Armed Forces team leads field in Dexheim mountain bike race
August 25, 2003
DEXHEIM, Germany — Staff Sgt. Dave Gallagher of the 469th Air Base Group out of Rhein-Main Air Base has no competition.
He didn’t win Saturday’s 2003 Chrysler U.S. Forces Europe Mountain Bike Championship race in Dexheim. But he didn’t have to.
Before Saturday’s race, Gallagher held 81 points in the military senior category series standings. His closest competitor was 32 points behind.
So, when Gallagher went up against members of the Armed Forces bike racing team on Saturday, he just tried to keep up and get some pointers from the veteran racers.
The race was won by Armed Forces team member Trent Hornus, who also captured the Mountain Bike Series a couple of years ago.
“I’m just doing this for some fun and training," said Hornus, who said he mainly sticks to street races with the Armed Forces team.
Gallagher, though, is preparing for the final mountain bike series race, to be held Sept. 6 in Garmisch. He doesn’t plan on coasting to the championship, he said.
“I don’t want to think about it that way,” Gallagher said.
“The last race is very hilly, so I’ve been training for it. I expect it to be a mud fest — a lot of intense hilly terrain and lots of mud,” he said. “I’ve been working on my cardio so I could do my best on the final race.”
The event in Dexheim was temporarily halted just before the final race to search for a person who shot a bicycist with a B.B. gun during the race.
Military and German police closed off the race course to search the area, but the culprit was not found. The cyclist suffered minor injures.
Men and women, either military or civilian, can participate in the mountain bike series, which is staged on courses throughout Germany.
Adults had to complete four 4.7-kilometer laps and children had to complete two laps. Cyclists had to maneuver hilly terrain through gravel, asphalt, and a mud pit.
In the junior category, Steve Rompa, 15, from General H.H. Arnold High School in Wiesbaden, took first in 26 minutes. Matthew Barry, 16, also from Wiesbaden, came in second.
Rompa and Barry trained for the race together. They said the hardest part of the 4.7-kilometer circuit was having to bike through the mud pit.
Complete race results were not provided before this edition of Stars and Stripes went to press.
For complete series standings log on to www.mwr-europe.com.