by Marc Bertucco

LONG ISLAND, NEW YORK – Many of the best cyclocross racers from the mid-Atlantic and New England regions lined up to compete for valuable UCI C2 points on a foggy, damp December day.

Canadian Michael Garrigan (Stage-Race/Blacksmith Cycle) grabbed the hole shot, with chief rivals Dan Timmerman (RGM Watches-Richard Sachs) and Nicolas Keough ( hot on his heels. On a course that appeared to primarily favor the powerful, muddy off-camber sweeping turns ensured that the bike drivers would have their chance too.

Early on in this 10-lap slug-fest, the front group included many of the region’s top ’crossers. In addition to the podium favorites Timmerman, Garrigan, and Keough, the first group included Adam Myerson (Team SmartStop/Mountain Khakis), Dan Chabanov and Christian Favata (RGM Watches-Richard Sachs), Anthony Clark, Alec Donahue, and Stephen Hyde (all JAM Fund/NCC/Vittoria), Kerry Werner Jr. (BMC U23), Edwin Bull (Van Dessel Factory Team) among others.

But the field’s best were having none of it. Timmerman began to turn the screws, stretching out the field and leaving fractured groups to fight amongst themselves. Garrigan, racing for his shot at representing Canada at World’s, never left the top four. Nicolas Keough and Werner added valuable horsepower to the lead group that steadily increased its gap over their chasers.

In the end it was Timmerman and Garrigan alone. A closing lap bobble forced Garrigan to lose Timmerman’s wheel. The chase was on. And when the two made the sharp left onto the short, rising paved finish, the rider who calls the Finger Lakes region home had just enough power to hold off the Canadian by a wheel and secure his first win of the year. Completing the podium was Kerry Werner Jr. in third, Nicolas Keough in fourth and Stephen Hyde in fifth.

If someone has a women’s report, we’d love to hear from you!