Riders coast through the finish at Ellison Park. Photo Courtesy Full Moon Vista Productions

Riders coast through the finish at Ellison Park. © Brian Boucheron

Sunday’s Rohrbach’s Ellison Park Cyclocross race in Rochester, NY – the inaugural UCI event produced by Full Moon Vista – saw an Elite women’s grid with a mix of stars and regional riders anxious to tackle what was described by riders as “one of the toughest cyclocross courses on the calendar.”  Natasha Elliott of Garneau-Club Chaussures-Ogilvy Renault wasted no time capitalizing on that factor by building an early lead. She never looked back at the battle for the remaining podium positions as the fight was fast and furious.  Rebecca Blatt (Disasterrecovery.Com), Nikki Thiemann (Team CF) and Melissa Bunn (Stevens Racing P/B The Cyclery) threw every punch they could on the demanding course, but in the end couldn’t seem to separate from one another despite distancing themselves from the rest of the field. In the end Elliot rode in solo over a minute and a half ahead, followed by a hard-charging Blatt in second and Thiemann finishing third.

The Men’s Elite field provided great drama and blazing speeds against a beautiful backdrop at Ellison Park. Justin Lindine (Bikereg.Com/Joe’s Garage/Scott) and Derrick St. John (Garneau-Club Chaussures-Ogilvy) dueled lap after lap, distancing themselves from the drama. Behind them local star Cory Burns (Full Moon Vista Bike & Sport),  Guillaume Nelessen (Van Dessel Factory Team) and Daniel Chabanov ( fought for the final podium spot. Lindine and St. John traded blows on the long climb lap after lap, but closely marked one another in a virtual slug fest. Meanwhile, Burns, who in one lap moved up 18 positions, was relentless in his pace and put away the hopes of any chasers. Burns eventually forced Chabanov off the pace as he dug hard for a top ten. Meanwhile Nelessen looked everywhere for the strength to hold on and for the hope that somehow he could come up with the goods to pass Burns by the line.

The race ultimately was decided with less than one lap to go as Lindine threw down a vicious attack on the climb and poured on the nitro down the fast descent to secure the winning margin over St. John. The crowd, energized by the drama unfolding for the win, was fully behind local hero Burns and he drew on their energy to out-kick Nelessen for the final podium spot. In a post-race interview Burns was emotional: “After I came around on the fourth lap, I practically had tears in my eyes from the crowd cheering for me.” Nelessen noted the energy boost the crowd gave Burns, and he had to put in a big effort to keep up with him every time they went through the finishing straight. Other reactions from riders noted that the challenging course and an enthusiastic crowd contributed to an exciting day for ’cross in Rochester, NY.

Full Results

Elite Men

Place  Bib  Name                 Team                                        Nationality  Time
1      11   LINDINE Justin       Bikereg.Com / Joe'S Garage / Scott          USA          1:00:56
2      20   ST JOHN Derrick      Garneau-Club Chaussures-Ogilvy              CAN          1:01:07
3      3    BURNS Cory                                                       USA          1:04:52
4      16   NELESSEN Guillaume   Van Dessel Factory Team                     USA          1:04:54
5      5    CHOWN Nathan         Handlebars Cc                               CAN          1:05:47
6      2    BRAY Wayne           Mvp Health Care                             USA          1:05:48
7      21   STAFFO Dan           Handlebars Cycling Company                  USA          1:05:49
8      4    CHABANOV Daniel                                                  USA          1:07:07
9      22   SWEENEY Kevin        Crossresults.Com P/B Jra Cycles             USA          1:07:09
10     24   FRIDRICH Cary        Embrocation Cycling Journal                 USA          1:07:30
11     10   LAWNEY Brian         Cambridge Bicycle                           USA          1:08:54
12     18   POWELL Seamus        Ollett Coaching                             USA          +1 Laps
13     12   MANCINI Peter        Esteemtraining.Com                          CAN          +1 Laps
14     15   MORSE Peter          Jetfuel Coffee                              CAN          +1 Laps
15     8    JENKS Michael        Highland Park Hermes P/B Kim'S Bike Shop    USA          +2 Laps
16     7    INGRAHAM Jeffrey     Finkraft Cycling Team                       USA          +2 Laps
17     14   MESI Paul            French Meadow Bakery_Fortistar              USA          +2 Laps
18     25   JOHNSON Lance        Handlebars Cycle Company                    USA          +3 Laps
19     1    BISHOP Nick          The Hub Race Team                           CAN          +3 Laps
20     9    KNOWLES Corey        Team Rog                                    USA          +3 Laps
21     19   RODEN John           Handlebars                                  USA          +4 Laps
22     13   MCCARTHY Phillip     Team Ommegang – Syracuse Bicycle            USA          +5 Laps
23     6    HAGERTY Peter        Team Plan C                                 USA          +6 Laps
24     23   ZOTTER Daniel        Team Rog                                    USA          +6 Laps

Elite Women

1      100  ELLIOTT Natasha      Garneau Club Chaussures Ogilvy Renault      CAN          0:41:28
2      113  BLATT Rebecca        Silver Bull/Central Wheel                   USA          0:43:02
3      111  THIEMANN Nicole      Team Cf                                     USA          0:43:04
4      103  BUNN Melissa         Stevens Racing P/B The Cyclery              CAN          0:43:17
5      105  KEMMERER Arley       C3 - Athletes Serving Athletes              USA          0:44:16
6      109  POPOVIC Carolyn      Pavalleys.Com                               USA          0:44:18
7      106  KRZYSIAK Sarah                                                   USA          0:44:45
8      108  MATTE Sophie         Stevens Racing P/B The Cyclery              CAN          0:45:11
9      102  CHURCH Kristine      Human Zoom/ Pabst Blue Ribbon               USA          0:45:53
10     110  STOLL Natalie        Mvp Health Care Cycling                     USA          0:46:18
11     104  GAVIN Kristin        Team Cf                                     USA          0:46:33
12     101  CHOWN Lesley         Team Cf                                     CAN          0:50:17
13     112  THOMAS Vicki         Disasterrecovery.Com                        CAN          +1 Laps

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