Hempfield Road Race September 14, 2013
The race was Mark’s from mile 3.
An early break of Thru It All, GS Simmeria and BikeLine got little ground right from the gun, and when they were caught a few miles in it was clear that the day would go to persistence and the ability to suffer in the strong North wind -- and that meant Mark.
The peloton split at about mile 7, leaving only 9 riders in contention for the win. The group included two GS Simmeria and two Thru It All, the rest solo riders whose teams were caught off the back of the split and gone forever from the race.
Several attacks over the next 15 miles gained nothing. Mark punched it repeatedly, tiring out the break. Around mile 23 Justin (the guy who won Union Grove) was looking pretty fresh; a concerted effort to make him work and to respond to attacks that immediately followed his pulls began to make him suffer, and it was right after one of those surges that Mark saw the opportunity and attacked.
Noel from Thru It All responded, as did Scott Hodder (Rock Star Racing). Justin bridged up about a mile after the winning break formed, and RVO partners and Zban from Thru It All made sure that Mark’s group stayed clear to the finish.
In the end, the strongest guy won -- and many competitors were happy to see him take the top step of the podium after a long season.
-Dean Smith, Eyewitness