Criterium becomes a dream come true for local racer

Published 5:00 am Monday, April 5, 2004

Herring Gas team captain Frank Moak realized a dream Saturdaywhen the first criterium was held in downtown Brookhaven. Moak, aveteran bicycle racer, always had to travel out of town to race acriterium before yesterday’s Cellular South Downtown Criterium.

Moak was in contention for the Category 1-2-3 crown but had tosettle for 8th place. The 45-minute event, plus 3 laps, covered an8-tenths of a mile course as riders reached speeds in excess of 35miles per hour.

Kyle Wansley, of Tallahassee, Fla., won the event and BriceJones of Texas was second. Wansley and third place finisher JasonSnow are both members of the Fuji team.

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Moak was among 61 riders in the intense competition.

“I’m absolutely pumped dry from it,” said an exhausted Moak whowas trying to regain his strength after the race. “If I would haveskipped the road race this morning, I would have had more juiceleft.”

The Bank of Brookhaven road race was a 77-mile marathon throughthe rolling hills of northeastern Lincoln County, starting andending at Heucks Retreat Baptist Church at 11:30 a.m. Moak only hadthree hours to recover.

“The competition made it tough,” said Moak. Sponsored by theHuman Performance Company of Brookhaven, this stop on theMississippi Gran Prix attracted over 150 riders, including severalstudents from Holland and France plus the Puerto Rico Nationalracing team. Ruben Borrero Ducaol of Puerto Rico was fourth.

“This is like a dream come true for me,” said Moak. “And I’monly two blocks away from my house.”

Herring Gas teammate Kenny Bellau of New Orleans said he wantedto help Moak out in the race but “we couldn’t catch him. We weretrying to catch Frank and give him some help. The guys Frank waswith…he was outgunned.”

Another Herring Gas team member, Erich Mattei, was involved in awreck just 10 feet past the starting line. The collision with afellow competitor broke the rear fork on his $3,500 bike.

Timothy Regan of Herring Gas finished 10th and teammate ChrisAlexander was 15th. Bellau and teammate Troy Porter finished 21stand 22nd respectively.

Kevin Callaway of Spring, Texas won the Masters-35 criterium. Hewas fourth in yesterday morning’s road race.

“We were going to run the pro (Category 1-2-3) race but I neededa teammate,” said the 45-year-old Callaway. My teammate (SteenRose) broke his collarbone at the track last Friday.”

Callaway said he enjoyed the race. “It was a fast course, goodfor a bike handler. I’m a getaway racer.”

Les Akins of the Wichita Falls (Texas) Bicycle Club was second.Akins had won the morning road race.

“It would have been suicide for me to get in the pro racewithout a teammate,” said Callaway. “Les Akins is a greatsprinter.”

Callaway is a member of the Woodlands Cycle Club. He’s sponsoredby Raw Power Trade and Rock Green Lite.

Richard Barker, CEO for The Human Performance Center, said theday was a big success. The Brookhaven Police Department and othervolunteers helped the race run smoothly.

“We had in excess of 150 riders,” said Barker. “We also hadtremendous, unbelievable support from the police department. I wantto thank Chief Pap Henderson for his support.”

Looking to the future, Barker said plans were to expand theformat and have five races. “The criterium is the hardest thing toput on. It takes a lot of volunteers and help from the policedepartment.”

Another criterium is scheduled for today in Natchez.

Saturday’s road race included a women’s division which was wonby Andrea Hannos of the Rona Cycling Team. Shontele Gauther ofSouthern Fire was second and Debbie Milne of the Tupelo BicycleClub was third.

Ed Chapman of Olympus Bikes was second to Akins in the Masters35 road race and Frank Jennings of Gearworks was third.

The Category 5 road race went to Sam Riden of Pro Bike Cycling.Chris Emory of Gulf Coast was second.

Category 4 winner was William Cheramie of Tiger Cycling. In theJunior race, Dylan Jason was first and Brooks Abel finishedsecond.

In Category 1-2-3, Kyle Wansley of Fuji won first place andBrice Jones of Healthnet-Maxxis was second. Jason Snow of Fuji wasthird.

In the Celebrity Race, featuring one lap on the criteriumcourse, Lincoln County Chancery Clerk Tillmon Bishop won firstplace.