November 26/12 17:25 pm - Firemenís Park Cross 2012 Race report and photos
Posted by Editoress on 11/26/12
This weekend the final races of the Southern Ontario cyclo-cross season were held in Niagara Falls. Utilizing a beautiful private venue owned by the Stamford Volunteer Firemen’s Association, the Firemen’s Park cross saw two days of great racing on courses that, while similar in layout, rode very differently as a result of the weather. Both days were just above freezing; while Saturday saw sunny and dry conditions with high winds, Sunday was marked by snow flurries which made the course wet and slick in some places, and notably less wind.
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Saturday’s race was dry and fast, making for good group racing in most categories. Starting off with the ‘C Men’ at 10:00 am, comprised of Master 3, Beginner and Under 17 men, a group of four quickly established itself at the front. They rode well together, with a move on the final lap leaving Robin Watt (Team 905) chasing the other three. Dan Dakin (Canadian Cycling Magazine) took the two-up sprint against Ciprian Scriuba (Darkhorse Flyers) with Tim McClure riding in just behind for third.
Master 3 Men - photo Jon Safka
Next to take to the course were the Women and ‘B Men’. In the women’s race Aly Armstrong (Team NA Consulting) pulled away early, with Antje Thamm (St. Catharines CC) not too far behind keeping the pressure on the whole race. The battle for third was taken by Kathleen MacEwan (Lapdogs CC) over Katlyn Dundas (Trek Store CC). The men’s race saw Scott Farrell (Tom’s Pro Bike) take an early lead which he held to the finish. The chase group behind worked together for most of the race, with Patryk Biegalski (Beaches CC) taking Paul Beit (CHCH) in a sprint after they had distanced the rest of the group.
Andrew Watson - photo Jon Safka
The final race of the day saw the ‘A Men’ (combined Elite and Masters) facing off. Through the first lap a group of six riders led by Peter Mogg (Stevens Racing) rode steadily until Andrew Watson (Norco Factory Team) pulled away midway through the second lap. Though the others could not match his pace, the acceleration shed all but three riders from the chase group: Mogg, Nathan Chown (Team CF) and Craig Barbules (Tom’s Pro Bike). Mogg eventually took Chown in the sprint by a few centimetres with Barbules right behind for fourth. Peter Mancini (Esteemtraining.com) eventually shed Alex Schmidt (Liberty! Bicycles) to take fifth.
Sunday’s race was the final event of the S-Cup series, and used a modified version of Saturday’s course. The snowy conditions that came just after the first race, however, made for a slick course that proved to be more selective, with most races seeing riders solo away or riding in groups of two.
The first race of the day had the large field of Master 3 Men sharing the course with a handful of Beginner Men and Under 17 Men and Women. The Beginner Men’s race was won by Robin Watt (Team 905) after Dan Dakin (Canadian Cycling Magazine) fell victim to a flat and couldn’t get back up to him. The Under 17 race was won by Caleb Shaver (Reactivated Racing) with Farleigh Creswicke (Invita-FCV) taking the victory in U17 women, and the lone U15 rider Max Chalovich (Lapdogs CC) riding strong from start to finish. The Master 3 Men’s race was won by James Cook (Canadian Cycling Magazine) over Stephen Chester (eRace Cancer) and Matthew Pioro (Lapdogs CC).
Women - photo Jon Safka
By the time the 11:30 am start arrived, snow was falling on the course, quickly changing the amount of traction available and which lines were taken. In the Master Women’s race Aly Armstrong (Team NA Consulting) repeated her performance from Saturday, riding away from the others to victory over Kathleen MacEwan (Lapdogs CC) and Carolyne Haill (Chain Reaction/Molson 67). The Elite Women’s race was hard fought, with Briana Ingram (Cycle Solutions/Angry Johnny’s) taking the win over Siobhan Kelly (Coachchris.ca/Ted Velikonja) and Antje Thamm (St. Catharines CC).
Master 2 men in the snow - photo Jon Safka
The Master 2 and Junior Men also 'enjoyed' snowy conditions with Tyler Lee (St. Catharines CC) taking the Junior win and the race overall, quickly putting time into the entire Masters field. Meanwhile, the M2 race behind was tight, with Peter Kofman (eRace Cancer) riding through many groups before connecting with the front and taking the win over Remi Laroche (Cyclepath Oakville) and David Moore (Darkhorse Flyers)
With the course worked in by previous races, and moisture making for some slick corners, the Elite Men and Master 1 Men were last to race. In the Elite race, with a cash prime after 1 lap put forth by the crowd, the racing was hot from the start, seeing Andrew Watson (Norco Factory Team) and Nathan Chown (Team CF) quickly distance themselves from the rest going for the money. Watson took the prime and kept the pressure on Chown, slowly growing his gap throughout the race and repeating Saturday’s victory, securing the overall S-Cup series as well.
Start of the Elite men's race - photo Jon Safka
A small chase group would form behind Watson, from which Chown was able to distance himself before the finish to secure second. Peter Mogg (Stevens Racing) lost his chance for third with a bobble on the last lap after battling with Marco Li (Garneau-Quebecor-Norton Rose), who took the third step on the podium. John Stewart rode well throughout to finish fifth behind Mogg.
The Master 1 Men started equally quickly with Edgars Apse (Blacksmith Cycle) leading the charge, but ultimately Robert Sule (Chain Reaction/Molson 67) would ride away from the rest, leaving a chase group of Apse, Mark Brusso (Lapdogs CC) and Graham Jones (Primary Sweet Pete’s) to battle for the remaining steps on the podium. In the end Apse beat Brusso in the sprint for second.
Report courtesy Jeff Moote
Day 1 results
Day 2 results
Related Photo Galleries
Firemans Cross November 24/12 - November 25/12, Niagara Falls, Ontario
Day 2, part 2