Last year, Charm City’s signature feature was a unique set of barriers: a large frame that surrounded a tree, forcing riders to dismount and run a 180 before leaping over the second plank. Baltimore’s Druid Park requested that this feature, along with many other areas in the heavy growth part of the park, be taken out for this year. The goal was to protect some of Baltimore’s oldest trees.
The result was a venue that was easier to spectate and a course that was a better all-around course. Many of the long stretches were removed for tight turns, off-cambers and well-crafted chicanes.
Best of all, four separate sections of sand were used for all the races.
All four were back-to-back, with short grassy turns diving each one: the first three consisted of heavy, ride-able sand , while the final section was deep, dry sand that felt practically designed to sap energy from the legs. Many of the elite racers in both fields opted to run the last section, and looked to be saving time although not energy.
Wyman Uses European-Style Tactics to Win in Baltimore
Helen Wyman (KONA) loved the sand at Charm City, Day 1. Immediately following the race, she told us that as a Euro, she was glad the UCI commissionaire allowed a grand total of four separate lengths of sandpits. In Europe, elements like natural sand runs, are standard fanfare, but in Baltimore, the only sand to use belonged in the volleyball course, making them suspect for the UCI as man-made obstacles.
Wyman dominated the course. Arley Kemmerer (PB2 Powered) took the holeshot in the pavement, but after the first turn, a hairpin 180 degree corner early in the course, Wyman took over. Although she put in a big dig early on, she told us she was still taking lots of risks and riding extremely aggressively. This caused her to crash early, letting Kemmerer catch up to her, but after she put in a second effort, she created a gap and never looked back.
Kemmerer finished second, and Jessica Cutler (Jamis Bikesport p/b Bike Law) rounded out the podium for third, with Ellen Noble (Jam Fund/NCC) taking fourth.
For most of the race, the riders were able to dictate their own pace as the field became spread out. In the top ten, two major battles defied this rule. Britlee Bowman (House Industries/SimpleHuman/Richard Sachs) and Stacey Barbossa (MidAtlantic Colavita) battled for sixth place for nearly the entire race, with Bowman taking the lead in the sandpit.
To round out the top ten, Kathryn Cumming (Team Yacht Club) and the current national single-speed mountain bike champion Vicky Barclay (Stan’s NoTubes) battled each other. Overcoming a crash in the cobbled pave section in the back of the course, Cumming took ninth by using the sand late in the race to her advantage.
Dodge Leads Group, Surprises Page and Hyde for Win
The men’s elite race was dominated by the idea that Jonathan Page (Fuji/Spy) and Stephen Hyde (Jam Fund/NCC) would have a major battle upfront, due to last year’s shootout with both taking a first place, one per day.
That idea was swept under the rug, or at least the hot sun of Baltimore. A small group of riders separated early, and the field became much more strung out compared to Nittany two weeks ago. Lukas Winterburg (MG-Cycling) also put in a hard effort, leading the race for much of the race until the last few laps. He and Cameron Dodge (PureEnergy/Scott) went back and forth, with Dodge hugely benefiting from the long stretch of sand pits.
In the end, Dodge was able to create a small gap and cross the finish line without much threat. Winterburg followed for second.
Chris Jones (United Health Care) made his return to cyclocross, a half-year after spending a day suffering on his bike during the Paris-Roubaix. He spent the first third of the race behind Johnny Page in eighth, but was able to work his way up the field to finish third.
Women’s Elite Race Full Results:
|2||Arley KEMMERER||46:36:00||PB2 Pro Cycling|
|3||Jessica CUTLER||47:12:00||Jamis Bikesport p/b Bike Law|
|4||Ellen NOBLE||47:41:00||Jam Fund/NCC|
|5||Cassandra MAXIMENKO||47:56:00||Rare Vos Racing/Van Dessel/Power|
|6||Brittlee BOWMAN||48:04:00||HOUSE INDUSTRIES/SIMPLEHUMAN/RICHARD SACHS|
|7||Stacey BARBOSSA||48:12:00||MidAtlantic Colavita|
|9||Kathryn CUMMING||48:45:00||Team Yacht Club|
|10||Vicki BARCLAY||48:52:00||Stan's NoTubes|
Men’s Elite Race Full Results:
|1||Cameron DODGE||Pure Energy / Scott Bikes|
|2||Lukas WINTERBERG||MG- Cycling Team|
|3||Christopher JONES||United Health Care|
|4||Dan TIMMERMAN||House Industries/Simple Human/Richard Sachs|
|5||Stephen HYDE||Jam Fund/NCC|
|7||Mike GARRIGAN||Van Dessel|
|8||Kerry WERNER||Optum PRO Cycling CX|
|9||Travis LIVERMON||Mock Orange|
|10||Craig RICHEY||Trek Red Truck Racing/Mosaic Homes|