Wow, a perfect Sunday to race up in Taneytown for the 2011 Mabra Cyclocross Championships! A big, glorious shout out to the promoter and all who were involved in putting on a great race at a spectator friendly venue. Good tunes, a great MC, clear skies and LOTS of mud made it an extremely special day.
Our very own Todd Bickling got the fireworks started early in the Masters 35+ 3 /4 race. At the halfway point, it became decidedly clear that it would be a shootout to the end. The four riders at the front of the field were pushing each other to the max. Bickling, deep in the hurt locker, worked hard with Cory Smith from Sportif Coaching to limit the damage once the lead rider built up a small gap on the chasing duo. Bickling commented that it was crucial having Cory’s help in the chase. If there was one big take away from this race, it was to never give up because anything could happen out there.
Well, low and behold, coming into the final stretch, the lead rider suffered a mechanical and was running his bike full gas up the finish straight. WOW! The announcer was going nuts on the play by play. Every spectator ran to the finish straight in nervous anticipation. Would he make it or be caught?! Todd and Cory were HOT on the heels and had him in sight, closing fast! Unfortunately for Bickling, there just wasn’t enough real estate and he came across the line behind the winner for the 2nd. What a thrilling finish! Congrats to Bickling for notching a MABRA silver medal as well as taking the Maryland State title (since the winner was from VA)!…And big thanks to Cory Smith for all the help!
Next up was Tanner Browne in the 15-18 Juniors race. Tanner jumped on the gas from the whistle and led the field in the early goings. Tanner was riding strong and smooth. Then tragedy struck. Tanner’s chain broke! Did he throw in the towel? Heck, no! In an inspirational show of determination and pride, Tanner ran over half a lap and switched to his Dad’s bike at the pit. Game back on! Tanner managed to grit his teeth and power his way from 9th to 3rd by the finish. It’s beautiful to see a junior keep the fight alive. Very proud of the accomplishment!
Pete Warner, Bill Browne & Brian “Sobe” Sjoberg clipped in for the 35+/45+ open right afterward. The race unfolded as expected with the fellas trying to hang on and navigate the tricky conditions. Sobe fell victim to a failed rear derailleur about 3 laps in; off to drink beer for him. Browne kept the pedals a turning but the mud was winning the battle. Warner managed to eek out 22nd on the day after two spectacular wipeouts on the last lap. We send our apologies to the grounds crew who had to fix course tape after Warner’s last lap escapades. Bickling did console Warner with a post race Blue Moon Ale. Tasty!
That’s a wrap. Congrats to all the MABRA and Maryland/DC State Champs! You all earned it big time on Sunday.
Many of the riders on the team wouldn’t be able to race nearly as much as they are able without the fantastic support of their families and sponsors. Thank you to the mom’s, dad’s, wives, husbands, kids, future kids, dogs, cats, honey badgers that support the riders. And to the sponsors, Bike Doctor, Cannondale