This past Sunday Team BBC and Baltimore Bicycle Works hosted Schooley Mill Cross in Howard County’s beautiful Schooley Mill Park. The event set a three year attendance watermark, with 444 racers competing. Baltimore’s Thread Coffee was on hand to provide caffeine to racers as they came to prepare for the day’s events and inspect the 1.8 mile course. It was described as the fastest in the Super 8 series, with high speed, flowing corners and the ever popular equestrian barrier and a paved, uphill finish.
The Cat 4/5 Men were greeted by mild temperatures and abundant sunshine as they went on to break in the course, with GS-CycleLife’s Liam Panero winning the day’s first race. The Masters 35/45+ Cat 3/4/5 racers was next group to take to the starting line as the day’s largest with 92 starters. Matthew Buckleman from Adventures For the Cure was the first to cross the finish after opening up a small gap on his pursuers.
As the Little Belgians took to their course nearby, the Women’s Cat 4 and 45+ fields shared the starting grid with the U-15 Girls as well as the U-15 boys. The U-15 boys saw Antienam Velo Club’s Gentry Jefferson take a commanding win, while Martha Whitlock from Rock Creek Velo won the Girls U-15 race. As the Juniors were finishing, the competition in the Women’s Cat 4 and 45+ fields was just heating up. Cilo Dinan from NCVC took the cake in the Cat 4 field, while Marni Harker from Van Dessel p/b The Bike Rack was named the victor in the 45+ race.
Next up were the Elite Masters 45+ and the U-19 Boys – the former race handily won by Winchester Wheelmen’s Jerzy Wozniak while George Shulz from HPC U19 won his first race of the day before going on to a top-10 finish in the Men’s 3/4 race later in the day. Speaking of racers doubling up, Cheryl Sornson from Team-CF Elite would go on to be the Elite Women’s champion in the day’s next race, after earning the second spot in the 45+ race a few hours earlier. At the same time Keystone Velo Club’s Emily Dubs shattered the Women’s 3/4 field, winning with over 20 seconds to spare.
In the afternoon racers and spectators alike were treated to top-notch food from Sofi’s Crepes and B-More Alive, while Milkhouse Brewery provided delicious local beer for thirsty racers. Hill Killer Apparel was on hand with an awesome selection of Jerseys and Bibs, while Woof Cycling showed off a number of new t-shirt designs.
As competition continued to pick up into the afternoon the winds did as well, with racers challenged by gusts exceeding 30 mph. In spite of the blustery conditions, the Elite 35+ men and Singlespeed racers would go on to put down some of the fastest lap times of the day. In the Master’s field Wozniak was edged out in his second race of the day by Kevin Carter from Gripped Racing p/b Dog Fish Head Ale, and Adventures For the Cure’s Pat Blair warmed up for his Elite race by blasting past the competition in the Singlespeed category.
The hotly contested Men’s ¾ race was the next to take to the course, with Samuel Lear from AFC emerging victorious from a lead group of 3 in an exciting sprint finish. The Elite Men’s field were to round out a great day’s worth of racing, with SEAVS/Haymarket p/b Van Dessel’s Wes Shempf continuing his dominant season by finishing in first place with nearly a minute to spare.
All in all it was a great day of racing at Schooley Mill, with several lucky riders taking home great prizes from Thread Coffee and Hill Killer Apparel, as well as great primes from Endura Clothing and SRAM for riders who weren’t able to find the podium this time around. All of us at Team BBC and Baltimore Bicycle Works would like to give a huge thanks to all the great sponsors, vendors and racers who make this event great, as well as Howard County Parks for hosting us at a top-notch venue. We look forward to seeing you all next year!