November 12, 2006; Camp Hill, PA, USA: The Lower Allen Classic once again proved to be the hottest race on the Verge MAC tour, at least weather wise. For the second consecutive year, race day brought clear skies and unseasonably warm weather. And, like last year, it was nearly 20 degrees (Fahrenheit) warmer than normal for this time of year in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The shirt sleeve weather was so warm that it actually felt like a pleasant summer day, instead of mid-November.
Though the weather was warm, the pace laid down by Jeremy Powers (Jelly Belly) and Dee Dee �the Grasshopper� Winfield (Velo Bella/Kona) was even hotter. In carbon-copy fashion, both riders joined a small breakaway on the first lap, both put in an effort about halfway through the race and both soloed to victory by huge margins. Despite the efforts of the announcers to build drama and the possibility of tight finishes, the truth of the matter was that neither rider was ever tested and both had plenty of gas in the tank. In fact, Powers was overheard laughing with one of the race announcers after his massage, �I heard you say something about me looking like I was suffering as I rode past one time. It was because I was HOT!�
In the women�s 2005 National Team member Maureen �Mo� Bruno-Roy (Independent Fabrications) took the early lead, forcing Winfield to chase. Winfield looked a bit uncomfortable, spinning a lower gear than is her custom. But with each successive lap, Winfield seemed to be finding her rhythm until she eventually rode away. Mandy Lozano (Diet Cheerwine) rode solo for most of the race to finish in third.
Most of the excitement in the Men�s race occurred on the opening lap. Heading into the barriers, Powers never dismounted. Italian Luca Damiani (FIDIBEC.com/VC Arbedo) saw the bunny hop developing and squeezed Powers just enough to break his rhythm and slow him down. Early in the race a small group of Powers, Matt White (FiordiFrutta) and another Italian, Davide Fratinni of Colavita Olive Oil/Sutter Home Wine, established a break. All three riders had previously won UCI races this year, so the threat was real. But nobody, including Damiani, UCI race winner Michael Cody (FiordiFrutta) nor road racing superstar Chris Horner (Specialized) would ever make contact again. Once Powers accelerated, the race for the lead was done. Frattini and White were left to battle for second. Powers powerfully and cautiously extended his lead on the rapidly-changing track surface until be finally succumbed to the urgings of the restless crowd and bunny hopped the barriers again on the last lap, throwing in a wheelie and wave for good measure on what was essentially a victory lap. At the line, he had a 57 second advantage over Frattini, who narrowly out-sprinted White for second.
In the preceding Elite Masters race, Joseph Ruggery of the Freddy Fu Cycling team attacked at the gun and broke free within the first half mile, soloing to a win ahead of Hew York�s Robert Campos (HVC/Jessies). Ralf Warmuth of the Highland Park Hermes rode in no-man�s land most of the race to finish third, while Gunnar Shogren (FORT Frames) finished as the best 45+ competitor in fourth.