NEWLYWEDS FLING MUD AT EVO-CROSS
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
November 19, 2006; New Hope, PA, USA: One day after racing in mud, mire and muck in New Hope Pennsylvania, the Verge MAC powered by Hammer Nutrition returned to the same estate for the Evo-Cross in memory of Todd Ebersole to benefit the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (www.pancan.org). Promoter Tammy Ebersole reversed the direction of the course and redirected it away from the softest of the rain-sodden ground. Even without the quagmire, though, there was plenty of mud and muck to make the mudders, and newlyweds, happy.
Gunnar Shogren (FORT Factory Team) �found the love� and made it to the top of a cyclocross podium for the first time this year after narrowly missing out the day before. The legendary 45 year old did it the hard way by starting relatively slowly at the start and picking off riders in a closely-bunched lead pack before taking over the lead from Eric Schlauch (Somerset Wheelmen/Van Dessel Bikes) with one lap to go. Joe Ruggery of Freddie Fu, third place one day earlier, also wiggled past Schlauch on the last lap to take second. The previous day�s winner, Kris Auer (C3/ADG/Joe�s Bike Shop) had to settle for fourth.
Gunnar�s wife of less than a year, two-time Verge MAC champion and confirmed mudder Betsy Shogren (formerly Schauer) took the opposite tact to victory in the Elite Women�s race. Shogren took the lead from her FORT Factory teammate (and fellow Ph.D.) Erica Yozell before the halfway point of the first lap -- but not before catching a rut and colliding with race promoter Tammy Ebersole (Evolution Bike Shop) with what can only be described as �unusual� sounds. The collision sent Ebersole soaring over her handlebars and inelegantly into the muck. Unhurt, she spent the better part of the next thirty seconds trying to convince her bicycle to let go of the post it was clutching so that she could end what had inadvertently become a slapstick routine that had even her closest friends howling in laughter. Shogren and Yozell built a big gap before Shogren checked out on the second lap and was never headed -- winning by about two minutes and becoming the third two-time Women�s winner on the 2006 Verge MAC tour. But, unlike her other championship competitors, Shogren has scored points in every race and this win gives her a narrow lead in the championship chase with only the Capital �Cross Classic on December 3 remaining.
While Yozell time-trialed to second place, California�s Carolyn Popovic (Figueroa Farms/Redline Racing) and Delaware�s Lisa Vible (C3/ADG/Joe�s Bike Shop) waged a race-long battle for the final step on the podium. Popovic sprinted down the last downhill to give her enough of a gap to beat newly-crowned BikeReg.com MABRAcross Champion Vible for third.
As the Elite Men lined-up for their race, the FORT Factory Team was already having a good day, with wins in the first two Elite races of the day, a one-two finish in the Women�s race and the first and third place in the previous day�s Elite Men�s race (Weston Schempf and Mike Yozell) toeing the line for the final race of the day. But their plans for total domination were disrupted by two-time Verge MAC Champion Ryan �Dieter� Leech (Meredith Group/GPOA/Cannondale). Leech took the holeshot at the start and began pulling away from all competitors at the second set of barriers. He never looked back and took a convincing one minute win over Schempf, Yozell and Andy Wulfkuhle (C3/ADG/Joe�s Bike Shop).
All-in-all, it was a fun and entertaining weekend of racing, with plenty of local media coverage and what promises to be a fairly hefty couple of donations to the Fox Chase Cancer Center and the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCAN). Racing on the Verge MAC series resumes on December 3 with the season-ending UCI-C2 Capital �Cross Classic presented by the Bike Lane in the Washington DC suburb of Reston, Virginia. That race, which will feature the DARCARS Chrysler International for Men, will benefit �Trips for Kids� -- an organization that helps teach important life lessons disadvantaged youth in the Washington DC area through mountain biking.