With a course known for having a bit of everything, Monroe did not dissapoint with a crazy steep run up, fast grass, deep mud, gravel road, and standing water everywhere.
The men lined up at 12:15 with a basic plan. Sean Kelsey just wanting to finish in the top five, Chad Berg needing to beat Mafia Racing's Jeff Beltramini by one spot to finish 5th in the series, and Evan Renwick wanting to continue improving on his form as the end of the season draws near. The whistle blew, and they were off. Kelsey and Berg got a good start and avoided early trouble at the front end of the race. Halfway through the first lap, Berg looked back to see Beltramini struggling to hang on, so he punched in a big effort to get away. This brought him up to Kelsey where they worked together much of the race. Meanwhile in the Elite race, Renwick continued to hold his own in the sloppy, epic conditions, kept plowing away for every position he could. By the middle of the race, Berg was feeling good, well ahead of his targeted rider and tried to hang on to Kelsey who was just a bit too strong to cling to. Kelsey finished with a solid 4th place with Berg coming in 10 seconds later for 5th. Renwick finished shortly after in 17th place. As the points were tallied, the Cycle U - PopCap team had once again done good. S.C.X. overall series standings showed:
Sean Kelsey - 4th
Chad Berg - 5th
Evan Renwick - 10th
In the Elite Women's race, Melanie Lewis and Kristi Berg were licking their chops with course and conditions that lay before them. In the first turn, both women looked good as Lewis was trying to bridge up to Berg and the top girls. Surprisingly with the course conditions, neither girls ever pitted and had good running Specialized bikes the entire race. At one point both Lewis and Berg were working together to bridge up to 3rd place and eventually Lewis had to go alone, as Berg was holding on for 5th. Lewis nearly caught 3rd place but ran out of real estate and came in 4th. Both riders were content on their rides and loved the course and mud. Overall S.C.X. Series standings showed:
Mel Lewis - 3rd
Kristi Berg - 5th
Cycle U - PopCap is very proud of Sean, Chad, Evan, Mel, and Kristi and their accomplishments this season. With all riders finishing in the top 10 overall and four finishing in the top 5, we can only look at our first year as an Elite team as a success. As we approach the beginning of the end, the Washington State Championships are before us as we head to Arlington next Sunday in pursuit of State titles and further success. Wish us luck.
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