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Riders prepare for Suncoast Criterium & Road Race

Published May 11, 2005

Volunteers from Sarasota County Parks & Recreation say they are putting the finishing touches on the Suncoast Criterium & Road Race Weekend in downtown Venice.

The fourth annual festival, scheduled for Saturday-Sunday, attracts thousands of cyclists and their families. Proceeds will benefit Adopt-A-Camper, which is a fund for children needing financial help to attend summer recreation camps in Sarasota County. Area racers are set to compete in Saturday's Suncoast Criterium, in which Junior riders start the action at 9:30 a.m. Following will be Masters 35-plus,10:15; Masters 45-plus, 11; Masters 55-plus, 11:45; Category 5, 12:30 p.m.; Category 4, 2:30; Women, 4; Category 3, 5:15; and Pro 1-2, 6:30. The Pro 1-2 event offers a $2,000 purse, which pays the top 25 competitors. Last year's winner was Eric Murphy of Apopka. Trailing was Boca Raton' s Stefano Barberi. Area participants in the top 20 included Daniel Holt of Bradenton and Clermont's Adam Baskin. Brad Andringa of St. Petersburg was last year's top 15-16 Junior racer. David Stedje, Lutz, won the Masters 35-plus,St. Petersburg's Jim Zimmer placed second in Masters 45-plus,and Earl Henry took ninth in Masters 55-plus. The top Senior women in the criterium were Elizabeth Morse, Bradenton, third; and Robin Kavan, Tampa, fifth. Category-4 competitor Barbara Shircliffe-Perigard was fifth. Shircliffe-Perigard, who races for Tampa Team American Classic, mixed it up with the off-road crowd when she won last week's mountain-bike event in Lakeland.

The Suncoast Criterium start/finish line is just west of U.S. 41 at Nokomis Avenue and Venice Avenue. Kids of all ages can pedal around the course in the 3 p.m. Free Fun Ride. Sunday's Suncoast Road Race begins with the juniors at 8 a.m. Other USA Cycling categories follow. For information, call 941 925-2241 or go online to

ASSAULT ON MT. MITCHELL: Florida riders who want a hill-climbing challenge are traveling to the 30th annual event in North Carolina. Hosted by the Freewheelers Of Spartanburg, the ride on May 20 begins at 6:30 a.m. in Spartanburg.

Featuring more than 12,000 feet of climbing near the Blue Ridge Parkway, the event offers fun, scenery and a chance to test those gears for hilly terrain. About 6 percent of the riders reach the top in less than 6 hours, with most completing the ride in 7-9 hours. The schedule includes the shorter 12th Annual Assault On Marion, which splits off before the climb to the top of Mt. Mitchell.

Assault On Mt. Mitchell riders will come from all over, and some pro jerseys have been spotted in the peloton, including that of Rich Hincapie. Last year, he finished fifth in 5 hours, 17 minutes. The first female rider to reach the summit was Christine Putnam, 6:24:06.

Floridians who've survived the ride include Bill Kish (5:44:48), Jim Mahaffey (6:34:40), Ivan Glymph (6:57:11), Karen Glymph (6:57:52), Kip Vosburgh (6:58:09) and Terry Crews (8:39:22). Pinellas riders who say they may return are Jim Ashbaugh, Jerry Evans and Tony Prioli.

For information, go online to

20TH MAD BEACH TRI: Designated as an official Mad Dog howling spot, televised by Brighthouse Channel 47 and attracting nearly 1,000 triathletes last year, the Mad Dog Madeira Beach Triathlon is scheduled for May 21-22.

Archibald Park at 150th Ave. and Gulf Blvd. on Madeira Beach will be the venue for the Saturday Kids & Rookie Adults Triathlon. On Sunday, the main event at 7 a.m. will consist of a .5-mile swim, 15-mile bike ride and 3.1-mile run. Last year's winners were Winter Garden's Marc Bonnet-Eymard, 1 hour, 6 minutes and 53 seconds; and Tierra Verde's Christina Noordstar, the fastest elite female in 1:21:59.

For information, call (727) 820-7790.

[Last modified May 11, 2005, 00:46:18]

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