EVER experienced at a 'cross event in Michigan in my 10+ years...

Thanks again !!

nturnwald said...

I'm so bummed we missed it. Thanks for the blog info; it's great to get the scoop . . . sounds like it went amazingly well. Great job!