BALTIMORE, Md. — Athletes returned to Druid Hill Park in Baltimore for UCI Category 2 races on Sunday at Charm City Cross. While warm conditions in the mid-80s dried some of the corners on the 3.4-kilometer course, the heat took more of a toll on the athletes in the Elite Women and Elite Men.
The two final contests of the weekend were battles for points on USA Cycling’s Pro Cyclocross Calendar (ProCX) and amassed-time for leads in the Parkway CX Trophy presented by Union Craft Brewery.
Charm City Cross, considered the premier two-day cyclocross event in the Mid-Atlantic region, was held for a 14th year. It was the eighth year as a UCI-sanctioned race, hosting Category 1 and 2 races for elite athletes.
Winning All in the Game for Noble in Baltimore
Sprinting to the front of the 30-rider field, Noble grabbed the early lead with a power climb up the Zoo Mansion hill. Some of the top-ranked ProCX women battled for position on the opening lap, trying to grab Noble’s wheel like the Maryland mud.
A group of five included Noble, Kaitie Keough (Colorado Springs, Colo./Cannondale p/b CyclocrossWorld), Arley Kemmerer (Palmerton, Penn./Fearless Femme Racing), Sunny Gilbert (Ellisville, Mo./Van Dessel Factory Team) and Rebecca Fahringer (Concord, N.H./Kona Maxxis Shimano).
Noble pushed the pace and only Keough seemed to be able to stay in contact after the first lap. The twosome created a 10-second gap to Gilbert and Fahringer going into the second of four laps.
“I actually went from the gun,” said Noble, who came into the weekend ranked second overall in the ProCX standings for Elite Women. “I wanted to slowly apply the pressure. I never really attacked, but I did put in a little bit of a dig on the climb. I knew that would be a place where weaknesses would be shown.”
Her attacks on Keough opened a five-second lead half way through the second lap, which grew to 10 seconds going into the penultimate lap. Meanwhile, Keough had a 20-second lead on Gilbert and Fahringer was trying to hold off Georgia Gould (Boulder, Colo.) for fourth place. Kemmerer pulled out after two laps. The Top 4 women were all within 15 seconds of the leader at that time.
“Today, I found myself in the lead group,” said Fahringer, who finished fourth on Saturday. “I felt myself saying, ‘Well, I got fourth today, that’s fine.’ But then I looked back and I saw Georgia Gould was in fifth, and I said, ‘Oh no, she’s coming from the back row, which means she has a lot of momentum to be this far.’ And so I started fighting to stay away from her. When I saw that I was actually closing in on Sunny, I was like I would rather explode trying to close this 10-second gap and get fifth rather than wish I would have tried to get third. It is the first time all year that I have forced myself to take that risk.”
With one lap to go, Noble extended her lead and finished solo for the win in a time of 43 minutes and 28 seconds, 13 seconds ahead of Keough.
“I’m really happy. I don’t remember the last time I have won two days in a row at a race,” said Noble, who raced Sunday in the Parkway CX Trophy presented by Union Craft Brewery leader’s jersey. “This is really exciting to put together (wins) on two pretty different race conditions and race strategies. I’m feeling really good.”
The battle would be for third between Gilbert and Fahringer.
“I was in fourth for most of the race, but it was a fighting-distance fourth, not a no-man’s-land (position),” explained Fahringer about making a move on Gilbert. “At some point she had to pit, and it was a real slow pit. I gained some time there. I was worried that I had a flat and I pitted. As soon as I took that new bike, I was like, I have no excuses. I’ve got to go.”
Her “go” time was passing Gilbert on the grand staircase, the 29-step feature created by Scaffold Resources. She was able to hold off Gilbert by 17 seconds for the final podium spot. Gould would hold on to a fifth-place finish for the second day in a row.
ProCX points leader Maghalie Rochette (St-Jerome, Quebec/CXFever p/b Specialized), who was second in Saturday’s C1 contest, did not compete on Sunday. She used the day to travel home to Canada to prepare for 2018-2019 Telenet UCI Cyclocross World Cup in Bern, Switzerland, Oct. 21.
Full results are below.
Driscoll Comes at Parkway CX King, Doesn’t Miss
The men’s field of 39 riders started fast up the Zoo Mansion climb, and a group of eight riders had settled in at the front by the second circuit. The rest of the field was completely strung out. There was no indication, yet, of Driscoll making an epic charge.
From the pack on Lap 3, Kerry Werner (Birdsboro, Penn./Kona Maxxis Shimano), Saturday’s winner, and Michael van den Ham (Brandon, Manitoba/Garneau-Easton p/b Transitions) began to make a little separation. They were pursued closely by Curtis White (Delanson, N.Y./Cannondale p/b CyclocrossWorld), Matthieu Boulo (Saint-Guyomard, France/Team Pays de Dinan) and Bjorn Selander (Hudson, Wisc./Donkey Label/Bingham Built).
The next trio trying to stay in touch were Tobin Ortenblad (Santa Cruz, Calif./Donkey Label Racing), Jack Kisseberth (Westhampton, Mass./Garneau Easton p/b Transitions) and Lane Maher (Harwinton, Conn./Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld).
“It started pretty good and I was feeling comfortable,” said Werner. “Curtis was pushing the pace early. Then we started to get a bit of a gap. There were three of us, Curtis, myself and Boulo. That was about halfway through the race.”
Werner explained that other than the mud bog, the course had dried out from Saturday.
“The conditions were a lot different than yesterday. It was really drier. But every lap we’d hit this mud bog towards the end of the lap. There was a gradual climb up out of it, and I was losing a decent amount of time on that every lap. If I was behind someone, they’d open up a decent gap so that was an error on my part.”
Midway through the eight-lap contest, White and Boulo joined Werner and van den Ham at the front. White attacked, which dropped Van den Ham. With three and a half laps to go, it was just White and Werner out front, battling the mud bog and the heat. Van den Ham would drop back to 10th and eventually pull out of the race. Boulo would take his spot in third.
“Meanwhile, this whole time, Jamey was charging from about 10th place,” noted Werner.
Driscoll passed Boulo with three to go and gaining time with every pedal stroke on the two leaders. With two laps to go, Werner attacked White. It took another half of a lap for Driscoll to put time between himself and White and barrel down on Werner on the last lap.
“Jamey and I were together. We came into the mud pit, and then he opened up maybe three seconds on me,” Werner recounted about the final lap. “I was fully gassed. Then I came up onto the pavement and with the mud, I slipped a rear wheel. But Jamey was charging hard. I doubt I would have come around him anyway. And then as soon as he came to the front he punched it. I was able to hold his wheel. He was definitely putting me on the limit. We came into the last minute of the course together, but he rode a good race today.”
Driscoll took the win in one hour, 3 minutes, 12 seconds. It was an 11-second margin of victory over Werner. White would follow another 20 seconds later for third.
“Good. Hot. Sweaty,” was how Driscoll summed up the day. “Obviously, I’m very, very excited to take home the victory today. I was just pleasantly surprised to see that I was close enough to Kerry and Curtis, who were leading all day. When I was actually able to make contact, I thought it was that mental edge going into the last lap or two.”
Driscoll, who finished third on Saturday, worked his way through 25 riders in the field. Boulo, who was second on Saturday, finished fourth. Ortenblad would follow in fifth. Werner is expected to keep the leader’s jersey for the Parkway CX Trophy presented by Union Craft Brewery for the final two races at DCCX in Washington, D.C., Oct. 20-21.
“I know that form doesn’t last forever. But I think I can maintain this,” said Driscoll, who is originally from Jericho, Vermont. “Usually when I’ve had good form, I’ve kept it pretty effectively. I am looking forward to a well-planned-out schedule with proper rest. I have Gloucester (Oct. 13-14) and excited to take the form back to New England.”
Full results are below.
Up Next for ProCX
Dual events continue on both sides of the U.S. the weekend of Oct. 13-14. In Boulder, Colo., the US Open of Cyclocross returns to Valmont Bike Park. C2 events are provided both days for elite athletes, as well as masters and junior categories in the Colorado Cross Cup. Sanitas Cycling produces the event and has redesigned the course along with Pete Webber, a six-time U.S. Masters Cyclocross National Champion and a veteran cycling expert with more than 25 years experience. Webber is also the director of Boulder Junior Cycling. Get more information at sanitascycling.com/us-open-of-cyclocross.
The CRAFT Sportswear Gran Prix of Gloucester presented by Ipswich Ale Brewing will be held at historic Stage Fort Park in Gloucester, Mass. More than 1,000 amateur and elite cyclists are expected for the 20th year of the event, which offers opening rounds of the Vittoria Northeast Cyclocross Series presented by Cycle-Smart. Elite C2 races will be featured both days for professional women and men for this must-see New England race in a dramatic harborfront park at the height of fall foliage season. Get more information at gpgloucester.com.
Women's Results: 2018 Charm City Cross Day 2
|1||3||Ellen NOBLE||Trek Factory Racing||43:28
|3||5||Rebecca FAHRINGER||Kona Maxxis Shimano||44:47|
|4||6||Sunny GILBERT||Van Dessel Factory Team||45:05|
|6||8||Lily WILLIAMS||The Pony Shop p/b KPMG||47:24|
|7||11||Emily WERNER||Amy D. Foundation||47:34|
|9||12||Stacey BARBOSSA||Colavita-Whole Foods Market||47:56
|10||2||Caroline MANI||Van Dessel Factory Team||48:35|
|11||15||Rachel RUBINO||Fearless Femme Racing||48:40|
|12||27||Julie HUNTER||Mapleworks Coaching||49:00|
|13||19||Taylor KUYK-WHITE||Philly Bike Expo||49:15|
|14||14||Natalie TAPIAS||JAM / NCC||49:30|
|15||34||Elizabeth SHELDON||CXHAIRS Devo||49:32|
|16||10||Kathryn CUMMING||Jalapeno Cycling||49:57|
|17||18||Kristen LEGAN||Tenspeed Hero p/b Bitchstix||50:05|
|18||36||Bridget TOOLEY||Garneau-Easton p/b Transitions||50:28|
|19||17||Brittlee BOWMAN||RSCX - House Ind - DWR - HM||50:52|
|20||29||Ellie MITCHELL||NWCX Project||51:07|
|21||28||Philicia MARION||CarpeDiem Racing||51:12|
|22||38||Taryn MUDGE||Fearless Femme Racing||51:49|
|23||33||Avanell SCALES||Deschutes Brewery||52:12|
|24||31||Kelly PADUCH||Rocktown Bicycles||52:40|
|25||37||Katrina DOWIDCHUK||MidAtlantic Colavita Womens Te||52:59|
|27||32||Elisabeth REINKORDT||Team Laser Cats||54:46|
|28||25||Alexandra CAMPBELLFORTE||Vanderkitten Entourage Racing/V||56:33|
|29||30||Alixanna NORRIS||Cowbell Racing p/b World Bicycl||@1Lap|
|DNF||7||Arley KEMMERER||Fearless Femme Racing|
|DNF||4||Maghalie ROCHETTE||CXFever p/b Specialized|
Men's Results: 2018 Charm City Cross Day 2
|Rank||BIB||Last Name||First Name||Result|
|24||22||GOMEZ VILLAFANE||Benjamin||2 Laps|
|4||VAN DEN HAM||Michael||DNF|