A strong field of elite talent, led by three-time Danish national champion Joachim Parbo and defending NECCS women’s champion Rebecca Wellons, will be a part of the 350+ riders coming north for the opening weekend of the 2009 Verge New England Championship Cyclo-Cross Series in Williston, VT this Saturday and Sunday.  The race is the first of three straight weekends of top-flight cyclocross in what some consider the best cyclo-cross region in the country.

Parbo (CCV Leopard Cycles) has raced in the United States before and held his own against the best that the US has to offer; but will have to work hard for the win with the likes of veteran Adam Myerson (Cycle-Smart),  Justin Spinelli (Svelte Cycles), Canadian stalwart Derrick St. John (Garneau Club Chaussure Ogilvy), New York native and last year’s race runner-up Dan Timmerman (Richard Sachs/RGM Watches/Radix),  and local powerhouse Josh Dillon (Richard Sachs/RGM Watches/Radix) in the field.  The 3+ kilometers parcours at the Catamount Family Center is a uniquelly challenging course in it’s climbing and technical sections, providing a course that will level the playing field in terms of riders’ strengths and weaknesses.  Look for these top riders to be duking it out with the best local and regional talent as New England continues its’ tradition of producing future stars in the sport of cyclo-cross.   Riders like Justin Lindine (BikeReg.com/Joe’s Garage/IF), Alec Donahue (NCC/Cycle-Smart), Tyler Wren (Colavita/Sutter Home), and Dillon will be looking for their first podium place of the northeast UCI campaign.

The women’s field will be battle of some of the best talent the region has available.  Laura Van Gilder (C3-Athletes Serving Athletes) makes her debut in Vermont having come off of a win in last week’s Nitany Lion Cross race in Trelertown, PA, but will have her hands full with the nature of the course and the competition, include Wellons, Natasha Elliott (Garneau Club Chaussure Ogilvy), Charm City Cross and former NECCS series winner Maureen Bruno-Roy (MM Racing), and Anna Milkowski (Bikereg.com/Joe’s Garage/IF), who’s coming off a win of her own at the early season classic Sucker Brook Cross in New Hampshire.  But as is the case with the men, there are other women who could showcase their talents to the next level and grab a podium spot away, including Cris Rothfuss (Seven Cycles), Nikki Thiemann (Human Zoom/Pabst Blue Ribbon), and the latest from the legendary Anthony household from Beverly, MA, Crystal Anthony (Minuteman Road Club), who broke out of the beginner’s class last year to continue the uphold the tradition of one of the New England’s first-families of cyclo-cross.

The Verge New England Championship Cyclo-Cross Series will be contested over 7 weekends in 2009, starting with the New England Cross-toberfest of Cycling:  3 straights weekends of UCI calendar racing to be held in Williston VT, Gloucester MA, and Providence RI.  After a weekend of much needed rest, the series will continue with stops in New Gloucester ME on Oct 24, Northampton MA on Nov 7, Sterling MA on Nov 28, and the series finale in Warwick RI on Dec 5.  This year series is generously supported by Verge Sport, makers of fine cycling clothing and products since 1993; by Cycle-Smart, purveyors of personalized cycling coaching and solutions for riders across the country; by BikeReg.com, the official online registration service of the NECCS; by Paul Weiss Photo/Video, the official photographer of the NECCS, by October Handmade Bicycles, and by Ryders Eyewear.  You can visit these sponsors and get more information on the series by going to the web at http://www.cycle-smart.com/neccs.