cycling utahMay 1999
By Dave Iltis
Utah's road racing season kicked off with a bang at Antelope Island on March 28th at Antelope Island. On a sunny day, a good crowd 161 racers showed up to test themselves on the deceiving 4-mile circuit around the island. With short hills and often a good wind, the course tends to be quite selective.
In the 40-mile, 10-lap, Women's 1-3 race, a group of 11 riders representing six teams started. This is a cheery reminder that women's racing is making a push in Utah; quite a change from six or seven years ago when the women's races occasionally had only one participant.
The pack stayed mostly together for five laps until Team Nissan attacked several times. Laurie Humbert, riding for 9th & 9th, countered with Alison Bergerson and Michele Weidner of Team Nissan in tow. The 2-1 advantage was short lived as Humbert jumped 1/2 a lap later dropping Bergerson. Weidner and Humbert rode together until the hill on the backside of the course where the Nissan rider launched clear of Humbert and soloed in for the win.
In the Men's Pro 1-2 race, a throng of spectators assembled at the start to watch the 32 racers ride the 60-mile race. Things warmed up quickly when John Foster (Micron NetNow!) took a flier that would last all day. Soon after, Utah's new strongman, Dave Zabriskie (Nutra-Fig) left the main field in his wake as he quickly bridged up to Foster who latched on to Zabriskie's wheel.
"I rode pretty hard for awhile," Zabriskie said, "and then took it easy."
A group of four took up the chase to no avail as they lost time to Zabriskie and Foster with the gap reaching close to 3 minutes on the chase and 6 minute on the field near the end. Chris Humbert (9th & 9th/ Powerbar), Mark Southard, a former pro now riding for SCVC/Trek/Lees out of Colorado, Ryan Allison and Craig Catellier (Micron NetNow!) stayed together until Humbert punched it and reduced the 4-man breakaway to himself and Ryan Allison. With a lap to go, in near identical moves, Zabriskie left a faltering Foster to solo the last lap for the win and Humbert took third by repeating the move over 4th place Allison a few minutes later. Zabriskie is off to Europe at press time to compete with the National Team.
The race was promoted under the American Bicycle Racing banner by Del Brown, former USCF district rep, and also the promoter of the Chum's Classic. He was happy about the large turnout. When asked about why he chose ABR, he said that he likes the simplicity and, "competition helps everyone, some organizations(the USCF) need competition to be more responsive."
The Women's Cat 4 field also had a great turnout with 12 riders. Asha Jensen, U of U Cycling Team, Ronda Reasner and Cathy Vojta used their descending skills to get away on the downhill on the last lap to take the top 3 podium spots respectively.
The Men's Cat 3 event saw 26 riders and was a race of attrition with mountain bike wizard Cris Fox the main instigator . Mike Scherer (Casper Wheel-men) took first with a wicked uphill sprint over Christian Johnson (Utah Premier) and Steven Zdwczynski (Logan Race Club). In the Master's 35+ race, Terry McGinnis topped a tired Mark Schaefer in the sprint as McGinnis' 9th & 9th team powered the break.
Other race winners included Hardin Davis (Utah Premier) in the Master's 45+; Richard Garet (Utah Premier) in the 31-man Cat 4 field, and James Allan of Elko, NV in the 30-rider Cat 5 field.