Wheel Around the Hub Cycling Race

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Under Threat of Rain, Exciting Finish for Wheel Around the Hub

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Smethport Web — by Nathan Muller

Smethport’s annual Wheel Around the Hub cycling races drew 60 participants Saturday under threat of rain. Although the race started at a fast pace on the Borough’s new road surface, lingering humidity from morning rain took its toll as the 53-mile race wore on.

View the race day album by Les Jordan Jr.

Benjamin Fogle, representing the Spokes-N-Skis / Altoona Bicycle Club, won the Men’s Division Gold Watch with a time of 2:09:13.13. Fogle won the event in 2012 with a time of 2:08:05.145. His mother Heidi reports that Ben races all over the country but that Smethport is his favorite venue.

Three seconds separated Fogle from second place finisher Kevin Westover who posted a time of 2:09:16.13. Niles Vaivars came in third with a time of 2:09:16.38.

In the Women’s Division, Lisa Weiss posted a time of 2:16:03.53 to take the Gold Watch. Janel Nye came in second with a time of 2:16:04.74.

The only other female cyclist in the 53-mile course, Lisa Carr, suffered a flat tire during the first lap and could not finish the race. Carr posted a second place finish in 2013.

In the 15-mile Men’s Division, Ron Ferreira took first place with at time of 42:57.86. Joseph Shoram came in second with a time of 42:58.89 and David Novak finished third with a time of 43:08.75. Novak had placed second in the 2010 event.

In the Women’s Division, Lora Pirello took first in the 15-mile race with a time of 43:09.66. Whitney Reed came in second with a time of 48:27.76. Beth Jameson finished third with a time of 50:08.74.

View the award photos by Les Jordan, Jr.

Integrity Sports of Williamsport, Pennsylvania provided timing services for the event that included disposable radio frequency identification (RFID) circuitry embedded in paper tags affixed to participants’ bicycles. Unlike the hardware devices used in previous races, the RFID tags are much less expensive, easier to deploy, and do not need charging.

For complete results of the 2015 Wheel Around the Hub event, go to the Integrity Sports website: 53-mile race and 15-mile race.

Awards were presented at the Smethport Fire Department during an after-event party featuring BBQ, beer and musical entertainment by Hamlin Station Blue Grass Band.

The Wheel Around the Hub raised $4,000 to benefit the Smethport Fire Department.

Title Sponsors: Zippo Manufacturing, Kessel Construction Company, and Buckler Transport Inc.

Sponsors: Hamlin Bank & Trust Company, Northwest Savings Bank, Howard Drilling Inc, Pipe Eye Sewer Services, D&D Builders of McKean County, Gas Field Specialists, Costa’s Ace Hardware, Edward Jones Financial, Buchanan Brothers Pharmacy, Corner Bistro & Pizza Co., Woods-Baker & Ross, Lakeview Senior Care & Living Center, St. Elizabeth’s Roman Catholic Church, Smethport Web Services, Hagg’s Tax Team, and Seneca Resources Inc.

Special thanks to the following for other special services – Ross & Jovanna Porter, Jim Wallace & family, Isadore’s Farm, Mr. & Mrs. Ron Willis, Chuck & Jerry McKeirnan, Jeff & Christy Andrulonis, McKean County Sheriff’s Department, Chief of Police Pat Warnick and his department, Smethport Borough workers and Council, Keating Township Supervisors, PennDOT, Pennsylvania State Police, Fran De Lancey, Les Jordan, Jr. of Discover Smethport, Priority Care Ambulance, Race Announcer Paul Costa, Max Simms, and many more not listed that volunteer their services to make this event happen and run smoothly the day of the race.

Former Smethport Resident Eric Lundgren Wins Cycling Race

September 14, 2014

Smethport Web — by Nathan Muller

An overcast sky and the threat of rain didn’t stop 70 cyclists from entering this year’s Wheel Around the Hub races in Smethport.

Thirty-eight male and female cyclists competed in the 53-mile race for gold watches, plus cash prizes for best lap times. With wet pavement, conditions were not ideal for a record-breaking pace.

With a time of 2:15:57.38, first-place winner Eric Lundgren, formerly of Smethport (now residing in Pittsburgh), greatly outdistanced all rivals on the last lap of the 53-mile circuit to take the gold watch for the men’s competition. The course record of 2:05:41.57 was set last year by Jeremy Wickham of Corning, New York.

Lenore Pipes from Ithaca, New York, was the first-place winner of the 53-mile race women’s competition with a time of 2:16:34.33. She took 1st Place last year with a record-setting time of 2:06:00.65.

Thirteen cyclists on the 53-mile circuit were not able to finish the race. One rider went down after the turn from Galico bridge and suffered a dislocated shoulder. He was picked up by Priority 1 ambulance service and taken for medical treatment.

See the photo album.

Jeff Andrulonis of Colonial Media + Entertianment was the announcer for the event. Timing services were provided by Yellow Jacket Racing out of Rochester, New York. Check their website for complete results of the 53 Mile Race, 15 Mile Ride and 7.5 Mile Ride.

The awards were presented during a barbecue at the Smethport Fire Hall where local guitarist John Meade provided entertainment during the festivities.

The event raised an estimated $6,250 for the Smethport Fire Department from title sponsors Buckler Transport Inc. of Roulette, and Zippo Manufacturing and Kessel Construction, both of Bradford.

Members of the Country Squirrel Outfitters Cycling Team in Ridgway, Pennsylvania competed in the race and took a road-view video during the event.

‘Wheel around the Hub’ slated for Saturday

September 11, 2014

Bradford Era — by Fran De Lancey

Cyclists will be racing for the gold watches Saturday in the annual “A Wheel Around the Hub,” which has always attracted an impressive number of racing enthusiasts, many from foreign countries, to Smethport since it was revived in 2005.

Staging for the seven circuit, 53-mile gold watch race and the two-mile, two-circuit Fun Race is 11:45 a.m. in front of the McKean County Courthouse on West Main Street. The start of the 53-mile race is noon, with the Fun Race to follow immediately. Read More »

Record Sponsorship Donation to Wheel Around the Hub Cycling Races

May 20, 2014

Smethport Web — by Nathan Muller

Left to right: Ross Porter, David Buckler, Wayne Foltz, Steve Field.David Buckler, president and owner of Buckler Transport in Roulette, PA, gave a record donation of $2,000 to the 2014 Wheel Around the Hub Cycling Races, proceeds of which benefit the Smethport Fire Department. Buckler presented the check to Smethport Mayor and SFD Captain Wayne Foltz, Fire Chief Steve Field, and wheel race organizer Ross Porter.

Buckler Transport operates a fleet of 83 trucks and a 150,000-square-foot climate controlled warehouse that exclusively serves Verallia Corporation in Port Allegany, a producer of spirit bottles normally destined for the wine producing areas of the Finger Lakes or in Ontario.

Wayne Foltz presented David Buckler with a wood plaque to commemorate his participation as a Title Sponsor of this year’s cycling races. The historic 53-mile, 7-circuit Gold Watch cycling races will be held in Smethport on Saturday, September 13th.

Buckler said he was happy to make the donation because the races bring participants from all over the world into our communities, which is good for businesses and residents.

Check out the sponsors of this year’s Wheel Around the Hub event »

Darion Gregory Picks Up 1st Place Wheel Race Medallion

November 5, 2013

Smethport Web — by Nathan Muller

Darion Gregory receives 1st Place medallion.This year’s Wheel Around the Hub Cycling Races, held on September 14th, featured a new Junior Mountain Bike Class for cyclists aged 12-13, 14-15, and 16-17, who participated in the one-lap 7.5-mile race.

Following the event, awards were presented during an outdoor barbeque celebration hosted by the Smethport Fire Department. Everything went smoothly, except that one 1st Place medallion for the 12-13 age class remained behind, unclaimed.

The medallion was finally united with its owner today at the Smethport Junior High School where Mayor Ross Porter and school principal Bob Miller officially presented it to Darion Gregory, son of Holly and Kirk Gregory of Smethport.

Initially worried about why he was summoned to the principal’s office, Darion was surprised when told it was to receive an award. He said he expects to participate in next year’s Wheel Around the Hub Cycling Races.

Records Broken at Smethport Wheel Around the Hub Cycling Races

September 16, 2013

Smethport Web — by Nathan Muller

The coveted gold watch was awarded to the male and female 1st Place finishers.Saturday started ominously with the threat of rain, but by race time at 12:00 noon, dark clouds gave way to sunshine and a comfortable 60-degree temperature.

The speed of the weather change seemed to set the stage for the 53-mile circuit, where speed records were shattered by both the men and women.

Representing the NoTubes Race Team, 32-year-old Jeremy Wickham of Corning, New York, posted a new course record of 2:05:41.57. Jeremy was the 1st Place winner in the 2011 Wheel Around the Hub race.

He was closely followed by 37-year-old Steve Wells from Orchard Park, New York, representing MVP Health Care Cycling. Steve posted a time of 2:05:42.06 – just 9 milliseconds behind Jeremy.

Third place was claimed by 53-year-old Marc Polsinelli, representing TDI Zuck Bikes in Mississauga in Ontario, Canada. He posted a time of 2:05:42.21. Read more

Smethport Hosts ‘Wheel Around the Hub’ Cycling Races on September 14

August 1, 2013

Smethport Web — by Nathan Muller

Smethport’s historic “Wheel Around the Hub” cycling races are coming to town on Saturday, September 14th. The starting gun fires at 12 noon in front of the McKean County Court House on Main Street.

This year’s event will feature a new Junior Mountain Bike Class for cyclists aged 12-13, 14-15, and 16-17, who will participate in a one-lap race. Parents are encouraged to ride along with younger cyclists along the route.

Male and female cyclists in the 53-mile and 7-mile circuits, as well as the new junior class 1-lap race, will follow the traditional route through Smethport’s quaint business district, past the McKean County fairgrounds and scenic farmlands, over the Galico Bridge, through rolling hills, past Hamlin Lake, and back onto Main Street past Victorian homes.

Participants in all classes – including the Junior Mountain Bike Class – can register online at: www.bikereg.com.

Following the race, there will be a Pig Roast / Beef Brisket Dinner and Awards Celebration at the Smethport Fire Hall. Smethport’s own Hamlin Station Blue Grass Band will provide musical entertainment.

Cyclists and their family and friends are invited to attend. The awards ceremony is open to the public at no charge and a nominal fee is charged for the dinner. There is no charge for hungry race participants.

The event is being organized by the Wheel Race Committee, a fundraising project of the Smethport Volunteer Fire Department.

Medallion Awarded to First Place Finisher in September’s Cycling Races

November 11, 2012

Smethport Web - by Nathan Muller

Left to right: Jim Wallace, Tim Vecellio, Ross Porter, Ron WillisAt an informal gathering of Wheel Around the Hub racing officials Saturday, Tim Vecellio of Lewis Run was presented with a 1st Place medallion for winning the men’s 15-mile Wheel Around the Hub cycling race in the 40-49 age group.

The delayed award was due to Tim, 48, being placed in the wrong age group when he registered the day of the event. The error went undiscovered until recently.

Tim won the race with a time of 0.47:26.387, which also placed him 16th overall. He races with Team Hollyloft based in Jamestown, New York, which has 250 members. Several members of the team participated in this year’s Wheel Around the Hub cycling races.

Wheel Around the Hub Finishes as Huge Success

September 16, 2012

Smethport Web — by Nathan Muller

Benjamin Fogle from Duncansville, PA snatched 1st Place in a tight finish of this year's 53-mile Wheel Around the Hub cycling race.Dry roads, a slight breeze and mid-60s temperatures combined to provide ideal conditions for the 94 cyclists who participated in Smethport’s Wheel Around the Hub races Saturday.

Although no records were broken this year, spectators were treated to an exciting finish as a cluster of five cyclists in the 53-mile men’s class broke from the pack in the last half mile of the race.

Coming down Main Street toward the finish line, three cyclists emerged in furious wheel-to-wheel battle toward a blinding finish. Benjamin Fogle from Duncansville, PA; Scott Lytle from Lockport, NY; and Bruce Krip from Oakville, Ontario stayed tightly clustered until the very last moments of the race.

Although the three cyclists seemed to have crossed the finish line at the same time, the folks at YellowJacket Racing recorded everyone’s time with precision equipment. They even posted the results just minutes after the race.

Fogle managed to pull ahead to take first place, beating Lytle by only 148 milliseconds. Krip took third place, coming in just 52 milliseconds after Lytle.

Fogle ended up the Men’s Division Gold Watch winner with a time of 2:08:05.145. Jillian Behm of Erie, PA was the Women’s Division Gold Watch winner with a time of2:25:24.087.

Overall winners of the two 15-Mile circuit races were: (Men’s Division) Nathan Brady of Hide, PA with a time of 0:41:38.905 and (Women’s Division) Toni Flament of Emporium PA with an impressive 0:41:39.878.

“The Yellow Jacket Racing Timing Team of Matthew and Sasha brought a new level of sophistication to our race,” said Ross Porter, one of the race organizers. “Their equipment was also excellent.”

Complete results are available for both races: 53-mile race and 15-mile race.

Following the event, spectators and participants met at the Smethport Fire Hall for a Pig Roast / Beef Brisket awards dinner, featuring Straub beer and music by the MoJo Hand Band. Special guest, U.S. Rep. Glenn Thompson (R-PA), joined the festivities.

A race-themed painting, In Motion, donated by Smethport artist Julie Mader, was auctioned, which added $150 to race proceeds that will benefit the fire department. The winning bidder was cyclist Greg Cushing from Toronto, Canada.

More information about the race can be found on the event’s Facebook page.

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