Good Racing in Melbourne
Melbourne Music Marathon is the first US Handcycling Federation sanctioned race this year.
What do warm sunny skies, a calm beach breeze, a talented field of handcycle racers, and Melbourne, Fla., have in common?
The 2013 Melbourne Music Marathon of course, the first U.S. Handcycling Federation (USHF) sanctioned race of the year. The conditions in early February couldn’t have been better. With an average temperature of a balmy 72 degrees and clear blue skies, it was perfect racing weather.
The Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) Racing team was there in full force, holding 21 of the packed field’s 62 positions. The 26.3-mile USATF-certified course was rather unchanged from last year. Beginning in downtown Melbourne, it transverses along US1 and the Indian River, diving momentarily into several local neighborhoods and mounting its biggest challenges in the form of two bridge crossings.
Jacob Freeland and David Swaim race along the waterway in Melbourne, Fla. Photo courtesy of Josh Bramstetter.
Leading the charge for team PVA was team coach and mentor Carlos Moleda, who finished among the lead pack at 1:13. Alfredo De Los Santos, Jake Freeland, Geoff Hopkins, Robert Puckett, Jeff Snover and Scott Sweet formed a second pack of riders from the start.
They worked an effective pace line for the majority of the race with De Los Santos, Hopkins and Sweet breaking from the pack toward the end of the race to finish at 1:22. Helman Roman, Will Groulx, and David Swaim all finished under 1:30.
Keith Winchell posted an impressive time of 1:31 and is definitely one to watch this season as his times keep getting faster and faster. You can add Jonathan Miller to this list as well. He crossed the finish line at 1:39, with Joseph Beimfohr hot on his heels at 1:40.
Michael Sprouse, Michael Bishop, Dennis Clark and Bruce Newman were just behind, and all came in under 1:50. Stephen Bush was next, posting an impressive personal best for Melbourne of 1:52 on his stunning polished-frame Force R.
Louis Irvin and Rims on the Run organizer Scott Rimmer crossed in just over two hours, and Francisco Abreu’s determination and resolve put him in at a respectable 2:16.
On the podium to receive his spoils was Canadian Mark Ledo, who took first place overall (1:10). Dane Pilon came in second for the fourth year in a row and won the H-4 division at 1:13:18.
Scott McNeice was the fastest Masters cyclist, finishing in eighth (1:17). In the women’s division triple gold medalist Muffy Davis took first-place honors (1:21:37) and finished 12th overall, with Monica Bascio just behind at 1:21:43.
In the H-1 division Paralympian Tony Pedeferri took first for the second straight year but was feeling the pressure of PVA teammate and quad rugby gold medalist Groulx, who came in just 33 seconds behind.
This race has grown larger each year, and PVA Racing has been doing its own growing. With Jody Shiflett at the helm, it’s gathering momentum. This year PVA already has seven racers in the top 20 — and the year has just begun.
For more information or to see where Team PVA is racing next, visit pva.org.
Good Racing in Melbourne
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