ROANOKE, Virg. —The second day of racing for the 2018 USA Cycling Professional Cyclocross Calendar (ProCX) was hosted in Roanoke, Virg. on Sunday at Virginia’s Blue Ridge GO Cross Race presented by Deschutes Brewery. Racing took place at Fallon Park, on a tight, twisting 3-kilometer course in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It was the first year for GO Cross as a ProCX event, having been contested last fall as part of the American Cyclocross Calendar.
Kerry Werner (Birdsboro, Penn./Kona), who finished second in the 2017 ProCX standings, took his second consecutive victory in the men’s C2 race. Crystal Anthony (Newbury Park, Calif/LIV Cycling) who finished second in Saturday’s race, claimed her first victory of the season in the women’s C2 race.
Werner Doubles Up at GO Cross
The 35 riders in the field faced blue skies and hot, dry and dusty conditions with temperatures hitting highs of 87 F and high humidity. A crash took Werner out of the front group of contenders which formed in the first lap of the race. After a quick fix of his handlebars, Werner chased his way back onto the lead group which included Eric Thompson (Asheville, N.C./M SPEED WAX), 2017 ProCX champion Tobin Ortenblad (Santa Cruz, Calif./Santa Cruz/Donkey Label Racing), last year’s Go Cross winner Tristan Cowie (Mills River, N.C./CTS Cycling Team), Troy Wells (Durango, Colo./Team CLIF Bar), and Cody Kaiser (El Dorado Hills, Cali./LangeTwins / Specialized).
“Got hip checked out there after the stairs, a very flagrant move and I was just immediately on the ground, wheels out from under me,” Werner said. “The bike was tangled in the tape. Luckily, it happened the first lap. Those guys at the front, I don’t know if they waited or were just playing games and nobody wanted to go so I was able to slowly crawl back into the lead but then I sat on for the majority of the race, that hurt me quite a bit.”
With five laps to go, Ortenblad made his first attack of the day. “One of my goals today was to attack across the grass and through the sand a couple of times, and then just to try a couple of times at the back,” he explained. “There was a big group, I think something I have to work on is being confident when there’s a big group, that I’m one of the stronger guys and not getting shaky and putting the responsibility on me to break it apart. It’s easier to just relax and know that no one is going to do anything silly when it’s a smaller group. That’s always relaxing.”
Wells was the next rider to put pressure on the front group, setting a high pace for one lap. With three laps to go, combined attacks by Werner and Ortenblad shattered the front group with only Wells able to catch back on to the duo after a half lap of chasing.
Werner added, “Troy went to the front a little bit. Once Cody and Eric came off, I think Troy started to say I might not get top two but I want the podium. When they started coming back after we started playing cat and mouse games, I think he went to the front, and he strung it out a little bit and that took us to one lap to go.”
Ortenblad set the pace on the bell lap with Werner, Wells and Kaiser on his wheel. Kaiser was dropped first and then Wells when Ortenblad made his move with a quarter lap to go.
“Tobin kept the tempo up on the last lap like I did yesterday, and then he really attacked and kept it on, dropped Troy then. I stayed on his wheel and I thought with that effort I’d be able to get him on the climb, but he held me. He was on the inside so I got pushed to the outside of the tape, and I thought that was the end but I sat on his wheel,” Werner said. “I knew that I was running the steps really well so I just said ‘send it’. Man I hit the steps and I don’t know if my feet have ever moved that fast before in my life. I got over the top of him on the steps.”
“I’m satisfied with it [the weekend results]. It’s hard not to be satisfied with two podiums but coming off the momentum last year and wearing number one, I hadn’t lost wearing number one until this weekend so that sucked,” said Ortenblad who finished second.
Wells held on for third place.
Full results are below.
Anthony Gets First Win of the Season
Twenty-seven Elite Women concluded a second full day of competition at Fallon Park on a hot day. Anthony quickly came to the front on the first lap taking over the pace making from Allison Arensman who took the holeshot. A group of seven riders which included Anthony, Caroline Mani (Besacon, France/Van Dessel Factory Team), Rebecca Fahringer (Concord, N.H./Stan’s NoTubes), Sunny Gilbert (Ellisville, Mo./Van Dessel Factory Team), Caroline Nolan (Chico, Cali./Voler / Clif / Rock Lobster) and Carla Williams (Roanoke, Virg./Deschutes Brewery) separated from the field after one lap of racing.
“I was at the front and the race never blew up that much, the gaps were pretty small. You were like one watt away from cracking, because it was so hot. It was about balancing being aggressive with riding within yourself,” said Anthony.
With three laps to go, Anthony and Gilbert were together at the front with Wiliams, Nolan, Fahringer and Mani giving chase. Inside of two laps to go, Anthony attacked in the sand, leaving a cloud of dust when Gilbert dismounted to run.
“Awful,””Gilbert said of her decision to run in the sand. “I only did it once. It was a terrible choice. I must have lost 15 seconds by running on that third lap. That is when Nolan came around me.”
“I noticed that Caroline had ridden the sand by us in lap two, and I was like ‘I guess it’s rideable.’ So I knew that was a good spot to get some time. It did open a gap, but it was just seconds (over Gilbert),” said Anthony who was now solo in the lead with Gilbert, Fahringer and Mani chasing behind her.
With a small gap on the bell lap and a chasing Mani, Anthony kept the pressure on to take the victory.
“I like fast courses. I just trying to ride my own race, and within myself. I never really attacked until the very last lap when Caroline was catching me,” Anthony added, “On a day when it is really hot, the difference between attacking and not attacking is very small. I wasn’t really trying to go off on my own.”
“Crystal, she was riding really fast. She gave it all she had to not let me come back. It was a nice chase. She’s an amazing racer. I’m not ashamed of finishing second place behind her. It’s a good weekend,” said Mani who took second.
Gilbert held on for third.
Full results are below.
For more details on Deschutes GO Cross, visit the event website (gocrossrace.com), Facebook (gocrosscyclocross), and Instagram (go_cross). On Twitter, follow with hashtags #gocross and #ProCX, as well as the event’s title sponsor, Virginia’s Blue Ridge (@visitvbr) and the presenting sponsor, Deschutes Brewery (@deschutesbeer).
Next on the calendar will be Rochester Cyclocross in Rochester, N.Y., Sept. 8-9. ProCX events will be held for elite men and women each day at Genesee Valley Park, with the first UCI C1 races of the ProCX calendar on Saturday. It is the 11th year for Rochester Cyclocross. The 2018 CX skills clinic will be held on Friday, Sept. 7 from 3:30-5:15 p.m. for $30 per person. Instruction provided by Rebecca Fahringer of Kona Maxxis Shimano. Advance registration is available online for the skills clinic and races until Sept. 5 at rochestercyclocross.com/registration/.
USA Cycling ProCX features the premier cyclocross events in America and uses an overall ranking system to determine the best individual male and female ‘cross racers over the course of the season. The 2018 ProCX calendar includes a total of 39 UCI-inscripted category 1 and 2 races across 19 states and the District of Columbia. The calendar spans from September to December, culminating with the USA Cycling Cyclocross National Championships in Louisville, Ky., Dec. 11-16, 2018. To learn more about USA Cycling, visit usacycling.org, and follow ProCX all season on Twitter – @USACyclingLive (#ProCX).
Men's Results: 2018 GO Cross Day 2
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Women's Results: 2018 GO Cross Day 2
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