HENDERSONVILLE, N.C.—This past weekend saw racers take to Jackson Park for the 2015 North Carolina Grand Prix. While racers from around the area lined up for races #11 and #12 in the NCCX series, the Elite category riders were taking on a UCI C2 event.
Weekend weather was unseasonably warm with highs in the upper 60s and dry conditions with no rainfall race weekend or the week prior, which lead to fast racing.
Day 1 for the Elite Men saw well-known names and Maxxis-Shimano teammates Danny Summerhill and Yannick Eckmann at the front of the race during the opening lap. Each time around the course, riders hit the first section of a short but punchy climb, punctuated with a brief false flat paved stretch where everyone was out of the saddle hammering to the next incline. Despite the obvious efforts being given, the pace never relented and the large lead group of about ten riders stayed mostly intact.
Half way into the race, Travis Livermon (Mock Orange Bikes), Eckmann, Summerhill, Brian Matter (Team Wisconsin p/b KS Energy Services) and Anthony Clark (Squid Bikes) led a charge of eight with Andrew Dillman (Cyclocross Network Racing) just of the pace sitting in ninth. At the end, Summerhill rolled comfortably at the race’s sharp end, and at the bell lap was looking around the lead group, which had shrunk by one to seven. In the finale, it was Summerhill on the line with Livermon and Matter taking second and third, respectively.
For the Elite Women the action was much the same—fast and furious. Crystal Anthony (Boulder Cycle Sport/YogaGlow) was able to take the podium’s top step after getting some separation ahead of teammate Amanda Miller (Boulder Cycle Sport/YogaGlow) and Jena Greaser (JAM Fund/NCC/Vittoria).
Day 2 for the Elite Men was a commanding performance for Summerhill and Livermon, again going 1-2. It came down to a sprint, where and were joined on the podium by Clark, who took the third spot in a virtual dead heat with Livermon and Tristan Cowie (Mock Orange Bikes) with Eckermann a second back, and Saturday’s podium finisher Matter just another second adrift.
For the Elite Women Anthony doubled up, just as she did at the Supercross Cup last month, taking her second win in as many days. And Miller and Greaser again took second and third, with each of them grabbing valuable points ahead of Nationals in nearby Asheville in just under a month’s time.
North Carolina Grand Prix Photo Gallery and Full Results