ROCHESTER, New York—When the top North American cyclocross women last convened at a race, two North Americans came away with top results, with American Ellen Noble (Aspire) earning a silver medal in women’s U23 race, and Canadian Maghalie Rochette (Clif Bar) racing to an impressive fifth in the Elite Women’s race.
Seven months later, at the season opener for the U.S. UCI cyclocross season in Rochester, the same two proved they’re motivated to only improve on their impressive 2017/2018 seasons.
Just two turns into the race, the pair looked set to prove their Worlds success wasn’t just a late season peak, but a foundation for their 2017/2018 season. Only the Cannondale/CyclocrossWorld duo of Emma White and two-time Rochester winner Kaitlin Keough (formerly Antonneau) looked to be in their way.
Once the starting gun fired, White showed off her road season-tuned legs with an impressive starting straight sprint, grabbing the holeshot and leaving the others still in disbelief that #crossishere. Noble latched on, with Keough and Rochette punching their ticket to ProCX points.
A quick bobble by White let Noble slip by, and after studying her competition and the course at race pace, Rochette took to the front and looked for clean lines and clean air.
Rochette and Noble proved to have better command of the technical corners on the course, both riding a tricky right off-camber uphill turn, while White and Keough would have to dismount and run.
This turn would prove to be a critical feature, opening gaps and determining podium spots. On lap two, Rochette and Noble would ride the uphill corner, while White dabbed and Keough ran.
On lap three, perhaps sensing the Cannondale/CyclocrossWorld duo was in danger of popping off, Noble took to the front. Soon White dropped off, and Keough was dangling.
Rochette returned to the front to take her turn, but with two laps to go, Noble seized the lead heading into the series of drops and climbs. At the same climb where White and Antonneau were struggling, Noble rode cleanly, and Rochette unclipped, dabbed, and watched Noble ride away to solo for the final lap.
Noble would lay claim to the first UCI and ProCX points of the 2017/2018 North American cyclocross season.
“It feels really good to come out and win the season opener,” Noble said about her first C1 win. “The main objective today was to stay calm, cool and collected. I felt super confident technically today. I felt super smooth and dialed in with all my lines. That allowed me to stay really calm. With two to go, I kind of hit it a little bit. Then I had a small gap in the woods, so I kept going. I knew where she was going slower than me, where they call it Double Trouble. I knew if I could keep the pressure on through there, I could get just a couple of seconds. And if I got a small gap, I can get a little more, and that was all I needed today.”
The key moment of the #rochestercross women's race. Just one @maghroch bobble & @ellenlikesbikes was gone. https://t.co/gHS3RnEmCQ pic.twitter.com/CqGbYhmAwR
— Cyclocross Magazine (@cyclocross) September 9, 2017
Behind, there was a tight battle for fourth, with Crystal Anthony (Maxxis Shimano) catching White, but at the finish, White’s sprint kept the fourth place and top U23 finish in her control.
Peloton Sports contributed to this report.
2017 Rochester Cyclocross Day 1 UCI C1 Elite Women's Results
|1||1||NOBLE||Ellen||Aspire Racing||43:06.0||-||Elite Women|
|2||6||ROCHETTE||Maghalie||CLIF Pro Team||43:17.9||0:12||Elite Women|
|3||3||KEOUGH||Kaitlin||Cannondale pb CyclocrossWorld.c||43:43.3||0:38||Elite Women|
|4||4||WHITE||Emma||Cannondale pb CyclocrossWorld.c||44:06.4||1:01||Elite Women|
|5||7||ANTHONY||Crystal||Maxxis Shimano Pro Cyclocross||44:19.1||1:14||Elite Women|
|6||2||MANI||Caroline||Van Dessel / Atom Composites||44:27.0||1:21||Elite Women|
|7||5||FAHRINGER||Rebecca||Stan's NoTubes p/b Maxxis / gof||44:39.0||1:33||Elite Women|
|8||10||FERRIER||Christel||Sas Macogep Aquisio||44:50.7||1:45||Elite Women|
|9||8||KEMMERER||Arley||Fearless Femme Racing||45:05.4||2:00||Elite Women|
|10||12||MAXIMENKO||Cassandra||VanDessel/Atom Composite Wheels||45:30.7||2:25||Elite Women|
|11||24||CLOUSE||Katie||Alpha Bicycle Co. - Vista Subar||45:43.0||2:37||Elite Women|
|12||9||NAUMAN||Amanda||SDG - Muscle Monster||46:21.8||3:16||Elite Women|
|13||13||ELLIOTT||Natasha||Garneau-Easton p/b Transitions||46:26.2||3:21||Elite Women|
|14||11||WEST||Ruby||Cannondale Cyclocrossworld.com||46:26.5||s.t.||Elite Women|
|16||14||WRIGHT||Julie||Team Averica||46:57.2||3:52||Elite Women|
|17||17||RATHBUN||Laurel||Donnelly Sports||47:05.5||4:00||Elite Women|
|18||36||TAPIAS||Natalie||JAM / NCC||47:09.2||4:04||Elite Women|
|19||18||RUBINO||Rachel||Fearless Femme Racing||47:27.6||4:22||Elite Women|
|20||19||BOWMAN||Brittlee||HOUSE IND/NOKIA HEALTH/SIMPLEH||47:46.8||4:41||Elite Women|
|21||21||LEGGE||Regina||Trek Cyclocross Collective||48:01.4||4:56||Elite Women|
|24||25||FACCONE||Erin||Team Averica||49:16.3||6:11||Elite Women|
|25||35||STERNE||Gabriella||Vanderkitten Entourage Racing||50:00.6||6:55||Elite Women|
|26||23||CAMPBELLFORTE||Alexandra||Vanderkitten Entourage Racing||50:20.0||7:14||Elite Women|
|27||28||KUYK-WHITE||Taylor||Philadelphia Bike Expo||50:43.5||7:38||Elite Women|
|28||30||LUPIEN||Leslie||Team Averica||50:53.1||7:48||Elite Women|
|29||29||LEWANDOWSKI||Rebecca||Rare Disease Cycling / Keswick||51:11.6||8:06||Elite Women|
|30||33||OWENS||Meghan||Hands-On Cycling p/b Guerciotti||51:23.2||8:18||Elite Women|
|31||37||WALKER||Katina||Park Ave. Bike p/b Borah||52:06.7||9:01||Elite Women|
|32||20||LE SAUTEUR||Beatrice||52:21.6||9:16||Elite Women|
|33||32||MUDGE||Taryn||Fearless Femme Racing||52:53.4||9:48||Elite Women|
|34||22||RAMSAY||Turner||Alpha Bicycle Co. - Groove Suba||53:13.9||10:08||Elite Women|
|35||34||SMITH||Madeline||KMS Cycling - Killington Mounta||@1Lap||Elite Women|
|36||31||MAY||Rhys||JAM / NCC||@1Lap||Elite Women|
|37||38||WILLIAMS||Paige||Fuji Cross Crew||@1Lap||Elite Women|
|DNF||15||PATTON||Gray||Freddie Fu Cycling Team||Elite Women|