by Mark Vareschi
(Jamesburg, NJ) – The weather may have been having riders begging for water in Valkenburg, but in New Jersey, wind and cooler temperatures made it feel like cyclocross for day two of HPCX (UCI C2). Overnight course changes and dryer ground made for fast group racing all day.
Maximenko Gets the First UCI Win of Her Career
In the women’s elite race, day 1 winner Laura Van Gilder (Van Dessel/Mellow Mushroom) took the holeshot with Cassandra Maximenko (Rare Vos/Van Dessel) on her wheel. At the barriers on the second lap Maximenko led a group of three, which also contained Van Gilder and Rebecca Gross (Vanderkitten).
By the third lap, the race started to take shape with Maximenko and Van Gilder off the front with Gross and Jessica Cutler (Jamis Bikesport/WA Bike Law) in the chase.
Maximenko would shed Van Gilder with two to go as Cutler moved into third.
“Today was really hard,” said Maximenko. “I didn’t get the best of starts and then got tangled up in the first go at the Belgian stairs. Initially, I thought it was game over because I was back in fifth and then I just kind of put my head down and chased. I gained a couple spots and then got into the top 3. Then me and Laura [Van Gilder] moved into first and second, and I said to Laura on one of the climbs, ‘Laura, we gotta go. They’re gonna catch back up to us!’ She let me by, and I just kind of took off. I figured she’d stay on my wheel and then we came around a couple corners and somebody shouted ‘you have a gap!’”
Maximenko held that gap to the line. Van Gilder took second and Cutler third. Yesterday’s third-place, Elizabeth White (University of Vermont), took fourth, while BrittLee Bowman (House Industries/Simple Human/Richard Sachs) edged Kathryn Cumming (Team Yacht Club) for fifth.
Dodge Notches Another New Jersey Win
In the elite men’s race, day one winner Cameron Dodge (Pure Energy/Scott Bikes) took the holeshot off the long, paved climb. A lead group containing Dodge, Jeremy Durrin (Neon Velo), Todd Wells (Specialized), and Dan Timmerman (House Industries/Simple Human/Richard Sachs) established itself by the first time through the barriers.
Four laps in, the group had shrunk to the eventual podium of Dodge, Wells, and Timmerman. Durrin was left to chase with Anthony Clark (JAM Fund/NCC) hot on his heels.
With three to go, Timmerman was nine seconds behind the duo of Dodge and Wells.
“It came down to a sprint. I didn’t want it to come down to a sprint” Dodge said. “I was kind of surprised that I was able to go pretty good on the pavement. You know, skinny guys can’t go too good on the pavement.”
Dodge took the win over Wells. Timmerman finished third.