Here at District Velocity p/b Bicycle Pro Shop we love America, we love fireworks and we love bike racing. While we have found no constitutional “scholar” to agree with us; we are positive that the emanations and penumbra of the Constitution clearly indicate that the Founding Fathers would have encouraged everyone to race their bike in honor of the United States’ birthday. In following that encouragement DVR set off this past Independence Day for the Pennsylvania Masters Road Race Championship and came home with its second win of the season. This time it would be DVR’s Kevin Cross coming to the line solo. While it was a solo victory, the win was a total team effort, the result of team tactics by Dave Muse and Chas Offutt, a bit of luck, and some beard power (as is evident from the pictures).
The new race, part of the Chesco Grand Prix series, was a rolling 12-mile loop through beautiful farmland with a steep two-tiered climb at the finish, a climb that racers hit four times during the 53-mile race. Joe Jefferson emceed the race in his inimitable style, and Victory Brewing provided critical re-hydration post-race. Although temperatures were pleasantly cool at the 8:00am start, as the race progressed the temperatures veered toward 100 degrees.
DVR joined several other MABRA racers–including Bayside Velo/Bike Doctor’s Brian Sjoberg and ABRT’s Eric Boone–at the start. A two-man break went from the gun; which included a Euro category 1 racer and a national triathlon champion. In short, if you were to pick two guys who could possibly stick such an audacious move, you’d probably want to pick these two. The two escapees built up an impressive lead but DVR was not to be undone by this move. Chas, with unrelenting force and not a single thought of his own result, drove the field with a monsterous turn of the gears and kept the break within 45 seconds. Although it would take over half the race to finally reel the escapees back into the fold, the peloton was able to make the catch. Chas wasn’t done for the day. After his selfless sacrifice on the bike, he was quick to adopt another roll in the feed zone offering his teammates critical hand-ups, encouragement and then as team photographer.
With one lap to go, a break of five went from the field that was quickly shrinking under the pressure of the horses driving the pace. Kevin jumped from the peleton and bridged to them. It was a solid move and would prove to be the winning decision. The break worked together for the remaining eight miles before hitting the final stair-step finishing climb. Kevin waited until the second, steep portion of the climb and sprinted away from his breakaway companions, taking the win for DVR.
As part of their training, Kevin, Chas and Dave had ridden the previous week with one of the team’s sponsors, Rashid of Filter Coffeehouse and Espresso Bar. Riding in the heat for 90 miles on Saturday was pivotal to the team’s ability to handle the heat on Independence Day. That and the beard.