By Robert Annis
Familiar faces dominated Saturday’s muddy NUVO CX race at Major Taylor Velodrome in Indianapolis.
Marian University student and pro rider Coryn Rivera, wearing her Exergy TWENTY12 kit, scorched the muddy course to take first place. With the air pressure too low in her tires and clumps of sticky mud clogging her bike, Rivera grabbed her pit bike two laps in.
“I’d planned to grab it anyway, as practice for nationals,” Rivera said. “I was using this as a practice race so I could experiment. After I got back on the bike, I focused on picking off the (male) riders in front of me.”
Category 3 male riders were racing alongside the elite women, and Rivera managed to beat all but two of them, Dave McComb and the eventual Cat. 3 winner, Shamrock Cycles’ Will Sherman.
Rivera’s fellow Marian Student Jackie Kurth rolled in 2:45 later, followed shortly by Bob’s Red Mill racer Nicole Borem.
In two previous races at the velodrome, Rivera had come in second to her Marian teammate and Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com racer Katie Antonneau. Antonneau didn’t race Saturday, but was on-hand to pit for Rivera and cheer on her teammates.
In the men’s elite race, Marian student Weston Luzadder, racing for NUVO, Bissell Cycling’s new feeder team, managed to hold off the double-barreled assault of Eric Anderson and Josh Johnson. Luzadder took the hole shot, but wasn’t able to create a large gap, allowing the two to work their way up to his wheel. The three stuck together for nearly seven laps, until Luzadder was able to create some distance.
“I’d been throwing down small attacks (throughout the race),” Luzadder said. “About halfway through the seventh lap, I attacked again and Josh went off the back. On the next lap, I attacked again, right before the big hill (on the course), and I managed to get a gap.”
Luzadder was able to hold the gap to take the win, with Anderson coming in nine seconds later. Johnson had won his last two races on the course, but had to be content with the third spot on the podium.
Both Luzadder and Rivera praised the course, which featured a couple of steep climbs, more than a quarter-mile of pavement and lots of mud.
The NUVO CX race was the third and final cyclocross race at the Velodrome this season. The next Indiana Cup series race, the Fort Wayne Outfitters-Depot Cross, will be held this Saturday, followed by the Backyard Cross in Bargersville on Sunday. Racers can pre-register at truesport.com.