Day 1 - Criterium
Superior Morgul Classic Summit Criterium
Pro 1-2 Men, 75 Minutes
1. Josh Yeaton / Horizon Organic-Panache
2. Keith Harper / Juwi Solar-First Solar
3. Scott Moninger / Horizon Organic-Panache
4. Alex Welch / Horizon Organic-Panache
5. Garret Suydam / Big Ring U-25
Pro 1-2 Women, 50 Minutes
1. Megan Hottman / Primal-MapMyRide
2. Casey Clark / Primal-MapMyRide
3. Catherine Johnson / Big Ring Cycles
4. Cari Higgins / Peanut Butter & Co-Twenty 12
5. Beth Fisk / Natural Grocers
Day 2 - Road Race (The Morgul Course)
Pro 1-2 Men, 80 miles
1. Nathan Wilson, California Giant-Specialized, 3:30:43
2. Austin Allison, Horizon Organic-Panache, at 0:26
3. Josh Yeaton, Horizon Organic-Panache, at 2:22
4. Craig Magee, Unattached, at 2:26
5. Jon Tarkington, Natural Grocers, at 2:40
Pro 1-2 Women, 53 miles
1. Kasey Clark, Primal-MapMyRide, 2:42:17
2. Catherine Johnson, Big Ring Cycles, at 0:13
3. Gwen Inglis, Primal-MapMyRide, at 0:27
4. Megan Hottman, Primal-MapMyRide, at 5:16
5. Joan Orgeldinger, Tribella Race Team, at 5:23
Day 1, Criterium
SUPERIOR, COLORADO, May 28, 2011 — Solid teamwork and cunning strategy were the difference makers for the winners of the pro men’s and pro women’s Summit Criterium on day one of the two-day Superior Morgul Classic bike race on Saturday in Superior, Colorado.
The men’s 75-minute affair was dominated by the Boulder-based Horizon Organic-Panache team, which slotted three riders in the decisive six-man breakaway, including eventual race winner Josh Yeaton.
The women’s race was also a numbers game, with Primal-MapMyRide teammates Megan Hottman and Casey Clark accounting for two-thirds of the winning move, along with Catherine Johnson (Big Ring Cycles). Hottman broke away with five laps to go in the 50-minute race, taking the win. Clark was next across, with Johnson settling for the third step of the podium.
“Once the break formed we knew we were in a good position,” said Hottman, 32, a lawyer who focuses on cycling-related litigation when she’s not racing bikes. “We were getting splits and the gap went from 30 seconds ahead, to 30 seconds from lapping the field. That was all we needed to hear.”
Indeed, once it became clear there was no threats coming from the bunch behind, Hottman and Clark started teeing off on Johnson, attacking and counter-attacking. Johnson fought back gamely, but the pressure was too much on the rolling Town of Superior circuit that included a punchy climb up through the start finish line.
Hottman took off with five to go and never looked back.
No doubt the Horizon Organic-Panache team concurred. The regional development team led by former Olympian Colby Pearce place five riders in the top 12 of a 54-rider field, led by Yeaton, a 21-year-old University of Colorado-Boulder undergrad originally from Anchorage, Alaska.
Yeaton and teammates Scott Moninger and Alex Welch stacked the decisive break that also included Keith Harper (Juwi Solar-First Solar), Garret Suydam (Big Ring U-25) and Russell Harding (Natural Grocers).
After working together through the mid-portions of the race to assure they wouldn’t be brought back, the six escapees started the cat-and-mouse games. Harper was the most aggressive, taking off with Yeaton on his wheel early in the last lap. But Moninger bridged across, setting up an unbeatable 2-on-1 during the dash to the line.
“I got off the front with Harper, but I didn’t work because I had teammates behind,” explained Yeaton, who also rides for the CU cycling team which is coached by Pearce. “I waited, Scott bridged, and then he led me out. I took off at 200 meters and it worked out perfectly.”
Harper, 42, a website designer, held on for second, with Moninger trailing home in third, his mind now focused on the event’s bigger prizes, the Morgul Bismarck Road Race and the event’s overall Omnium title. Overall the race offers a $25,000 prize purse distributed between pros and amateurs.
“Our team goal today was to score points toward the omnium,” said Moninger, 44, a much-decorated high-level professional for two decades who has now transitioned into a mentor role with his new team. “The team is in a great position for the overall now and we have a lot of bodies. But going up the wall it’s whatever you have in the tank.”
Racing at the Superior Morgul Classic continues Sunday with the Morgul Bismarck Road Race. Amateurs and pros will take on the famed 13.5-mile loop with 750 feet of vertical gain per lap. Pro men will do 6 laps starting at 11:20 a.m. The top women will tackle the circuit 4 times starting at 12:36 p.m.
The Superior Morgul Classic is a second-year event that brought cycling back to the famed Morgul Bismarck circuit, which featured prominently in the Coors Classic, and was the primary setting for the cult-classic Kevin Costner cycling movie, American Flyers.
Always a popular training route with Colorado’s large cycling community, the Morgul Bismarck has been brought back into the racing fold. Overall the Superior Morgul Classic offers $25,000 in cash and prizes distributed between pros and amateurs. The event is further bolstered by a bounty of racer perks, including two free beers for everyone (of legal age) who races. For more info visit: http://www.superiormorgulclassic.com/
Day 2 - The Morgul Road Race
BREAKAWAYS DOMINATE MORGUL BISMARCK ROAD RACE
Top beneficiaries of all the time off the front were Nathan Wilson (California Giant-Specialized) and Kasey Clark (Primal-MapMyRide), who each scored wins on the infamous 13.3-mile circuit made famous as a centerpiece of the famed Coors Classic race of the 1980s.
Clark also locked up the two-day event’s overall women’s omnium prize, adding Sunday’s win to a second-place effort in Saturday’s Summit Criterium.
The men’s omnium crown went to Josh Yeaton (Horizon Organic-Panache), who took third in the road race a day after winning the criterium. Both Clark and Yeaton also anchored team omnium titles for their respective squads.
“We won just about everything,” said Clark, 25, who works at a bike shop when not racing bikes. “Today was consistently hard. There weren’t a lot of attacks. It was just steady all day. I got to sit in a lot because [teammate] Gwen [Inglis] did a lot of the work in the break.”
Indeed, with Inglis and eventual second-place finisher Catherine Johnson (Big Ring Cycles) taking turns pulling the break, Clark was able to save matches for the last trip up the infamous Wall, a short, but punchy 12-percent climb that concluded each of the 53-mile race’s four laps.
Clark took off at the base and easily unhitched Johnson, who ceded 13 seconds by the finish. Inglis was 27 seconds back, with Summit Criterium winner and fellow Primal-MapMyRide rider Megan Hottman leading a shattered bunch across five minutes later.
“Kasey punched it on the wall and that was it,” said Johnson, 34, a graphic designer and sales rep. “I still had a great time. I live in Boulder and I went to CU, so it’s great to be out here on my bike on this amazing day with amazing scenery. It’s a classic race.”
The men’s endgame came one climb earlier, on what’s locally known as the Hump. About halfway up, Wilson rose out of the saddle, quickly putting a 7-second gap into heretofore breakaway ally Austin Allison (Horizon Organic-Panache). The 20-year-old Allison was clearly smoked from the long day off the front, and did little to fight back, eventually settling for second, 26 second behind Wilson.
Yeaton led a fractured bunch across nearly two and a half minutes later.
“I’d been battling cramps the last two laps,” said Allison, who’s originally from St. Louis, but now lives in Colorado Springs. “I was expecting the attack when it came, but he just hit it and I didn’t react quick enough and I couldn’t close it.”
Wilson was just trying to avoid having the 83-mile race come down to a two-man sprint.
“Austin looked strong all day and my sprint is so bad that I figured I should give a try early and at least if I couldn’t get rid of him he’d be a little more tired for the sprint,” said Wilson.
Allison was surprised that the break stayed away in the first place.
“The team plan was I was supposed to get in the early break and wait for the GC guys to come across and then help them,” he explained. “But the gap just exploded upward so I realized it wasn’t coming back and I started pulling through.”
Behind the break, the bunch was content to duke it out for the omnium title, which was based on points, not time.
“We didn’t need to chase because Wilson didn’t race the criterium, so he didn’t have any points coming in. So it became a race for third,” said Yeaton. “We just had to keep our eyes on Keith [Harper] and Russell [Harding] because they scored good points in the criterium. Harper tried to go a few times, but we had enough guys to mark him. It was a great weekend for the team.”
The Superior Morgul Classic is a second-year event that brought top-level bike racing back to the famed Morgul Bismarck circuit, which featured prominently in the Coors Classic, and was the primary setting for the cult-classic Kevin Costner cycling movie, American Flyers. Overall the Superior Morgul Classic doled out $25,000 in cash and prizes distributed between pros and amateurs.
For the second year in a row the 2011 Superior Morgul Classic Weekend takes place in the Town of Superior, Colorado this Memorial Day weekend, May 28 and 29. The event includes the Summit Criterium and the Morgul Bismarck road race. The weekend will culminate on Sunday with a concert and celebration just after the road race in Superior’s Community Park. The prize purse exceeds $20,000 in cash and prizes and includes an omnium (overall) classification for individuals and teams
The Summit Criterium on Saturday will remain on the same course as last year. The “L” shaped, 5 corner course features a wide start/finish stretch, an uphill, narrow alleyways with the a slightly uphill sprint. Last year, many riders underestimated the total elevation gain during the race, so we’ll be sure to see more competitive sprints this time around. Once again the 1 lap Cruiser Crit will take place at noon immediately following the under 8, kids race.
Bringing back the Morgul course last year was a herculean effort, but considering there were close to 700 racers and a minimal affect on traffic, it was a by all indications a success. The 13.3 mile loop always has wind and gains 1,200 ft per lap. The finish is on the top of the ‘Wall’, a brutally steep leg burner. The feedzone will be relocated to McCaslin Blvd for safety reasons. More festivities will take place on the Wall and at the finish including a beer garden.
The Town of Superior and Chamber were thrilled after last year’s successful event and are fully committed to continuing this new tradition. Their goal is to provide the best road racing experience in Colorado. When you look at their courses and all the other perks including the disco racer’s tent, they’re well on their way.
The weekend event is sanctioned under the American Cycling Association (ACA) and will utilize chip timing for results. It will have the following designations, an ACA Bar/Bat series race with an Omnium designation, a Tour of Colorado event and a PreRace.com Cup race. Race information can be found at www.SuperiorMorgul Classic.com.