Men's Podium, Day 2 at Cycle-Smart International 2011. Keough, McNicholas, Townsend
NORTHAMPTON, MASSACHUSETTS – For the fourth straight time, Luke Keough (Keough Cyclocross p/b Champion Systems) took the victory at Cycle-Smart International, winning both days of the race. Dylan McNicholas (Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld.com) also repeated today, taking second spot. Jerome Townsend (Smartstop p/b Mock Orange Bikes) took third, and a hard-charging Justin Lindine (Joe’s Garage/Bikereg.com) took fourth, a place better than yesterday’s race but a world different in terms of how the race played out for “the Wolverine.”
The elite men blasted through the sandpit on the first lap, with over 50 men sprinting into two deep, fast, rutted sandpits.
The men stayed mostly grouped together for the first lap, but by the barriers about three quarters through the lap, the line of racers stretched out over a minute:
The lead group of men was larger than normal for the first few laps, but given the nature of the course, it was no surprise. Drafting gave racers a distinct advantage, and finding oneself alone in the field mad drifting backwards an almost certainty. By two laps in, ten racers had formed the lead group, with Lindine, Keough and McNicholas driving the pace, taking turns at the front. Lindine had a much cleaner start today, and the two Shimano series leaders (Keough has the U23 jersey, Lindine the overall) looked so similar off the front that it was almost impossible for spectators to tell the two apart.
About 30 minutes into the fast and furious race, the group had been whittled down to six riders: Lindine, McNicholas, Keough, with Lukas Winterberg (Philadelphia Cyclocross School) and SmartStop/MOB p/b Ridley teammates Jerome Townsend and Adam Myerson. Townsend was clearly going for the win, attacking off the front constantly throughout the last laps. Teammate Myerson was the first to get dropped off the group with roughly a lap and a half to go, followed by Winterberg.
Similar to the day before, Keough hit the pavement first and handily won the sprint, pausing at the finish to look over his shoulder, see that he was in the clear, and raise his hands in victory.
Luke Keough took his fourth win at Cycle-Smart International. We caught up with him right after the race:
Justin Lindine redeemed himself after yesterday’s race, though he narrowly missed the podium when he took fourth in the sprint.