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Cobblestone Classic Criterium
Saturday, July 24, 2004
Nima Ebrahimnejad sprinted to the front of a four-man break to win, the July 24, Cobblestone Classic Criterium in Ashland. Team Cobblestone hosts two days of cycling with Saturday’s criterium on the campus of Randolph Macon College and tomorrow’s road race that starts and finishes near the Ashland Berry Farm.
The four-man break began with 20 laps to go as a five-man break. Team Cobblestone’s Bill Malone, SP Imports / Palani Drive’s Jeff Hackett, Virginia Tech Cycling’s Dan Pearis, Team Snow Valley’s Jon Wirsing and Evolution Cycling’s Ebrahimnejad worked smoothly to gradually put distance between them and the rest of the field.
“Getting together with Jon (Wirsing) in a breakaway is a done deal,” Ebrahimnejad said. “Has long as you can stay with him you’re guaranteed a spot on the podium.
In the field, Richmond Ciclismo’s John Schindler and Matt Dinsmore struggled to shrink that distance. Except for prime laps, no one else led the chase group until the end of the race.
The lead pack stretched the lead to 1 minute and 20 seconds with nine laps to go.
That’s when Wirsing shook things up. He picked up the pace into the headwind at the start/finish line. That effort was enough to loose Hackett. He eventually dropped back to the main field.
The drizzle created strange conditions on the last lap of the flat, rectangle course. The last two corners were wet, while the first two were dry.
“The last lap, he (Wirsing) pretty much just got behind me because he knew I was going to lead it out,” Ebrahimnejad said. “The last turn I took kind of slow. I didn’t want to wreck on the last turn.”
“On the last turn, I let him get a little too far in front of me,” Wirsing said of the wet conditions. “I was a little worried about going down.”
Wirsing sprinted for second. Malone placed third. Pearis placed fourth.
Towards the end, SP Imports / Palani Drive’s Leigh Carter soloed to the front of the main field, again with Schindler and Dinsmore chasing him. But it wasn’t enough to stay away for more than a lap. Richmond’s Tim Mullins patiently waited for the final sprint to take fifth place.
Mixed in the men’s premier race, the women’s category 1, 2 and 3 riders also competed.
Pro racer Christy Scheffenacker, of Colavita Bola, stayed with the main field of the men’s race and won the women’s premier race.
“I have to race the women’s teams that race the national calendar. So to get fit for that it’s better to race with the men and get your butt kicked,” Scheffenacker said. “So I was kind of glad they did it that way. For me, I thought, ‘oh good, I get a good workout.’”
With two laps to go, Scheffenacker stirred the race up in the main field. She darted into the headwind and broke away before the first corner.
“It was just a practice. I knew I couldn’t hold it,” she said.
Chip Goble of the host team, Team Cobblestone, sprinted to win the category 4 men’s race. Goble and his second place team-mate J.H. Revere followed the lead out of Richmond Ciclismo’s Keck Baker. Baker held on to place third.
As soon as the pack crossed the finish line, one of the initial leaders of the race leaned into Goble and crashed. Officials disqualified that rider’s top finish for sending three riders to pavement and jeopardizing so many others.
Mimicking noises of scraping metal, Baker described the scene, “Right before the finish line, the guy looked kind of sketchy. I thought he was going to pass out or something.”
“Team Cobblestone did an excellent job today wearing down the competition,” said Goble. “We sent someone to the front just about every other lap. Towards the last laps, we just put our guys to the front.”
Men’s Category 1, 2 and 3 1. Nima Ebrahimnejad - Evolution 2. Jon Wirsing – Team Snow Valley 3. Bill Malone – Team Cobblestone 4. Dan Geairs – Virginia Tech Cycling 5. Tim Mullins Women’s Category 1, 2 and 3 1. Christy Scheffenacker – Colavita Bola 2. Janet Edgerton – Spin Cycle 3. Leslie Winters 4. Christine Kelley – Team Snow Valley Men’s Category 4 1. Chip Goble - Team Cobblestone 2. J.H. Revere- Team Cobblestone 3. Keck Baker - Richmond Ciclismo 4. Hawker Dawes - Mapei-Team Diabetic 5. Michael Coco – Virginia Beach Velo / East Coast Bikes Women’s Category 4 1. Jennifer Boxer - CRC/Extreme Sports 2. Karen Hanson - Contes/Cycor 3. Kirstin Andrs - Cycor/Conte's 4. Julie Carson - Cycles De Oro 5. Stephanie Swinerton - Cycor Men’s Category 5 1. Rodney Grabinski - Evolution 2. Rodrigo Carvajal - Evolution 3. John Parks – Mountains Edge Cycling Team 4. William Evans - Bikeworks 5. James Davidson - Richmond Ciclismo Master’s 40+ 1. Dennis Raineer - Conte’s/Cycor 2. Mark King - CRC/Extreme 3. Dave Swager - Team Cobblestone 4. James Schaefer - 5. J.H. Revere - Team Cobblestone Juniors 15 – 18-years-old 1. Mark Saunders - Richmond Ciclismo 2. Benjamin King - CRC/Extreme 3. Kirk Williams – Team Cobblestone 4. Andy Hageman Juniors 10 – 14-years-old 1. Chris Heffner 2. Mark Edwards - Tri-Power 3. Scott Riley 4. Jason Grace – Bikestop Cycling 5. Phil Rice –Olde Towne Bicycles