Ellen Noble took the first UCI win of her career at Baystate. © Meg McMahon

Ellen Noble took the first UCI win of her career at Baystate. © Meg McMahon

by Cindy Brennan

Top racers exhibited boundless skill on a snowy, frozen course today in Sterling, MA, for day one of Baystate Cyclocross Weekend, also Round 5 of the Verge New England Cyclocross Series presented by Stan’s NoTubes and Cycle-Smart. Today’s edition of Baystate will surely be the stuff of legend, some racers saying they haven’t seen conditions like this in recent years.

A thick blanket of snow covered the course today, making every corner tricky and every straightaway a power drain. Conditions changed lap by lap throughout the day as ruts formed and froze, while winter sun softened the ground into mud in a few spots. Snow limited line selection, making passing riders difficult in many places. Course designer and Race Director Tom Stevens included his trademark off-cambers on today’s course, especially tricky with the snow and ice.

Ellen Noble (JAM Fund/NCC) came into the weekend wanting badly to claim her first UCI victory after coming so close to achieving a win last weekend. Her goal was clear from the start straight: she charged up the pavement, then continued onto the tricky course with fierce determination, leaving her competition behind almost immediately.

As Noble quickly grew a gap, Libby White (UVM Cycling) and Mo Bruno Roy (Bob’s Red Mill p/b Seven Cycles) chased, but Noble’s riding was so strong that even great riders with such technical skill as White and Bruno Roy couldn’t bring her back. Cassandra Maximenko (Rare Vos Racing/Van Dessel/PowerBar), within reach of the Verge NECX Series lead today, fought for position with Kate Northcott (NESS Team New England) and Corey Coogan Cisek (The Fix Studio) behind Amanda Carey (Team Rhino Rush).

White surged with one to go, but couldn’t get within ten seconds of Noble, as Bruno Roy rode smooth and strong in third spot. Noble claimed that much-deserved win with a great ride, White second, and Bruno Roy finished third. Carey claimed fourth, while Northcott crossed the line in fifth ahead of Maximenko in sixth and Coogan Cisek in seventh. Maximenko’s finish wasn’t strong enough to claim the Series lead; however, Noble’s tremendous win means she now wears both the U23 and overall Series crowns.

“This win means even more after coming so close last week,” an elated Noble said of her win today.

The Elite Men hit the course as the sun descended lower in the sky, icing up the corners and freezing ruts in the snow. Leading the charge were Series leader Dan Timmerman (House Industries/SimpleHuman/Richard Sachs), Curtis White (Cannondale p/b, Jerome Townsend (Joe’s Garage CX p/b, Christian Favata (TRT Bicycles), Justin Lindine (Redline Factory/NBX), and Kerry Werner (Optum Pro Cycling). Groups broke apart as quickly as they formed, with the course changing lap by lap and the challenging conditions causing bobbles and crashes left and right.

Curtis White leads the field, winning the U23 Pan-American Race, but Baystate is his first Men’s Elite win. © Meg McMahon

Curtis White leads the field, winning the U23 Pan-American Race, but Baystate is his first Men’s Elite win. © Meg McMahon

After Timmerman led the group for a few laps and fell back to follow a wheel, Werner and White escaped the group and forced Timmerman to chase. Werner and White bobbled up a tricky climb, and the group was together again. White attacked again, this time with Favata, permanently shattering the group and gapping the chase. Lindine and Livermon chased with Timmerman behind them. Lindine motored up as Favata fell back, making contact within the final two laps. White’s lead grew as Lindine and Favata traded blows, while Timmerman moved into fourth with the hope of retaining his Series lead.

White claimed a solid victory, while Lindine charged for second. Favata was third, and Timmerman took the fourth place finish he needed to retain his lead. JAM Fund’s Scott Smith, having a consistently strong season, was the next U23 to finish after White. Smith reclaims the Series leader’s jersey in the U23 category.

Follow the Elite races tomorrow with a live video feed starting at 1:45 pm at Live tweets of the Elite races will be at @VergeNECXS. Results will be posted live throughout the day on courtesy of Pioneer Event Productions.

2014 Baystate Women's Elite Race Day One

RankName TeamTime
1EllenNobleJAM Fund / NCC0:34:47
2ElizabethWhiteUVM Cycling0:35:09
3MaureenBruno royBob's Red Mill p/b Seven Cycles0:35:40
4AmandaCareyTeam Rhino Rush0:37:17
5KateNorthcottNESS Team New England0:37:36
6CassandraMaximenkoRare Vos Racing/Van Dessel/PowerBar0:37:42
7CoreyCoogan cisekThe Fix Studio0:37:43
9JennyIvesVerge Sport-Test Pilot0:38:21
10RebeccaFahringerJAM Fund / NCC0:39:22
11NatashaElliottCycle-Smart Elite Team0:39:24
12JessicaDupplerColonial Bicycle Company0:39:25
13VictoriaGatesJAM Fund / NCC0:39:27
15ErinFacconeGPM Sport0:39:35
16JessicaCutlerJamis Bikesport p/b WA Bike Law0:40:04
17EmilyShieldsKen's Bike Shop0:40:15
18JulieWrightB2C2 p/b Boloco0:40:27
19ChristinReuterNYCROSS p/b Craft0:40:31
20EmilyReynoldsLadies First Racing0:40:50
21RoniVetterBlue Steel Cyclery/Mad Alchemy Ride0:40:56
24StaceyBarbossaMidAtlantic Colavita Women's Team0:41:27
26SamanthaRunnelsATC Racing0:41:29
27MelodyChaseGus cx / Raleigh0:41:39
28VickiBarclayStan's NoTubes Elite Women's Team0:42:41
29VickieMonahanNYCROSS p/b Craft0:43:46
30MicheleSmithHup United0:45:55
DNFLeslieTimmLadies First Racing

2014 Baystate Men's Elite Race Day One

RankName TeamTime
1CurtisWhiteCannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com1:00:58
2JustinLindineRedline Factory / NBX1:01:06
3ChristianFavataTRT BICYCLES1:01:10
5TravisLivermonMock Orange Pro CX1:01:45
6JeromeTownsendJoe's Garage CX p/b BikeReg.com1:01:46
7AnthonyClarkJAM Fund / NCC1:02:01
8BenFrederickHefler Performance Coaching pb Bicy1:02:03
9JoachimParboChallenge Tires1:02:18
10KerryWernerOptum PRO Cycling CX Team p/b KBS1:02:28
11RobertMarionAmerican Classic Pro CX Team1:02:56
12KevinNoilesVoler/Steven's Creek B.M.W./HRS/Roc1:03:05
13ScottSmithJAM Fund / NCC / Family Bike1:03:18
14TristanUhl787 Racing1:03:28 Devo Team1:03:44
16JeremyMartinRocky Mountain Bicycles1:03:53
19EricThompsonMt. Borah Epic Team1:04:22
20LewisGaffneyAmerican Classic Pro Cyclocross Tea1:04:24
21AlexRyanMock Orange PRO CX Team1:04:24
22BradfordPerleyChampion system/cannondale1:05:07
23KyleRussBrazen Dropouts Cycling Team1:05:13
24NicholasKeoughKeough Cyclocross1:05:43
25JakeWellsStan's NoTubes Elite CX1:06:19
26JulesGoguelyRhode Island School of Design1:06:19
27JoshThorntonGiant Regional On Road Team1:06:54
29MichaelMihalikFreddie Fu Cycling Team1:07:33 Devo Team1:07:42
32JoshDillonJoe's Garage CX p/b BikeReg.com1:08:55
33JonahMeadvancortKMS Cycling- Killington Mountain Sc1L
34DerrickSt johnTRP Racing1L
36JosephClemenziteam POC+Ritte1L
37AaronOakesNYCROSS p/b Craft1L
38TrentBlackburnMock Orange Bikes Pro CX Team1L
39ChrisAlgarCape Cod Racing/C41L
40CaryFridrichJRA CYCLES1L
41Jean-philippeThibault-robergeTrek Cyclocross Collective2L
42DylanPostierEvoke Racing2L
43CorySmallCCB Racing2L
44AndrewLoaizaThump Cycling p/b Turin3L
45NathanDuganCRCA/Chimps in Training3L
48AdamSullivanGrinta Cycling Team3L
DNFDevinWagnerNYCROSS p/b Craft
DNFAlecHooverTable Rock Tours
DNFJonathanAndersonFort Lewis College
DNFTylerBerlinerJoe's Garage p/b
DNFJesseKeoughKeough Cyclocross