Elks Aidmore 2022
Mother Nature smiled upon Georgia Cross and did not dump 6” of rain at Elks Aidmore. Instead the sunny cool day helped lighten the mood and welcome in the 2022 cyclocross season. Promoter Jim Behning had a short course just in case of a monsoon, but instead, it proved to be very fast and fun. There were two soul sucking climbs on the backside of the course. The front side had a great downhill into a sand pit and some flats for either recovery or more pushing race pace. Roots were plentiful on the course, adding to the nostalgia of Elks Aidmore and allaying fears that the course would be too smooth. The Juniors fields were some of the biggest Georgia Cross has seen in a while. There were nineteen combined entries across all of the races. Keep coming Juniors! Bring your Georgia Cycling teammates!
For this year the Women’s Cat. ½ and the Cat. 3 race together but are scored separately. Canadian mountain bike World Cup racer Mackenzie Myatt (Cyclesmith Cycling Club) returned after not racing GACX for a few years post-graduation from SCAD. She took off at the start, and the only time the other racers saw her was when they were getting passed. Back in the field, a group of 4 formed that would stay together for much of the race: Maria Carrelli (706 Project), Grace Anne Ingram, Emily Cox (Thomson Bikes), and Trisha Van Dusseldorp (Bike Law Cycling Club). This mixed group of ½ and 3 racers worked together to distance themselves from the rest of the pack. The final placings for ½ were Mackenzie in first, Maria in second after winning the sprint, and Grace Anne in third. For the Cat. 3, Trisha took the win. Emily was 2 nd, and Amelia Hicks (Virginia Blue Ridge TWENTY24 Devo) in 3rd.
The Cat. ½ Men’s race provided a lot of excitement as usual. With the fast and pretty open course a large group stayed together until 4 riders went off the front: Keith Mullaly (Jamison Cannondale), Artur Sagat (Cyclesmith Cycling Club), Nick Van Winkle (The Paceline Project p/b LC Food), and Hank Beaver (The Paceline Project p/b LC Food). Although there were some attacks, nothing got away until the last lap. Keith and Artur battled it mano-a-mano until the finish line. A photo finish had to determine the winner. Both racers cross the finish line, rode to the top of the hill, tossed their bikes down, and laid down in the shade. They were exhausted from the hard race efforts. Keith narrowly took the sprint with Artur in 2nd . Nick rounded out the podium in 3rd.
Photo credit to Trish Albert/Southeastern Cycling (@sadlebred on Instagram)