It was a busy weekend of racing, coaching, cheering, and volunteering this weekend for Team OAM NOW who came out in force for the BTR Crit and Maple Hills Race for Wishes. It was a big weekend as Maple Hills was the 2016 state championship road race and BTR was the state championship criterium for women, masters and juniors. It was a great showing for the team with a successful Friday night skills clinic to kick off the weekend and nearly every race sporting some OAM NOW blue and orange kits. The racing was highlighted by two overall state champions as well as success stories in nearly every race.
In the 87 mile men’s Cat 1/2/3/ road race on Sunday, Andy Guelzo stole the show taking the win in a sprint finish from a six man breakaway. Andy was in strong company with Tom Burke and two Bissell ABG riders Aaron Beebe and John Leach. But Andy was patient and delivered a brilliant sprint at the line to take the win.
Dan Yankus followed closely in a chase group taking seventh. With teammates up the road in breaks, the rest of the mens team finished in the main field.
Sunday’s win was a big relief to the team after a disappointing showing in the crit on Saturday. Although OAM NOW riders were part of every breakaway throughout the race, the field came back together in the final laps. With a large Cat 1/2/3 field and a strong wind on the backstretch of the course, positioning was everything and the team ran out of real estate on the final lap. Andy led the team in 14th place, followed by Dan in 19th.
It was a great weekend for women’s racing with strong and deep fields lining up both days. Road captain Marie Dershem was joined by Kaitlyn Patterson, JoAnn Cranson, Danielle Nye, Laura Melendez, and Elaine Sheikh, the biggest showing for a women’t cycling event this season.
In the 60 minute crit, Kaitlyn Patterson broke away from the field alone 15 minutes in, enduring the windy backstretch and eventually lapping the field to take the win. After Kaitlyn was clear from the field, Marie began attacking and also broke away to take second and first in the Cat 1 / 2 race.
In the road race, the OAM NOW women faced a challenge with City Hub Cyclery and Hagerty fielding strong teams. The first half of the race rolled at a pedestrian pace, with an unfortunate crash taking down Danielle Nye and several other riders. The attacks began on the biggest climb on the second of three laps as Kaitlyn got a gap but was pulled back and the field came back together. On the final lap, the race was neutralized during the deciding climb as the field was passed by the Masters 35+ men. With most of the riders still together, the nuetralization drastically changed the race dynamics. With a deciding climb rendered irrelevant and nobody willing to pull or attack, Kaitlyn drilled the last 12 miles in the attempt to thin down the field and give Marie the best chance at the win. Despite the effort, 15 women stayed intact and the title was determined in a field sprint. Marie claimed fourth and second in Cat 1 /2 with Elaine and JoAnn finishing in the top 13.
Maple Hills debuted a Masters 40+ womens race this year with several riders taking on the challenge after racing the morning Cat 1/2/3/4 race as well. In an impressive double, JoAnn took the top step of the Masters race in a sprint finish after 90 miles of total racing.
Elaine was one of the only Cat 4 riders to finish with the main field in the morning and she recovered quickly to also race in the Cat 4 race in the afternoon, taking sixth. This capped off a strong weekend for Elaine, after taking third in a sprint finish in the Cat 4 race at BTR.
The Masters Men had strong showings all weekend. On Saturday, Richard Landgraff rode to a 2nd place finish in in the BTR crit for the 50-54 State Championship. Leonard Van Drunen just missed the podium, taking fourth in a four man break in the 55+ race.
On Sunday, the 7 masters riders monitored all the moves throughout the day and the race came down to a field sprint with Jon Morgan taking second and Rich in third place in the state championship 50+. The team was joined by new rider John Meyers who was instrumental in countering breaks with Terry Ritter, Mark Olson and Mike Wyzalek, and perennial strongman Chris Abston.
Three OAM NOW juniors took on the tough double race weekend including new team member Joe Meyers as well as Christian Dershem and Hunter Maschke. Joe took third at BTR and took the top step in the 15-16 age category in Sunday’s road race, Hunter joined Joe on the podium taking third.
Full BTR Criterium Results can be found here.
Full Maple Hills results can be found here.