by Riley Missel

The weather and the top step of the podium, changed on the second day of racing at the 2016 Major Taylor Cross Cup in Indianapolis, Ind. on Sunday. Riders in the Elite C2 events were greeted to a muddy mess on the course at Indy Cycloplex, home of the Home of the Major Taylor Velodrome, which made for different racing styles and outcomes.

Elite Women: Courtenay McFadden Takes First Pro CX Win

The UCI Elite Women’s race began in a 40-degree drizzle. Saturday’s second-place finisher Courtenay McFadden (unattached) of Bellingham, Wash. recovered from an early spill to win her first C2 event for this year’s Pro CX calendar. McFadden only made it halfway around the circuit before going over-the-bars and falling off the pace. She fought long and hard to regain position with the lead group, which consisted of Saturday’s winner Sofia Gomez-Villafane (Tenspeed Hero), Emma Swartz (Trek Factory Racing) and Allison Arensman (J.A. King p/b BRC).

Laurel Rathbun (Raleigh-Clement) and friends show off their muddy race faces. Riley Missel / Cyclocross Magazine

Laurel Rathbun (Raleigh-Clement) and friends show off their muddy race faces. Riley Missel / Cyclocross Magazine

The mud proved difficult for some riders that excelled on the tacky dirt the previous day. Laurel Rathbun (Raleigh-Clement) later joined the group, riding smoothly and confidently as she passed riders in the sloppy conditions. McFadden rejoined the leaders as well, moving her way to the front and eventually creating some separation and putting them behind her.

Courtenay McFadden takes the Sunday's C2 Elite Women's race win. © Riley Missel / Cyclocross Magazine

Courtenay McFadden takes the Sunday’s C2 Elite Women’s race win. © Riley Missel / Cyclocross Magazine

“Today the mud and also that forced run up, [created] something that could break apart a race, and helped me by being a decisive factor,” said McFadden, who has had three third-place finishes at Pro CX events this season (two at CXLA and one at Derby City Cup). “It required not just technical skills, but the ‘cross skills like smoothly getting on and off your bike, and knowing what you should ride versus getting off your bike and running.”

The chase group splintered behind McFadden, as attacks were thrown in attempts to secure the remaining two podium spots. McFadden crossed the line for an uncontested first, followed by Gomez-Villafane 33 seconds back for second. Third place was taken at the line by Laura Winberry (Speedvagon Family Racing), who outsprinted Emma Swartz (Trek Cyclocross Collective).

Elite Men: Spencer Petrov Also Takes First Pro CX Win of the Season

The UCI Elite Men’s race endured worsening conditions, with more rain, lower temperatures and darkening skies. Drew Dillman (Cyclocross Alliance), who finished second by a wheel on Saturday, took the lead on the first lap. Three riders jumped on his wheel, creating a gap between themselves and the field. Spencer Petrov (Cyclocross Alliance) was one of the four men in the group, and rode away from the group for an uncontested win.

This was Petrov’s first Pro CX win in a C2 event this season. His only other podium finish was a third at North Coast Gran Prix of Cyclocross in Cleveland, Ohio, which was also a cool, muddy day. It was extremely satisfying for him to win in Indianapolis after an early mistake in Saturday’s race.

“I worried about [how much work I did yesterday] during the first few laps of the race,” Petrov said. “I kept telling myself to be conservative, don’t throw all the cards out there, and see where everyone else is. With these conditions, it could be anywhere.”

The muddy conditions suited his style of racing. He began the first lap in the Top 10, and made his way to the front.

Day 2 rain brought muddy conditions and "proper" cross weather. © Riley Missel / Cyclocross Magazine

Day 2 rain brought muddy conditions and “proper” cross weather. © Riley Missel / Cyclocross Magazine

“For me, it was just about staying really steady,” Petrov added. “So for me it was just grind. Rest, grind, rest, grind, instead of trying to catch people. I just went my own pace and raced my own race, so I caught the leaders, and I didn’t really change the plan. I didn’t sit up or look around. I just went my pace, wore them down, and they couldn’t keep up today.”

Max Jugelson (Voler/Clif/HRS/Rock Lobster) took second place and Petrov’s Cyclocross Alliance teammate Dillman finished a distant third.

Junior Men: Holmgren Beats Maher Again

The UCI Junior Men’s race was won by Canadian national champion Gunnar Holmgren (Garneau-Easton) for the second day in a row. Holmgren took an advantageous lead halfway through the race and continued gaining ground through the technical sections of the messy course. He finished solo to celebrate his double win. Lane Maher (Hands-On Cycling p/b Giant) followed in second and Brody Sanderson (Hot Tubes Cycling Team) took third.

Juniors's podium from Day 2 of the Major Taylor Cross Cup 2016. © Riley Missel / Cyclocross Magazine

Juniors’s podium from Day 2 of the Major Taylor Cross Cup 2016. © Riley Missel / Cyclocross Magazine

“Today was challenging because it was much more technical that yesterday because of the rain,” said Holmgren. “This year all the courses were bone dry at home, so it’s nice to race in the mud again. [This course] forced you off your bike a couple times, which was nice.”

This weekend’s events at Indy Cycloplex were the season finale for the Ohio Valley Cyclocross (OVCX) race series. Pro CX races continue next weekend at the Hunter Subaru North Carolina Grand Prix in Hendersonville, N.C. and the Resolution Cross Cup in Garland, Texas.

2016 Major Taylor Cross Cup Day 2 Results - Elite Women

11MCFADDEN Courtenay0:40:57
22GOMEZ VILLAFANE SofiaTenSpeed Hero0:41:30
38WINBERRY LauraSpeedvagen Family Racing0:41:37
49SWARTZ EmmaTrek Cyclocross Collective0:41:37
54RATHBUN LaurelRaleigh/Clemente0:42:01
66ARENSMAN AllisonJ.A. King p/b BR'C Team0:42:27
77ARENSMAN HannahJ.A. King p/b BR'C0:42:30
83GROSS RebeccaZero D Racing0:42:44
95MALIK JenniferWomen's CX Project0:42:44
1010COOGAN CISEK CoreyThe Fix Studio0:44:06
1113STEERS CampbellVoler/Clif/HRS/Rocklobster0:44:36
1211KOROL MeghanTeam Handmade0:45:05
1321KALEMKIARIAN StacyPowerfix Elite0:46:12
1420BROOKSHIRE IsabellaJ.A. King p/b BR'C0:47:17
1522STEEN VictoriaLady Gnar Shredders0:48:26
DNF14ADAMS KennedyWomen's CX Project
DNS12SANTOS KatherineMarian University CYCLING TEAM

2016 Major Taylor Cross Cup Day 2 Results - Elite Men

12PETROV SpencerCyclocross Alliance1:03:49
211JUDELSON MaxVoler/Clif/HRS/Rock Lobster1:04:29
31DILLMAN AndrewCyclocross Alliance1:05:16
45MATTER BrianTeam Wisconsin1:05:26
512DAVIS MerwinCyclus Sports1:06:26
63BRADFORD-PARISH KevinSET/coaching1:06:41
74COWIE TristanTriple Oaks Racing1:07:43
86HILDEBRANDT CaseyThe Underground Project1:07:55
934JOHNSON JoshTeam NeighborLink CX1:08:25
1322KIEFFER SamuelRed Kite Coaching1:10:52
1432LARSON MichaelA-D bikes/ Velo Reno1:11:14
1528BAILEY AndrewCycleWorks1:13:41
1623NIETERS JaredSEAVS/Haymarket1:14:29
1926KRUSE TaylorParadise Garage Racing2 LAPS
2020GAMM RyanRed Kite Coaching2 LAPS
2125HOUSE EliVeloworks Urban Cyclery2 LAPS
2229REEVES MatthewCyclesmart Grassroots Team3 LAPS
DNF21BLODGETT JasonTenSpeed Hero
DNF27LEMKE NicholasKona/HiFi/Cycle-Smart
DNF31FESTA MikePhiladelphia Ciclismo
DNS13REARDON AndrewSonic Cycling p/b Podium Sports Medicine

2016 Major Taylor Cross Cup Day 2 Results - Junior Men

12HOLMGREN GunnarGarneau Easton0:43:19
21MAHER LaneHands-On Cycling p/b GIANT0:43:28
36SANDERSON BrodyCenturion Next Wave0:44:19
45CLOUSE EvanHot Tubes Cycling Team0:44:44
63SWARTZ CalebTrek Cyclocross Collective0:45:08
716BEIRNE NicholasBetter Cycling/ Papa Johns0:47:43
819YOUNG ZacharyBoltzStrong0:48:56
915BUSCH OwenLionhearts Junior Racing@ 2 LAPS
DNS17ROCKWOOD DylanLionhearts Junior Racing