The Elite Women's podium. © Anne Rock

The Elite Women’s podium. © Anne Rock

by Anne Rock

Kutztown, Pa. – Panoply of cycling kits brightened a gray day at the inaugural Kutztown Cross race, part of the 2013 Fuji MAC Series, which offered a pancake flat course and featured more twists and turns than a whodunit or a Spanish soap opera.

Failure to maintain constant vigilance resulted in many a dirty skin suit, as rear wheels skidded out on overcooked turns.

In the Elite Women’s race, a strong lead group that included Laura Van Gilder (Van Dessel p/b Mellow Mushroom), Arley Kemmerer (C3-Twenty20 Cycling), Nikki Thiemann (Team CF) and Stacey Barbosa (NJ/NY Colavita Women’s Team) jumped early and stayed away for the duration of the race.

Kemmerer and Van Gilder were then able to break themselves away from the lead group for most of the race, but it was the former U.S. National Criterium Champion, Van Gilder who came out on top. “Never go to the line with Van Gilder,” is perhaps an unwritten MAC rule that Kemmerer broke on Sunday. Kemmerer explained, “I did a hard training ride yesterday and just didn’t have the legs at the end.”

Theimann fought her way back to Barbosa, who was hanging on to third, despite a flat and two barrier blunders that left her gapped from the three leaders.

At the final section of the course, Thiemann chose to bunny hop two logs while Barbosa ran.  This move launched Theimann into third, where she remained to the line.  Thiemann said, “I thought if I could ride the log section, I’d maintain my pace and be able to shake Stacey.”

Despite an $1100 purse at stake, a relatively small number of competitors lined up for the Elite Men’s race. The group strung out almost immediately.   The eventual podium shakeout: Mike Garrigan (Van Dessel Factory Team), 1st; Cameron Dodge (Scott Racing), 2nd; Edwin Bull (Van Dessel Factory Team), 3rd; Ryan DeWald (Team Skyline), 4th; and Greg Whitney (Greenline Velo), 5th. Congrats, gents!

Eight races down, with one to go in the 2013 Fuji MAC Series presented by SRAM. Limestone Cross at the Kiln, the Atlantic regional cyclocross championships, finishes off the series on January 15, in Emmaus, Pennsylvania. More information can be found at the  Mid-Atlantic Cyclocross website and on Bikereg.com.