Yeager Soars at Fair Hill

Oberman 2nd in XC Open Men. Harding, Thiemann go two, three in XC Open Women.

RDC's Selene Yeager on her way to victory at Fair Hill Classic
RDC’s Selene Yeager guides her Specialized Epic on her way to Endurance race victory at Fair Hill Classic

RDC's Selene Yeager wins the Women's endurance race at Fair Hill Classic
RDC’s Selene Yeager wins the Women’s endurance race at Fair Hill Classic

August 23, 2014. The fact that vacations are concluding and school is starting signals that not only is summer over, but so too is Mid Atlantic Super Series (MASS) racing for 2014. In one last final salute, over five hundred and fifty racers showed up this past weekend at the Fair Hill Natural Resources Management Area in Fairhill MD to give it one last go at earning MASS series points in both Cross Country and Endurance events. Hosted by Trail Spinners, the Fair Hill Classic has long been a popular race due in part to the long 23 mile loop format and fun twisty fast trail. For 2014, endurance race participants were treated to one giant 40 mile loop, a remarkable feat, considering the relatively small land mass of the Fair Hill park. Rare Disease Cycling riders Selene Yeager, Cole Oberman, Kathleen Harding, Nikki Thiemann, Jesse Kelly, Andrew Dunlap and Shane Pasley threw their hats in the ring, and in what has become a habit for Rare Disease Cycling, podium appearances were made.

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Leading the way for Rare Disease Cycling was Selene Yeager who came away with the win for the Open Endurance women. Normally endurance racers do two a short prolog followed by two 23 mile laps. This year’s edition featured a single 40 mile loop. It’s a long race and a lot can go wrong. Yeager, who’s never really ridden to her full capabilities at the Fair Hill endurance event, finally put together a performance to be proud of. “I love riding at Fair Hill and have always done fairly well at the early XC race there.” recounted Yeager following her win. “But the endurance race has been a bit of a nemesis for me. I generally manage to pull out a good result, but not without a fair amount of misery. I’ve botched my nutrition. I’ve botched my hydration. I’ve gotten dizzy on that Crackhead Bob trail. I’ve made bad passes and almost taken out my own teammates. This was the first time I managed to put together a good day start to finish. I also felt monstrously good. Maybe it was Leadville sinking in or having all that wonderful oxygen to breathe, but I was able to finish as strong if not stronger than I started.”

RDC's Cole Oberman digs deep in the Cat 1 / Pro Open Men's race at Fair Hill Classic
RDC’s Cole Oberman digs deep in the Cat 1 / Pro Open Men’s race at Fair Hill Classic – Photo credit PJFreemenPhotograpy.com

Yeager’s winning time of 3:25 had a comfortable margin over second place and was good enough for 11th overall in the Endurance distance. Katrina Dowidchuk (Mid Atlantic Colavita Women’s Team) finished 2nd, Jennifer Tillman (Joe’s Bike Shop) 3rd, Missy Nash (Toasted Head Racing) was 4th, and rounding out the podium was Joanne Abbruzzesi (Bike Line).

NoTubes Vicki Barclay is 1st, RDC's Kathleen Harding 2nd, RDC's Nikki Thiemann 3rd in the Cat 1 / Pro Open Women at Fair Hill Classic.
NoTubes Vicki Barclay is 1st, RDC’s Kathleen Harding 2nd, RDC’s Nikki Thiemann 3rd in the Cat 1 / Pro Open Women at Fair Hill Classic.

In the men’s Cat1 / Pro Open event, RDC’s Cole Oberman finished 20 seconds behind winner Cameron Dodge (PURE ENERGY / SCOTT BICYCLES). “After a long and painful start drag, I led the group into the woods.” describes Oberman of the start of the Cat1 / Pro Open Men’s race. “My forte at the front quickly came to an end as I smashed my front wheel into a hole in the bottom of the first stream crossing. After ejecting onto the far shore and collecting myself, I began the chase back to the front group.”

Oberman remade contact and sat in to recover behind Aaron Snyder (STAN’S NOTUBES TRANSSYLVANIA EPIC ELITE MTB TEAM) and Cameron Dodge. “I let Cam set the pace for the first half of the race and tried to recover the best I could.” recalls Oberman. “With about 40 minutes remaining I went to the front and began hitting both the climbs and descent as hard as possible in hopes that I would force an error. In the end it wasn’t to be, I bobbled in the last section of single track and gave Cameron a 20 second gap which he held to the line.”

Dodge finished first, Oberman 2nd, and Aaron Snyder squeaked out 3rd just ahead of Andrew Freye.

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RDC’s Nikki Thieman (#535) smiles as Trail Spinners Ricardo Gomez prepares the Cat 1 / Pro Open Women for the start of the Fair Hill Classic – Photo credit PJFreemenPhotography.com

“All in all it was a great way to end the XC mountain bike season.” said an excited Oberman at the finish. “Now its time for some cyclocross!”

RDC’s Jesse Kelly finished 12 in the Cat 1 / Pro Open event, 10 minutes back. RDC Philly Regional rider Shane Pasley finished 23rd.

In the women’s Cat 1 / Pro Open event, RDC’s Kathleen Harding and Nikki Thiemann finished second and third respectively behind NoTubes Elite Women’s team racer Vicki Barclay.

RDC DC regional rider Andrew Dunlap finished 12th in the Open Endurance Men.

Full results here. PJFreemanPhotograpy.com event photos here. Ty Long NoFilmPhotography photos here.

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