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News: Ellison Park weekend

The Cyclocross Network Racing team took on Ellison Park in Rochester New York this past weekend for the fifth C1 weekend on the USA Cycling Pro calendar.

The team rolled into Rochester early evening on Friday to set up camp and get some pre riding of the course in. Just like the Madison race the team brought former Masters National Champion Jeff Weinert as well as Tom Burke and Marion University rider Drew Dillman.

Scheduling was a bit easier for this weekend as Jeff and Tom were both able to enter the same race; an open field Cat 1,2,3 race. Apart from the elite races this would be the toughest field on the course.

Jeff bunny hop Sunday-0197

Jeff and Tom started the day for the team with a noon start time. On the second lap of the race bad luck struck Jeff as he broke his derailleur hanger. No crash was involved but the hanger was possibly weakened from a spill Jeff took in pre ride the day before. Regardless of the cause Jeff was left to run about a half mile back to the pit for a bike exchange which put him well out of the running. Jeff was able to finish on the lead lap in 13th position.

Thank You to SRAM NRS for jumping on Jeff’s “A” bike with me and swapping out the hanger and providing a new chain to get Jeff’s bike back in the game.

Meanwhile Tom Burke was having a great race. He was able to power his way up into second position but was unable to catch Jordan Wakeley who, on a 29er plus mountain bike, was able to ride the entire course without dismounting.Tom Burke log-8712

Tom took 2nd by 20 seconds and along with Jordan Wakeley provided a one, two combination for Michigan that had the announcers calling this the Michigan smack down race.

To finish off the day for the team Drew Dillman took the starting line in the elite race, starting 3rd row because of the strength of this field Drew got a decent start. He was able to move up through the field, passing other riders including U23 standout Curtis White. Drew rode a great race, never having to pit and slowly moving up to finish 11th over all and take the top step on the U23 podium.U23 Drew Dillman-9891 jpg

Sunday came with the identical schedule for the team as far as start times.

Jeff and Tom had first call ups and took advantage of it by getting off to a great start. Jeff started to drop back a bit eventually finishing 10th for the day while Tom was able to surge forward and push for the lead with Michael Owens (age 15) and Alec Donahue.Tom Burke finish Sunday-0413

Tom rode a very strategic and smart race riding in the group of three and conserving his power. He and Michael were able to drop Alec and continue on together. Michael pushed the pace at one point, creating a bit of a gap that Tom was able to close and then counter attack, and Michael was unable to respond. Tom continued to push the pace until the end eventually winning handidly by over 30 seconds.

The elite race was next for Drew at noon. Drew’s race would be short lived however when after a good start he was coming into the barriers on the first lap and caught a wheel on the first barrier, hitting his head on the second. Drew did get back on the bike and continue riding but was pulled from the course by the team for safety reasons. There is a good shot of Drew on the Velo News website before the crash, taking a downhill. It’s picture #30 in the series.

Drew start line-9153

As a whole it was a very successful weekend for the team! 3 podium positions including 2 wins! Some of the team will be racing this weekend in Bloomington while we look forward to Cincy 3 in a couple of weeks!

Pictures by Roxanne King AKA: @CyclingRox.