written by Cindy Brennan
The rain began just in time for today’s UCI Elite races at Providence’s KMC Cyclo-cross Festival, changing course conditions lap by lap for the nation’s top racers. Both US National Cyclocross Champions were in attendance at Roger Williams Park, looking to clinch the extra UCI points – and with them, the extra points in USA Cycling’s Pro CX series – available at today’s C1 race. Both Champions dominated their races in challenging conditions, taking wins with solid leads over the rest.
Arley Kemmerer (PB2 Pro Cycling) took the hole shot, leading the Elite Women’s race onto the technically difficult course, winding through fast, swooping turns, three flyovers, barriers, and two sets of stairs. Joining Kemmerer, Rachel Lloyd (California Giant/Specialized), Gabby Durrin (Team Neon Velo), Katie Compton (Trek Factory Racing), Courtenay McFadden (GE Capital/American Classic), and Helen Wyman (Kona Factory Racing) headed the charge. By the end of the first lap, however, Compton got away, leaving Lloyd, Wyman, and McFadden to organize a chase. Behind them, Durrin and Kaitie Antonneau (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld) joined forces with Meredith Miller (Noosa Professional Cyclocross), who only one week ago got ten stitches in her knee. Compton’s lead grew as Wyman and Lloyd worked to reel her back. McFadden fell off the chase group, and Miller surged in an attempt to bridge to the chase. Compton won with a solid lead, while Lloyd claimed second ahead of Wyman in third. McFadden remained in fourth spot, and Miller rounded out the top five.
The rain grew more intense as the Elite Men hit the course. Zach McDonald (KCCX Cyclocross Team p/b Challenge Tires), who won in Providence two years ago under similarly slick conditions, took the an early lead, but Jeremy Powers (Rapha/Focus) soon moved into the captain’s seat. Powers created a gap that grew and grew with every early lap. Tim Johnson (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld) charged, and for the rest of the race hovered about ten seconds behind Powers, and fifteen ahead of the chase. Trading attacks and shuffling spots, the chase rallied to battle for the remaining podium spot once Powers’ and Johnson’s supremacy became unquestionable. Lukas Winterberg, guest rider for Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld and borrowing injured teammate Ryan Trebon’s bikes, vied for position with Stephen Hyde (JAM Fund/NCC) and Ben Berden (Raleigh/Clement), as Cameron Dodge (Pure Energy/Scott Bicycles) and Jamey Driscoll (Raleigh/Clement) chased. Winterberg and Berden wound through the course together in the final few laps, leaving the final podium spot to be decided in a sprint. Powers won the day with a clean, smooth ride, Johnson following behind in second. Winterberg took third place over Berden in fourth, and Dodge rounded out the top five.
The UCI C1 races today were broadcast live by Behind the Barriers TV (BTB TV) and Bicycling Magazine, where the broadcast will be available for replay. The televised races weren’t the only excitement today, with races running throughout the day in a variety of categories. The Elite Juniors’ race earlier in the day, a qualifier race for Worlds, drew top young talent to race here in Providence. Colorado’s Gage Hecht (Alpha Bicycle Company) won that race, with Cooper Willsey (Cyclocrossworld Development Team) claiming second, and Ethan Reynolds (Hot Tubes Development Cycling Team) in third.
The Kidzone presented by the Greater Providence YMCA hosted many kids’ activities, such as a cyclocross course just for kids, while grownup gearheads could check out all the latest in cycling technology in the expo area. The Harpoon Beer Tent proved to be a favorite spot to spectate some of the most exciting course features, and the Food Truck Court remained busy with hungry cyclists throughout the day.
For full results: cxmagazine.com/KMCcxfDay1