Luke Keough, Justin Lindine, and Derek St. John on the podium at Providence Day 2.
Justin Lindine, for the second day in a row, soloed to victory in Providence. Behind him, a field sprint for second through fifth ensued, with Luke Keough in second, Dereck St. John in third, Shawn Milne in fourth and Jeremy Durrin in fifth.
With a long road section that almost guaranteed at least some sprint finish, whether for first or 40th, the crowd had a lot to take in in Providence on the second race day. With a course better suited for a road cyclist, Luke Keough (Champion Systems p/b Keough Cyclocross) was one of the top contenders for the race, after recently winning the USA Crit Series this summer. Also on the starting line were some of his road teammates from Team Mountain Khakis and JAM Fund’s Jeremy Durrin, who was highlighted as a potential “breakout rider” for the race.
For the first three laps, the lead group was larger than typically seen at a cyclocross race, with Lindine, the winner of Saturday’s race, in the mix. By five laps in, the group was composed of Lindine, Adam Myerson, St. John, Josh Dillon and Keough.
The soaring temperatures had racers rushing to finish the first two laps to begin their feeding in the pit zone, and the bottles were flying as racers whisked in to drink and sprinted to stay with their groups. Many racers elected to race with bottle cages attached to their bikes, since the course didn’t require any shouldering, only suitcasing over barriers and small steps. Pit crews kidded with Lindine as, with a large gap established, he rolled through the pit comfortably to sip from bottles on each lap. Many of the pit mechanics were feeding multiple racers, which led to some confusion, and bike changes were made difficult due to the sheer volume of racers entering and exiting the pit, hurling bottles as they came and went.
Lindine made his move mid-race and attacked the group, soloing away. A chase group of St John, Keough, Joachim Parbo, Durrin and Milne followed, but Lindine’s gap continued to grow.
Lindine crossed the line comfortably in first for the second day in a row, and a sprint for second soon followed in a charge up the pavement. Keough’s fast-finishing skills came in handy as he took the field sprint for second place, good for first in the U23 sector of the Elite men and giving him control of the Shimano Series U23 Leader Jersey.
Following the race, Cyclocross Magazine caught up with Luke Keough (see full interview below), who said, “It was a hard race but it came down to a sprint, luckily … that’s what I was hoping for. I knew Justin was on another level so I didn’t want to blow myself up following him, he’s going good this season.”
In third place, after the final sprint, was Derek St. John, followed by Shawn Milne in fourth and Jeremy Durrin in fifth. Durrin was the real highlight of this group, as this performance was unprecedented for the young 23-year-old racer. His next goals include a trip to Belgium in December, which he is currently fundraising for, so stay tuned for an interview with this New England rider.