Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Start of the 2011 Season

Augusta was consistently in the low to mid nineties in the month of September. With that in mind, feeling 40 degree air at the first race of the Georgia Cross Series was welcomed. It is also appropriate for a cross race. It isn't quite the same at 85 degrees. A small ACC group made the trip (over 4 hours with the construction on I-20) to Dalton to Race. Nate Zukas, Matt Kogel and the Phelans (Becca, Meggie and John) suited up for battle.

The first event of the day, the Masters 35+ race, had a big field with almost 30 at the start. John was cut off in the first corner and ran into the tape losing 10 or so spots. He then crashed on the next lap. Not a good start. He clawed his way back to 5th by the end of the race barely out sprinting 6th place. Not bad considering.

ACC rookie, Meggie Phelan, finished her first cross race in the Junior 14 and under category. Now the entire Phelan clan can officially call themselves cross racers. Becca lined up with the biggest group of Women A racers in years. Kym Flynn, the promoter of the race, ran away with it as usual. Becca rolled a tubular right past the 180 degree barrier hill and hit the deck hard. She pitted twice which took her out the race. She finished in spite of a trashed arm. That's bike racing...

Young Matt K. battled it out in the huge B race. His official result is incorrect. It has him down for a DNF. Last years Masters series winner, Nate Zukas, raced the A's. He took a respectable 11th finish also with a more important metric, he didn't get lapped by Thomas Turner who crushed the field.

Next up, Macon. We should have a bigger ACC contingent ready to race.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Season Finale

It is hard to believe that the 2010 series is now in the books. It seems like it just started and yet it also feels that the season lasted a year. Two months of packing, travelling and racing takes its toll. Yet, you hate to see it end. Especially when the team has done so well.

The last race was in Conyers. A familiar venue with a newly designed course. Winter set in with highs barely reaching 40 degrees. Plus, it had rained some the day before. This made it a perfect day for racing cross (only better if it could have snowed!).

Conyers is on the Augusta side of Atlanta making it convenient for a day trip for the team. The first race of day had a familiar ending with Nate leaving the field on the first lap. John Phelan was fourth in the series going into the last race and needed to beat #3 by two spots to get on the podium. He managed to take third in the Master's race but Daryl was 4th. Brian Culpepper took 10th, Laddie 12th, Robert 15th, and Kelly 16th (his first Master's race).

Right after Kelly finished, he lined up for the C race and got his best finish of the year - a third place podium spot! Kelly crashed out at this venue last year so that result was sweet revenge. Dave Fahrion placed 18th and Steve Jackson 41st.

The single speed race had most of the ACC team on the line. Matt Kogel was in 4th going into the last race and needed to beat #3 to secure a series podium. He did just that with a 5th place. Phelan took 3rd. The winner of the SS also raced the A's and took 13th again on his single speed (ahead of our Nate Zukas and 8 others!). The rest of the race looked like a train of orange and blue - Laddie 9th, Brian 11th, Josh Jackson 12th, Kelly 13th, Robert 15th, Dave 19th. Many on our team signed up for multiple races to increase our overall team chances. Melissa Leigh had a nice top 5 in the Lady B's.

Becca had great race in the A's taking third. Unfortunately, she needed to beat her buddy Rebecca G. by more than two spots to take the leader's jersey. In the end she missed it by three points. If if's and but's were candies and nuts...... She finished on a high note with a podium in the last race. Rebecca Graham was a gracious series winner. Mens B - Josh J. took 17th in his second race of the day. Nate finally stepped up and raced the A's with a respectable 15th in a stacked field.

What a season though! Two leaders jerseys with Nate and John. Becca took 2nd in her series. Jack Phelan 3rd in the Juniors. Young Matt 3rd in the SS. Josh Jackson 5th in the B's. Kelly 5th in the C's. ACC was second in the overall team competition and 1st in the combined. The team really came together this year. Now we get to celebrate the season at our Christmas party! Until next year.......

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


It was a cold start to the penultimate race of the season. It had been two weeks since the last race. A break after racing for over six weeks straight was welcomed. The course was tough but fair. Lots of singletrack, bumpy cow pasture, and hills to climb.

Nate aced the Masters race. He took the hole shot and didn't look back. The Masters leader's jersey is now secured. Time for Nate to step up and race with the A's next weekend. John Phelan took 6th but unfortunately didn't beat Daryl Sawyer to climb into third for the series.
Kelly E. took a great top 5 in the C's and Dave Fahrion 20th. The single speed race had a nice ACC contingent with John P, Kelly, Dave, Matt, Josh and Steve Jackson competing. John took 2nd and also secured his leader's jersey for the series. Matt is now in 4th and needs to beat #3 in the last race to climb the podium for the series. Josh dropped his chain a few times but managed to beat his Dad. Jack Phelan is now third in the 14 and under series and needs a good result next week to secure that spot.
Melissa Leigh took a solid 6th the Lady B's. The battle of the day was in the Women's A race. Becca was just behind Rebecca Graham by only a few points and needed to beat her to take the jersey back for the series. The two went back and forth for most of the race with Rebecca G. taking it at the end by about 10-15 seconds. It was a nail biter to watch. After the race, the two gave each other a hug.
One race to go. It has been a long, but good season. ACC is second in one team competition and first in the other. Nate and John have won their series. Becca is in second and Jack is in third. Josh Jackson is 5th in the B's. The entire team has come together to make it happen. Now we just need to plan the ACC team Christmas party.
Photos by Drew Graham (Rebecca's husband).

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Camp Jordan Tennessee

November 14th was the Camp Jordan Tennessee race. This by far was the longest drive for the ACC team. The course was definitely a test of bike handling skills in that it had plenty of switchbacks, off camber turns and two sand pits. It started raining right before the Masters race turning the challenging course into a real test of cantilever brakes.

Nate and Phelan took 3rd and 8th respectively in the Master's race. Nate just needs to have one decent finish to secure the leader's jersey for the series. Dave Fahrion, Kelly, and Steve Jackson all raced the C's. Apparently, there was some scoring issues so stay tuned for their official results.

The rain stopped before the single speed race. Phelan picked a low gear again for the win. Matt took 4th after leading on the first lap. Kelly took 8th and Dave 9th. John also just needs to finish one more race to lock in the SS leader's jersey. Matt is now tied for third.

Becca stepped up big time in the A race. Race promoter, Kim Flynn, once again soloed away for the win. Becca fought off numerous attacks and took second over the likes of Rebecca Graham and Kim Sawyer. The Women's A group has one talented group of ladies. Any one of them could win the series in any given year. She is now second by only a few points in the series.

Master Jack took 4th after dropping a chain midway through his race. He held strong and finished just behind number 3. He is third in his series.

We now have a two week break before the next race at Serenbe. With only two races to go, ACC is second in the overall and first in the combined team competitions. We have two riders in series leader's jerseys, one in second and two in third. Go ACC!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Jim Miller Park/Marietta

Last weekend was the 7th race of the series. We are now feeling the aftermath of travelling and racing every week. Jim Miller Park featured a classic cross course with some singletrack and plenty of grass. The "morning A race" had a classic ending with Nate out sprinting Brady Rogers in a drag strip finish. This may seal the series leaders jersey for Nate. Phelan placed 6th, Laddie 8th and Brian Culpepper 14th.

The C race looked like something from the Northeast with 56 racers going over the first set of barriers. Kelly, Dave and Steve Jackson all held their own in the big field. ACC continued its single speed podium success with Phelan 2nd and Laddie 3rd. Matt, Kelly and Dave also competed for their second race of the day. Melissa leigh placed 5th in the Women's B's.

Josh Jackson just missed the top 10 in the B's, Brian 19th and Matt Kogel 30th. Cross boss, Ross Douglas, graced us with his presence in the B's as well. Becca had an off day and took 6th in the A race losing the leaders jersey in the process.

ACC looks good in the series with three to go. Nate has the leader's jersey in the Masters and John is in 3rd. John also has the SS leader's jersey. Becca is in 2nd and Jack Phelan is 3rd in their series competitions. Josh Jackson has 5th in the B's. ACC is in second in the team competition and is leading the combined.

Next week is a long drive to Tennessee. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Sunday was the day to dress up and take your bike to Life University in Marietta. A small contingent of ACC riders made the trip. Highlights include three podiums. Nate battled it out for 2nd in the Masters and Phelan took 5th after crashing early. J. Phelan took 1st in single speed and Matt Kogel placed third after a six hour MTB race the day before. Melissa Leigh took 5th in the Women's B race after running a half marathon on Saturday. Dave Fahrion crashed in both of his races but held strong. Josh Jackson battled a stacked B field for 12th. Becca donned her best holiday attire to take 5th in the A race and Jack attacked the last lap for a 4th in the Junior race.

All in all a good weekend. Three leaders jerseys in the series and ACC has a nice lead in both of the team competitions.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Grit and Determination

October 23rd and 24th - two days of racing at the Oglethorpe Speedway Park in Savannah. One cross race is enough for most competitors, much less two ,or for some ACC riders, four in one weekend. Grit and determination is what it takes to compete over two days and that is exactly what ACC brought to the lowcountry.

ACC anchor, Nate Zukas, continued his domination of the veteran's race winning by a wide margin on both days. John Phelan crashed hard in Saturday's race but held on for a 3rd place podium finish. Kelly Edwards knocked out a top 10 in the C race Saturday and Dave Fahrion 12th. The B race had Josh Jackson just out of the top group with a 5th. Matt Kogel placed sixth and Robert took 12th. Two more podiums for ACC in the Single Speed race with John P. 2nd, and young Matt 3rd. Kelly took 9th for his second race of the day.

Grit and determination was on full display in the Women's A race. Becca Phelan won under the moonlight against a stacked field. It may have been the best win of her career.

Sunday brought humidity and a longer course with added singletrack. Phelan nursed a slow leak in the Masters race and just finished. Robert continued his tradition of two races taking a 7th in the Masters and a 12th in the B's. Dave Fahrion started the 45+ race for the first time.

The clouds opened up before the next set of races turning the sandy venue into a true cross course. The single speed race was a display of orange and blue with Phelan 1st, Matt 2nd, Josh Bennett 5th, and Kelly 8th. Matt showed a lot of courage by catching his teammate almost to the line. Jack Phelan took a third in the muddy juniors race.

Josh Jackson hung tough in the B's only to suffer an untimely flat on the last lap. He still took 6th. Cross Boss, Ross, took a 13th. Becca added another podium with 3rd in the Women's A race.

All in all it was great weekend for the team. In the words of the race announcer, "ACC dominated the Speedway".