By Ray Adams
Capitalizing on their strengths, visitPA.com’s Ray and
VisitPA.Com Mtn Bike Team Wins MASS STXC –
By Ryan Leech
Sunday, April 22 marked the opening event in the Mid Atlantic Super Series Short Track Cross Country (STXC) at Hibernia County Park, PA. VisitPA.com's STXC specialist Ryan Leech won the Elite Men's fields over young Pro rider Kyle Hammaker, while visitPa.com's stalwart hardman Ray Adams took the 3rd step on the podium. Nancy Nowicki, one of visitPA.com's new team members for 2007, took the unofficial win in the women's race (unofficial because the women raced with the masters men category), proving that her leap to the Elite women's field isn't in vain.
The men's race started with a stomping field eager to make the pace brisk. Immediately, visitPa.com was on the front followed closely by entire field. After two laps of the 12 lap (30 minutes) race, a group five lead the race, which included Adams, Leech and Wes Schempf of VisitPa.com. After another rider slid out on one of the course's loose corners and held up a few riders, Hammaker and Leech were pitted against each other at the head of the race. They worked together to increase the gap over Adams and pro rider Rob Lichtenwalner. On the final lap, Leech made the winning move, blasting past Hammaker with half a lap remaining and took the win by five seconds.
The women's race was a combination of Master's men categories and women. Nancy Nowicki throttled the pace at the start, giving her an immediate advantage over her competitors. Halfway through the race, she had a comfortable leading margin. Nowicki's prowess on the bike allowed her to open up the gap with each remaining lap and dominate the women's field.