by Lauren LeClaire
SUFFERN, N.Y.—On Day 2 of Supercross Cup, blustery conditions hit the rain-soaked course at Rockland Community College with full force. The slick mud from Saturday turned into a tacky substance, but the wind caused more challenges for the Elite fields.
New York-native Curtis White (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com) and Canadian National Champion Christel Ferrier Bruneau (SAS-Macogep) mastered the soggy soil and the gusty air to ride away with solo victories in the men’s and women’s Elite races. Both gained points in the third of four race weekends for the Vittoria Northeast Cyclocross Series presented by Clif Bar and Cycle-Smart, and USA Cycling’s Professional Cyclocross Calendar (ProCX).
Ferrier Bruneau Doubles Up on Sunday
The early laps of the Elite Women’s race, the high winds dried out some sections of the slick course. It didn’t seem to matter the ground conditions, as Ferrier Bruneau took off on lap two and would win her second Category 2 race in as many days.
“I’m very happy with this weekend, to win the two races,” said Ferrier Bruneau on her second ProCX win, and fourth time on the podium this season. “It was really a slippery course, very hard physically. It was really hard to climb, not easy. There were nice hills and I had fun. It was good training for next weekend, the World Cup in Germany.”
Cassandra Maximenko (VanDessel/Atom Composite Wheels) faced mechanical issues early on, but would keep things under control to earn another second-place finish this weekend in New York.
“My goal today was kind of the same as yesterday, get a good start,” noted Maximenko. “I got a good start, and after about five pedal strokes my left foot pulled out of the pedal. So I saved it, and slotted third or fourth wheel. I was just yo-yoing for a little bit because my bike wasn’t shifting. So I went through that (first) lap deciding, is it not shifting enough to pit or is it rideable? I was trying to maintain the gap with it mis-shifting. It was hard. The wind made it really challenging.”
U23 Canadian National Champion and Vittoria Series leader Ruby West (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com) would finish third, holding off a charging Kathryn Cumming (Jalapeno Cycling), from nearby Bloomfield, N.J.
“It was a pretty hard race with conditions that dried up a bit,” said West. “But it was pretty tacky out there. I had a good start, and then tried to follow Christel for as long as possible. I lost her. Then I was with Cassie (Maximenko) for a little bit. She dropped me, too. Then I was riding to just save third for the rest of the race. It was super taxing. There was no place to recover from the wind. It was hard the whole time.”
The two wins for Ferrier Bruneau should move her into the Top 10 of the ProCX standings. Maximenko is currently ranked two spots ahead of her in ninth position of the ProCX standings. And West keeps charging in the standings with good results, looking to crack the Top 10.
“Today I was just watching Ruby (West) and making sure she didn’t reel me back in,” added Maximenko. “I am happy to take second again today and get some points. Christel is just so steady. She was powering up those climbs in the last lap.”
White Bounces Back for Day 2 Win in Home State
For the Elite Men, the riders battled more than the rutty ground, trying to stay out of the forceful wind gusts that did not seem to relent.
“It was a very tactical race for maybe the first four laps or so,” said White, who is looking to move back into the Top Five of the men’s ProCX standings. “It was a very windy day, so that definitely influenced the tactics. None of us really wanted to take over the work.”
“Maybe with four laps to go I started hitting it in the front a little. We were all taking turns in the front, but it seemed like I couldn’t get rid of Kerry (Werner) with one move. It had to be a series of moves, and maybe a lap or two of really putting on the pressure. I think that is what happened. I don’t know where I got the gap exactly on him, but it was just two bike lengths, four, six, eight, and built up from there. And then I had to just keep applying the pressure after that.”
White was challenged for much of the race by Kerry Werner (Kona Factory CX Team), Saturday’s winner. In the end, Werner noted he could not respond to White’s relentless digs.
“I felt like Curtis made those moves that were just long and drawn out over at least two laps,” said Werner. “He kept on hitting it, not super hard in the windy sections, but man, he just had the power up some of these punchy climbs and he was making me work for it. With about four to go, he started laying it down. I just hung on as long as I could, which is good because then we dropped Cooper. But it was just about survival out there. The winds were relentless. I’m happy with second.”
Third place went to 20-year-old Cooper Willsey (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com), who will remain the Vittoria Series U23 leader.
“Curtis was on another level today, and he just gave it to us,” exclaimed third-place finisher. “I was just trying to keep the pedals turning. We had four to go, I felt like it should have been the last lap. My legs hurt, my back blew up, so I was just trying to keep the pedals going.”
ProCX races take a break next weekend for the Thanksgiving holiday. Events resume Dec. 3-4 with Ruts N’ Guts in Broken Arrow, Okla. and NBX Gran Prix of Cross in Warwick, R.I. Ruts N’ Guts will feature the final Category 1 event of the year for Elite Women and Elite Men. NBX Gran Prix of Cross will feature C2 races and will be the final installment of the Vittoria Northeast Cyclocross Series presented by presented by Clif Bar and Cycle-Smart.
2017 SuperCross Cup Day 2 Results - Elite Women
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2017 SuperCross Cup Day 2 Results - Elite Men
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