By Dan Dickinson
On March 20th, Lexington’s Commonwealth Eye Surgery / Pedal the Planet bike racing team hosted a day of racing at the Cold Stream research park on Newtown Pike. Racers came from throughout the state as well as Ohio, Indiana, and Tennessee.
The event organized racers according to skill level with category 5 being beginners through category 1 for the elite. For the women categories ranged from 4 to 1. There were also categories based on age for masters (40+) and juniors (under 18).The various races lasted from thirty minutes to an hour on a 1.3 mile loop. This style of racing is fast and furious with average speeds reaching 25 mph and racers riding only inches apart. On this relatively flat course some riders were hitting speeds of more than 35 mph.The first race of the day was the Cat 5 Men. This race was marred halfway through by a crash. Several riders went down with one, Dave Marshal, injuring his elbow. The crash split the field apart and many strong riders burned out trying to chase the lead group. Jeremy Burroughs managed to beat McDonald’s Lewis Jackson to the line with Mark Roth finishing third.
In the Men’s 4/5 race, two riders had attacked with one lap to go but were caught by a charging peloton shortly before the finish. UK’s Drew Lavey started his sprint a long way out but managed to hold it to the line for the win with Pedal the Planet’s Brendan Canty finishing second.
The men’s 3/4 race saw several attacks throughout, but none were successful. The race came down to a sprint finish where Lexington’s Eric Barnett finished third behind Sean Steele and Nathan Roberson of Louisville.
Eric Barnett also placed 3rd in the Masters 40+ race behind Curtis Tolson of Texas Roadhouse and Michael McShane of Calistoga Racing.
Marilynn Hartman of Texas Roadhouse dominated the Women’s 1/2/3 race. About halfway through the race she attacked the field and soloed to victory. In the Women’s 4 race Erin Greene was victorious with Sharlyn Golding finishing second.
The Men’s 1/2/3 race saw the fastest action of the day. It didn’t take long for a break away of four riders to form with two riders from the Texas Roadhouse team. Behind them the chase group kept dwindling as riders were unable to keep up. Despite Texas Roadhouse having two of the four riders in the winning break, Lee Hauber of Fetzer Cycling was able to win the final sprint in impressive fashion.
Bike racing will return to Lexington on Memorial Day, May 31, as part of Bike Lexington. A series of races will be run downtown from 1-7 P.M. following the family fun ride. Come on out and cheer on the home town racers.