by Riley Missel
The 2016 Major Taylor Cross Cup opened Day 1 with cloudy skies and tacky mud on the course at Indy CycloPlex in Indianapolis. It is an Ohio Valley Cyclocross (OVCX) Series event and a USA Cycling Pro Cyclocross (Pro CX) national calendar event.
Elite Women: Gomez-Villafane Takes a Close One Over McFadden
In the UCI Elite Women’s C2 race, Raleigh/Clement rider Laurel Rathbun took the holeshot and lead the field for the first section of the course. Not long into the lap, Argentinian Sofia Gomez-Villafane (Tenspeed Hero) attacked up the hill, creating a gap with Courtenay McFadden (unattached) on her wheel.
“I wasn’t really sure how it was going to go. I definitely let Courtenay lead quite a bit, but I did my fair share of work. Normally I attack on technical stuff. I tried getting away on that one hill section, but you can’t get away. It is such a power course,” said Gomez-Villafane, who beat McFadden by a bike length to take the win of the women’s race. “Once I knew it was going to come down to a sprint, I knew I needed to be behind her as we hit the pavement…I needed to be in my drops so if she does start (the sprint) I can be ready to counter it right away. She hesitated for a second; I started sprinting and just nipped her.”
The pair got away from the field and their gap grew through all the technical sections, followed by chaser Hannah Arensman (J.A. King p/b BRC), and a group with Allison Arensman (J.A. King p/b BRC), Jen Malik (Women’s CX Project) and Emma Swartz (Marian University Cycling). As the race went on, gaps between the riders grew and the leaders finished in a drag race to the line.
“I was kind of worried (at the start). It’s my last race of the season, and it’s my first race below 60 degrees, and first race without a water bottle. So I didn’t even know how to dress, leg warmers or no leg warmers, thermal or not thermal,” Gomez-Villafane added about the conditions in Indianapolis.
McFadden came into the weekend sitting eighth overall in the Pro CX Women’s Elite standings. Over a minute behind her was Hannah Arensman in third, followed by Allison Arensman and Malik in fourth and fifth, respectively. Swartz would finish sixth.
Elite Men: Hometown Hero Johnson Victorious
The UCI Elite Men’s race was won by Indiana-native Josh Johnson (Team NeighborLink), who had no UCI points coming into the day as the final call-up in the field of 32 riders.
“Considering there are two other races going on this weekend, I thought it was a pretty good turnout. A C2 race here in Indianapolis, having close to 40 people, is pretty awesome,” said the 24-year-old Johnson. “Having a hometown crowd, getting to sleep in my own bed, and having a course that is very power-heavy, suits me. It has some good technical and some good climbing (sections), but the field section is a lot of power. That plays to my advantage.”
Johnson spent time in the main lead group, chasing down attacks by Drew Dillman (Cyclocross Alliance), Brian Matter (Team Wisconsin) and Tristan Cowie (Triple Oaks Racing). When the lead group of four riders hit the pavement, the men’s race came down to a sprint finish, with Johnson throwing his bike for the win over Dillman by inches. Matter would finish third by two seconds, and Cower fourth.
Josh Johnson wins the men's UCI race with an epic bike through in a tight finish against Drew Dillman. #USACproCX #MajorTaylorCX pic.twitter.com/xe9vnqUKh0
— Indy Cycloplex (@IndyCycloplex) December 3, 2016
“Going into the 180 before the pits, I got off the gas for a second and thought to myself – I have nothing to lose. Risk everything and sprint on 24psi and hope you don’t crash,” said Johnson, who said he aimed for a podium finish today and a win would be icing on the cake. “Once I put it in my head that I was going to do that, it was just jam time when I hit the pavement. I knew Drew would be the guy to beat. Coming away with a podium finish would be great, and winning would be icing on the cake for sure.”
U23 Men: Petrov Pushes a Punishing Pace
It was an exciting finish, but the ride of the day may have come from Cyclocross Alliance rider Spencer Petrov. The Ohio rider, who is the number two ranked U23 rider in the Pro CX standings, took the holeshot and lead the field into the barriers, where he had an issue and crashed, moving all the way to last position. Petrov fought hard and rode his way all the way from 32nd place to a blazing sprint finish for seventh overall. Dillman, Johnson, and Petrov all collapsed on the ground after the finish line.
Junior Men: Holmgren Beats Maher and Schulz
In the UCI Junior Men’s race, Canadian national champion Gunnar Holmgren (Garneau-Easton) attacked early and got a sizable lead, taking it all the way to the finish, leaving his opponents to the race for second place. Lane Maher (Hands-On Cycling p/b Giant), George Schulz (Van Dessel Factory Team) sprinted for the last remaining spots on the podium.
Other Pro CX races going on this weekend are the NBX Gran Prix of ‘Cross in Warwick, R.I. and Ruts N’ Guts in Broken Arrow, Okla.
2016 Major Taylor Cross Cup Day 1 Results - Elite Women
|1||2||GOMEZ VILLAFANE Sofia||TenSpeed Hero||0:44:13|
|3||8||ARENSMAN Hannah||J.A. King p/b BR'C||0:45:28|
|4||7||ARENSMAN Allison||J.A. King p/b BR'C Team||0:45:46|
|5||6||MALIK Jennifer||Women's CX Project||0:45:49|
|6||10||SWARTZ Emma||MARIAN UNIVERSITY CYCLING TEAM||0:45:55|
|7||4||GROSS Rebecca||Zero D Racing||0:46:07|
|8||9||WINBERRY Laura||Speedvagen Family Racing||0:46:09|
|10||20||KALEMKIARIAN Stacy||Powerfix Elite||0:46:18|
|11||11||COOGAN CISEK Corey||The Fix Studio||0:46:20|
|12||12||KOROL Meghan||Team Handmade||0:47:53|
|14||21||STEEN Victoria||Lady Gnar Shredders||0:48:27|
|15||13||SANTOS Katherine||Marian University CYCLING TEAM||0:48:45|
|16||22||KNIGHT Lindsay||Ten Speed Hero CX||0:51:21|
|17||3||LARKIN Maria||Chicago Cuttin Crew||0:51:52|
|18||15||ADAMS Kennedy||Women's CX Project||0:52:27|
|19||23||ARNOLD Gabriella||MARIAN UNIVERSITY CYCLING||@ 1 LAP|
2016 Major Taylor Cross Cup Day 1 Results - Elite Men
|1||39||JOHNSON Josh||Team NeighborLink CX||0:54:48|
|2||1||DILLMAN Andrew||Cyclocross Alliance||0:54:48|
|3||5||MATTER Brian||Team Wisconsin||0:54:50|
|4||4||COWIE Tristan||Triple Oaks Racing||0:54:52|
|5||7||CHABANOV Daniel||HOUSE IND/WITHINGS/SIMPLEHUMAN||0:54:55|
|6||11||JUDELSON Max||Voler/Clif/HRS/Rock Lobster||0:55:49|
|7||2||PETROV Spencer||Cyclocross Alliance||0:56:03|
|8||6||HILDEBRANDT Casey||The Underground Project||0:56:04|
|10||38||KIEFFER Samuel||Red Kite Coaching||0:56:44|
|12||24||MCSHANE Ian||MARIAN UNIVERSITY CYCLING TEAM||0:57:04|
|13||36||REYES David||Tenspeed Hero||0:57:42|
|14||13||REARDON Andrew||Sonic Cycling p/b Podium Sports Medicine||0:57:53|
|17||29||FESTA Mike||Philadelphia Ciclismo||0:58:07|
|18||23||LARSON Michael||A-D bikes/ Velo Reno||0:58:12|
|19||12||DAVIS Merwin||Cyclus Sports||0:58:13|
|20||10||NYSTROM Anders||MARIAN UNIVERSITY CYCLING TEAM||0:58:54|
|21||37||KRUSE Taylor||Red Kite Coaching||0:59:22|
|22||31||DUTCZAK Michael||The Pony Shop||0:59:52|
|23||35||HOUSE Eli||Veloworks Urban Cyclery||1:00:06|
|24||34||GAMM Ryan||Red Kite Coaching||1:00:28|
|25||26||FLETCHER Vance||MARIAN UNIVERSITY CYCLING TEAM||1:02:38|
|26||28||BENDER Zach||MARIAN UNIVERSITY CYCLING TEAM||1:03:11|
|27||32||BLODGETT Jason||TENSPEED HERO||@ 2 LAPS|
|28||20||WINTERS Sam||MARIAN UNIVERSITY CYCLING TEAM||@ 2 LAPS|
|29||30||REEVES Matthew||Cyclesmart Grassroots Team||@ 2 LAPS|
|30||22||LONGENECKER Josiah||VO2 MULTISPORT||@ 3 LAPS|
|DNF||27||MEADVANCORT Jonah||Lindenwood University|
|DNF||9||BICKMORE Cade||MARIAN UNIVERSITY CYCLING TEAM|
2016 Major Taylor Cross Cup Day 1 Results - Junior Men
|1||2||HOLMGREN Gunnar||Garneau Easton||0:40:19|
|2||1||MAHER Lane||Hands-On Cycling p/b GIANT||0:40:32|
|3||4||SCHULZ George||VAN DESSEL FACTORY TEAM||0:40:50|
|4||3||SWARTZ Caleb||Trek Cyclocross Collective||0:41:05|
|5||5||CLOUSE Evan||Hot Tubes Cycling Team||0:41:48|
|6||6||SANDERSON Brody||Centurion Next Wave||0:42:16|
|7||15||BEIRNE Nicholas||Better Cycling/ Papa Johns||0:44:32|
|9||17||ROCKWOOD Dylan||Lionhearts Junior Racing||@1 LAP|
|10||16||BUSCH Owen||Lionhearts Junior Racing||@ 2 LAPS|