Scherz tops McGrath in Beacon Cross

Knapp in third in men's race

A strong field of men from the U.S., Canada, Switzerland and Italy started the race, which quickly broke into several large groups. The front group consisted of over a dozen riders in the early stages of the race, before attrition whittled it down to a five-man group.

Consisting of defending MAC champ Valentin Schertz (CYFAC/Champion System/Revolution Wheelworks), Cycle Smart's Adam Myerson (fresh off his first UCI win), Ryan Knapp (BikeReg.com), Adam McGrath (Thule/Van Dessel) and Canadian Craig Richey (CyclocrossRacing.com/Blue), the group rode together, constantly shuffling the lead, but without urgency.

Myerson indicated after the race that he never pulled really hard any time he came to the front. "It's really, really hard to get away on this course because it's so simple," said Scherz. "I mean, it's technical because it's so fast. But I don't think that even a real strong rider, someone like Tim Johnson, could get away here. It's just not possible."

While the lead group wasn't exactly out for an easy cruise, they weren't on afterburners either. Several riders bridged up to the lead group, only to almost immediately fall back again. The exception was another of the C3-Athletes Serving Athletes storm troopers, former MAC Champion Wes Schempf.

Once Schempf bridged up, the composition of the six-strong lead group was complete and consisted of one rider each from Europe, Canada, New England, the Pacific Northwest, the Midwest and the Mid Atlantic. With a straight, paved finish that favored power and positioning out of the final sharp turn, it seemed a perfect scenario for Myerson, who makes his primary living as a road sprinter. Alluding to Myerson, one of the race announcers commented, "surely not all of the riders in this group think they can win this race in a sprint."

But no attacks were forthcoming. The final 750 meters of the Beacon lap consist of a sweeping left turn up a steep, punchy hill. This is followed by a turn and drop-in to the Amphitheater of Pain and its 24" to 28" high steps that are approached via a hairpin turn. Following the remount is the short wooded section where Laura Van Gilder crashed in the women's race, a short drop and the tight finish corner leading to a 200 meter paved straight.

Sprinter Myerson approached the section in seemingly perfect position as second wheel behind Scherz, then lightning struck. In a classy move going up the run-up, Myerson told the group he had punctured and then moved out of the way so he wouldn't interfere with the sprint.

Heading into the final turn, Scherz led McGrath, who has become a regular at the New Jersey races because he races for New Jersey-based Van Dessel bicycles. The two had barely a bike-length gap on the rest, but it was enough to turn the fight for victory into a one-on-one duel. McGrath explained what happened next. "I can't sprint," he said, despite coming from behind to lose by inches in a battle of bike throws. Knapp claimed third ahead of Schempf and Richey, while Myerson stayed ahead of all the chasers to finish sixth.
 

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Valentin Scherz (Swi) Cyfac-Champion System Racing Team p/b Revolution Wheelworks0:57:05 
2Adam McGrath (USA) Feedback Sports-Van Dessel  
3Ryan Knapp (USA) BikeReg.com0:00:04 
4Weston Schempf (USA) C3-Athletes Serving Athletes0:00:08 
5Craig Richey (Can) Cyclocrossracing.Com p/b Blue0:00:18 
6Adam Myerson (USA) Cycle-Smart0:00:35 
7Luca Damiano (Ita)0:00:54 
8Jerome Townsend (USA) BikeReg.com / Joe's Garage / Scott0:00:58 
9Andrew Wulfkuhle (USA) C3-Athletes Serving Athletes0:01:01 
10Dan Chabanov (USA) NYCross.com / CBRC0:01:13 
11Greg Wittwer (USA) ALAN North America Cycling Team0:01:33 
12Steve Fisher (USA) Rad Racing Nw-Hagens Berman Llp0:01:59 
13Bobby Lea (USA) Van Dessel Factory Team0:02:27 
14Nicholas Keough (USA) Champion Systems p/b Keough Cyclocross0:02:35 
15Patrick Bradley (USA) Rutgers University-Raleigh-Kim's Bike Shop0:02:50 
16Shaun Adamson (Can) Cycle-Smart0:02:03 
17Jonathan Sundt (USA) Kenda Pro Cycling p/b Geargrinder0:03:13 
18Peter Rubijono (USA)0:03:26 
19Jesse Keough (USA) Champion Systems p/b Keough Cyclocross0:04:06 
20John Minturn (USA)0:04:56 
21Anthony Grand (Swi) Cyfac-Champion System Racing Team p/b Revolution Wheelworks0:07:48 
22Mark Broadwater (USA) C3-Athletes Serving Athletes0:08:03 
23Adam Szczepanski (USA) Wissahickon  
24Peter Hagerty (USA) Team Plan C  
25David Weaver (USA) ALAN North America Cycling Team  
26Matt Spohn (USA) Cyfac-Champion System Racing Team p/b Revolution Wheelworks  
27Guillaume Nelessen (USA) Van Dessel Factory Team  

 

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