Helen Wyman developed a gap early and held it. Cyclocross Magazine

Helen Wyman developed a gap early and held it. © Cyclocross Magazine

by Molly Hurford

Jeremy Powers (Rapha Focus) and Helen Wyman (Kona) opened the 2011/2012 cyclocross seasons with wins at the 2011 Nittany Lion Cross in Breinigsville, Pennsylvania.

With a mostly-grass, undulating course drenched from all the recent wet weather that has pounded the East Coast, the early season muddy conditions left no doubt that cyclocross racing is already here. Racers weaved their way around the Lehigh Valley Velodrome, but did not race on the track as is done at the former Star Crossed venue and at the Roubaix World Cup.

The visiting Europeans (see our profiles in the upcoming Issue 14) made their presence felt, while Powers celebrated his first race wearing the new Rapha-Focus kit with a win, Brit Ian Field took second, while his compatriot, British National Champion Helen Wyman, took a commanding win in the women’s race. Wyman excelled in the muddy conditions, leaving no question she’s come back to the States motivated to earn UCI points and impress for her US-based sponsor.

Wyman took an early and uncontested lead in the women’s race, with Belgian racer Joyce Vanderbeeken and Laura Van Gilder close behind. Wyman’s gap only increased as the race wore on, though the Belgian impressed the crowds by being the only one of the elite women (or men) to ride through the 100 meter mud pit on the back stretch of the course. Wyman was the only woman who elected to run one of the short, steep hills, and clearly that was working for her.

Within just a lap, the women were strung out around the course: this is an interesting year for the MAC series elite women, as a lot of the regulars in the 3/4 field recently upgraded and are now racing with the elites.

In the men’s race, Jeremy Powers started strong in the front, with Ian Field on his heels. Field surprised spectators by taking the lead with a slight gap on Powers after the first lap. Fabio Ursi was a surprise contender, as he wasn’t on the BikeReg sign up, and he quickly became one of the racers to follow, catching up with Powers and Field. Luke Keough was also in the front group, though after a lap and a half, he had fallen back into the first chase group.

The barriers were fast, even with a short, steep run up immediately after:

[youtube vtE9OqWMkBM 580 370]

After 25 minutes, the three racers had a 25 second gap on the chase group and the rest of the field was strung out across the course. The course was muddy but extremely hot, so elite men were allowed feeds. Many racers elected to change bikes because of the mud, though quite a few chose not to do so.

Halfway through the race, Powers and Field had created a gap on Ursi, though he maintained his third place spot. By the halfway point, Field and Powers had gapped the field by a full minute.

With one to go, Powers had a 13 second lead on Field. Coming into the finish, Powers pedaled casually, attempting to wipe some of the mud off of his white Rapha-Focus skinsuit as he crossed the line.


Rank Name Nat. Result
1 Jeremy POWERS USA 57:11:00
2 Ian FIELD GBR 57:42:00
3 Fabio URSI ITA 58:11:00
4 Tom VAN DEN BOSCH BEL 59:46:00
5 Justin LINDINE USA 1:00:18
6 Eric BRUNGGER SUI 1:00:40
7 Luke KEOUGH USA 1:01:19
8 Jared NIETERS USA 1:01:25
9 Weston SCHEMPF USA 1:01:28
10 Andrew WULFKUHLE USA 1:01:45
11 Greg WITTWER USA 1:02:09
12 Noah NIWINSKI USA 1:02:26
13 Ryan DEWALD USA 1:02:26
14 Lukas MÜLLER SUI 1:02:44
15 Zoltan TISZA HUN 1:02:54
16 Bobby LEA USA 1:03:04
17 Michael MIHALIK USA 1:03:13
18 Donny GREEN USA 1:03:16
19 Eric MUEHL USA 1:03:28
20 Lucas LIVERMON USA 1:03:34
21 Shaun ADAMSON CAN 1:03:55
22 Robert MARION USA 1:04:11
23 Wayne BRAY USA 1:04:21
24 Gerald ADASAVAGE USA 1:04:32
25 Bryan FAWLEY USA 1:04:46
26 Cameron DODGE USA 1:04:55
27 Jesse KEOUGH USA 1:05:34
28 Steven ORDONS USA 1:05:39
29 Kevin SWEENEY USA 1:05:53
30 Patrick BRADLEY USA 1:06:09
31 Christopher CONSORTO USA 1:06:16
32 Evan HUFF USA 1:06:23
33 Bryan FAWLEY USA 1:06:35
34 Ryan LEACH USA 1:06:53
35 Katriel STATMAN USA 1:07:25
36 Gunnar BERGEY USA 1:09:29
38 Jackie SIMES USA
40 Shawn ADAMS USA
41 Gavriel EPSTEIN CAN
42 Benjamin SALIBRA USA
44 Guillaume NELESSEN USA


Rank Name Nat. Result
1 Helen WYMAN GBR 46:17:00
2 Joyce VANDERBEKEN BEL 47:23:00
3 Laura VAN GILDER USA 47:53:00
4 Nicole THIEMANN USA 48:12:00
5 Carolyn POPOVIC USA 48:47:00
6 Gabriella DAY GBR 49:08:00
7 Stacey BARBOSSA USA 49:22:00
8 Kristin GAVIN USA 49:35:00
9 Arley KEMMERER USA 49:52:00
10 Anna YOUNG USA 50:13:00
11 Patricia BUERKLE USA 50:31:00
12 Frances MORRISON USA 50:56:00
13 Rebecca WELLONS USA 51:30:00
14 Kristen LASASSO USA 52:03:00
15 Erin SILLIMAN USA 52:28:00
16 Jennifer MAXWELL USA 53:13:00
17 Lauri WEBBER USA 53:47:00
18 Lenore PIPES USA 54:02:00
19 Vicki THOMAS CAN 54:05:00
20 Brittlee BOWMAN USA 54:36:00
21 Rebecca FREDERICK USA 55:15:00
22 Andrea LUEBBE USA 55:40:00
23 Kim THOMAS USA 55:53:00
24 Michelle BISHOP USA 56:27:00
25 Erin MASCELLI USA 56:59:00
26 Kathleen WULFKUHLE USA 57:28:00

For photos of the Elite Men and Women’s Races, check out the gallery below:

BreinigsvilleBreinigsville, Pennsylvania.