Washington, D.C.—Dusty conditions continued for Sunday races at DCCX held at the Armed Forces Retirement Home in Washington, D.C. on Sunday. It would be the second full day of UCI Category 2 with USA Cycling’s Professional Cyclocross Calendar (ProCX) points on the line for Elite Women and Elite Men.
A majority of the course was run in reverse and, with no precipitation overnight, the course challenged with drier and looser conditions. Carla Williams (Joe’s Bike Shop Racing Team) avoided an early crash and any mechanical mishaps to claim her first UCI victory of the season and her third DCCX title. Kerry Werner (Kona Factory CX Team) swept the weekend, logging his fourth consecutive DCCX win and his third ProCX victory of the season.
Carla Williams Captures Day 2
Much like Saturday’s races, both the men’s and women’s fields went out hot from the start, aiming to be first through the “W” turns, which were coated in treacherously deep dust. After a slow start yesterday, Williams moved early to the head of Sunday’s race. The endurance mountain biker put her off-road skills to good use, flowing through turns that forced many to grab brakes.
“Yesterday I had a really slow start and working my way through the race as far as I could,” said Williams who finished fifth in Saturday’s race. “Today I really wanted to get a better start and so that was my goal, attack from the start. It wasn’t perfect but it was better.”
The lead group of six riders shattered when a crash brought down Cassandra Maximenko (VanDessel/Atom Composite Wheels), Alison Arensman (J. A. King p/b BRC) and Saturday’s winner Arley Kemmerer (Fearless Femme Racing) early in the second lap.
Williams, who was at the back of the front group, managed to avoid the carnage and quickly opened a gap on the contenders. “It worked out well for me because I didn’t get caught in the crash and I was able to get around it,” she explained. “I think Arley got a little caught up but was able to get around fairly quickly. That’s how we got into the lead of the race.”
One lap later, Kemmerer had bridged up to Williams and the two riders traded pulls to hold off the chasers. “I was pretty happy with the position I was in. I really wanted to keep the pace strong so that third place didn’t catch up to us,” said Williams.
“I either had a slow leak or I lost air from the heat. My back tire was super low, it was just losing air as the race went on. I thought I could finish with that but it was bad, I was dinging the rim on everything,” said Kemmerer who made her way to the pit for a new bike with two laps to go in the six-lap race.
After a lengthy pit exchange, Kemmerer tried to catch Williams, but her backup bike also had mechanical issues. “I didn’t think I could go back in and get my first bike so I figured that since there was only two laps to go that I could survive it,” she explained.
Focusing on “staying steady and not falling,” Williams stretched her lead to more than 40 seconds and she rolled in for the win. Kemmerer was second and Maximenko managed to recover from her earlier crash to take third.
Williams who mainly races endurance 100-mile mountain bikes enjoyed her weekend. “It is fun coming out, go as fast as you can for 45 minutes, it’s something you never get to do in endurance mountain bike races. I look forward to that every fall.”
“It [the weekend’s racing] was just slightly below than I wanted but it’s okay, it’s fun. I like coming back here, it’s a great event, the atmosphere is really awesome so it makes it more manageable even if it doesn’t go well as you wanted it to,” said Kemmerer.
Werner Doubles Up on the Weekend
Werner’s tactics worked, as he quickly established a gap, forcing Anthony Clark (Squid Bikes), Justin Lindine (Apex / NBX / Hyperthreads), and Tristan Cowie (Triple Oaks Racing) to join together in pursuit. Werner’s 25-second lead was quickly nullified when he suffered a mechanical on the fourth lap.
“I flatted, maybe 45 seconds to one minute after the pit,” Werner said. “It could have been a worst time but by the time I brought back around to the pit, they had just passed me and I got into the pit so I latched back onto the back of the chase group, and sat in, re-grouped. I could sit back there and watch the guys cracking where they were weak.”
Just like Saturday, Clark was taking hard pulls at the front, but unlike Saturday, he couldn’t sustain them. “Anthony looked like he was doing a lot of work again, he was kind of coming apart at the seams and Tristan was coming off his wheel,” Werner noted.
Sensing a lull in the pace, Werner made his move with two laps to go. “Nobody was riding the little U-turns in the sandy section. All the other guys in the front group were running it and I knew that their legs wouldn’t feel quite as snappy after that, so they’d run that and then have to run the barriers. I felt this lull and there was a good bit of pedaling after that so I figured I’d capitalize on that section of the course.”
After a hard lap, Werner had a comfortable gap and took the win. “Winning two days in a row is obviously a little bit of a confidence booster, it lets me know that I’m on the right track and where I’m supposed to be.”
Clark out-sprinted Cowie to take second for the second time this weekend.
What’s Up Next
ProCX will feature dual events Oct. 28-29 in the U.S. It is the 18th year for Highland Park Cyclocross (HPCX) in Jamesburg, N. J., making it the second longest-running UCI cyclocross event in the country. HPCX offers two days of C2 events for elite categories and is the penultimate stop of the ten-event, four-state Mid Atlantic Cyclocross Series. HPCX will also serve as the only cyclocross event in the state for the Eastern Collegiate Cycling Conference.
Cincinnati Cyclocross Festival (Cincy CX), now in its 14th season, includes C1 and C2 events for Junior 17-18 Men, Elite Women and Elite Men. The first day of competition will take place in the amphitheater area of Devou Park in Covington, Ky. The second day will be held at T. William Harbin Park, in Fairfield, Ohio. This will be the third of four events for Elite riders earning points for the Sho-Air US Cup-CX Series.
Going into the race, Kaitlin Keough (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com) and Tobin Ortenblad (Santa Cruz / Donkey Label Racing) were leading the Sho-Air US Cup-CX standings for women and men, respectively.
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 ProCX calendar includes 43 UCI-inscripted category 1 and 2 races in the country. To learn more about USA Cycling, visit usacycling.org, and follow Pro CX all season on Twitter – @USACProCX (#ProCX).
Women's Results - 2017 DCCX Day 2
|Rank||BIB||Last Name||First Name||Time|
Men's Results - 2017 DCCX Day 2
|Rank||BIB||Last Name||First Name||Time|