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Local BMX rider is No. 1 at age 4


© St. Petersburg Times, published May 31, 2000

Combining speed and cuteness, 4-year-old Cody Sandford of Clearwater won Florida's No. 1 state BMX plate at last week's championship in Orlando. Sandford, who rode a GT miniature BMX bicycle with the narrowest knobby tires in existence, is the son of former state road champion and Ironman triathlete Mike Sandford.

"Cody was so excited to win the state number plate and also that huge trophy," Sandford said. "The photographer at the track had to ask him to move forward because the trophy was taller than he was."

STATE TIME TRIAL CHAMPIONSHIPS: USA Cycling racers are equipping their bicycles with the latest in carbon fiber aerodynamic wheels for Florida's time trial championships in West Palm Beach on Sunday.

Most USA Cycling categories will have 40-kilometer races (approximately 25 miles) on a flat, fast course, but some riders, including junior men and women and masters 60-plus will race for 20 kilometers (12 miles).

Championship time trials are a trademark of Florida bicycle racing because many riders train in Florida's well-known windy conditions. Olympic cyclists such as Carl Sundquist, Jeanne Golay, Andy Weaver and Chris Carmichael lived and trained here and gained a toughness associated with pure hammering into the wind.

For further information, call Mark Hassell at (561) 968-7226 or send e-mail to the host team at

The state championship road race points omnium will be in Panama City on Sept. 9-10. For further information, call Pete Quesata at (850) 230-8648 or send e-mail to Quesata at

HANDCYCLING CHAMPIONS: Handcycling experts Michel Bond and Scott McNeice have been seen training on recent mornings in St. Petersburg's northeast neighborhoods.

McNeice has been combining Ironman experience with the speed of criterium riding in elite cycling events on his way to European racing this summer.

Bond raced in the first wave at the May 21 Mad Beach Mad Dog Triathlon, demonstrating the swimming prowess that made the ParaOlympic movement grow by leaps and bounds.

Handcycling has become a popular sport for paraplegic athletes, but some cyclists who are not in physically challenged categories also are fascinated with the sport.

For further information and for race results for Bond and McNeice, check out team.htm.

RIDES FOR AIDS RESEARCH: Suzanne Zonjee of the St. Petersburg Bicycle Club, and Suncoast Cycling Club rider Roman Fish of Largo will join 1,200 other cyclists in a 510-mile ride from Fairbanks to Anchorage, Alaska, in August.

Fish, a retired Air Force pilot, has raised enough funds for several riders, and Zonjee, a registered nurse from St. Petersburg, is still working to raise enough pledges toward her goal of more than $4,000 for the Pallotta Team Works' Alaska AIDS Vaccine Ride. "This is such a good cause, and I'm hoping to get a few more donations this summer," Zonjee said at a recent SPBC training ride at North Shore Pool. Those interested in pledging may e-mail Zonjee at

MOUNTAIN BIKE RACING SERIES: Off-road riders will change out tires suitable for racing in dry, fast conditions for the upcoming Florida Southeastern Regional Championship Series.

Central Florida's mountain biking trails reportedly are very dusty rather than muddy due to drought conditions, so all racers will be flying at Reddick's Razorback MTB Park on June 17-18. All NORBA classes are invited to compete, and there will be a Sunday morning kids event.

There will be practice riding at Razorback on June 17 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Race registration begins at 8 a.m. June 18. Directions: I-75 to exit 71, turn east on 326, go to first light (.5 mile), turn left on C-25A, go 7 miles to four-way stop (SR 316), turn right to Razorback MTB Park.

For further information, call (352) 873-9279 or check online at

BBC RIDERS TOP STATE CRITERIUM: USA Cycling racers competed in the state criterium in Port Orange several weeks ago. Top riders included BBC's Sherri Stedje of Lutz and Kurt Fritz of Wesley Chapel.

"Some of Florida's courses are pretty easy, with everybody sitting in," Fritz said. "This course was tough, very technical and all the riders loved it. I ended up fifth in a very fast Category 4 race there."

USA Cycling racers at the top of the 2000 Florida points series are Daniel Holt of Palmetto; newlyweds Paul Kavan and Robin Thomas of Tampa; Stedje and husband David; Mark Yeager of St. Petersburg; West Coast Wheelmen Mark McGarry and Jim Zimmer of St. Petersburg, Dennis Sullivan of St. Pete Beach and Earl Henry of Pinellas Park; American Classic riders Winston Edwards and Bill Shook of Tampa and Brian Jones of Brooksville; and Team Bradenton/Sarasota junior sensation Seth Boutin, a mechanic at Ringling Bicycles in Bradenton.

TOP TRIATHLON KIDS COACH: USA Triathlon has named St. Petersburg's Diane Berberian as Florida's top expert in youth coaching for the sport. For information on Berberian's summer clinics, try her pager at (727) 435-5662 or send e-mail to

COCA-COLA CLASSIC TRIATHLON: Exclusive Sport's latest series, the 2000 Coca-Cola Classic Triathlon Series, begins at Davis Island on June 10-11.

The .5-mile swim, 12-mile bike and 3.1-mile run begin at 7 a.m. June 10. Post-race partying will be at the Columbia Restaurant in Ybor City at 5 p.m.

For further information, call Jason Hoffman at (561) 241-3801 or check out

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