Pennington, McConnell win final GPMC
By Matt Haughey
WASHOUGAL, Wash. — Alice Pennington and Mark McConnell rode away with the final wins of the 2011 Grand Prix Molly Cameron Sunday at Winter Cross in Washougal, while Donald Reeb and Rhonda Morin took the series overall crowns.
With only 10 women in today’s A race, the pack split apart soon after the start. Team S&M riders Pennington and Beth Ann Orton separated from GPMC series leader Morin (Sorella Forte), and the pair lead for a couple laps before Pennington pulled away and began passing Masters A racers that started a minute ahead of the women’s field. Pennington continued to push the pace and grow her gap off the front throughout the race to the point where only herself and Orton finished on the last lap, nearly lapping the entire field up to and including third place Morin.
In the Men’s race, the melee at the start had leaders swapping spots for the first lap and a half until a visiting Canadian by the name of Mark McConnell (Synergy) went off the front. Buy Local Cycling’s Ross Brody soon latched onto McConnell’s wheel, and the pair lead for several fast laps until a bobble during a climb gave Calgary’s McConnell a gap on Brody that stayed at 10 seconds for a couple laps before growing further through the end, with McConnell taking the win decisively.
With Wintercross in the books, the first year of the GPMC draws to a close with Reeb and Morin both maintaining their overall leads in the point standings. The GPMC wraps up this Tuesday at 7 p.m. with an awards party at Upper Echelon Fitness.
Winter Cross, GPMC #9
Cat A Men
1. Mark McConnell (Synergy) 10
2. Ross Brody (Buy Local Cycling) 10
3. Seth Patla (Gates Belt-Drive/River City Bicycle) 10
4. Matt Lyons 10
5. Samuel Nicoletti (Gentle Lovers) 10
Cat A Women
1. Alice Pennington (Team S&M les Femmes) 9
2. Beth Ann Orton (Team S&M les Femmes) 9
3. Rhonda Morin (Sorella Forte/St Honoré Bakery) 8
4. Laura Trace 8
5. Alexandra Burton (Upper Echelon Fitness) 8
Complete OBRA results are HERE.