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All-City Classic 09 Wrap

10 June 2009 No Comment

Another Highbridge All-City Classic is in the books, and this one delivered more brutally technical trails, spooky urban terrain, a stunning come-from-behind pro win… everything you’ve come to expect from the most urban XC mountain bike race in the USA.

Registration started bright and early Sunday morning

Registration started bright and early Sunday morning

From the start/finish on the corner of Harlem River Drive, Dyckman and 210th, racers grabbed their race packets and NYCMTB volunteers buzzed around making final preparations.

Our friends and race sponsors EMS SoHo (on the corner of Broadway and Spring Street) set up at the start/finish. EMS offered all racers free bike tune-ups if they brought their number plates into the shop after the race. Thule kicked in some sweet prizes for the top male and female pro racers (a hitch rack for the top male, and a couple fork-mount bike trays for the top female, both prizes worth about $350 each). Zico Coconut Water was on hand with free samples of their natural energy drink. And Raw Revolution provided samples to all racers of their tasty all-natural raw energy bars.

Bike waiting patiently for the race as cars pass by on Harlem River drive

Bikes waiting patiently for the race as cars pass by on Harlem River drive

Volunteers in orange shirts were not hard to miss

First out of the gate were the Cat 3’s, with a lineup full of familiar faces- some Highbridge Summer Sprint Series regulars, some friends from the WMBA, and a handful of other hardy souls primed for 6 miles of Cat 3 pain.

Cat 3s line up for the start

Cat 3's line up for the start

Not surprisingly, winners in 3 of the 4 classes were all guys who had raced Highbridge before (course knowledge being key). Ross Pattinson, in his first year of XC racing for the NYCMTB-Peak Bikes team and with course experience from racing the Super-D leg of the Hustle and Flow race, took the 30-39 class win in 43:55 (despite hilariously mistaking the tape across the sidewalk leading into the finish chute for a finish line itself). While Ross was wrapped up in tape with all the timers screaming at him, 40-49 winner Ivan Germosen crossed the line in 42:39, showing his experience with the singletrack gained from multiple Summer Sprint race appearances. The fourth Cat 3 across the line was 15-18 class winner Wilber Fernandes, racing not on a mountain bike but a SINGLE SPEED 20″ WHEELED BMX BIKE. Yes, you read that right- Wilber beat 11 other adult Cat 3 racers on geared mountain bikes while on his bmx bike. Ricco Deleo took the in the 19-29 class.

Ross Pattinson crossing the line after the prologue with Tim OConnell (WMBA) on his heels

Ross Pattinson crossing the line after the prologue with Tim O'Connell (WMBA) on his heels

Cat 3 15-18 Winner Wilber Fernandes

Cat 3 15-18 Winner Wilber Fernandes

Cat 3 19-29 Winner Ricco DeLeo

Cat 3 19-29 Winner Ricco DeLeo

Cat 3 30-39 Podium. From left: Brian LeBow, Ludavic Deriano, Ross Pattinson

Cat 3 30-39 Podium. From left: Brian LeBow (3rd), Ludavic Deriano (2nd), Ross Pattinson (1st)

Cat 3 4-49 podium: Anthony Kondrat (2nd). Not pictured: Ivan Germosen (1st), Peter Kimak (3rd)

Cat 3 4-49 podium: Anthony Kondrat (2nd). Not pictured: Ivan Germosen (1st), Peter Kimak (3rd)

With Cat 3’s finished, the Cat 2’s took to the course and lined up in considerably larger numbers.

Cat 2s staged for the start

Cat 2's staged for the start

Cat 2’s did the half-lap prologue then 3 full laps, for 14 total miles of suffering. Competition got heated as the day’s temperature rose, but the guys from Danbury (Barbosa and Dasilva) dominated the tough 30-39 and 20-29 classes with the two fastest times of the day. The locals didn’t go down without a fight, though- Leandro Germosen took the win in the 40-49 class, and NYC’ers filled out a few podiums. The biggest story had to be Men 50+ winner Geoff Luders from Adelaide, Australia who was in town for 5 days and still found time to pre-ride the course on Saturday and race on Sunday. Geoff turned down any prizes he couldn’t carry onto the plane the next day.

Cat 2 Meb 15-18 podium, from left: Steven Davoust (3rd), Tommy Wachtler (1st). Not pictured: Ben Frye (2nd).

Cat 2 Men 15-18 podium, from left: Steven Davoust (3rd), Tommy Wachtler (1st). Not pictured: Ben Frye (2nd).

Cat 2 Men 19-29 podium, from left:

Cat 2 Men 19-29 podium, from left: Mustafa Ozyilmaz (2nd), Edenilsen Dasilva (1st). Not pictured: Bill Cullen (3rd).

Cat 2 Men 30-39 podium, from left: Troy Ostrander (2nd), Gerry Barbosa (1st). Not pictured: Noah Gellner (3rd).

Cat 2 Men 30-39 podium, from left: Troy Ostrander (2nd), Gerry Barbosa (1st). Not pictured: Noah Gellner (3rd).

Cat 2 Men 40-49 podium, from left:

Cat 2 Men 40-49 podium, from left: Oliver Carbonell (3rd), Leandro Germosen (1st), Robert Hayes (2nd).

Cat 2 Men 50+ winner: Geoff Luders. Not pictured: James Caissy (2nd), Adrian Tricker (3rd).

Cat 2 Men 50+ winner: Geoff Luders. Not pictured: James Caissy (2nd), Adrian Tricker (3rd).

Cat 2 SS podium, from left: Stephane Courtois (2nd), Chris DeNoma (1st). Not pictured: Clayton Chiles (3rd).

Cat 2 SS podium, from left: Stephane Courtois (2nd), Chris DeNoma (1st). Not pictured: Clayton Chiles (3rd).

Cat 2 Women 19-39 winner Victoria Boughton and 40+ winner Christina Chambers.

Cat 2 Women 19-39 winner Victoria Boughton and 40+ winner Christina Chambers.

Then it was on to the big show- the Pro and Cat 1 race. Over the past few years, we’ve had some pretty “honch” (as Georges would say) pros come out to the All-City Classic, despite the race still being in its fledgling stage compared to many of the other races in the region. In 07 there was Harlan Price (Indie Fab), Christian Favata (Table Rock Tours), Troy Wells (former U23 Cyclocross champ), Michael Patrick (GF 29er Crew), and a few more. In 08 it was Mike Mooradian (Spin Cycles), Jurgen Beneke (SRAM, former World Cup DH champ), Patrick again, and a few others. In 09 we saw a few new faces- Dominic Gillen (Target Training, US National Tri Team member and east coast Xterra champ), Thom Parsons (GF 29er Crew from Boston), endurance specialist Rob Lichtenwalner (VisitPA.com), Beneke again, and more. With that caliber at the top, it was destined to be a tough race, and the action certainly delivered. Triathletes may get skewered by our resident BikeSnobNYC for being unskilled, but Gillen proved that they can ride on even the toughest of technical courses. After flatting on the very first section of singletrack and losing about 6 minutes repairing it, Gillen set out on a mission, laying down a blistering pace that saw him pull back time on every lap. In 26th out of all the Cat 1’s and Pros on the prologue, Gillen passed 14 Cat 1’s to climb to 12th in the first lap, then passed 4 more Cat 1’s and one pro (Hilmire) to finish 7th on the second lap, caught and released 2 more pros (Tavtfest and Waggoner) to climb to 5th in the third lap, reeled in two more (Jacobs and Beneke) to finish the fourth lap in third place, then in the final 4 mile lap found Parsons hanging on with a soft tire and drilled it to catch Lichtenwalner for a sprint on the final stretch of pavement, netting the win by an incredibly slim 5 seconds!

Beneke described Dominic’s pass as getting passed by semitrailer on the highway- “You hear something, you feel something and move a few inches sideways, then it’s gone…”

Pro Mens podium, from left: Dominic Gillen (1st), Thom Parsons (3rd), Randy Jacobs (4th), Jurgen Beneke (5th), Rob Lichtenwalner (2nd).

Pro Men's podium, from left: Dominic Gillen (1st), Thom Parsons (3rd), Randy Jacobs (4th), Jurgen Beneke (5th), Rob Lichtenwalner (2nd).

In the womens Pro/Cat 1 Open field, it was Melissa Kern (Team Bulldog/Cyclecraft/Crisp Ti), Mary Lynn Hadix (CVC/Subaru of New England) and Stacy Beneke. Hadix had raced at the All-City race in ’07 and was looking for another topcap medal for her collection. Kern pulled out the win over 4.5 laps in 1:55:20, with Hadix back at 2:19:20 and Beneke at 2:30:46.

Pro womens podium, from left: Mary Lynn Hadix (2nd), Stacy Beneke (3rd), Melissa Kern (1st)

Pro women's podium, from left: Mary Lynn Hadix (2nd), Stacy Beneke (3rd), Melissa Kern (1st)

In the Cat 1 age classes, 30-39 Men saw another tight finish with Alec Donahue (Spooky/NCC/Kenda) topping Joshua West by a very slim 15 second margin. NYC road racing badass Wilson Vasquez took a stab at Cat 1 30-39 and suffered a race-ending mechanical, later commenting “‘Brutally technical and hardcore MTB race right here in NYC’ is right! It took more energy trying to stay upright over the wet rocks that the 21 miles itself. It was a cool course, I’m still trying to recover and I didn’t even finish.”

Cat 1 Men 19-29 podium, from left: Eric Kristiansen (1st), Scott Frison (2nd).

Cat 1 Men 19-29 podium, from left: Eric Kristiansen (1st), Scott Frison (2nd).

Cat 1 30-39 podium, from left: Alec Donahue (1st), Joshua West (2nd), Jim Vreeland (3rd).

Cat 1 30-39 podium, from left: Alec Donahue (1st), Joshua West (2nd), Jim Vreeland (3rd).

Cat 1 SS podium, from left: Nate Kraxberger (1st), John Debitetto (2nd), Thomas Wood (3rd).

Cat 1 SS podium, from left: Nate Kraxberger (1st), John Debitetto (2nd), Thomas Wood (3rd).

(Not pictured: Cat 1 50+ winner Dave Chomowicz)

On behalf of everyone from NYCMTB, I’d like to thank all the racers who came out to the All-City Classic. We like to keep the focus on fun and friendly competition, but on a serious note the proceeds from the race support NYCMTB’s trail building efforts in NYC. That, and the effect of having a focused and sustained amount of positive use in that section of park, help keep us moving forward and improving on the status quo.  -JB

Gratuitous linkage:

Thom Parsons’ 29er Crew blog entry

Lactate Intolerant blog recap

Geoff Luders’ blog entry

Dave Booth’s blog entry

Clay Chiles blog entry

Photos:

Photos by Jason Morgan and Dawson Smith

NYCMTB Photo Pool on FLICKR

Official race photos are forthcoming from Specimage.com

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