Smethport Web — by Nathan Muller
An overcast sky and the threat of rain didn’t stop 70 cyclists from competing in this year’s Wheel Around the Hub races in Smethport.
Thirty-eight male and female cyclists participated 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.
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. 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.