Tuesday, October 28, 2008

National Mountain Bike Oktoberfest 2008 Wrap Up

I will be working on my story later this week but wanted to post the press release wrapping up the event. One thing for sure is that working with Cowbell Challenge, Inc. was a blast and we are planning next year's event already. Mark your calendars for October 23 -25, 2009!

Contact: Connie Giordano

National Mountain Bike Oktoberfest: Racing and Riding for kids from 2 to 52
Charlotte, NC – First-time racers, weekend warriors and pro-racers alike started their days early for National Mountain Bike Oktoberfest, held October 24-26, 2008. While volunteers from Cowbell Challenge Inc. finished checking and marking the courses At Fisher Farm Park in Davidson, NC, and setting up to check in the racers, seasoned racers began their pre-rides and first-time racers checked out the course and asked tons of questions. Spectators and support crews found some time to check out the new models from Cannondale, Specialized and Trek, and kids from 2 to 11 got their first taste of bike racing.

Friday dawned grey and chilly, but the threat of rain didn’t stop the competitors for the Friday NiteRider Short Track Race. 11 racers took to the course for just over 30 minutes of tight racing through the woods. Jeremiah Bishop (Trek/VW) took top honors with 17 laps in 31:57.1, followed by Diego (Bicycle Sport) with 17 laps in 32.10.9 and Nat Ross (Gary Fisher/Subaru) with 17 laps in 32.47.3.

Saturday morning brought a steady downpour before dawn, but the rain disappeared by the time the children took the field for Kids Kompetitions, sponsored by Cool Breeze Cyclery. “It is so much fun watching these kids hopping on their bikes and just getting out to ride for the sheer joy of it,” said Taylor Sullivan, Oktoberfest Race Director. Toddlers competed in a short race with running bikes provided by Strider. Cool Breeze staff officiated and presented the children with medals and special prizes.

The featured event, the Oktoberfest 8-hour Endurance race kicked off at noon, with an impressive starting lineup that included Oktoberfest partner Tinker Juarez (Monavie/Cannondale), Jeremiah Bishop (Trek/VW), Nat Ross (Gary Fisher/Subaru), Harlan Price (FT / IF pb Lionette's), and Ernesto Marenchin (Speedgoat.com), balanced by a number of bikers competing in their very first endurance race. From the word "GO" a really tight race was on, and Nat Ross, hitting the course for the ODI, "Grip and Rip" whole shot win, also grabbed all five of the Specialized “King of the Mountain" climbs in the first lap. Ross, Price, Juarez, Marenchin and Bishop stayed close in the early laps, and after a few more hours Bishop and Price were riding each other’s wheels, trading first and second for the rest of the day. As course faded into darkness and the hours counted down to the final lap, a mere 8 seconds separated the Bishop and Price. At the end, Bishop crossed the line just 12 seconds ahead of Harlan Price. The top five finishes are:
1. Jeremiah Bishop (Trek/VW) 14 laps
2. Harlan Price (FT / IF pb Lionette's) 14 laps
3. Tinker Juarez (MonaVie Cannondale) 13 laps
4. Ernesto Marenchin (Speedgoat.com) 13 laps
5. Nat Ross (Gary Fisher/Subaru) 12 laps

In the women’s race, Pua Sawicki (Team Mata) looked to be impossible to beat—with some of the top finishes of the year before coming out to Oktoberfest. At the start Pua‘s race pace matched the men’s and she looked ready to go for the whole shot over the men. In fact, she was the female winner of the ODI "Grip and Rip" first female on the course, and the Specialized "Queen of the Mountain". Her husband Ron, reported that the course was really slippery on the first lap due to all the late night rain and earlier morning mist, and Pua fell in the single track section of the course. She came back strong and fast, finishing well ahead of the rest of the women’s field and most of the men’s field. Pua’s family, coming in from Hawaii, was there cheering her on as for the first time they watched her compete in mountain biking. Denelle Grant (Bike Factory Racing) and Blakely Sapsford (Guy’s Racing) rounded out the top three in the women’s field.

The deep blue skies North Carolina is famous for returned bright and early on Sunday, as the racers prepared for Time Trials. Racers set off in one minute intervals to cover four miles of existing, flowing single track in the fastest time possible.

The results follow:

Open - Men
1 Jafer Beizer (Kudzu.com U23) Conyers, GA 17:46.4
2 Noel Kirila (Bicycle Sport Concord, NC 17:47.5
3 Michael Nixon (SoBe/Cannondale) Ft. Lauderdale, FL 17:53.8
4 Chris Wieczorek (Bicycle Sport) Charlotte, NC 18:11.2
5 Chris Baker (Bicycle Sport) Charlotte, NC 20:19.6
6 Stephen Janes (World Bicycle Relief) Asheville, NC 20:31.6
7 Michael Petersen Concord, NC 23:14.0
8 Dongseok Kim (NASCAR Technical Institute) Mooresville, NC 25:12.4

Single Speed - Men
1 Andrew Good (Cool Breeze Cyclery) Mooresville, NC 20:05.1

Sport - Men
1 Kristofer Karwisch Erlanger, KY 19:39.2
2 Scott Griffith Charlotte, NC 21:10.5
3 Brian Maxwell China Grove, NC 21:36.6
4 Douglas Engel (Bolt Brothers Cyclery) Charlotte, NC 21:54.2
5 Daniel Huey Cornelius, NC 21:55.7
6 Daniel Green Cornelius, NC 23:54.2

Masters - Men
1 Jack Crouch (Bicycle Sport) Charlotte, NC 19:22.2

The final event of the inaugural National Mountain Bike Oktoberfest was known as the “Beast” for good reason… three-quarters of a mile of running, biking, and obstacles. The modified cyclocross style race resembled “old-fashioned” cyclo-cross, challenging the skills of experienced and newbie riders alike as they raced for 30 minutes plus 1 lap.

The results follow:

Masters - Men
1 Jack Crouch (Bicycle Sport) Charlotte, NC
2 Perry Lee (Bicycle Sport) Charlotte, NC
3 Mike Metz Matthews, NC
4 Randy Nance Cornelius, NC

Open - Men
1 Michael Nixon (SoBe Cannondale) Ft. Lauderdale, FL
2 Jafer Beizer (Kudzu.com U23 Team) Conyers, GA
3 Stephen Janes (World Bicycle Relief) Asheville, NC
4 Chris Baker (Bicycle Sport-Shannon Ridge ) Charlotte, NC
5 Dongseok Kim (NASCAR Technical Institute) Mooresville, NC

Sport - Men
1 Richard Tsui (Cool Breeze Cyclery) Huntersville, NC
2 Kristofer Karwisch Erlanger, KY
3 Scott Griffith Charlotte, NC
4 Douglas Engel (Bolt Brothers Cyclery) Charlotte, NC
5 Daniel Green Cornelius, NC

Sport Women
1 Cathie Docherty (Dirt Divas) Fort Mill, SC

“My hat is off to the volunteers and organizers of National Mountain Bike Oktoberfest,” said David “Tinker” Juarez, former Olympian and Mountain Bike Hall of Famer and partner for the inaugural event. “It was a huge effort that came together quickly, and as a racer, I can say it was a blast to compete in.”

Sponsors for National Mountain Bike Oktoberfest currently include The Right Words, Organic Systems, LLC, NiteRider Lighting Systems, Cool Breeze Cyclery, Cannondale Bicycles, Kenda Tires, MonaVieCannondale.com, ODI Grips, Specialized Bicycles, Anse Chastanet Resort in St. Lucia iBert Safe-T- Seats, Strider Running Bikes, Summit Coffee, Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine, Bicycle Sport, Tifosi Eyewear, The Cyclepath, Clif Bar, Hammer Nutrition, ByeKyle, and Cane Creek.

Cowbell Challenge, Inc., a 501C3 nonprofit corporation, is a volunteer organization dedicated to promoting and organizing endurance mountain biking events which raise funds in support of charitable causes that promote health, well-being, and strong communities. Its signature event, the Cowbell Challenge 12-Hour Endurance Mountain Bike Race finished its seventh year in 2008 with more than $16,000 raised in support of numerous local and national non-profit organizations that support those facing catastrophic illness, families in crisis, maintaining natural spaces, and promoting cycling and fitness.

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