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Virginia Senior State Road Race Championship
Sunday, July 25, 2004
Maryland’s Craig Snydal won cycling’s Virginia State Senior Road Race Championships, in Ashland, last July 25. Atlantic Velo’s Paul Ward crossed the finish line as the first representative to Virginia’s district 42. Both pushed a five-man break away to win the 84-mile race.
Team Cobblestone hosted two days of cycling with the July 24 criterium on the campus of Randolph Macon College and today’s road race that started and finished near the Ashland Berry Farm. The United States Cycling Federation designated the road race as its championships for Virginia.
Rain made the 14-mile long course through Hanover County more challenging. Fortunately, only minor spills marred the races.
Virginia riders were also competing to receive points inVirginia’s Omnium. An omnium combines points in cycling’s three disciplines: road racing, criterium racing and time trialing. Schindler had placed fourth in the Senior State Criterium Championships. After today’s championship, only the “race against the clock” Senior State Time Trialing Championship remains.
“Because I felt like I could do well in the omnium I wanted to go with as many breaks as I could today,” said fifth place John Schindler of Richmond Ciclismo. “Finally, I found one that stuck.”
With half the race to go, that break away began to slow. If they didn’t get a boost, the break would fail.
Meanwhile, back in the pack, Wheaton, Maryland’s Ramon Benitez of Artemis bolted up the course’s major climb to bridge to the break.
“He (Benitez) looked like the engine that put the power back into our pedals,” Schindler said. Schindler also said he had trouble with leg cramps.
“When I got there, there were mostly guys from Virginia and one guy from Maryland (Snydal).” Benitez said. Since Benitez said he knew Snydal, he knew the two would have no problem working together.
“There was a lot of team stuff going on among the Virginia guys. We slowed down a little bit. It turned into a short debate but it only lasted about 15 to 20 seconds.” Benitez said. He also added that he had faith in his team and in Snydal’s team to counter anything the pack might try. So the two from Maryland ignored Virginia’s team politics and powered on.
While in the break, SP Imports / Palani Drive’s Leigh Carter flatted a tire. USCF rules denied the wheel truck to allow any rider to motorpace or draft back to the field of riders. That flat tire ended Carter’s race.
Now with Benitez in the break, the thirty seconds between the break and the rest of the field, stretched to over a minute with one lap to go.
At the last hill, within a mile of the finish, the breakaway’s gap had dwindled to 15 seconds. But by then, they could hold off the final burst of speed from the peloton.
Snydal and Benitez powered to the finish side by side. Snyal won. Benitez placed second. Atlantic Velo’s Paul Ward placed third. Virginia Beach Velo’s / East Coast Bikes’ Bill Collins placed fourth. And Schindler placed fifth.
Heidi Goldberg of Washington D.C. soloed to the front to win the women’s premier race. Goldberg, of Team Snow Valley, forced the pace, with two laps to go, to shake two from her five woman group. Then early in the second lap, she broke away from the other two.
“I was going to attack on that hill again, but I thought, well, it’s too close to the finish line,” Goldberg said. “And I thought, everybody’s going to know that I’m going to attack on that hill.”
That left D.C.’s Laurie Selegman of Rock Creek Racers and Virginia Beach’s Annette Johnson of Atlantic Velo chasing after Goldberg. Actually, that left Johnson trying to shake Selegman from her wheel.
“I blew up. I couldn’t hold on to Heidi (Goldberg),” Selegman said. “She should’ve kept focusing on Heidi. Instead, she was worried about me.”
Two thirds into the last lap, at Patrick Henry’s Scotchtown home, the race had been decided.
Roanoke’s Erin Garvin sprinted to the strung-out finish of the women’s category 4 race. Last week, Garvin raced her first bicycle race in the Commonwealth Games. That race put her against seasoned cycling riders. She placed second in that race.
“This course is flatter than I’m used to,” Garvin said about the Ashland course. Instead of attacking on the hill before the finish she said she decided to conserve her energy for the finish.
The host Team Cobblestone’s Patti Williams placed second.
Virginia Beach’s Josh Moore won the men’s category 4 race. Also, the host team placed second in the men’s category 4 race when yesterday’s Cobblestone Criterium winner Chip Goble struggled through the sprint.
“My legs were fried,” Goble said of not quite recovering from yesterday’s effort.
Men’s Category 1, 2 and 3 1. Craig Snydal - Bike Doctor 2. Ramon Benitez – Artemis 3. Paul Ward – Atlantic Velo 4. Bill Collins – Virginia Beach Velo / East Coast Bikes 5. John Schindler – Richmond Ciclismo 6. Brian Butts – Team Embestida 7. Mark Johnson – Team Embestida 8. Marc Frazer – LSV / Kelley 9. Jake Stephens – Team Snow Valley 10. John McGarva – SP Imports / Palani Drive Women’s Category 1, 2 and 3 1. Heidi Goldberg – Team Snow Valley 2. Annette Johnson – Atlantic Velo 3. Laurie Saligan – Rock Creek Racers 4. Carol Ennser - 5. Pam Zimmerman – James River Velo Sport Men’s Category 4 1. Josh Moore - All About Bikes 2. Chip Goble – Team Cobblestone 3. Craig Griffin – CRC /Extreme 4. Michael Coco - Virginia Beach Velo / East Coast Bikes 5. Michael Stoop – Atlantic Velo Women’s Category 4 1. Erin Garvin 2. Patti Williams – Team Cobblestone 3. Jen Boxer – CRC / Extreme Sports 4. Jinx Mancini 5. Diane Miller - Team Snow Valley Men’s Category 5 1. Kelle Ryan – Tri-Power 2. John Parks – Mountain’s Edge 3. William Evans 4. Matt Hawkins – Bike Stop 5. Paul Flannigan – Hilton Cycling Men’s 40+ 1. David Osbourne - Artemis 2. Grant Soma – Team Snow Valley 3. Bernie Sanders – Blue Ridge Bike Club 4. Dennis Raineer – Conte’s / Cycor 5. Steve Hetherington