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by Peter Sullivan
STERLING, MASS. – Another exciting day of racing at the NACT finals at Sterling, Massachusetts as Powers sealed his overall lead in the series by taking his second win of the weekend. Check back soon for a full report and photos!
In the Women’s field, Andrea Smith (Ladies First Racing) outsprinted Mo Bruno Roy (Bob’s Red Mill-Seven Cycles) in a tightly contested race to take back the Verge Series lead. Laura Van Gilder (C3-Athletes Serving Athletes) suffered an untimely crash on the last lap but was good enough on the day to take the NACT.
For the Men, Jeremy Powers (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com), having wrapped up his first national series yesterday, soloed to another victory. Justin Lindine (bikereg.com-Joe’s Garage-Scott) retains the Verge lead.
Sunday’s edition of the Baystate Cyclocross classic in Sterling, MA, which served simultaneously as the eighth round of the New England Verge cyclocross series and the final race of the North American Cyclocross Trophy (NACT) proved to be thrilling. While the temps again dropped as the afternoon progressed, the biting headwinds that had battered the racers yesterday were largely absent, and the grounds were dry and fast. Another creative race footprint designed by Tom Stevens once again provided abundant off-camber with uniquely situated technical sections and plenty of open terrain where power could be applied, but sustainable gaps were hard to achieve.
Massachusetts Women Duel in Sprint
The womens’s race proved to be a testament to this, as it turned out to be one of the most hotly-contested races seen in Elite womens’s racing. Andrea Smith, who just out-kicked fellow former collegiate runner Mo Bruno Roy for the sprint finish summed it up rather nicely: “It was anybody’s race today.” Smith, who was obviously feeling stronger than the previous day, helped to quickly establish a lead group with the usual suspects consisting of Bruno Roy, Laura van Gilder (C3-Athletes Serving Athletes) Sally Annis (crossresults.com p/b JRA Cycles), Arley Kemmerer (C3-Athletes Serving Athletes) and Natasha Elliott (Garneau Club-Chaussure). This group tirelessly battled with one another for the entirety of the race, keeping the crowd tantalizingly riveted right to the wire.
Smith, who seemed to be more pleased with both her legs and the course today, proved to animate the race early on. “Today was a much better course for me. It was more technical with less grassy power sections and a lot of places for riders to dab and tons of off-camber where it’s easy to slide out or crash”
The always-feared van Gilder, however, also looked very strong. She pushed the pace at times and kept her competitors constantly on guard. As she described it, “I felt really good today and really enjoyed the course. I felt in control, but then I started to have a mechanical issue with my shift lever. I thought I could ride through it, but I realized that I couldn’t so I pitted, which was not so smooth. It created a bigger gap than I would have liked, but I was able to make it back heading into the stair run-up.”
The aforementioned catch occurred on the last lap, but it was not soon after that van Gilder would lose an edge and crash on a technical, off-camber descent. The unfortunate mistake also took out Annis, who up to that point was riding very strong. Consequently, it was Smith and Bruno Roy’s aggression on the top hill section leading up to that descent that ultimately paid off.
In Bruno Roy’s words, “Coming into that last lap, you could really see some tactics coming into play. It was a game of errors whereby I just tried to get myself into a good position in the top three. Then there was that crash on the descent, and I told Andrea that we better go.” And that they did, gapping Elliot and Kemmerer with van Gilder and Annis further behind. Both women clearly fatigued from the fast pace of the race, it was Smith who was able to squeeze down the left side and edge Bruno Roy out on the line and regain the Verge Series lead in the process. Kemmerer finished the podium placings with Elliot and van gilder rounding out the top five. Van Gilder’s unfortunate mishap may have prevented her from seeing the podium today, but the NACT title proved to be a very nice consolation.
Powers Rises Above, Battle Behind for Verge Overall
With the newly-crowned NACT champion Jeremy Powers (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com) returning on Day 2, the men’s race was not expected to be as close as the women’s played out to be. In similar fashion to the previous day’s race, it was Powers and Luke Keough (Champion System-Keough Cyclocross) who separated themselves on the front a few laps in. Adam Myerson (Cycle-Smart) and Justine Lindine (bikereg.com-Joe’s Garage-Scott) were in hot pursuit, just ahead of a chasing Travis Livermon (Mock Orange Racing) and the hard-charging Verge Series U23 leader and older brother of Luke, Nick Keough (Champion System p/b Keough Cyclocross).
It was no surprise when Powers gapped Luke Keough with just over two laps to go. Yesterday, it was a rolled tire that caused Keough to initially lose ground to Powers, but today it seemed that it merely came down to sheer class. As the talented but still young Keough explained, “Jeremy hit it and I was on his wheel, and he was just putting the pressure on. That’s what caused the gap.”
While it would be Powers and Keough on the top two steps of the podium, what was less certain was who would win the tightly-contested battle for third and the correspondingly precious Verge points between Myerson and Lindine. With two laps to go, the two raced very cleanly, matching move for move, but it was the veteran sprinter Myerson who was able to comfortably take it to the line and round out the podium. Lindine was just edged off the podium into fourth, but still sits atop the Verge Series standings.
Myerson was happy to be third on the day, but was more graciously circumspect about the overall Verge Series win. He explained, “I rode a lap at tempo to recover and just kind of waited for Justin. I knew I just had to follow Justin and then either attack him on the last lap if he made a mistake or beat him in the sprint. So I am psyched to be back on the podium, I never complain about third place, but it’s going to be tough to take the jersey next week … you have to just race the race for the best result you can, and you know Justin is going to ride the best race he can as well. We’ll see where it lands.”
If one thing is certain, Powers is very committed to securing a good result next week at Nationals in a couple of weeks in Bend: “It’s a one-day race and you have to be mindful of that but I really, really want to win. It’s my biggest goal and the one thing that I really haven’t done yet. That and I want to win the USGP overall.” A big training week, commenced with two very clean and well-executed New England wins should put him in good stead.
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Elite Women[Gallery not found]
|1||Jeremy Powers (USA) Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com||0:57:22|
|2||Luke Keough (USA) Champion System p/b Keough Cyclocross||0:00:12|
|3||Adam Myerson (USA) Cycle-Smart||0:00:32|
|4||Justin Lindine (USA) BikeReg.com / Joe’s Garage / Scott|
|5||Travis Livermon (USA) Mock Orange Racing||0:00:45|
|6||Nicholas Keough (USA) Champion System p/b Keough Cyclocross||0:00:53|
|7||Jonathan Sundt (USA) El Gato CX||0:02:05|
|8||Joshua Dillon (USA) Richard Sachs-RGM Watches-Radix||0:02:35|
|9||Andrew Wulfkuhle (USA) C3-Athletes Serving Athletes||0:02:46|
|10||Alec Donahue (USA) Wheelhouse-NCC|
|11||Brian Wilichoski (USA) Cyclocrossworld.com||0:03:31|
|12||Robert Marion (USA) American Classic|
|13||Kevin Sweeney (USA) crossresults.com p/b JRA Cycles|
|14||Jesse Keough (USA) Champion System p/b Keough Cyclocross|
|15||Dan Chabanov (USA) NYCross.com / CBRC||0:03:40|
|16||Anthony Clark (USA) nebikeconsulting.com||0:03:52|
|17||David Wilcox (USA) Pedro’s Grassroots Cycling Club||0:04:28|
|18||Derrick St John (Can) Garneau Club Chaussure-Ogilvy||0:04:38|
|19||Thierry Laliberté (Can) Xprezo – Borsao||0:04:45|
|20||Colin Reuter (USA) crossresults.com p/b JRA Cycles|
|21||Jean-Philippe Thibault-Roberge (Can) PlaneteSports.ca||0:04:51|
|22||Ryan Kelly (USA) crossresults.com p/b JRA Cycles||0:05:21|
|23||Michael Wissell (USA) B2C2||0:05:52|
|24||John Burns (USA) Bikeman.com||0:06:00|
|25||Stephen Pierce (USA) Cambridge Bicycle-Igleheart Frames||0:06:48|
|26||Adam Sullivan (USA) Embrocation Cycling Journal|
|27||Greg Whitney (USA) B2C2 p/b Boloco||0:07:10|
|28||Alistair Sponsel (USA) Van Dessel Factory Team||0:07:43|
|29||Cary Fridrich (USA) Embrocation Cycling Journal / Mad Alchemy||0:07:58|
|30||Joshua Lehmann (USA) Pedro’s Race Team||0:08:09|
|31||Collin Huston (USA) Moots|
|32||Rodrigo Moraes (Bra) Edgartown Bicycles|
|33||Joshua Friedman (USA) NYC Velo|
|1||Andrea Smith (USA) LadiesFirst Racing||0:40:36|
|2||Maureen Bruno Roy (USA) Bob’s Red Mill p/b Seven Cycles|
|3||Arley Kemmerer (USA) C3 – Athletes Serving Athletes||0:00:07|
|4||Natasha Elliott (Can) Garneau Club Chaussure-Ogilvy||0:00:11|
|5||Laura Van Gilder (USA) C3 – Athletes Serving Athletes||0:00:21|
|6||Sally Annis (USA) crossresults.com p/b JRA Cycles||0:00:40|
|7||Carolyn Popovic (USA) PAValleys.com||0:00:48|
|8||Linnea Koons (USA) Embrocation Cycling Journal||0:00:54|
|9||Crystal Anthony (USA) LadiesFirst Racing||0:01:24|
|10||Ann D’Ambruoso (USA) LadiesFirst Racing||0:01:35|
|11||Catherine Sterling (USA) Bikeman.com||0:01:45|
|12||Rebecca Blatt (USA) Silverbull Central Wheel||0:02:13|
|13||Rebecca Wellons (USA) Pedro’s||0:02:34|
|14||Allison Snooks (USA) LadiesFirst Racing||0:03:14|
|15||Kristine Church (USA) Human Zoom-Pabst Blue Ribbon||0:03:27|
|16||Christina Tamilio (USA) LadiesFirst Racing||0:03:40|
|17||Laura Ralston (GBr) MIT|
|18||Jena Greaser (USA) Colavita Racing||0:04:52|
|19||Arielle Filiberti (USA) Specialized D4 Women p/b Bicycle Haus||0:05:58|