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.
1 100 0:37:05 ANDREA SMITH LADIESFIRST RACING SOMERVILLE MA 40 2 126 0:37:06 LAURA VAN GILDER C3 PB MELLOW MUSHROOM CRESCO PA 30 3 101 0:37:06 SALLY ANNIS CROSSRESULTS.COM P/B JRA CYCLES NASHUA NH 20 4 103 0:37:11 CRYSTAL ANTHONY LADIESFIRST RACING BEVERLY MA 15 5 106 0:37:29 ELLE ANDERSON LADIESFIRST RACING LEBANON NH 10 6 102 0:37:33 NICOLE THIEMANN TEAM CF PHILADELPHIA PA 8 7 117 0:37:33 MAUREEN BRUNO ROY BOB'S RED MILL PB SEVEN CYCLES ARLINGTON MA 6 8 107 0:37:59 CATHERINE STERLING BIKEMAN.COM WORCESTER MA 4 9 105 0:37:59 CAROLYN POPOVIC TEAM CF EAST NORRITON PA 2 10 124 0:38:00 CASSANDRA MAXIMENKO SILVERBULL CENTRALWHEEL NAUGATUCK CT 1 11 130 0:38:27 LINNEA KOONS EMBROCATON CYCLING ROXBURY MA 12 109 0:38:54 REBECCA WELLONS QUAD CYCLES WOBURN MA 13 111 0:39:11 FRANCES MORRISON J.A.M. FUND / NCC EASTHAMPTON MA 14 122 0:39:15 JULIE LAFRENIERE STEVENS RACING P/B THE CYCLERY GRACEFIELD QC 15 125 0:39:21 LAURA RALSTON MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY P/B FXDD CAMBRIDGE MA 16 123 0:39:24 KATHLEEN LYSAKOWSKI CYCLE LODGE WARE MA 17 115 0:39:25 CHRISTINA BIRCH MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY / FXDD SOMERVILLE MA 18 128 0:39:59 ELIZABETH LUKOWSKI NYCROSS.COM ALBANY NY 19 118 0:40:02 MOLLY HURFORD TEAM ROCKSTAR GAMES / SIGNATURE CYCLES HAMPTON NJ 20 108 0:40:07 STACEY BARBOSSA ELITE ENDURANCE TRAINING SYSTEMS RUTHERFORD NJ 21 119 0:40:37 MARIAN JAMISON LADIESFIRST RACING GLOUCESTER MA 22 121 0:40:54 NANCY LABBE-GIGUERE LADIESFIRST RACING ARLINGTON MA 23 116 0:40:57 BRYNA BLANCHARD NORTH AMERICAN VELO TROY NY 24 110 0:41:12 BRITTLEE BOWMAN CROSSRESULTS.COM P/B JRA CYCLES NEW YORK NY 25 129 0:43:37 KATHLEEN WULFKUHLE C3-ATHLETES SERVING ATHLETES LANCASTER PA DNF 104 ARLEY KEMMERER C3 - ATHLETES SERVING ATHLETES SAYLORSBURG PA DNF 114 JENA GREASER NOREAST CYCLING NEWTON MA DNF 113 CHRISTINA TAMILIO LADIESFIRST RACING BRIGHTON MA DNS 112 LAUREN KLING NEW ENGLAND ATHLETIC CYCLOCROSS SOMERVILLE MA DNS 120 SARAH KRZYSIAK NYCROSS.COM UTICA NY