Men's Podium: Van Den Bosch, Field and Basin (Lef tot Right). Jeff Bramhall

Men's Podium: Van Den Bosch, Field and Basin (Left to Right). © Jeff Bramhall

With most of the top pros toeing the line at USGP Sun Prairie, it came as a surprise when the fields at Nor’Easter Cross were still stacked with some of the top pros in the US, with a few Euros in the mix. Green Mountain winner Nicolas Badin from France was at the starting line, along with Ian Field and Tom Van Den Bosch, who’ve been duking it out in the MAC series for the past two weeks. Also starting was Cycle-Smart’s own Adam Myerson, along with a whole host of Cycle-Smart coaches and riders, three of the Keough brothers, Justin Lindine and Ted King. The women’s field was similarly stacked, with Helen Wyman, Gabby Day and Laura Van Gilder, the three racers who’ve been duking it out in the top five in the MAC series, along with Green Mountain heavy-hitters Amy Dombroski, Crystal Anthony, Rebecca Wellons, Andrea Smith and Sally Annis. This year, Nor’easter Cross powered by Eastern Mountain Sports, presented by Cycle-Smart: Solutions For Cycling, was part of the Nor’Easter Fest today in Burlington, Vermont, a new venue for the race.


Wyman and Field Invade Vermont, Take Victories

In Burlington, Vermont, New England’s best got some real cyclocross conditions at the Nor’Easter ‘Cross powered by Eastern Mountain Sports and two British racers who live in Belgium powered their way to big wins. The course, which only a day earlier had been tacky, technical and fast became a long, slow mud slog after a night’s worth of rain.  For British Champion Helen Wyman, the slog was good. “I prefer when the going is hard,” said the Kona Factory Team racer. For fellow Brit, Ian Field (Hargroves Cycles), who moved to Belgium in order to race on the Continental circuit, the slow going of the course suited his strength.

Elite Women

The field for the Elite Women was easily one of the best to ever toe the line in New England. In addition to the British Champion and eventual winner, Wyman, spectators were treated to Wyman’s compatriot, Gabby Day (Renner Custom Cyclocross Team), Mid-Atlantic superstar Laura Van Gilder (C3 p/b Mellow Mushroom) and former New Zealand National Champ Linnea Koons (Embrocation Cycling Journal). Also at the starting block were locals Amy Dombroski (Crankbrothers Race Club) in her final stateside appearance of the season and Lea Davison (Specialized Racing) who is coming off a top-10 at the Mountain Bike World Championships and is gunning for a place on the US squad for the 2012 Olympics.

From the starting gun, Wyman showed that she was the class of the field. Taking the holesot, she started to extend a lead immediately. Wyman proved the adage “smooth is fast” by riding completely smoothly and putting almost two minutes into the remainders of a shattered field. On the first lap, there was a bit of a pile-up coming off the first beach section, and Van Gilder fell behind, allowing Dombroski to take second position alone. It looked like it would be a race for third between Van Gilder, Andrea Smith (LadiesFirst Racing), Day and Sally Annis (crossrestults.com p/b JRA Cycles). From the back, because she didn’t have a ranking coming in, Davison came roaring through the Van Gilder group. She seemed right at home in the thick mud. “I had a blast out there today, “ said the Olympic hopeful. Able to drive hard, Davison looked like she had third place wrapped up until Dombroski got caught up in the course tape and had her derailleur break shortly after the first pit, forcing her to run the balance of the final lap. Gamely though, and to the delight of her supporters, Dombroski didn’t give up and ran through to the finish, visibly upset by the mechanical, but still in 8th place.

With Dombroski out of the picture, Davison turned up the throttle, further opening the gap to Van Gilder and the Pennsylvania rider couldn’t bring back. Van Gilder held off a hard-charing group of Smith, Annis and Day for third. With the other three rounding out the top six.

Elite Men

Not to let the women’s field have all the glory, the Elite Men had a packed start list including eventual winner Ian Field, Belgian Tom Van Den Bosch (AA Drink/leontien.nl) and Frenchman coming off a big victory at the Green Mountain Cyclocross Weekend last Sunday, Nicolas Bazin (Big Mat/Auber 93). Joachim Parbo (Challenge Tires) continued what we’re pleased to say is an extended stay in New England, while Canadian Craig Richey (Renner Custom Cyclocross Team) kicked off his New England season. Of course the imports get top billing, but the domestic contingent was extremely strong in its own right, headlined by Bikereg.com/Joe’s Garage racer Justin Lindine and race-promoter and New England staple Adam Myerson (SmartStop/MOB p/b Ridley). Local favorite Josh Dillon and last year’s revelation Christian Favata represented the RGM Watches/Richard Sachs team, while notable road racers Ted King (Liquigas-Cannondale) and former National Criterium Champion Shawn Milne (Kenda/Five Hour Energy) decided to take to the mud.

The start of the race saw third-year cross racer Dylan McNicholas (cyclocrossworld.com) take the holeshot and put the hammer down hard for the first two laps. McNicholas, who is a second-year elite, drove the field through the long thick straights and was only brought back after putting a foot down during a technical descent. Once McNicholas was caught and left behind, Bazin and Field took to the front. Bazin, who is coming off a very intense road season, had the power while Field, whose specialty is racing in the muck, drove through the corners. Behind, Van Den Bosch and Lindine separated themselves from the group and took up the chase together. By the fourth lap, these two groups had come together and it was clear that the winner would come from this newly minted group of four.

Behind the leaders, several groups formed, broke up and reformed; Parbo, Myerson, Dillon, Luke Keough (Champion System p/b Keough Cyclocross) and Richey came together in all possible iterations, with none able to get away for any length of time.

At the front, Lindine was the first to lose the pace, with three laps to go, by taking a spill on a long off-camber. Bazin, who had been yo-yoing off the back of the group – catching on the straights while losing time in the deeper sections also dropped the pace. Field and Van Den Bosch, then, were left to determine the winner. Each put in attacks over the final two laps. Repeatedly, Van Den Bosch would attack but make a small mistake, giving Field the opportunity to get back on. Field made his decisive move early in the final lap, pushing hard and putting Van Den Bosch into difficulty, ultimately forcing his hand and driving on for the win. Van Den Bosch came across the line second with Bazin third. Justin Lindine came across the finish line for fourth and to the cheers as the top American. Lindine has quickly become the crowd’s favorite for his full-out, hard racing style and his calm, approachable manner off the bike.

Parbo separated himself from his group and came across the line fifth. “I am very, very happy with this result. It’s been a difficult time getting my season organized and I’m happy to have this result to show to my sponsors,” said the many times Danish Champ. The Canadian, Craig Richey came across sixth ahead of Dillon. Adam Myerson came in eighth and, while he had hoped for a better result, was quick to praise the Nor’Easter Fest staff and Eastern Mountain Sports for supporting a great and unique event like Nor’Easter ‘Cross.

Following Myerson was Luke Keough, who arrived only hours before the race and was surprised to find the course submerged in water. “It was muddy! Turns out I didn’t have any of my lines down, I was pedaling and I was just spinning. Basically, the key was, I found out with two to go, was you needed to keep up by the tape.” However, Keough Cyclocross comes with a full family of available pit crew members, so the three brothers racing were able to switch for clean bikes frequently. Luke added, “We probably have one of the fast pit changes out there, it’s a huge advantage. It was a good day.”

Also of note, finishing tenth was RGM Watches/Richard Sachs racer Christian Favata, who battled back from a broken chain in the start that had forced him to run the first half of a lap.

Amateurs – Verge New England Cyclo-Cross Series #3

For the amateurs, this represented the third round in the Verge New England Cyclo-Cross Series. After last year’s series saw almost exclusively fast and dry conditions, today was the first time in almost two years that a Verge race saw proper cyclocross conditions.

Liz Lukowski of NYcross.com, her third victory of the young season, won our Amateur Women’s race. She won ahead of Vickie Monahan (Expo Wheelmen) and Christin Christoph (Competitve Edge Cycling). Lukowski and Monahan were our top two Masters Women as well. That podium was rounded out by Amanda Bedard (Cycling Concepts).

Michael Owens (Bliss Racing/Belgen Cycles) picked up victory in the Junior 10-14 race ahead of Kevin Goguen (Team CF) and Donny Seib (bikeman.com).

New England legend Paul Curley  (Gear Works/Spin Arts) took yet another Masters 55+ victory ahead of Tim Groesbeck (CCB Racing) and David Goodwin (Northampton Cycle Club).

The Masters 45+ race was dominated by Erich Gutbier (Keltic Construction/Zane’s Cycles). Sam Morse (Corner Cycle) edged Don Seib (bikeman.com) for second.

Kevin Hines (Corner Cycle) used his prowess as a motocross racer to slog through the mud and get back to the top step of the Masters 35+ podium. Brian Wilichoski (cyclocrossworld.com) came close to taking the top step after being twice runner up last weekend, but it was not to be as he finished second ahead of Todd Bowden (Expo/Superior Energy).

Once again, the Amateur Men’s race was dominated by junior Nate Morse (cyclocrossworld.com). He rode smoothly away from the rest and held Competitive Edge Cycling’s Sean Kennedy at bay. Third place went to Brendan McCormack (Hot Tubes Development Team), who is flying the New England heritage flag high this season.

The Verge Series picks back up next weekend at the Great Brewers Gran Prix of Gloucester. That race will also be the kickoff for the new Shimano New England Professional Cyclocross Series. We’ll have lots more coming this week about New England Worlds and the New England Holy Week of ‘Cross.

Men’s Results:

First NameLast NameTeam
IanFieldHARGROVES CYCLES
TomVan Den BoschAA Drink/Leontien.nl
NicolasBazinBig-Mat Auber 93
JustinLindineBikeReg.com / Joe’s Garage
JoachimParboCHALLENGE
CraigRicheyRENNER CUSTOM CYCLOCROSS TEAM
JoshDillonRGM WATCHES – RICHARD SACHS
AdamMyersonSmartStop/MOB presented by Ridley
LukeKeoughChampion System p/b Keough Cyclocross
ChristianFavataRGM WATCHES – RICHARD SACHS
MatthewO’KeefeCYCLOCROSSWORLD.COM
DylanMcnicholasCyclocrossworld.com
DavidWilcox
ShawnMilne
NicholasKeoughChampion System p/b Keough Cyclocross
JeffreyBahnsonVan Dessel Factory Team
MannyGoguenBikeReg.com / Joe’s Garage
TedKingLiquigas-Cannondale / iamtedking.com
SylvainJeanKONA/Bio-Max
AdamSt. GermainNBX / Circle A Cycles
JeremyDurrinJ.A.M. Fund / NCC
DonnyGreenCycle-Smart
JesseKeoughChampion System p/b Keough Cyclocross
JeromeTownsendSmartStop / MockOrangeBikes pb Ridley
ThierryLaliberteXprezo – Borsao
Jean-PhilippeThibault-RobergeTrek-Bontrager
SynjenMarroccoCCB Racing Team
ChristopherHamlinBicycle Express
ShaunAdamsonCYCLE-SMART
BenColemanUVM Cycling
NoahTautfestBicycle Express/Kona
MukundaFeldmanJ.A.M Fund / NCC
BobbyBailey1K2GO SPORTS
CaryFridrichEMBROCATION CYCLING JOURNAL
RyanKellycrossresults.com p/b JRA Cycles
MikeGarrigan
EvanHuffBikeReg.com / Joe’s Garage
ColinReutercrossresults.com p/b JRA Cycles
AdamSullivanEmbrocation Cycling Journal
MatthewGreenSpooky bikes
MichaelReaUVM Cycling
KevinSweeneycrossresults.com p/b JRA Cycles

Women’s Results:

First NameLast NameTeam
HelenWymanKONA FACTORY TEAM
LeaDavisonSpecialized Racing
LauraVan GilderC3 pb Mellow Mushroom
AndreaSmithLadiesFirst Racing
SallyAnniscrossresults.com p/b JRA cycles
GabriellaDayRENNER CUSTOM CYCLOCROSS TEAM
ElleAndersonLadiesFirst Racing
AmyDombroskiCRANKBROTHERS RACE CLUB
LinneaKoonsEmbrocation Cycling Journal
CrystalAnthonyLadiesFirst Racing
CatherineSterlingBikeman.com
RebeccaWellonsQuad Cycles
AnnD’AmbruosoLadiesFirst Racing
RebeccaBlattTeam Kenda Tire p/b Geargrinder
FrancesMorrisonJ.A.M. Fund/NCC
SheilaVibertSunapee Racing Team
CassandraMaximenkosilverbull centralwheel
NancyLabbe-GiguereLadiesFirst Racing
LaurenKlingNew England Athletic Cyclocross
MollyHurfordTeam Rockstar Games / Signature Cycles
MarianJamisonLadiesFirst Racing
ChristinaTamilioLadiesFirst Racing

Gallery: