Racers round the corner from Canal to Pine Streets during the men’s master 50/60 and over race during the Lewiston Auburn Criterium in downtown Lewiston on Sunday. John Grenier of Lewiston is at far right. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal

LEWISTON — Laura Campbell of Auburn says bicycle racing is like high-speed chess.

“Most people don’t understand the strategy involved,” Campbell, 37, said before her race Sunday afternoon at the Lewiston Auburn Criterium on Lisbon Street.

Laura Campbell of Auburn sprints to a second place finish in the Lewiston Auburn Criterium’s women’s Pro/1/2/3 race in downtown Lewiston on Sunday. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal

Campbell, who races for Tall Sock Racing, a USA Cycling amateur racing team in Portland, said bike racing is not just who can pedal fastest. It is a game of logic and planning as much as skill and athleticism.

Each cyclist has a job. Some are sprinters who save their energy until the final pull to the finish line. Some are domestiques, who pedal with the sole purpose of helping sprinters cross the finish line.

And there are the breakaways. In cycling lingo, making a strong forward motion is called an “attack.” Some cyclists attempt to break away from the main group of cyclists, known as the peloton, at the beginning of the race. The sometimes make an attack near the end of the race. 

Before her race, Campbell said her main strategy was to win. She rode with team member Stephanie Makoujy of Portland.

“One of the woman who is racing is my teammate,” Campbell said. “We don’t care which one of us wins.”

The starting line for the criterion was at the crosswalk between the Vault and District Court, on Lisbon Street. The course turned briefly onto Main Street and veered onto Canal Street. Bikers briefly moved up Pine Street, braving a tricky turn back onto Lisbon Street. The road was closed to traffic during the race.

In the past, the course had been set around Kennedy Park.  Racers thought the new course was great riding.

Shawn Quagliaroli of Lisbon placed fourth in the Men’s 4/5 race.

“It’s way better than the other course,” he said. “It’s one the best courses I’ve raced on.”

The criterion consisted of five races, each separated by cyclist skill level. Cyclists are divided into five categories based on experience: 1 is pro level and 5 is beginner.

As a cyclist gains experience and success, he or she moves up in the categories and can compete in longer, faster races.

The idea is that riders who reach the upper levels have adequate bike handling and cornering skills. Races can reach 60 mph, and Campbell said the upper-level races Sunday probably hit about 45 mph. With such speeds come obvious dangers.

“If you’re riding in a larger group, you could be rubbing forearms together,” Campbell said. “If the person isn’t used to that, and they wobble, it takes out everybody, everybody behind them, and everyone gets run over. It’s not for the faint of heart.”

 

Dominic Giampaolo, left, of Lewiston and Don Seib of Bryant Pond round the corner from Pine to Lisbon Streets during the men’s master 50/60 and over race during the Lewiston Auburn Criterium in downtown Lewiston on Sunday. Giampaolo placed second during the masters 50 and over race. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal

Dominic Giampaolo of Lewiston placed second in the Men’s 50+ race Sunday. Giampaolo, who works remotely as a software engineer for Apple, said he was proud of how he raced.

He and a group of riders — Don Seib of Bryant Pond and David Potter of Rhode Island — managed to come out a full lap ahead of the main group of riders. It was a battle between the three for first.

“When you’re really hurting, you ask if you can attack, if this guy stronger than me or am I stronger? Can I do it? That sort of thing,” Giampaolo said. 

Seib, 56, owns Barker Mountain Bikes in Bethel. He placed third in the race. He said it was a aggressive race from the start.

“The three of us worked really hard for about 30 minutes and lapped the field,” he said.

Seib’s son, also named Don, is 20 and attends the University of Vermont. He raced with his teammate, Maxwell Mershimer, and came in second during the Men’s 4/5, losing to Nicholas Pugliaresi of Washington, D.C.

“My dad rode a lot before we were born, and stopped when me and my sister were born because he had a lot of responsibilities,” the younger Seib said. “About 10 years ago, he got back into it and so did we. He bought a bike shop five years ago.”

Mershimer was playing second to Seib, and tried to protect him and keep a lane open for a breakaway.

“I was working for him today to protect him … so he could get a sprint,” Mershimer said. 

Campbell’s strategy paid of. Her teammate, Makoujy, came in first, and Campbell trailed behind.

Despite the potential danger of cycling, Campbell said something keeps driving her back to the sport.

“It’s dangerous and sometimes I ask myself, ‘What am I doing here?’ — especially as I get older,” Campbell said. “Unlike running, anyone can do bicycling. It doesn’t beat your body up as much as other sports do — unless you crash.” 

Scott White, second from right, of Lisbon, competes during the Lewiston Auburn Criterium’s men’s Pro/1/2/3 race in downtown Lewiston on Sunday. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal

Scott White, left, of Lisbon, Chris Barr of Portland and Travis Kroot of Portland race by the Centreville parking garage mural during the Lewiston Auburn Criterium’s men’s Pro/1/2/3 race in downtown Lewiston on Sunday. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal

Teammates Max Mershimer, left, of South Paris and Donnie Seib of Bryant Pond work together as they pass by the Centreville parking garage during the Lewiston Auburn Criterium 4/5 men’s race in downtown Lewiston on Sunday. Mershimer and Seib race for Barker Mountain Bikes in Bethel. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal

Donnie Seib of Bryant Pond gets a high five from his teammate Max Mershimer of South Paris after Seib placed second during the Lewiston Auburn Criterium 4/5 men’s race in downtown Lewiston on Sunday. Seib, Mershimer and Don Seib, far right, race for Barker Mountain Bikes. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal

Dominic Giampaolo, far left, of Lewiston leads the peloton down Lisbon Street during the men’s master 50/60 and over race during the Lewiston Auburn Criterium in downtown Lewiston on Sunday. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal

 

Laura Campbell, left, of Auburn, Stephanie Makoujy of Portland and Ashley Hogarth Stanton race down Canal Street during the Lewiston Auburn Criterium’s women’s combined race in downtown Lewiston on Sunday. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal

John Grenier, left, of Lewiston rounds the corner from Pine to Lisbon Streets during the men’s master 50/60 and over combined race during the Lewiston Auburn Criterium in downtown Lewiston on Sunday. Grenier won the masters 60 and over race. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal

Dominic Giampaolo, left, of Lewiston hammers up Pine Street during the men’s masters 50/60 and over combined race during the Lewiston Auburn Criterium in downtown Lewiston on Sunday. Giampaolo placed second during the masters 50 and over race. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal

John Grenier, center, of Lewiston rounds the corner from Pine to Lisbon Street during the men’s master 50/60 and over race during the Lewiston Auburn Criterium in downtown Lewiston on Sunday. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal

Race organizer John Grenier, right, of Lewiston interviews men’s pro/1/2/3 second place finisher Zev Myerowitz Jr. on Lisbon Street on Sunday. Myerowitz crashed while battling for the lead, borrowed another bike from a competing team and still managed to finish in second place. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal

 

 


Comments are not available on this story.

filed under:

Augusta and Waterville news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.


  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.