Turn the heat up! With only five time trials left this season, point’s battles are tightening up, and series titles are on the line. It will be a drag race down the stretch with many categories being decided at the MATTS finale in Garden Prairie at the end of the 2010 season.
The 2010 season has seen some new riders rise to the top of the heap. Specifically, Charles Gerlach (Lamb Little Racing) and Bob Burke (Pact Dish Network) come to mind. These two desperados have been tearing up the pavement and the field all year long with Charles winning most of the races and Bob finishing consistently on men's overall podium each week. Heads up young whipper snappers, these two gentlemen are Master's and Grand Master's riders. If you think you can beat these two cats in a strength contest at your local fair, be my guest. 2-1 odds says these guys ring the bell first.
On the ladies side of things, Debbie Dust (Pact Dish Network) has been the gold standard of the women's division turning anything she touches into gold this season. Her offseason diet of serious training has paid her huge dividends this season being crowned the women's overall winner in all but one race she has entered this season. The most improved rider in the woman's division is Stacey Appelwick (Bouledogue Tout Noir). Stacey's times have improved exponentially this season, and she will be a force to reckon with for seasons to come.
I would be remiss if I did not mention Mike Jones (Pact Dish Network) and Brian Harris (Scarletfire / Verizon Racing), who are two of the very finest and fastest riders in our series. Both riders were injured badly in separate incidents over the spring. Brain was hurt in a criterium crash, while Mike was involved in a traffic incident involving a car while riding his bicycle. The rumor from rummormill.com is that Brian is back on his bike, and Mike is slowly healing up. As a true testament to one of the classiest and fastest guys on the circuit, Mike is still in contention to win both the Cat 1/2 and 50+ categories even after missing four races! We are not dealing with some sort of mamby, pampy personality here. This dude is tough, and I would not be at all surprised if Mike is not back on his bike racing this season!
As we look on to the last 5 time trials of the year, Reed Oliff (Lamb Little Racing) has a good chance of winning the overall Cat 1/2 men's title, with his teammate Doug Peterson (Lamb Little Racing) looking to win his third and final men's Cat 3 title before moving out of the category next season. "The Polish Jet" aka Mark Serafin (Pact Dish Network), coming off of two years of back injuries, is having a spectacular outdoor season. If Peterson misses a race down the stretch, the Cat 3 title could go down to the last race in mid-September. Stay tuned for further details. James Flechsig (Athletes by Design) looks to be in total control of the men's Cat 4 category, while Debbie Dust (Pact Dish Network) has all but wrapped up the women’s open division. If Stacey Appelwick ( Bouledogue Tout Noir) does not miss a race, she will have the women’s cat 4 title in her grasp.
On the Men’s Master's side, Charles "Gerlacher" Gerlach (Lamb Little Racing) has taken total control of the men's 30+ and 40+ categories, while Bob Marshall (Athletes by Design) is closing in on his first 50+ title. The men's 55+ category is a barn burner with Richard Kreutzfeldt (Pact Dish Network) winning the category by a mere three points with Dan "Danimal" Madsen (Athletes by Design) in high speed pursuit. If Dan were to win again this year, this would be his third MATTS title in four years! Bob Burke (Pact Dish Network) has the men’s 60+ category wired, and he is in the running with Charles Gerlach for the most improved rider of the year. Rich Vichotka (Midwest Masters) is leading the men’s 65+ charge while Peter Alexander (Midwest Masters) and Edward Wang (Unattached) are leading the men's 70+ and 75+ categories respectively. Ray Putman (Midwest Masters) is in a league of his own winning the men's 80+ category. On the recumbent side of things, former National Cyclocross Champ, Tyger Johnson (Cars R Us) is leading this division.
On the Women’s Master's side of things, Connie Inks (Unattached) has a firm hold on the women's 40+ division while Marilyn Powell (Athletes by Design) is dominating the master's 50+ division. Nancy Beck (Midwest Masters) is on her way to another 60+ title while Pat Beam (Athletes by Design) has the women's 70+ title locked up. Pat was elected into the Senior Olympics Hall of Fame this past June! This is an awesome accomplishment for one of the finest and kindest athletes in our series. Way to go Pat! Until next time.... That's a wrap. See you in Herscher, Illinois for the Wolfgang Fietag Memorial 2-Person Time Trial on July 11th . Check out www.ambikerace.com under the calendar section for further details.