GARLAND, TEXAS — When the dust had settled on a hot, dry Texas Sunday, two Californians came away with titles and significant UCI points at the Resolution Cross Cup.
In the Elite Women’s race, Crystal Anthony (Maxxis Shimano Pro Cyclocross) of Newbury Park, Calif. would reign supreme and give her enough points to move her into second overall in the Professional Cyclocross (ProCX) standings. Tobin Ortenblad (Santa Cruz/Donkey Label) Santa Cruz, Calif. would go two-for-two on the weekend and secure his hold on the ProCX overall standings for Elite Men.
Anthony Outduels McFadden
For the second day in a row, unusually warm and dry conditions greeted riders for the Category 2 races at W. Cecil Winter Park, but most riders opted to power through the course without water bottles. Anthony remembered racing a muddy UCI event at the 2015 Resolution Cross Cup when the race was in January. She won that 2015 race. On Sunday returned to the top step of the podium.
“It was great. Both of these races have great vibes, great courses,” Anthony said, who finished second to Courtenay McFadden (Pivot Cycles DNA Cycling) on Saturday. “After a very close battle with Courtenay yesterday, which came down to a sprint, I anticipated another challenging duel today. The course had aspects that suited both of us, so I tried to use the power sections to my advantage.”
The back-and-forth battle was underway again by the second lap. Each rider tried to control the pace at the front, but could not create a significant gap.
“We traded a few turns at the front,” Anthony explained. “I attacked every hill and would get a small gap, but Courtenay managed to reel me back in until my attack up the hill to the sand pit on the final lap. I know we both left it all out there, and I am psyched to head into nationals with a win.”
The sprint went to Anthony on Sunday, who edged McFadden by three seconds. Missouri’s Sunny Gilbert (Van Dessel Factory Team) would recover from a minor crash on the technical downhill section out of the woods on the second lap and win a sprint with Clara Honsinger (Team S&M CX) of Oregon for third place. Honsinger would settle for fourth, just as she did on Saturday.
It is the second ProCX win for Anthony this season and the 13th race she finished in the top five. With the win and second-place finish at Resolution Cross Cup, Anthony should have enough ProCX points to overtake Kaitie Keough (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com) for second place overall in the season-long standings.
Ortenblad Wins Race, ProCX Series
The ProCX crown for Elite Men was wrapped up with the two wins in Texas by Ortenblad. He came into the weekend with a 140-point advantage over Kerry Werner (Kona Factory CX Team). Werner tried to make a dent in the standings by winning both days of Category 2 races in Hendersonville, N.C. at the Hunter Subaru North Carolina Grand Prix, but could gain no ground on the California rider who dominated in Texas.
“I feel really good coming out of the weekend,” Ortenblad said about his double wins. “That’s a couple of consecutive UCI races, which is a good build for Nationals (in January).”
By the second lap of the Men’s race, the field was strung out in single file. Slowly a few riders created separation. Sunday’s reversed direction on the course took the new sandpit out of play for Ortenblad. He said the group just couldn’t attack in the sand on Sunday.
“The technical parts were uphill, so everyone could stick together more. So I think it was harder in that aspect because everyone was either attacking or sitting in and not attacking, so there were more group tactics,” he said. “I definitely wanted to try and break it up again, but this time without that sand into the uphill. That was definitely a favorable section for me yesterday because it was a big effort.”
With two laps to go Ortenblad was looking to shake three riders, Canadian Michael van den Ham (Garneau-Easton p/b Transitions LifeCare), Jack Kisseberth (JAM Fund / NCC) of Westhampton, Mass., and Cody Kaiser (LangeTwins/Specialized Title) of El Dorado Hills, Calif. Kaiser was the first one to attack with one to go, but his engine would run out of gas and he would finish fourth. A three-way battle for podium spots ensued, with Ortenblad taking the sprint over Kisseberth, and Van den Ham finishing third.
“Today towards the end it was still three of us going right into the finish,” Ortenblad said. “I was behind Michael (van den Ham) and he ran a little wider in the slippery corners before the end and I was able to get under him. Then Jack (Kisseberth) actually passed him too. So he and I held off Michael for first and second.”
It was a reverse of the second and third spots from Saturday, when Kisseberth settled for the bronze.
“Van den Ham and I were taking turns attacking Tobin,” Kisseberth said. “We were trying to tire him out because he won yesterday, and he is the obvious favorite. So we were both trying to work together. It didn’t quite work, but we all stayed together to the final. Tobin just had a bigger kick on the last sprint. I am still happy with second. It was a great race.”
Van den Ham said he stuck to his plan, but came up short. “Of course, I would have liked to have come up with a win,” he added. “On the last lap, I was riding the sand really well. Unfortunately, I just ran out of gas. I got stuck in one of the corners on that slippery turn near the finish. That was that. It was a great way to end the domestic season.”
It was the fourth consecutive season that the Resolution Cross Cup has been part of USA Cycling Professional Cyclocross (ProCX). It is the only UCI cyclocross race in Texas this year. In addition, Saturday’s amateur races were the fifth and final event of the statewide 2017/18 TXBRA Texas Grand Prix of Cyclocross Race Series (GPoTX).
The final ProCX standings for Elite Women and Elite Men will be confirmed by USA Cycling by December 13, 2017, and will be posted at usacycling.org.
Women's Results: 2017 Resolution Cross Cup
|Rank||BIB||Last Name||First Name||Age||Result|
Men's Results: 2017 Resolution Cross Cup
|Rank||BIB||Last Name||First Name||Age||Result|
|3||3||VAN DEN HAM||Michael||25||0:58:15|