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Zipp OVCX’s Masked Prognosticatorby The Masked Prognosticator
November 13, 2008; Conshohocken, PA, USA: The Zipp OVCX Tour is headed down the stretch run into the final four races as we move to Lexington , KY this week. Now is the time when racers look to get their 7 races in for the series totals (5 in the Mens 3/4 Masters 35+ / 45+ due to the USGP) and improve upon any inferior performances from earlier in the year. Let's take a quick look at each category.
Ryan Knapp of BikeReg.com strengthened his hold on the top spot this week in Dayton, holding off Isaac Neff, Mike Purvis and Mitchell Kersting for the win. Knapp now holds a 19 point lead over Mitchell Kersting from Barbasol ,with teammates Mike Kennedy and Mike Purvis in tow. This is shaping up to be a 4 man race between Knapp, Neff, Kersting and Purvis. Purvis still has a 30 point DNF to dispose of and only trails by 39 points, which makes him the odds-on favorite to take the lead in Lexington . Neff sports a couple of low scoring efforts to be replaced that could throw him back in the mix as well. This one may very well come down to the last race of the season in Indy with double points on the line.
Masked Prognosticator’s pick: Knapp vs. Purvis in the final race for the title
BioWheels' Amanda McKay posted her 2nd win of the season this week and has a commanding lead in the series. There doesn't appear to be any competition for the top spot, but the remaining spots on the series podium remain very much in doubt. Michelle Morris and Bridget Donovan look to have those spots right now (if you can weed through all the ladies that came for the UCI races and aren’t likely to come back), but don't overlook the upgrading Teri Meek. If Teri continues to race with the Elite Women she'll be able to bring 3 races worth of points with her and that will throw her right in the mix for the 2nd spot.
Masked Prognosticator’s pick: Amanda McKay
Elite Masters 35+
Calistoga's Mike McShane holds a 28 point lead Fred Rose from BikeReg.com for the top spot, but Fred made everyone take notice that he wasn't out of this just yet with an impressive victory at the John Bryan Classic Sunday. The bunny-hopping Morgan Webb from Barbasol rounds out the top three who have a good lead on 4th place Blaine Heppner. It's going to take some surprising efforts to see anyone other than those three crack the podium by series end.
Masked Prognosticator’s pick: Mike McShane
Elite Masters 45+
What are they feeding these guys at Calistoga? I don't know where you find one of their café's, but I know where you find their racers, right on top! This looks to be a clean sweep for Calistoga as soon as Bobrow gets his 7th race in the books. Rick Lyons from BikeClicks.com / Team Louisville currently occupies the third sport but looks to be on the outside looking in once Bobrow gets his 7th qualifying race in. The real question is, what order will these guys finish in? Bobrow has two victories this year and Erik Fagerberg and John Mandrola have one each. Fagerberg holds a miniscule one point lead at the moment, but Bobrow will almost definitely take the top spot over if he races this week.
Masked Prognosticator’s pick: Bob Bobrow
Cat 3 Men
Mail it in, this is all Keith Lucas all the time. I don't know what the heck CKW stands for, but I'm convinced it's "C Keith & Kenny Whoop-ass" (referring to Keith and Kenny Sipes who has done his damage on the 3/4 45+ Masters). Chris Nevitt of BikeClicks.com / Team Louisville has an equally strong hold on 2nd place before a pair of BioWheels racers (Steve Gers and Joe Hall) battle it out for 3rd. The man that looks like he could upset the apple cart here is Tom Brockman. Brockman has posted back-to-back 2nd place finishes and could challenge Nevitt for the 2nd spot if he gets his 7 races in (and someone tells the statistician dude to give him Cat-up points for his win at the Tour de Louisville in the 3/4 35+).
Masked Prognosticator’s pick: Keith Lucas
Men 3/4 35+
This one could come down to the wire. Steven Webster currently holds a nine point lead that shrunk a little after Rodney Roof posted a victory in Dayton when Webster wasn't there to defend. Also absent in Dayton were Marty Smith and Greg Charkoudian, the other two in the running. Smith and Charkoudian need one more race to get their 5 in, and make this very close. Keep in mind that only the top 5 count here because the USGP races in Louisville did not allow for scoring the 3/4 Masters separately since they had a Cat 2/3 and a Cat 4). This one will certainly be on up for grabs in Indy double points on the line.
Masked Prognosticator’s pick: Steven Webster
Men 3/4 45+
Kenny Sipes holds a comfortable lead here after Dan Lach, the former leader and Kenny's main competition, opted to Cat-up to the Elite Masters 45+. Lou Beckmeyer of Seven Hills / Mercy sits in 2nd. The man on the move here is Scott Bond of Speedway Wheelmen. Scott had been racing the Elite Masters earlier in the season and has raced the 3/4 the last two races finishing 2nd and 1st, respectively.
Masked Prognosticator’s pick: Kenny Sipes (as long as Dan Lach doesn’t come back for one more race)
Cat 3/4 Women
Teri Meek has all but sewn this up with her 3rd win of the season this past weekend. Currently sitting in 2nd is Teri's BikeClicks.com teammate Olivia Jaras. Rounding out the top 3 is Jeni Roosen of Seven Hills / Mercy. The wildcard here is Pam Loebig, who only has 5 races in, but could make a run at Teri if she gets two more races in. This race would get real interesting if that happened as Pam currently trails Teri by 109 points, but a couple of 55 point wins would make it a dead heat. The two have raced each other five times this year in the 3/4's with Pam getting the better of Teri in four of the five races.
Masked Prognosticator’s pick: Teri Meek
Women 3/4 35+
This is another race that looks to come down to the end. Christina Halioris currently holds the top spot over Jamie Clifton of National Engineering, but stalking those two in 3rd is Shellie Heggenberger who needs one more race to get her 7. Shellie currently sits 47 points behind Christina which looks to put them in a dead heat for the title. They have raced each other six times this season, with Shellie getting the better of the matchup by a four to two count. The top three look to be a lock in some order unless Gerry Schulze can get enough races in to make a run. Gerry only has three races under her belt, but two of them are wins and could make her a threat if she continues to race.
Masked Prognosticator’s pick: Christina Halioris vs. Shellie Heggenberger (now there's a mouthful) in Indy for the title
Cat 4 Men
The young Cory St. Clair occupies the top spot followed by Nathan Roberson and Corey Green. Roberson only has 5 races in and could be a definite threat if he gets two more. Somehow it just wouldn’t seem right to let a guy riding a 1982 road bike with a shifter on the down tube, flat pedals and tennis shoes win the series. Come on boys, someone show Nathan that there's a reason you spend all this money on your bikes. However, isn’t there a little irony in the fact that the guy is riding ancient equipment, but is riding for Scheller's Cycle (c'mon Scheller's, if you're going to put your jersey on the guy let him ride one of your bikes too). The other man to watch out for here is Dave Mundy, last weeks winner. Dave is a couple of races shy as well and two more puts him right at the top.
Masked Prognosticator’s pick: Nathan Roberson (if he does the races)
Okay, I'm throwing all the juniors together because they all look like one big blur of Red Zone going by. Ian McShane (must run in the blood), Gavin Haley and Will Mandrola hold the top spots in the 10-12 Men with James Francisco looking to challenge Mandrola for third if he can get two more races in.
Eden Webb has absolutely dominated the 10-12 Women, winning every race she has entered. Rachel Dobrozsi of Queen City Wheels has 2nd all but locked up and Frances Haley sits comfortably in third.
John Francisco and Spencer Renck of Red Zone sit comfortably atop the 13-14 Men with Cooper Simon and John May giving chase (more Red Zone). The 13-14 Women is all Hannah Mossman.
Drew Dillman of Red Zone leads the 15-16 Men followed by Samuel Dobrozsi of Queen City Wheels and Luke Haley from Red Zone. Brian Lark sits in fourth one race short of the max which could vault him into 2nd. How impressive is Drew Dillman? This kid dominates the Junior's so he decides to double up at the USGP and race the Cat 4's and the Junior's, oh by the way he won the Cat 4 race after starting at the back of a 100+ man field. Wow! He does it again at the Gun Club and decides, “hmmm, these Cat 4 guys are too easy, I'm going after the Cat 3's.” So this past weekend in Dayton he raced the Cat 3's, and finished 6th in a field of 40, putting pressure on Chris Nevitt for 5th until the last 2 laps (had to be tired after doubling up again).
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