Tampa cyclist captures Citrus City Pro 1-2 title

Published January 19, 2005

The weather has been chilly, but the racing was hot at the Largo Nature Preserve on Jan. 9.

The inaugural Citrus City Cyclocross Race was organized by Largo Recreation Supervisor Lance Riddile and ex-professional cyclist Tony Prioli of Clearwater. Riddile and Prioli worked with USA Cycling officials, designing a course with flat, grassy sections and pavement, along with wooden barriers for dismounting areas.

Riding various multiple laps on the 1-mile loop turned out to be easy and safe enough for kids but tough enough for an interesting mix of the best riders. Former USA Cycling Florida State Road Champion Paul Kavan of Tampa displayed his usual early-season fitness, as he won the Pro 1-2 Category. He was followed by Dunedin's Dave Otis and Englewood's Brian Dalton. Palm Harbor's Allen Jones held his own on the fast course, placing second to Sarasota's John Rich in the competitive Category B Division.

May-Li Cuypers, Belleair Bluffs, ran away from the women's field by showing the form she hopes to have at the World Aquathlon Championships (run/swim/run) in Hawaii this fall. The 38-year-old veterinarian was selected for 2005 Aquathlon Team USA after qualifying in the Sand Key Triathlon on Oct. 9.

Most Florida riders never have seen a cyclocross race, though they may have competed on their mountain bikes. Single-speed machines were rare, but that's just what Hank Campbell rode, winning the Men's C Division by a wide margin. Campbell, 25, an elite triathlete from St. Petersburg, became known after his second-place overall performance at the 19th Madeira Beach Triathlon in May.

After the Madeira Beach Triathlon's 15-mile bike segment, Campbell sprinted through deep sand to nearly win the race. He was closing in on winner Marc Bonnet-Eymard of Winter Park. In the Citrus City Cyclocross, the athletic Campbell turned on the speed, leaping over a half dozen wooden barriers while shouldering his bike like a European pro. The only local who could manage a second-place finish to Campbell was vintage motocross champion Dave Ellis of Pinellas Park.

Kids winners included Clearwater's Savannah Odum, Kenny Odum, Grayden Odum and St. Petersburg's Bruno Sinibaldi. The grandson of 1932 and '36 Olympic cyclist John Sinibaldi Sr., Bruno appeared to enjoy keeping up with the family tradition of championship cycling. He was awarded a medal for winning the Junior 11-14 Division.

CARMICHAEL IN ORLANDO: Chris Carmichael, coach of six-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong (2005 Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team), visited with area riders while speaking at Walt Disney World Marathon Health & Fitness Expo on Jan. 9.

Carmichael was a member of the first American squad (7-Eleven Cycling Team) to ride in the Tour de France in 1986 and on the '84 U.S. Olympic Cycling Team. In addition to coaching Armstrong, Carmichael has helped the athlete's teammate, George Hincapie; Olympic silver-medal cyclist Dede Demet-Barry and Ironman Hawaii winner Peter Reid of Canada.

"It's not surprising I'm here at Disney, considering most endurance sports share similarities to cycling," Carmichael said. "The athletes look a bit different and the foods they eat may be different, but recovering from a major effort is the same." Will Armstrong compete in Ironman Hawaii? "No," Carmichael said. "You know how competitive Lance is, and he always will be like that. But, I would say that you might see him in smaller triathlons. He still does cyclocross. And he loves to ride his mountain bike. But he's too competitive to do Ironman unless he could win it. That's just Lance."

ARDELL TO MARRY: World triathlon and duathlon champion, author, lecturer, exercise physiologist and former Tampa mayoral candidate Don Ardell, 66, and training partner Carol Martin will marry Feb. 14. Martin, 49, is a triathlete who has competed in various world championships.