SPRINGWATER — It was a wild finale of the Mudslinger Gravel Series in Springwater as Once Again Racing had riders on the leaderboard throughout. In the final of the 3-race series, Andrew Cox and Rachel Andrews would emerge victorious in their categories on the final day of racing.
For the last leg of the Finger Lakes Gravel Challenge, hosted by Team Towpath, the tough course served as the New York State Bike Racing Gravel Championship. The Men’s Elite Race saw Kerry Werner Jr. of Kona Factory Racing win the overall while making his Mudslinger debut followed by Sjaan Gerth, Dan Timmerman, Mike “So Pro” Jones and Anthony Clark rounding out a stacked top 5.
“Gravel racing is really where it’s at,” said Tony Sylor, President of Livingston Cycling Club. “We get a huge spectrum of racers who are there to ride, race, compete, and party. It’s something different for everyone but a type of racing everyone can get behind.”
In the Women’s Elite, Emily Flynn of Melo Velo took her first win of the series after two third places finishes (while also taking home the NYSBRA Championship) followed by Ruth “The Shermanator” Sherman of GGWDW, and Rachel “Big Rach” Andrews of Once Again Racing. Andrews’ third place finish, coupled with her overall wins in the first two races, landed her the 2018 Mudslinger Series Championship while Jones took the same for the men.
“I could never have imagined we would see talent like we did this year,” said Series Director Tony Sylor of establishing a longer Elite Race for 2018. “From Jeremy Powers to Kerry Werner to Clark to Timmerman to Jones to Magnus and list goes on. It was humbling to see these guys investing in the sport this way and an amazing experience for our regional cycling community.”
Turner Boone of Once Again Racing also finished in the money for the Men’s Elite Series with a 5th place finish while Jake Castor put up a big day in the first chase group as he finished 8th in the race.
For the Intermediate Men, Marcus Cox of Once Again Racing finished second on the day and won the overall series standings after dominating the first two races. He was beaten out in a tight sprint by a young and talented Trevor August of Park Ave Bike who also walked away with a well-earned State Championship title.
“Marcus is so talented, and he just started racing,” said Sylor. “He has so much good racing ahead of him. I am pumped to see what he does in the coming years.”
Also with top five finishes for Once Again Racing was Brian Denney who was 5th in the Sport Field for the day while Pete Hoag and Pete Miner finished top 5 in the Masters and Intermediate series respectively.
With gravel season in the books, Once Again Racing now turns its attention to road racing with an exciting calendar including Bloomfield, the Larkinville Series, and the American Rock Salt Race Series sponsored by American Rock Salt.
American Rock Salt Race Series is also hosted by Sam Patch Promotions and will start with a crit at the Perry-Warsaw Airport on June 9 at 6 p.m. followed by a second race in the same location on July 21 and then a race and a non-competitive ride in Avon on July 22.
The Mudslinger Gravel Series and the American Rock Salt Race Series are sponsored by American Rock Salt, Once Again Nut Butter, Swain Resort, Cyclepath, Castelli, Van Bortel Ford, Van Allen and Hoffmann, The Duke Company, Gnarly Monkey, Dansville Collision, Cycle Craze, Silver Lake Brewing Project, Nunda Lumber, Bridgett C. Hoag Empire Realty, Geneseo Chiropractic, Rochester Regional Health, Tompkins Bank of Castile, Livingston Cycling Club, and NYSBRA.