Elite North Carolina Bikers Conquer Top Spots in US Open Fat Bike Beach Championship

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WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC – Racers from ten states battled for titles in three-divisions at the 4th annual US Open Fat Bike Beach Championship in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina. Philicia Marion of Mount Airy and John Overton of Wilmington won the female and male championships in the elite super-fat division.

“Today was a lot of fun, and I’ve been looking forward to this race since last year,” said Marion. “I came in second place in 2017 and didn’t like the way that felt. So, I’ve been working hard hoping I could take the title.” Today, Marion won the elite women’s title in her third consecutive appearance.

The 2018 US Open Fat Bike Beach Championship – Wave #1 – Elite – Courtesy Bill Sessoms

John Overton, finishing fifth last year captured the top spot in 2018. “Last year the course was really technical,” said Overton. “It wasn’t as technical today. So you could power through, set the throttle and try to keep it there for the two hours, and this course allowed for that.”

“The dredge pipe [36-inches] was cool,” said Overton. “That added a different element. We crossed the pipes four times on every lap [32-laps for Overton]. A unique experience you’re probably not going to find that anywhere else.”

2018 Women’s Elite “Super Fat” – #1-Philicia Marion, #2-Zoe Worsham, #3-Emily Curley – Courtesy Robert Butler

Marion agreed. “I loved the course. It was fun and a lot faster than last year; less technical and more pedal power.” The field, limited to 100-racers, was completely booked.

Both Marion and Overton powered ahead of the pack finishing with comfortable leads. Zoe Worsham of Raleigh, the elite women’s champion in 2017, came in second place. Ed Stilley of Wilmington captured his second consecutive title in the men’s intermediate really-fat division.

“We had great weather; the wind was lighter; it never got too hot, so you weren’t overworked on the course,” said Overton. “The sand seemed fairly forgiving and you could take some speed through the corners. You could push it pretty hard, and the course setup was awesome.”

2018 – Elite racers gathering at the starting line – Wave #1 – Courtesy Robert B Butler

The start and finish lines for the fourth annual US Open Fat Bike Beach Championship were located beachside at Blockade Runner Beach Resort. The Championship will benefit the Wrightsville Beach Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving public parks and amenities for residents and the island’s thousands of visitors each year.

Race results:

2-hour Elite Super Fat Race – Overall

2018 Men’s Elite “Super Fat” #1-John Overton, #2-Barney Baxter, #3-Ben Brown – Courtesy Robert Butler

Men’s division
1. John Overton, Wilmington, NC
2. Barney Baxter, Raleigh, NC
3. Benjamin Brown, Wilmington, NC
4. Dariusz Tyborowski, Zebulon, NC
5. Matthew Wistoff, Wrightsville Beach, NC

Women’s division
1. Philicia Marion, Mount Airy, NC
2. Zoe Worsham, Raleigh, NC
3. Emily Curley, Taunton, MA
4. Jesse Piersol, Downington, PA

1.5-hour Intermediate Really Fat Race – Overall

Men’s division
1. Ed Stilley, Wilmington, NC (repeat title)
2. Noah Pierson, Wrightsville Beach, NC
3. David Lennard, Wilmington, NC
4. Jeremy Cavenaugh, Castle Hayne, NC
5. Jim Hundley, Wilmington, NC

Women’s division
1. Kim Bishop, Kingsport, TN
2. Suzanne Tulsey, Oak Island, NC
3. S. Taylor, Hampstead, NC
4. Jada Hefner, Wilmington, NC

1-hour Recreational Fat Race – Overall

Men’s division
1. Matt Smith, Southport, NC
2. Todd Bartholomew, Wilmington, NC
3. Patrick Mulligan, Wrightsville Beach, NC
4. Marshall Leininger, Canton, OH
5. Gil Whitten, Apex, NC

Women’s division
1. Jordan Cline, Rocky Point, NC
2. Victoria Pugh, Raleigh, NC
3. Connie Ferrell, Apex, NC
4. Mary Gheen, Castle Hayne, NC
5. Lizzie Warlick, Morrisville, NC

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