Olympians win BUMP and Grind
Mountain Pedalers and bike enthusiasts flocked to Oak Mountain State Park Sunday for the annual BUMP and Grind Mountain Bike Race coordinated by the Birmingham Urban Mountain Pedalers. This was the fifteenth time the park has opened its gates to some of the country’s best competitors. This year, however, the event gained more notoriety in biking circles as it is one of seven races for the US Cup Pro XCT mountain bike series which culminates in Windham, N.Y. on August 16 for the Yankee Clipper at Windham Mountain.
If the music, food and outdoors were not enough for spectators, the races showcased many locals, some Olympians and the No. 1 female cyclist in the world, Catharine Pendrel. Pendrel finished fourth at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing for cross country cycling. Having these bikers and the new-found significance of the race was a huge lift for the event according to Race Director Chris Straynar.
“What a better way to advertise for the race?” he said. “This was good for Oak Mountain, Shelby County and Pelham … and puts Oak Mountain on the map in the United States (for mountain biking).”
Throughout the day patrons searched for the best spot to see the riders as they made their way through the expo area near the start/finish line and through 17-to-34 miles of pavement and woods. During the morning session, people gathered on and around Blood Rock to catch the amateur racers trek the most technical and precise area of the track for what could be fantastic blunders. Some bikers planted their face while others managed to save it. There is no doubt that it is the most challenging portion of the course for newcomers but for locals like singlespeed participant, John Karrasch, Blood Rock is a little easier.
“I come out here a lot, and that’s an advantage for the ones who ride it all the time,” he said.
Karrasch, like many other riders, was not immune to other obstacles though – cut up and bruised on his arms and legs he explained “I ate it pretty hard coming into the first three miles of the course. I had to take a few minutes to get it all together.”
After all amateurs finished, and most got a much needed lunch break, the pros took the stage for a 34-mile run for first place. The women teed off just after noon and the men followed just before 3 p.m. They did not disappoint as the top two finishers in each race were Olympians and you could see the determination of these racers that make them worldly competitors. The time difference between first and second places for both races were separated by a total of just three seconds.
For the women, Pendrel and Team Luna teammate Georgia Gould were neck-and-neck and by themselves coming in for the final push as they jockeyed for the lead through the towering Kenda “horseshoe”. Pendrel narrowly edged Gould by a mere second, winning her first U.S. National race of the year and effectively keeping her No. 1 ranking. She was able to secure the win by swooping into the inside lane making the last turn. She did not mind that she was racing against her teammate for the win, “your strongest competition comes from your teammates…this was important for our team.”
In the men’s pro race, Australia’s Sid Taberlay nudged out Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski for the victory.
Many of the professionals who had never been to Oak Mountain, or Alabama, were pleased with the track and the venue.
“This was a fun course, it had tight corners and I love that you spend so much time in the woods,” Pendrel said.
Gould – who is ranked eighth in the world – agreed.
“This park is fantastic,” she said, “It has a really good mix of power and techinal.”
Other locals were pleased with how well the shape of the track was in. Helena native Gregg Hardwick, who also placed third in the singlespeed category, said “The trail and park were nice today…it was in good shape.”
Lisa Trainer, a local rider who recently moved to northern Shelby County, said her first experience at the venue was pleasurable.
“This was a nice, clean (and) fast course,” Trainer said, “It has a good uphill challenge then finishes fast,” she said.
RESULTS FOR LOCAL RACERS
10-under: Allison Van Ryeselberge (6 – Birmingham)
11-12: William Schlemmer (3 – Birmingham), Gage Camp (5 – Hoover)
13-14: Will Silas (5 – Birmingham), Peyton Bowels (8 – Birmingham)
CAT 3 Beginner – Men
Clydesdale: Jonathan Fague (2 – Hoover)
19-24: Tyler Smith (6 – Birmingham), Joshua Pilgreen (8 – Birmingham)
25-29: Russell Waltz (2 – Pelham), Justin Slaughter (5 – Birmingham)
30-34: Justin Drake (6 – Birmingham)
35-39: Jay Pigford (5 – Birmingham)
40-44: David Sanders (2 – Birmingham), Lamar Zuiderhoek (6 – Pelham), Keith Walker (7 – Birmingham)
50+: Glen Moulder (9 – Birmingham)
30-39: Michelo William (1 – Birmingham), Lee Farabaugh (2 – Birmingham), Lisa Trainor (3 – Birmingham)
40+: Andrea Fanin (1 – Hoover)
CAT 2 Sport
Clydesdale: Andrew Hutchison (8 – Birmingham)
19-24: David Berg (5 – Birmingham), Zach Davis (9 – Helena), Aaron Williams (10 – Birmingham), Patrick Perkins (14 – Birmingham)
25-29: Sloan Mark (7 – Alabaster), Alan frye (11 – Montevallo)
30-34: Michael Lackey (1 – Birmingham), Travis Sherman (2 – Pelham), Mike Powell (6 – Birmingham), Chad Brown (7 – Pelham), Jeremy Hamm (9 – Birmingham), Mike Enervald (10 – Birmingham), Justin Roberts (13 – Birmingham)
35-39: Geoff Leonard (8 – Pelham), Yano Takashi (15 – Birmingham), Jon Rasmussen (20 – Helena), Drennan Saul (21 – Pelham), David McLaughlin (30 – Hoover), Hideaki Nishioka (33 – Birmingham)
40-44: David Darden (1 – Birmingham), Larry Stanley (4 – Birmingham), Darren Payne (23 – Helena), Kent Thrash (26 – Hoover)
45-49: Jeffrey Haines (1 – Birmingham), Mike Herring (5 – Pelham), Gary Nix (15 – Alabaster)
50-59: Doug Goodwin (4 – Birmingham), Lee Kingry (9 – Pelham)
60+: Ken Burst (1 – Hoover)
CAT 1 Expert
30-34: David McNeal (11 – Birmingham)
35-39: Mike Hurley (3 – Birmingham)
40-49: Jame Hall (13 – Birmingham), Brad Spencer (18 – Helena)
50+: Jim Brock (3 – Birmingham)
Hardwick Gregg (3 – Helena), John Karrasch (16 – Birmingham), Christopher Leven (17 – Sterrett), Lon Cullen (24 – Hoover)