by Molly Hurford and Jeff Bramhall

WARWICK, RHODE ISLAND — Unlike the past two years at Warwick, where it seemed like no matter what the weather was the day before, winter would settle in full force for the weekend, racers were greeted instead with sunny skies and mild temperatures.

The racing, however, was far from mild, as the last weekend of the Shimano Series was being hotly contested among the elite men and women. In the women’s race, Andrea Smith (Ladies First) took the win in a sprint against Laura Van Gilder (Mellow Mushroom).

This season’s racing in New England has been a battle pitted between Laura Van Gilder, Sally Annis (crossresults.com p/b JRA Cycles) and the trio from LadiesFirst Racing, Andrea Smith, Crystal Anthony and Elle Anderson. Van Gilder has been dominant this year and holds a sizable lead in the Shimano Series coming into the final weekend. She picked up a pair of victories last week at Bay State Cross and hoped to do the same at NBX. Annis and the women of LadiesFirst had other plans.

Maureen Bruno Roy (Bob’s Red Mill p/b Seven Cycles) took the holeshot and was the first out of the sand, driving the initial group of eight women. The pace was taken over and lifted by Van Gilder and the selection was made quickly. At the front, it was Van Gilder, Annis, Anthony, Anderson and Smith. For the first time this season, the women of LadiesFirst worked coherently as a group to put Annis and Van Gilder under pressure. First, it was Anderson launching an attack, which was closed by Van Gilder, then Anthony went, putting the pressure on Annis. Smith was, all the time, sitting safely in the group, clearly biding her time.

As the race went on, Anderson launched a final attack and, once reeled in, fell off the back of the group. With the group reduced to four, it was Anthony’s turn to take off. Her attack came very late in the game, with little more than half a lap to go, and put Van Gilder and Annis under pressure once again. When Anthony was reeled in, Van Gilder stayed on the front, hoping to undo her luck from last year by leading out the sprint. Van Gilder was the first to the pavement, but Smith came in hard and shot through, outfoxing Van Gilder and picking up a great victory. Van Gilder held off Annis for second with Anthony ahead of Anderson for fourth.

Place
U23
Bib
Time
First Name
Last Name
Team
City
State
Elite
11000:37:05ANDREASMITHLADIESFIRST RACINGSOMERVILLEMA40
21260:37:06LAURAVAN GILDERC3 PB MELLOW MUSHROOMCRESCOPA30
31010:37:06SALLYANNISCROSSRESULTS.COM P/B JRA CYCLESNASHUANH20
41030:37:11CRYSTALANTHONYLADIESFIRST RACINGBEVERLYMA15
51060:37:29ELLEANDERSONLADIESFIRST RACINGLEBANONNH10
61020:37:33NICOLETHIEMANNTEAM CFPHILADELPHIAPA8
71170:37:33MAUREENBRUNO ROYBOB'S RED MILL PB SEVEN CYCLESARLINGTONMA6
81070:37:59CATHERINESTERLINGBIKEMAN.COMWORCESTERMA4
91050:37:59CAROLYNPOPOVICTEAM CFEAST NORRITONPA2
101240:38:00CASSANDRAMAXIMENKOSILVERBULL CENTRALWHEELNAUGATUCKCT1
111300:38:27LINNEAKOONSEMBROCATON CYCLINGROXBURYMA
121090:38:54REBECCAWELLONSQUAD CYCLESWOBURNMA
131110:39:11FRANCESMORRISONJ.A.M. FUND / NCCEASTHAMPTONMA
141220:39:15JULIELAFRENIERESTEVENS RACING P/B THE CYCLERYGRACEFIELDQC
151250:39:21LAURARALSTONMASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY P/B FXDDCAMBRIDGEMA
161230:39:24KATHLEENLYSAKOWSKICYCLE LODGEWAREMA
171150:39:25CHRISTINABIRCHMASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY / FXDDSOMERVILLEMA
181280:39:59ELIZABETHLUKOWSKINYCROSS.COMALBANYNY
191180:40:02MOLLYHURFORDTEAM ROCKSTAR GAMES / SIGNATURE CYCLESHAMPTONNJ
201080:40:07STACEYBARBOSSAELITE ENDURANCE TRAINING SYSTEMSRUTHERFORDNJ
211190:40:37MARIANJAMISONLADIESFIRST RACINGGLOUCESTERMA
221210:40:54NANCYLABBE-GIGUERELADIESFIRST RACINGARLINGTONMA
231160:40:57BRYNABLANCHARDNORTH AMERICAN VELOTROYNY
241100:41:12BRITTLEEBOWMANCROSSRESULTS.COM P/B JRA CYCLESNEW YORKNY
251290:43:37KATHLEENWULFKUHLEC3-ATHLETES SERVING ATHLETESLANCASTERPA
DNF104ARLEYKEMMERERC3 - ATHLETES SERVING ATHLETESSAYLORSBURGPA
DNF114JENAGREASERNOREAST CYCLINGNEWTONMA
DNF113CHRISTINATAMILIOLADIESFIRST RACINGBRIGHTONMA
DNS112LAURENKLINGNEW ENGLAND ATHLETIC CYCLOCROSSSOMERVILLEMA
DNS120SARAHKRZYSIAKNYCROSS.COMUTICANY