By Robert Annis
Major Taylor Velodrome has seen its share of cycling triumphs, but on Sunday the racing action happened off the famed track.
Marian University, which operates the velodrome and surrounding park property for the city of Indianapolis, held the first of three cyclocross races for this season. To no one’s surprise, two young stars from the collegiate cycling powerhouse dominated the elite fields.
Josh Johnson won his seventh-straight off-road event, winning by more than 90 seconds.
“I managed to get the hole shot and immediately get a gap,” Johnson said. “I decided to put on the gas. After about 20 minutes, I was able to settle in … and try to conserve energy.”
The race between the next three combatants was much closer. After spending the bulk of the race seemingly glued to one another’s wheels, BikeReg.com’s Fredrick Rose pulled away from Nuvo’s Eric Anderson and Marian’s Weston Luzadder over the back part of the course to finish on the second spot on the podium.
Katie Antonneau, who rides for Cannondale Powered By CyclocrossWorld.com when she’s not competing in a Marian skinsuit, continued her strong cyclocross season, beating her teammate Coryn Rivera by nearly two minutes.
Despite it being her home course, Antonneau said she’d only ridden it the day before. Her bike-handling skills helped her navigate the tricky technical course, and she was able to power up the hillier sections other riders were forced to run.
“I thought it was a pretty good course for me,” Antonneau said.