cycling utah June 1999

Home town favorite takes Chums Classic

By Paul Quinlan

Hurricane resident Burke Swindlehurst (Saturn) used home road advantage to win the Men's Pro 1-2 category at the Chum's Classic Stage Race, April 10-11, in Hurricane and St. George, Utah. Former mountain biker Ann Schelert (Giant/Domenics) was the overall winner in the Women's 1-3 race.

Men's Pro 1-2

Stage 1: "I know those roads like the top of my bars," said Swindlehurst, the 1997 Chums' winner who moved to Hurricane two years ago, of the new road course, "I ride out there a couple of times a week and knew it would be windy and hard." The 27 mile loop, which the riders had to negotiate three times, was roundly praised by the field and was credited in part for one of the least negative races held in Utah in recent years. "I was really impressed by the Utah riders," commented Swindlehurst, who sandwiched his hometown appearance between races in Santa Rosa, California, and Willamette, Oregon, before flying off to Europe.

It took Swindlehurst nearly 70 miles to finally take control of the road race, shedding all but Brian Forbes from a break group that included locals Chris Humbert (9th and 9th), Dave Wood (Rhodes), and Bill Harris (X-Men). "I attacked the third time through the feed zone, but was reeled in by LaVerkin," said Burke. He went again, this time with only Forbes in pursuit. In the sprint, Forbes pulled out of his peddles and Swindlehurst waited, in order, as he said, to be "sporting", before sprinting to victory and the twenty second time bonus. The chase group finished nine seconds back, with Cameron Williams (unattached) crossing just ahead of Harris, John Foster (Net.Now-Cisco), and Humbert.

Stage 2: The individual time trial also featured a new 6-mile course, starting and finishing near Chums' headquarters in downtown Hurricane. Although professing a fondness for hills, Swindlehurst managed a second-place finish on the mostly flat out-and-back course. Williams picked up the stage win by 8.5 seconds, and moved into second in GC, while Ryan Littlefield (Net.Now-Cisco) rolled to third in the TT, nearly 28 seconds in back of Williams.

Stage 3: Sunday's Red Cliffs Mall Criterium was dominated by a six-rider break initiated by Joel Kath (9th and 9th) not long after the hour-long stage began. Kath was soon joined by locals Harris, Wood, and Jami Thomson (Logan Race Club), as well as Brian Lemke and Eric Hilbrecht. With designs on moving up in GC, Harris and Wood began powering the break, eventually putting nearly 45 seconds on the main field. Kath took advantage of the free ride and jumped the break for the only prime, winning pocket change from the spectators.

Harris took the sprint for his third straight Chum's Criterium win, and with the gap and time bonus moved to second in GC. His work in the break moved Woods to fifth in GC, while Humbert, who missed the break and hung out with the Micron guys in the main field, dropped to sixth. Swindlehurst rode a conservative final stage, never really chasing hard, content to let his friend and coach Harris shine. "Maybe he'll give me a break on coaching fees this month," said Swindlehurst.

Women's 1-3

Stage 1: Overall winner Schelert and runner-up Carolyn Donnelly (Landis-Toyota) set the tone for the weekend's racing early in the 54-mile road race Saturday morning. Attacking along with Daphne Wilhelm (Nissan) after the first feed zone outside LaVerkin, the two soon shed Wilhelm and worked together to put nearly five minutes on the field. Donnelly's efforts to shake her fellow Arizonan failed, and when Schelert went at the 200-meter mark, she was gone - goodbye, for the win. Laurie Humbert (9th and 9th) led the chase group across the line 4:54 later.

Stage 2: The win in the afternoon's time trial went to Melissa Lemke (Landis-Toyota), with Humbert one second back. Schelert was third and Donnelly seventh to maintain their comfortable lead entering the final stage Sunday.

Stage 3: Holding a 10-second advantage over Donnelly going into the criterium, Schelert made it two out of three, taking a pack sprint just ahead of Wilhelm in a race that was noteworthy for its lack of attacks and some odd teamwork, or lack thereof. Humbert and Wilhelm held their positions in GC, finishing third and fourth respectively.

Men's 35+

"Labor Ready is in the house!" The tired saying reverberated in the ears of the other competitors in the Master's 35+ race, as the team from Las Vegas dominated the weekend. Bruce "Rambo" Reid rolled away early in the road race and to the amazement of those unfamiliar with the 200 lb. plus tough guy, stayed away. The field atrophied throughout the final lap, never organizing a serious chase, and Reid's teammates effectively marked any faux moves by the bickering ones left behind.

Rambo's teammate, Steve Kircher sneaked away in LaVerkin and took second in the road race. He was second to Reid in GC as well. Donning his World Champion's jersey, Dirk Cowley (9th and 9th) managed to break Labor Ready's stranglehold on the podium with third place finishes in the road race and time trial.

The best Utah finishes in the criterium were seventh and ninth respectively by 9th and 9th Terry McGuiness and Paul Quinlan.

Men's 3

Doug Rock (Rhodes) was the highest Utah finisher in the crowded Cat. 3 and his bike made all the difference, according to Rock. "It makes time trialing fun!" he was heard chirping after sprinting to 10th in the TT. Utah Premier's (Saturn) Christian Johnson, in his final race as a Cat. 3, was 13th in GC. Billy Allen (Rhodes) used a lead-out from teammate Rock to claim third place in the road race, then sputtered in his first-ever time trial later in the day.

Rock's fifth-place finish in the criterium, led fellow Utahns Quincy Thomas (unattached) and Johnson in sixth and eighth.

Men's 4-5

Locals faired well in the Cat. 4-5 race, with Richard Garrett (Saturn), a native of Scotland racing in only his second event since 1996, taking third in GC, following a win in road race, sixth in the TT, and fourth in the criterium. Barry (9th and 9th) was third in the road race and fourth in GC. Scott Martin and Jason Travis, both of XL-1, rounded-out the top ten in GC.

Overall, nearly 270 racers made the trip for this ninth edition of the Chum's Classic.

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