The first weekend of racing is over, and racers on the East Coast are feeling extremely tired after an incredibly muddy first weekend of cyclocross racing. The normally flat and fast course at Nittany was transformed into a muddy bog, and with the course running backwards on the non-UCI day two of racing, the racers started by almost immediately hitting a mud pit.
We live-tweeted the race (follow us at @cyclocross on Twitter) so followers from around the country (and world, given the international nature of the elite fields) could get a first-hand account of the racing.
Both races started similarly to Saturday’s race, but the Elite Women’s race in particular was practically a duplicate of the day prior. UK racer Helen Wyman (Kona) took the lead, establishing a sizable gap right away. The gap only increased as the seemingly tireless Brit pummeled the course. She was chased by a group of three, including the other racer from across the pond, Gabby Day (Renner Custom Cycling Clothing), hometown heroine Laura Van Gilder (Mellow Mushroom Racing), and Belgian racer Joyce Venderbeken (Vermeeren). The three created their own gap on the field and successfully held them off. The three battled throughout the course, and eventually Van Gilder and Venderbeken gained a few second lead on Day.
By the end of the race, much like Saturday, the riders were strung out across the course, and Wyman had started lapping riders by the time she cruised into the finishing straight. Rounding out the podium was Vanderbeken in second and Van Gilder in third.
The Elite Men’s race was a bit different than Saturday’s race since top riders including Jeremy Powers, Luke Keough and Adam Myerson elected to skip the non-UCI race of the weekend, leaving some of the top spots and call-ups open. Ian Field (Hargroves Cycles), the Brit who took second place on Saturday, and Tom van den Bosch (AA Drink/Leontien.NL), the Dutch racer who took fourth after a last row start, immediately pushed the pace of the race. Riders were strung out but still together when they hit the section that was a run-up for all of the prior races, including a short, steep hill with a log at the top a few feet after the crest. As per the video below, the racers elected to either dismount and run over the log, or simply bunny hop it.
Field and van den Bosch began to break away from the field, with Justin Lindine and Jeremy Durrin following behind, along with other race favorites, Jared Nieters, Andrew Wulfkuhle and Weston Schempf.
While Field took the lead with one to go, halfway through the final lap he got a piece of tape wrapped in his cassette and had to stop to remove it. Van den Bosch then took the lead and the win by nearly a minute. Field still held his second place position, followed by Justin Lindine riding for Joe’s Garage (recently interviewed here), Jared Nieters, Andrew Wulfkuhle (Charm City Cycling LLC) and Weston Shempf (Charm City Cycling LLC).