In our course preview for the 2018 Silver Goose Cyclocross, we noted that the tight, muddy start was likely to cause things to jam up early in the race.
After her win on Saturday in the C2 Silver Goose race, it was as if Ellen Noble (Trek Factory Racing CX) had written that preview.
“I knew there would probably be a little bit of carnage at the front,” she said. “And there was. I was happy to get away and kind of play my own game.”
As she has done all season, Noble started fast, taking the holeshot and leading the 50-women-strong field into the first few muddy corners. In the first minutes of the race, one of the women expected to challenge her, Maghalie Rochette (CX Fever p/b Specialized) dropped her chain trying to make a “sketchy pass.”
It appeared Noble’s plan was the right one.
By the time Noble reached the technical set of ups and downs, she had a five-second gap on Kaitie Keough (Cannondale p/b CyclocrossWorld) and the other chasers. At the end of the first lap, it grew to nine.
Keough and the rest of the field would not get any closer for the rest of the race. After a perfect six-for-six October, Noble kicked off November with her seventh-straight victory.
Go from Go
Holeshots are a clear strength for Ellen Noble, and on Saturday, she again unleashed her powerful start from the whistle. She took the lead off the pavement and onto the muddy set of turns near the Little Lake Park baseball diamond.
After the race, Noble said her goal was to avoid the potential carnage. That carnage came to fruition when Rochette tried to move up a spot or two using what she called “a sketchy pass.”
Sketchy it was and during the attempt, Rochette dropped her chain and in the process dropped all the way back to 18th place.
“It was a little bit of confirmation I had made the right choice,” Noble said. “I wanted a lead at the start because I knew that sort of stuff could happen and it keeps you out of the way.”
After Rochette’s mechanical, Keough, Jenn Jackson (AWI Racing p/b the Crank and Sprocket), Courtenay McFadden (Pivot Cycles/Maxxis p/b Stan’s/DNA Cycling) and others stepped up as the riders to chase Noble. Noble, however, already had a five-second lead when the field hit the technical sector of the course for the first time.
Noble’s lead grew to nine seconds at the end of the first lap. McFadden and Keough were together in the chase, and Jenn Jackson (AWI Racing p/b the Crank and Sprocket), Katie Clouse (Alpha Bicycle – Groove Subaru) and Rebecca Fahringer (Kona Maxxis Shimano) chased behind them.
In the second lap, Keough took over second and took up the chase of Noble. She actually shaved a second off the Trek Factory rider’s time, and two laps into the five-lap race, Keough was only chasing eight seconds. With the mud and damp conditions, it seemed Keough had a shot and making it a two-woman race.
Noble Pulls Away
One could conclude that Noble knew Keough was closing the gap because she was absolutely dominant the third time around the course. Noble extended her lead on Keough by 10 seconds in Lap 3, essentially putting the race out of reach—barring a mechanical or crash, of course.
Behind the two leaders, Rochette started slowly charging through the field after her early mishap. Her second lap was the fastest of all riders and her third lap was third fastest. After three laps she sat in fourth, just behind McFadden.
The rest of the race belonged to Ellen Noble. She stayed on the gas in Lap 4 and measured her effort in the final lap to take home a comfortable margin of victory ahead of Sunday’s Pan-American Championships.
“I was able to kind of control my effort, and that worked out, so I’m pretty happy,” Noble said about the win.
With Katie Compton staying in Europe, a second Women’s Pan-American Champion will finally be crowned in year five of the event. Noble commented on heading into the race as the favorite.
“I thrive under pressure,” Noble said. “Maybe there’s pressure, but I don’t know. The thing is, it’s anyone’s race because Compton’s not going to be there. There shouldn’t be any pressure because it would be a win for anyone.”
Keough held on to take second and Rochette rolled all the way back to take third.
Clara Honsinger (Team S&M CX) and McFadden rounded out the wide-angle podium.
Winner interview and full results are below.
Elite Women Results: 2018 Silver Goose CX
|1||2||NOBLE, Ellen||TREK FACTORY RACING CX||USA||47:59:00|
|3||3||ROCHETTE, Maghalie||CX FEVER P/B SPECIALIZED||CAN||48:19:00|
|4||5||HONSINGER, Clara||TEAM S&M CX||USA||48:24:00|
|5||4||FAHRINGER, Rebecca||KONA MAXXIS SHIMANO||USA||48:26:00|
|6||8||MCFADDEN, Courtenay||PIVOT MAXXIS PB STANS - DNA CYCLING||USA||48:59:00|
|7||9||CLOUSE, Katie||ALPHA BICYCLE GROOVE SUBARU||USA||49:11:00|
|8||27||JACKSON, Jenn||AWI RACING P/B THE CRANK AND SPROCKET||CAN||49:22:00|
|9||23||WALTER, Sandra||LIV CYCLING CANADA||CAN||49:42:00|
|10||6||RUNNELS, Samantha||SQUID SQUAD||USA||50:05:00|
|11||7||WEST, Ruby||SPECIALIZED - TENSPEED HERO||CAN||50:50:00|
|12||11||ZAVETA, Erica||GARNEAU-EASTON P/B TRANSITIONS LIFECARE||USA||51:41:00|
|13||15||NUSS, Raylyn||GATEWAY HARLEY-DAVIDSON TREK||USA||52:09:00|
|14||14||GILLIGAN, Dana||MACOGEP-ARGON18-GIRONDINS DE BORDEAUX P/P MAZDA||CAN||52:10:00|
|15||20||STURM, Sarah||SPECIALIZED TEN SPEED HERO||USA||52:14:00|
|16||21||RATHBUN, Laurel||DONNELLY CYCLING||USA||52:15:00|
|17||19||ELLIOTT, Natasha||VAN DESSEL P/B HYPERTHREADS||CAN||52:15:00|
|18||12||MALIK, Jennifer||CARPE DIEM RACING||USA||52:37:00|
|19||13||VALLIERES MILL, Magdeleine||QUEBECOR / STINGRAY||CAN||52:39:00|
|20||18||WERNER, Emily||AMY D FOUNDATION||USA||52:49:00|
|21||31||RUSSENBERGER, Sophie||TEAM S&M CX||USA||52:59:00|
|22||35||JOHNSTON, Emilly||NAKED FACTORY RACING||CAN||53:32:00|
|23||24||LEONARD, Erica||HIGHGATE RACING P/B D'ORNELLAS BIKE SHOP||CAN||53:50:00|
|24||17||KELLY, Siobhan||BLACK DOG RACING||CAN||53:56:00|
|25||10||NAUMAN, Amanda||SDG - MUSCLE MONSTER||USA||53:59:00|
|26||22||COOGAN CISEK, Corey||AMY D FOUNDATION||USA||54:08:00|
|27||16||TAPIAS, Natalie||JAM / NCC||USA||54:22:00|
|28||30||PICIGA, Natascha||GIANT TORONTO PB LIV||CAN||54:24:00|
|29||26||LAWSON, Kelly||HARDWOOD NEXT WAVE CYCLING TEAM||CAN||55:37:00|
|31||25||SCHAPPERT, Anna||DARK RED RACING||CAN||56:20:00|
|32||42||MITCHELL, Ellie||NWCX PROJECT||USA||56:21:00|
|33||38||TOOLEY, Bridget||GARNEAU-EASTON P/B TRANSITIONS LIFECARE||USA||56:43:00|
|35||40||MCDICKEN, Kathryn||ASU DEVO||USA||57:54:00|
|36||28||SCHMIDTMANN, Petra||VAN DESSEL FACTORY TEAM||USA||@2Lap|
|37||34||RAMSAY, Turner||ALPHA BICYCLE CO.- GROOVE SUBARU||USA||@2Lap|
|38||50||BRADBURY, Nicole||NCCH PB FRANKLIN TEMPLETON INVESTMENTS||CAN||@2Lap|
|40||46||WALCROFT, Katelyn||HARDWOOD NEXT WAVE CYCLING TEAM||CAN||@2Lap|
|41||32||SHIKAZE, Kaitlyn||CYCLEPATH OAKVILLE RACE TEAM||CAN||@3Lap|
|42||45||WENDLAND, Jodi||THE CYCLERY||CAN||@3Lap|
|43||41||STEL, Jocelyn||GIANT TORONTO PB LIV||CAN||@3Lap|
|44||39||STECIUK, Claire||HARDWOOD NEXT WAVE||CAN||@3Lap|
|45||49||MESSIER, Jill||WEST OF QUEBEC WHEELERS||CAN||@3Lap|
|46||36||REID, Carys||HARDWOOD NEXT WAVE CYCLING TEAM||CAN||@3Lap|
|DNF||43||WRIGHT, Téa||BOULDER JUNIOR CYCLING||USA|