Where to start?! The Antietam Velo Club, Randall Buxbaum and Joe Jefferson deserve a huge round of applause for working so hard to promote an incredible weekend of racing. We are very thankful to the event sponsors, volunteers, organizers, officials and community for making this such a memorable weekend.
For many team members, the weekend wouldn’t be complete without contesting the “Kick-off Criterium” held on Friday evening. There’s certainly a bit of risk vs. reward involved in contesting the Kick-off twilight crit with the Stage Race set to start on Saturday. But, the Twilight Kick-off crit is just too incredibly unique, raucous, entertaining and fun to miss. The energy and enthusiasm is contagious which makes for dramatic racing and spectating. Also, most of the photos we gathered are from Igda Warner’s photo gallery of the weekend and can be found HERE. Thank you, Igda!
Warner got things started at 7 p.m. in the Masters event with a bold mid-race bridge to a two-man break. Bringing two riders with him, Warner would join the two leaders to make a group of five and proceed to give the Hagerstown crowd a show with a salvo of attacks. In the end, he was unable to shake out the strong group, and had enough left in the tank to take 3rd place in a sprint! Fife hit out at the 8 p.m. Category 3/4 race. Unfortunately for Fife, a crash in front of him on the final corner voided his chances, but he came away unscathed and ready for the rest of the weekend. At 9:15 p.m., Taylor, Spivack, Custer, Wallace and McCollum tackled the P/1/2/3 Twilight crit. Racing in the dark, music blaring, lots of big money primes, insane speeds, pure adrenaline rush for 75 minutes…WHY NOT?! As the climax approached, Team Beyer Auto organized a lead-out train to deliver their sprinter. In front of a loud crowd, the Beyer boys kept the race strung out for the final three laps, and delivered their sprinter to the final corner in perfect position. That’s not easy to execute. Taylor came through with an outstanding ride to take 2nd and Spivack followed closely on his heels for 4th! A great start to the weekend for the team!
On Saturday, it was time to begin the stage race with the first event being the Smithsburg Road Race. The undulating terrain of the circuit through rural farmland and aggressive racing always lends itself to a certain degree of unpredictability. With the team focused on overall GC ambitions, the strategy was to sit back a bit and see how things played out. If our GC contenders were presented an opportunity to take time in the road race, great. If not, the team would try to setup a strong finish. Custer, Shelby, Palavecino and Wallace selflessly sacrificed themselves during the first half of the race covering moves. With a diminished field going into the bell lap and one rider off the front, the team began working to bring it together. Well, we fell 15 seconds short of it, but Taylor was able to out sprint the field for 2nd place along with earning some critical time bonus seconds. Additionally, we had another 4 riders finish with the same time so our GC chances were still intact. Kudos to Kris Stein (Team Beyer Auto) for holding off the field. That was a brave ride.
A special mention needs to be made regarding the road race. Team Bike Doctor considers itself extremely fortunate to have family members sit by the side of road in sultry conditions just to give us a stinking bottle of water every so often! Bike Doctor wives…YOU ARE THE BEST! It was an enjoyable weekend spending time with other families.
At the Sunday morning Stage 2 Boonsboro Time Trial, the team put in solid performances. Taylor led the team with a 7th place, McCollum 9th and Spivack 11th. There were some stellar rides by the competition which set the stage for a challenging criterium race to follow in the afternoon.
As the GC picture became clear before Stage 3 at the Williamsport Criterium, the team was looking at a challenging task ahead. Taylor sat 6th with the possibility to move up if he could get several of the time bonus’ on offer. McCollum trailed in 8th with Spivack on his heels in 10th.
In the face of a fast, hard course with temperatures well into the 90’s, riders began throwing haymakers from the gun. Toss into the mix the disparate goals of other teams, individual riders vying for a stage win or protecting their GC place, and anonymous bell ringing, a high degree of chaos ensued for the 60 minute crit in the team’s attempt to help Taylor grab some time bonus’. Despite the heat, the field once again put on an entertaining race on the final stage in Williamsport, with absolutely no shortage of attacks and chases. When the dust settled, Taylor took 5th place in the crit, and managed to grab enough time bonus sprint points to finish 5th overall. McCollum held strong throughout the crit and finished 8th overall. Spivack, who put in a working man effort to keep Taylor in position to vie for bonus time, held on for 11th overall. Warner clung on to finish 16th on GC.
Also, shout out to fellow Bike Doctor affiliates throughout the weekend. Congrats to Jason Calderon (Bike Doctor Frederick) for his victory at the Friday Kick-Off criterium in the 3/4 race. To Dallas Siok (Bike Doctor Arnold) for winning the Stage 3 criterium in the Category 3/4 race. And Pat Burnett (Bayside Velo Racing) for winning the Category 4 General Classification. It’s great to see Bike Doctor representatives doing well!
Below is a view from team member Ian Spivack’s handlebar camera from the Men’s category 1/2/3 elite criterium race. The footage was recorded using a Shimano CM-1000 Sport Camera.
That’s a wrap! We can’t wait for next year already!
The team would like to thank its sponsors for their generous support of local cycling, without whom we wouldn’t be able to promote and enjoy the sport that we love. Please check out their great products/services: Bike Doctor, Shimano, Elite Endurance Training Systems, Felt Bicycles, Strong Smiles Dental Care, North-Tek