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Upstate Veto Club upstages Lehigh

Northeastern Pennsylvania bikers team captures the Wheelman Cup in Berwick.

Pictured are members of the Upstate Velo Club. From row, from left: John Novak, James Pitman, Phil Cable, Amy Coop. Back row: Jude Cooney, Jesse Gydosh, Tony Baldo, Dan Ellis, Tom Meighen, Booey Hottenstein,Dave Novak, Like Lukas, Mike Adsit, Jim Kotz, Eddie Ellard, Stijn Amundson, Kristin Patchel, Brian Hazenshi, Mary Stella Stabinski and Drew Jubis,

Submitted photo

BERWICK – Not this year …

… not this year, Lehigh

Those words had to be on the lips of local cycling fans on Sunday at Berwick Test Track Park as they watched the Upstate Velo Club – sponsored by Hi-Tech Flooring and featuring bikers from Northeastern Pennsylvania – win the 25th anniversary running of the Wheelmen Cup.

The Lehigh Wheelmen bikers had won the training event that traditionally kicks off a new season of bicycle racing in Northeastern and East Central Pennsylvania, 22 times over the past 24 years. Dutch Wheelmen, of Bloomsburg, had been the only team other than Lehigh to win the cup before Sunday – scoring victories in 1989 and 1990.

So there was plenty of reason to celebrate.

“It feels great to win over Lehigh, a team that has dominated this event for many years,” said Booey Hottenstein, a member of the Upstate Velo winning team. “It feels good to have a great group of guys who work well together as a team. It makes a difference when everyone works so well as a unit. We should be in for a great season.”

Upstate Velo Club Team No. 2 (Hottenstein, 18, of Kingston; Luke Lukas, 16, of Courtdale; John Novak, 19, of Tunkhannock; David Novak, 17, of Tunkhannock; and James Pitman, 24, of Milford) won the 5-Mile Time Trials, finishing in 11 minutes, and 52.78 seconds.

Lamprey Systems of Bethlehem (Greg Ahert, Roland Ettle, Jeff Hetrick) finished second in the five miler, clocking in at 12:02.64. Cycledrome of Trexlertown (Steve Baumbach, Larry Detris, Mike Holub, Jon Ruiz, Austin Dvaco) finished third in 12:31.16.

The Time Trials featured groups of five bikers from the same club working together to cover the five-mile course as fast as they could. The teams would ride in lines with each racer taking turns picking up drafts from the frontrunner. Points were awarded to the top three teams.

The 42-mile race consisted of sprints over every third lap. Points were awarded to the top three teams after each sprint. And double points were awarded to the top teams at the half-way point.

Upstate Velo won nine of the 14 sprints in the 42-miler. And when the final points were totaled, Upstate Velo (Hi-Tech Flooring) finished with 90 points. Lehigh Wheelmen (Bike Line), of Allentown, finished second with 62 points. Lamprey Systems, of Bethlehem, placed third with 51 points.

The winning team gets to keep the cup for a year.

Phil Cable, acting race director, was excited about his club’s victory and the overall success of this year’s event.

“We’re really excited about having such a good turnout for our first race of the season,” said Cable. “We were the only club at this event to field an all-women team.”

The all-women team (Mary Stella Stabinsky, 34, of Plains Township; Kerry Potter, 38, of Wyoming; Kristin Patchell, 30, of Scranton; Amy Koop, 37, of New York City) did well. They even beat one of the men’s teams in the Time Trials.

Notes: Berwick Test Track Park once was a military tank manufacturing testing ground

25th anniversary running of the Wheelmen Cup results

Participating teams: Lamprey Systems of Bethlehem, Lehigh Wheelmen (Bike Line) of Allentown, Dutch Wheelmen of Bloomsburg, Cycledrome of Trexlertown, Upstate Velo Club (Hi-Tech Flooring) of NEPA.

Team Trials (5 miler)

1st place: Upstate Velo Club (Hi-Tech Flooring) of Northeastern Pennsylvania, Team #2 (Luke Lukas, 16, Courtdale, John Novak, 19, Tunkhannock, David Novak, 17, Tunkhannock, Booey Hottenstein, 18, Kingston, James Pitman, 24, Milford) 11:52.78.

2nd place: Lamprey Systems of Bethlehem (Greg Ahnert, Roland Ettle, Jeff Hetrick) 12:02.64.

3rd place: Cycledrome of Trexlertown (Steve Baumbach, Larry Detris, Jon Ruiz, Austin Dvaco) 12:31.16.

42 Mile Race featuring a sprint every three miles

1st place: Hi-Tech Velo, NEPA, 90 points.

2nd place: Lehigh Wheelmen, Allentown, 62 points.

3rd place: Lamprey Systems, Bethlehem, 51 points.

Timing and results: Bob Kelley and Art Nissen (Upstate Velo Club members). Acting race director: Phil Cable.

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