Day One of the Providence Cyclocross Festival presented by Interbike surprised more than one racer as the unseasonably nice weather lulled many into thinking the technical course would be easier dry. Instead, the women’s race shattered with a commanding performance by the newly found ’cross power, Sally Annis of crossresults.com p/b JRA Cycles, while the men’s race turned into a nail biter between Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com teammates Tim Johnson and Jamey Driscoll. The wins by Annis and Johnson mirror their results at Vermont’s Catamount NECCS opener last month.
Breakout for Annis
The women’s race was expected to be a pitched battle as there was no particular favorite. From the gun the race turned into a three-woman ordeal as Meredith Miller (California Giant-Specialized), Sally Annis and Andrea Smith (LadiesFirst Racing) emerged from the first lap with a small gap to the rest of the field. However, the group quickly broke apart as Miller flatted at the top of the course, gapping Smith and giving Annis the chance she needed, which she seized and never looked back on.
“I heard some crunch, crunch, crunchin’, and then [Meredith] started running” explained a surprisingly relaxed Annis. “I just decided that was the time to go and just tried to go as fast I could for the entire race.”
Smith made a valiant effort to pull back the crossresults.com rider but was never able to shut the gap completely. Behind her Luna Pro Team rider Amy Dombroski moved her way through the field after a weak start to take the final podium spot as a small going-away present before she leaves for a spell of racing in Europe.
Johnson Takes A Close One
At the start of the men’s race it was clear everyone was waiting to watch national champion Tim Johnson ride away from the field. True to expectations, after a fast start, Johnson shed Luca Damiani (Kenda p/b Geargrinder) and Jamey Driscoll, and by the second lap he looked to be on his way to yet another victory in Providence. His teammate Driscoll had other plans. Not content to simply let Johnson ride away, Driscoll had the crowds scurrying about the course as they watched the young Vermonter pull by Johnson second by second, lap by lap.
“We were both just racing as hard as we could out there, and at the end Jamey was picking it up,” explained Johnson. “Going into the last lap my gap was falling down a little bit faster than I was thinking.” Driscoll stunned all as he caught his teammate on the final lap in the technical back section. The two went to the line in a surprising photo finish, with Johnson winning by half a wheel after all was said and done. Behind the two Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com riders, Damiani continued his strong season, comfortably holding onto third while making a show of it as he bunny hopped the barriers in front of the Harpoon beer garden and its cheering crowds.
The Providence Cyclo-cross Festival presented by Interbike continues tomorrow at 8am with a new course and new challenges for all. The Providence Cyclo-cross Festival Presented by Interbike will be held Oct. 8th, 9th and 10th at Roger Williams Park in Providence, R.I. Oct. 9 and 10 feature racing on the course used for the 2005 and 2006 U.S.National Championships. The event is internationally sanctioned by the UCI.
The industry expo of the Providence Cyclo-cross Festival Presented by Interbike will take place from Friday to Sunday, October 8th-10th, 2010, in Roger Williams Park, Providence, RI. Friday is reserved for members of the Bicycle industry only. The public is welcome to the expo on Saturday and Sunday, where the industry leaders will show off the products being introduced for 2011. For more information on the Providence Cyclo-cross Festival, visit www.providencecrossfest.com.
Women’s Top 5
1. Sally Annis (crossresults.com p/b JRA Cycles)
2. Andrea Smith (LadiesFirst Racing)
3. Amy Dombroski (Luna Pro Team)
4. Sara Bresnick-Zocchi (crossresults.com/Pedalpowercoaching.com)
5. Ann D’Ambruoso (LadiesFirst Racing)
Men’s Top 5
1. Timothy Johnson (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com)
2. Jamey Driscoll (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com)
3. Luca Damiani (Kenda p/b Geargrinder)
4. Valentin Scherz (Cyfac-Champion System p/b Revolution Wheelworks)
5. Nicholas Weighall (California Giant Cycling)