Riding to the top

Cannell wins Tour of Washington County months after brain surgery

Cannell wins Tour of Washington County months after brain surgery

June 23, 2008|By CHRIS CARTER

WILLIAMSPORT -- After having surgery to remove a brain tumor about 2 1/2 months ago, Pete Cannell has been going against an uphill climb.

This weekend at the two-day, three-stage Tour of Washington County, the rider turned in his top performance since he went under the knife.

Cannell, of Mebane, N.C., won the second-stage time trial Sunday morning in Boonsboro and later cruised to a fifth-place finish in the criterium in Williamsport, giving him more than enough points for the Senior I, II, III (elite) general classification grand prize.

"I thought my chances were pretty high because I'm an all-around guy," said Cannell, 33, who placed second in the Smithsburg road race Saturday. "I do well in all disciplines and that makes me pretty consistent.


"Plus, I destroyed the time trial."

Cannell, of the Mock Orange Bikes team, finished the 20-kilometer (12.4-mile) time trial in 26:07. He was 1:13 faster than second-place finisher George Ganoung.

"It's a good course for me. It suited me well," Cannell said.

The time-trial win gave Cannell 51 points in the general classification, putting him 16 points ahead of second-place Chris Keane, of Southwest Ranches, Fla.

The fifth-place finish in the criterium earned Cannell 17 additional points, clinching the overall race victory. Keane and Todd Hesel tied for second in the general classification with 50 points each.

"All I had to do was finish. I knew I wouldn't need the points," Cannell said.

Battley Harley Davidson teammates Brian Butts and Dave Fuentes finished 1-2 in the criterium race. Both were out of contention for the general classification grand prize.

"Our game plan was to go hard from the gun," said Fuentes, of Washington, D.C. "We figured the (general classification) riders were going to gun for each other, so we wanted to go for the stage win."

Antietam Velo Club/Team Hagerstown-Washington County Tourism member Brian Fouche, 25, of Hagerstown, finished 21st in the time trial and 32nd in the criterium. He did not score in any of the stage events.

Stephen Wahl, of Frederick, Md., was the top general classification finisher for AVC/Team Hagerstown-Washington County Tourism, taking second behind Brigham Lumm in the Senior IV event category.

The two tied in total points, but Lumm won because of a higher finish in the criterium -- he finished third, while Wahl took fourth. Wahl was also fourth in the time trial.

Here's how other notable AVC/Team Hagerstown-Washington County Tourism members fared Sunday:

* Scott Gordon, of Williamsport, placed 11th in the Master's 40+ general classification. He finished third in the Boonsboro time trial before wiping out later in the criterium. He was pulled and took 11th in the stage.

* Mike Spinnler, of Hagerstown, finished third in the time trial and also took a spill during the Master's 50+ criterium. He recovered to finish seventh in the stage and was seventh of 10 riders in the general classification event.

* Beth Leasure -- the only female cyclist representing the team -- was 15th in the Women's Open time trial. She was not entered in the criterium and could not qualify for general classification, which was won by Sonja Evers, who won both Sunday races.

Race promoter and AVC/Team Washington County Tourism member Joe Jefferson oversaw the first annual Tour.

"All in all, it's a great event," Jefferson said. "Everybody wants us to come back and do the event, which is what we will do. Basically, we just need the physical bodies to do it. All this race really needs to make it to the next level is bodies."

AVC/Team Washington County Tourism will host a criterium race on July 12 at Woodland Way in Hagerstown. There will also be a free race for kids 12 and under.

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