The Fourth of July left a little to be desired on the cyclocross update front, but some good racing took place at the BC Bike Race, some cross stars made a showing at the annual Fitchburg-Longsjo Classic Stage Race, and Jeremiah Bishop exerts himself at the Breck Epic after missing out of marathon National Championships.
Wicks Misses Repeat BC Bike Race Victory, but Only Just
Barry Wicks and teammate Kris Sneddon took the winners of the BC Bike Race – Seamus McGrath and Chris Sheppard – to the wire, taking home second place by a scant 17 minutes and 19 seconds over the race’s 7 stages. The lead to Wicks and Sneddon was as close as 55 seconds after stage 5, after Wicks and Sneddon notched back to back wins in stages 4 and 5. A win by McGrath and Sheppard in stage 6 sent the lead over the Kona duo to 7 minutes, and a further 10 minutes were added to the lead in the final stage of the race. All told, Wicks and Sneddon took 3 stages in the event. Recent retiree Matt Shriver and his Monavie/Cannondale teammate Ben Sonntag were just under and hour and a half behind the winners, but strong enough to take home fifth in the men’s duo competition.
In the women’s duo competitions, Katerina Nash and her Luna teammate Catherine Prendel were unstoppable, taking home the overall victory by 52 minutes and 21 seconds over second place and 3 hours 23 minutes over third place. Nash and Prendel were dominant throughout the race, and never looked as if they were in any danger of losing the overall race.
In the mixed duo race, the cyclocross super-team of Ryan Trebon and Georgia Gould proved to be too strong for the rest of the racers, taking home the overall win by a comfortable 1 hour and 25 minutes. Filling out the podium was cyclocross regular Sue Butler who teamed up with Bryan Alders to take home third place.
Intense Racing at the Fitchburg-Longsjo Classic
One of the oldest and most storied stage races in the North East attracted some top North American cyclocross talent to this year’s 50th edition, and featured the podium finish of one of the United States’ top cyclocross commodities, Will Dugan, who took home second place on GC. As he’s proven in the past, Andy Jacques-Maynes emerged from stage 1’s time trial as the top cyclocross finisher, taking home 25th place. Behind him, Jake Keough nabbed 29th, Canadian talent Derrick St. John grabbed 44th, followed closely by Josh Dillon in 46th. Tim Johnson was next in, in 56th place, followed by Dugan in 59th, with Jamey Driscoll hot on his heels in 60th. Chris Jones claimed 62nd, with Nick Keough the next finisher in 113th. Former National Champion Mark McCormack was 117th, with Jonathan Page, a past winner of this race, grabbing 126th. Adam Myerson wrapped up the day in 143rd.
Stage two saw a five man break escape up the road, containing such power players as Dugan, who took home a second place finish on the day, and Johnson, who finished the day in 5th. Derrick St. John had featured in the day’s breakaway but could not hold on to the pace at the front of the pack. Stage three was the race’s infamous Wachusett Mountain road race, which saw Will Dugan prove again why he is one of the brightest rising stars of American cycling. Despite finishing 10th on the stage, 15 second behind the day’s winner, he was able to jump to 12th in the overall standings following the close of stage three. Derrick St. John was cyclocross’ headliner in stage 4’s criterium, placing himself in the 11 man leading group that crossed the line 15 seconds ahead of the chasing peloton. St. John finished the day in 9th place. Jake Keough was 2nd in the sprint out of the peloton, and took home 13th on the day.
Overall, Dugan was the weekend’s top finisher, taking home 13th place, followed closely by St. John who wrapped things up in 18th. Johnson was next home in 19th, followed by Josh Dillon in 25th and Chris Jones in 26th. Jamey Driscoll was 30th, with Jake Keough next in 78th place. Andy Jacques-Maynes finished up in 87th, with Jonathan Page in 91st. Mark the Shark slipped inside the top 100 with a 98th place finish.
On the women’s side of things, Laura Van Gilder was the top cyclocross finisher, with an eerily symmetrical 13th place overall finish. Natasha Elliot was 19th overall, Sally Annis in 25th and Carla Swart in 29th. Rebecca Wellons grabbed 46th overall. Top honors in the stage one time trial went to Swart, who grabbed 7th place, followed by Lyne Bessette in 14th place, Van Gilder in 20th, Elliot in 36th, Wellons in 59th and Annis in 67th. Stage two belonged to Van Gilder, who slotted home in 14th place, followed by Swart in 18th and Elliot in 19th. Wellons was 20th while Annis crossed the line in 33rd while Bessette finished 62nd, losing 37 seconds. Van Gilder was again the top finisher in stage three, taking home 15th place, 25 seconds down on the victor. Annis was 20th at 28 seconds, followed by Elliot in 28th at 40 seconds. Wellons was next in 44th, 2:19 down, followed by Swart, who finished in 29th, 2:26 down. Bessette lost 14:47 to finish 78th. In the final stage, Swart reigned supreme with a 13th place finish, followed by Wellons in 19th, Elliot in 23rd, Van Gilder in 24th, and Annis in 58th.
Jeremiah Bishop 2nd at Firecracker 50, Leading Breck Epic
Jeremiah Bishop had been arguably the country’s most consistent endurance rider coming into the Firecracker 50, designated this year’s National Marathon Championships. When the dust cleared on July the 4th, Jeremy Horgan-Kolbelski had beaten by twelve and a half minutes. JHK took an almost wire-to-wire victory, attacking on the day’s first climb and never looking back. Bishop was left to ride for second place, which he took home to take a bitter second place in the national championships.
Shortly after finishing up the Firecracker 50, Bishop took off in the Breck Epic, where he quickly put his disappointment behind him, taking home a 19 second victory in the opening prologue of the 5 stage (plus prologue) stage race. Cyclocross National Champion Brandon Dwight rode to a solid third, 2:20 down on Bishop. Cyclocross Magazine contributor and National Champion-in-law Mark Legg-Compton won the prologue of the solo men 40+ by a resounding 2:26.
Stage one saw another close Bishop victory over Travis Brown, who was also second in the prologue. Bishop put 22 seconds between Brown and the lead, adding to a 41 second overall advantage after 2 stages. Dwight finished the day in 4th. Legg-Compton extended his lead by winning stage two by 11:15. Yesterday’s stage three saw Brown get closer, but not close enough to overtake Bishop for victory, giving Bishop three wins in three stages, and a further 5 seconds cushion on the overall standings, after beating brown by a scant five seconds. Dwight finished the day in third, bringing him back up into third place overall after falling down into fourth on stage one. Legg-Compton won the third straight stage, this time by 6:47.
Wondering what your favorite mudders have been up to? Doing your homework so you can win Cyclocross Magazine’s fantasy cyclocross league next season? We’ve got you covered with our new, weekly report on your favorite top ‘crossers. Each week Jake Sisson will bring you the latest news, gossip, and maybe even a tweet or two on the pro scene. This is installment #15. Installment #14 is here. Got something worth reporting? Let us know!