The motivation behind Power's wins. © Paul Weiss

The motivation behind Power's wins. © Paul Weiss

by Jacob Sisson

Mary McConneloug (Kenda – Seven – and Jeremy Powers (Cannondale – CyclocrossWorld) reigned supreme today in what could be considered the East Coast Championships as most west coast riders either stayed left to try their luck for the Golden Speedo, or sat this non-NACT and non-USGP weekend out. Nick Weighall (Cal Giant) and Adam Craig (Giant) were two of the few to make the trip to the oldest UCI race in the country.

But with UCI points on the line, and many family and friends coming out to cheer their local pro riders, the racing was competitive and tight. Powers and teammate Driscoll once again showed their team is the one to beat, taking one-two in the rush to the line over series leader Dan Timmerman (RGM Watches – Richard Sachs – Radix).

In the women’s race, McConneloug resumed her winning ways after winning last Saturday’s Beacon Cross, narrowly beating Natasha Elliott (Garneau Club Chausseurs) with a late surge, with Laura Van Gilder (C3 Athletes Serving Athletes) and Verge series leader Maureen Bruno Roy (MM Racing p/b Seven Cycles) in fourth.

Weighall and Timmerman Attempt to Derail Cannondale-CyclocrossWorld Train

The men started fast and furious but it didn’t take long for the day’s clear favorites to hit the front, as Jeremy Powers only waited a few corners before assuming the race’s lead. Not far behind, Powers’ teammate, Jamey Driscoll, picked his way through the field and was on Powers’ wheel. Before long, Powers and Driscoll, who were taking turns upping the pressure on the field behind, had separated themselves from all but Cal Giant Berry’s Nick Weighall, the reigning U23 national champion, and current Espoir fast-man, Jerome Townsend (’s Garage/IF). Absent from the front, but mounting strong comebacks were Dan Timmerman, who single-handedly crossed a sizable gap to the leaders to join them before half of the race had run, and Adam Craig, who suffered from a last row start.

Powers had been opening up small gaps early in the race, but it was a crash on the top half of the race course that may have shaped his race once and for all. Powers was brought back into the fold, as the day’s four protagonists – Powers, Driscoll, Weighall and Timmerman – were bac together to fight things out. Behind, Jerome Townsend had dropped off the leader’s pace, and had been riding with Adam Craig, who had surged up through the field, until Townsend’s left crank arm excused itself and he  was forced to ride for a time with only one leg. Despite the mishap, Townsend was able to hang on for eighth, winning a sprint over fellow U23 nemesis Luke Keough (Champions Systems).

Powers and Driscoll continued to take turns working over Timmerman and Weighall, and it was Timmerman who fell off the pace first. Before long, Weighall had fallen off too, and Driscoll and Powers were left to ride their own race. Timmerman mounted another strong comeback in an attempt to rejoin the leaders, but unfortunately fell five seconds short of the leaders. Timmerman and Weighall would settle for third and fourth respectively. Adam Craig had been closing the gap on the leaders for some time, until an untimely dropped chain sent him back down the leaderboard by two spots, and he found himself riding with Will Dugan (RGM Watches – Richard Sachs – Radix) and Derrick St. John (Garneau Club Chaussure Ogilvy). Craig’s efforts shed Dugan, and a mechanical spelled doom for St. John, and despite his dropped chain, Craig hung on for fifth. Driscoll and Power could do nothing to separate themselves from the other, and the race went to a sprint. Powers led into the final turn, and overwhelmed his younger teammate to take his sixth win of the year.

Sandpit is Decisive in Women’s Race

Mary McConneloug opened a gap with Eliott on the first lap and never looked back. © Paul Weiss

A bobble in the sand pit by Garneau Club Chausseurs Ogilvy’s Natasha Elliott allowed Mary McConneloug (Kenda/Seven/NoTubes) to escape for the win today, her second UCI win in three tries. The two had been inseparable, after they blitzed their way away from the rest of the field. The main chase of the day came from Laura Van Gilder (C3 – Athletes Serving Athletes), Maureen Bruno Roy (MM Racing p/b Seven Cycles) and Andrea Smith (Minuteman Road Club). The win looked to definitely be in the hands of McConneloug or Elliott by the time half of the race had been run, and the question was not if they would be caught, but who would take third place.

The first off the pace in the chase was Smith, who suffered from the pace put forth by Van Gilder, who was taking charge of the chase. Bruno Roy was the victim of some mechanical trouble, as she was forced to the pits, and lost Van Gilder’s wheel once and for all. Ahead, Natasha Elliot took a wrong path through the day’s sand pit, losing both her momentum and McConneloug’s wheel. McConneloug, sensing the trouble behind, went on the offensive and quickly opened up the gap to Elliot.

McConneloug managed to keep the rubber side down, holding off Elliot and taking her second UCI win of the season. Elliot took second, while Van Gilder held off Bruno Roy for the final spot on the podium. Anna Barensfeld (Minuteman Road Club) managed to catch Smith, and the two rode together for the latter half of the race. Barensfeld would out sprint Smith to round out the top five.

Early Races Build Excitement

The Masters 35+ race was a three-way battle again, but this time Johnny Bold and Kevin Hines (Corner Cycle) were joined by Matt Kraus (Richard Sachs/RGM/Radix) instead of series leader and national champ Roger Aspholm (Westwood Velo) who was plagued by a poor first lap and found himself fighting back. Keen tacticians, Bold and Hines took advantage of Aspholm’s absence and, with Kraus’s help, opened an insurmountable lead. The three at the front remained intact as a group and hit the finishing straight together, Bold crossing the line first with Hines behind him and the Sachs rider pulling in third. Aspholm was the next in, his fourth place finish not enough to keep him in the series jersey.

The U-19 juniors had a bit of a shake up with the return of Evan McNeely and Karl Hoppner, both Canadian racers for the EMD/Specialized squad. McNeely soloed to his fourth series victory this season with Hoppner behind. Third place went to the consistent Curtis White (Clif Bar Development Cyclocross Team) for his second podium of the Verge NECCS season.

The U-15 juniors had Austin Vincent (CL Noonan/KAM/Coast to Coast) alone off the front, in his favorite position. Behind him was Peter Goguen from Minuteman Road Club in second and Cooper Willsey (White’s Bikes/GMBC/Catamount) in third.

Of note, in a bizarre accident at the end of the Masters race, UCI Official Harry Lam was seriously injured. While details are not readily available, he was admitted to a regional hospital. A collection will be opened to help his family during his recovery. Details on his condition and the collection will be forthcoming.

The Verge New England Championship Cyclo-Cross Series will be contested over seven 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, 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

Photo Gallery:

Full Results:

UCI Elite/U23 Men53 starters
PlaceFirst NameLast NameTeam
4NicholasWeighallCalifornia Giant Berry Farms/Specialized
5AdamCraigGaint MTB Team
6DERRICKST JOHNGarneau Club Chaussure Ogilvy
9LukeKeoughTeam Champion Systems
11JesseAnthonyJamis Bicycles’s Garage/IF
13JakeKeoughTeam Champion Systems
16PeterBradshawEmbrocation Cycling Journal
17mitchellHokeClif Bar Development Cycling Team
18NickKeoughTeam Champion Systems
19KirtFitzpatrickSexual Camel
20PETESMITHEmbrocation Cycling Journal’s Garage/IF
22RickeyVisinskiEchappe Equipment Elite Team
23christianfavataFavata’s Tablerock Tours and Bikes
24davidwilcoxCambridge Bicycle
26WayneBraySyracuse Bicycle –
27ColinReuterInternational Bicycle Centers
28ChristopherHamlinUVM Cycling
29KevinSweeneyInternational Bicycle Centers
30JohnHansonIF/Lionette’s Cycling Team
31PeterRubijonoEmbrocation Cycling Journal
32matthewgreenSpooky Bicycles
33GregWhitneyBack Bay Bicycles / Espresso Royale Caff
34MichaelNortonVerge Sport/Test Pilot
35hunterpronovostCheshire Cycle Racing
36MackyFranklinPioneer Racing
37RyanKellyNorEast Cycling
38noahtautfestBicycle Express
39PatrickGoguenNEV & CP / Bobcat of NH
40JamesNewtonMinuteman Road Club
41TomGosselinPeak Performance Multi-Sport
DNFMichaelJenksHighland Park Hermes
DNFMichaelBroderickKenda-Seven-No Tubes
DNFPatrickBradleyRutgers University Cycling Team
DNFGavinMannionHot Tubes Development Cycling Team Inc.’s Garage/IF
DNFMattMainerUVM Cycling
DNFPierreVanden BorreEmbrocation Cycling Journal’s Garage/IF
DNFMarc-andreDaigleWarrior Racing
DNFMichaelReaNorEast Cycling
UCI Elite Women30 starters
PlaceFirst NameLast NameTeam
1MaryMcConnelougKenda-Seven-No Tubes
2NATASHAELLIOTTGarneau Club Chaussure Ogilvy
3LAURAVAN GILDERC3 Athletes Serving Athletes
4MaureenBruno RoyMM Racing p/b Seven Cycles
5AnnaBarensfeldMinuteman Road Club
6AndreaSmithMinuteman Road Club’s Garage/IF’s Bicycles
9RebeccaWellonsTeam Plan C
10AnnD’AmbruosoMinuteman Road Club
11sallyannisHub Racing
12LinneaKoonsOctober Factory Racing
13RebeccaBlattUS Army/Central Wheel
15ChristinaTamilioMInuteman Road Club
16CrystalAnthonyMinuteman Road Club
17AnnaMcLoonHarvard University
18ArielleFilibertiHot Tubes Development Cycling Team Inc.
19KarinHolmesSunapee/S & W Racing Team
20SarahKrzysiakSyracuse Bicycle –
21BETHMASONVerge Sport – Test Pilot
22NataliaGardiolCambridge Bicycle
23MarilynRuseckasSeven Cycles
24MichelleKersbergenJoe’s Garage
25CarmenLabbePOLAR Canada
26AllisonSnooksMinuteman Road Club
27mary lynnhadixCVC/Subaru of New England
DNFAnnaYoungPioneer Racing
DNSEmilyCurryJoe’s Garage