Warwick, R.I. — Known for a long beach run along Greenwich Bay and a rugged New England coastal landscape, the second and final day of racing at NBX Gran Prix of Cyclocross also featured umbrellas as part of the soggy landscape on Sunday.
A weekend of racing at Goddard Memorial State Park in West Warwick, R.I. concluded with repeat wins by Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld teammates, Kaitlin Keough (Colorado Springs, Colo.) and Stephen Hyde (Easthampton, Mass.).
Winners of the Vittoria Northeast Cyclocross Series presented by Clif Bar and Cycle-Smart were crowned on Sunday in the Elite races.
Rebecca Fahringer (Concord, N.H./Kona Maxxis Shimano) took the Verge Sport champion’s jersey for the Elite women and Curtis White (Delanson, N.Y./Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld) earned the jersey and title for Elite men.
It was the 14th year of cyclocross races in Warwick, with Elite races this weekend being part of the USA Cycling Pro Cyclocross Calendar (ProCX). Saturday featured Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI)-sanctioned Category 1 (C1) races. There is one more weekend of ProCX racing on the schedule, Dec. 10-11 in North Carolina and Oklahoma. Then athletes travel to Louisville, Ky. for the USA Cycling Cyclocross National Championships, Dec. 11-16.
Keough Takes Win on Rainy Afternoon
Sunday’s C2 races in Rhode Island took place for the Elite Women in rainy conditions. While it was unusual for temperatures to rise throughout the 50-minute contest, from 50 degrees Fahrenheit to 55 degrees, it was business as usual for Keough to sizzle for a second consecutive day on the course. She would take the holeshot and keep contenders at bay for all five laps.
The rain created havoc for most of the 37 women in the field, especially at the start before learning how to manage the new direction of the course and manage Mother Nature’s challenges.
“I know the course changed from yesterday. I can’t pick out the changes, because it was just muddy,” said Rebecca Fahringer (Concord, N.H./Kona Maxxis Shimano) about trying to reach the podium for a second day in a row. “We were contending equally with the course as with the conditions of the course. It’s tricky in this situation because parts were slick mud. Nobody expected the sandy ground here to get slick, but it was. This slick mud like we’ve never seen it, in combination with the tough roots. This was an NBX like anyone has ever seen.”
On the first lap, Keough was followed by Regina Legge (Salem, N.H./Trek Cyclocross Collective) for part of the twists and turns, then joined at the front by Ruby West (Hamilton, Ont./Specialized-Tenspeed Hero). Legge would drop back to 10th after the first lap and West would also succumb to the mud and have to work her way back into contention for a podium finish.
“I actually had a horrible start,” West said. “I slipped my pedal at the start, and really missed it. So I was pretty far back, but then made my way back through the first few corners. So I was like fifth, or sixth, wheel. As soon as we made the first hard right everyone kind of panicked and Kaitie was pulling away, so I knew I had to stay with her for as long as possible today. That was the goal to just try to get some distance between everyone else.”
After the second lap, Keough had gained an 11-second advantage over West. There was more ground for Fahringer to cover, as she was on the ground with a fall, then worked into third place after two laps.
“I tapped my brakes at the wrong time, lost my bike,” said Fahringer about her mishap on the first lap. “I was down on the ground, hunkered down, and yelled, ‘please, nobody hit me,’ as the field goes on either side. Luckily, nobody hit my bike. Nobody hit me. So I was up and clear, so that’s good, not quite last. Fought through the field, and honestly, was just thinking it’s going to be good to finish. Somehow, I managed to stay on the podium despite a pretty big mistake at the start. I was pretty happy about that.”
With one lap to go, Keough had as much as 34 seconds on West. The young Canadian never relented and pushed through the rain and mud.
“I think after Supercross I had a bit of PTSD from all the mud,” continued West. “I was maybe not too excited on the start line today (about more mud). Then once we got into it, I think I was riding well in the conditions. Hopefully that helps when heading over to Europe, where it’s always like this.”
Keough did not make any noticeable mistakes, and carried the lead across the line for a win, 9 seconds ahead of West.
“I just tried to follow her for as long as possible, to see the lines she was taking, figure out the course a little better than yesterday,” said West. “I think I was being pretty smooth out there. I think I had only one or two close calls. So I’m really happy with how I was riding today. I’m thrilled with second place.”
Fahringer finished third, 1 minute, 42 seconds off the winning time. She earned enough points to take the Vittoria Series title for elite women.
“My first race of the Series would have been Northampton (Nov. 10-11). Then Supercross and then this, NBX,” said Fahringer, who did not race the first event of the Vittoria Series, the CRAFT Sportswear Gran Prix of Gloucester, in October.
“Honestly, because I took Gloucester off, I wasn’t expecting to have contention for the overall. But when Ellen (Noble) took a day off from Northampton, that’s when the tide started to swing and I was able to come into the overall and clinch it in Supercross. Because she didn’t race this weekend (at NBX), it was pretty much locked down as long as I finished the races. I was really, really happy to be able to stand on that top step. It’s really great to be able to represent my sponsors across the Series as well as individual races.”
Rounding out the Top 5 for women were Magdeleine Vallieres (Sherbrooke, Que./Quebecor-Stingray) and Crystal Anthony (Newbury Park, Calif./Liv Cycling). Both were more than 2 minutes back. Legge did not finish.
Hyde Doubles Up in Return Weekend
The rain stopped for the Elite Men’s race but left its mark. The course was very slippery, with mud covering roots and creating ruts. Hyde would take back-to-back wins at NBX Gran Prix of Cyclocross, but not without fighting off top contenders as well as the course.
“Today was a much different course. The course was really heavy. It was very technical, with all the roots, ups, downs,” said Hyde after taking his fourth ProCX win of the year. His other two wins were in September at Rochester Cyclocross. “It’s a difficult course. And it’s a big mix of really flowy turns and difficult terrain. Today’s course was more driving, big slow accelerations. I was just trying to really focus on finding the good lines, and staying really consistent so I could just keep my heart rate down a little bit more than it could be.”
Forty-five men took the start line for seven laps of racing, led out by Jeremy Powers (Southampton, Mass./Pactimo / Fuji / SRAM) from the holeshot. Jostling at the front early would be Hyde, White and ProCX points leader Kerry Werner (Birdsboro, Penn./Kona Maxxis Shimano), with Powers dropping back a little and riding with Spencer Petrov (McKinney, Texas/Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld).
“The first couple of laps, there was a group of four of us,” Werner said. “We went out with Stephen (Hyde). Then it just split. Stephen and I were trading turns at the front early. That kind of separated Powers first, then Curtis. Later on in the race, I just got a little gassed. Maybe a little bit of fatigue from the last training block, or Stephen just coming on really strong going into Nationals. The last two laps he just got away from me. That was all she wrote.”
On the third lap, Hyde and Werner created separation from White, gaining a four-second advantage that would continue to grow with each lap. The duo of Powers and Petrov would linger about 15 seconds behind White for most of the race.
“When we came through the up-down section after the barriers, which is difficult to ride, I came into it with a little tiny bit of a gap,” Hyde said about making a winning move with two laps to go. “I just happened to nail it on that ride. No forced acceleration or anything, I just happened to nail it. I got good speed out of it and I was able to hold that gap.”
Hyde would cross the line solo, covered in mud, in a time of 59 minutes, 49 seconds. Werner held on for second, finishing 28 seconds behind. In third rolled White, 57 seconds back.
“Hyde and Kerry were riding really well today. I tried to stay with them, but I wasn’t on the best form today. I don’t think I recovered as well as I could have from yesterday. But one bad day out of the entire Series, I’m not too disappointed in the grand scheme of things,” said White, who led the Vittoria Series competition for Elite men from start to finish in all eight events.
Petrov and Powers would close to within 9 seconds of White with two laps to go, but not get any closer. Petrov would finish 16 seconds behind White for fourth place. He pushed across the line 10 seconds ahead of Powers, who would finish fifth.
“I think the Vittoria Series is something special,” said White. “They do a wonderful job for this sport in this area with the development and focus towards the Elites. I just tried to bring my best to the start line. You know, this weekend with it being a C1, there were a lot of fast guys bringing their A games and getting ready for Nationals. I think it was a treat to race at that level.”
The Vittoria Series began in Gloucester, Mass., in mid-October, followed by events in Northampton, Mass. and Suffern, N.Y. in November. With a total of eight events in the Northeast, the Vittoria Series is the longest standing UCI cyclocross series in the United States.
“It was a good, old-fashioned mudder today,” Werner added about the concluding race for the Vittoria Series.
For the U23 competition in the Vittoria Series, 21-year-old Clio Dinan (Falls Church, Virg.) led the women’s competition from start to finish. Eighteen-year-old Sam Noel (Shelburne, Vt./Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld) would be awarded the Verge Sport jersey for the U23 men. For full standings from all Vittoria Series categories visit crossresults.com.
The final race weekend of the season for ProCX wraps up Dec. 8-9 at two events—the Hunter Subaru North Carolina Grand Prix (NCGP) in Hendersonville, N.C. and Ruts N’ Guts in Broken Arrow, Okla. Now in its 14th year, the NCGP returns for two full days of C2 races at Jackson Park.
Ruts N’ Guts, now in its ninth season, will return to Chisholm Trail South Park. In addition to a C2 race on Sunday, it offers the final C1 contest of the year for Elite riders.
USA Cycling ProCX features the premier cyclocross events in America and uses an overall ranking system to determine the best individual male and female ‘cross racers over the course of the season. The 2018 ProCX calendar includes a total of 39 UCI-inscripted category 1 and 2 races across 19 states and the District of Columbia. The calendar spans from September to December, culminating with the USA Cycling Cyclocross National Championships in Louisville, Ky., Dec. 11-16, 2018. To learn more about USA Cycling, visit usacycling.org, and follow ProCX all season on Twitter – @USACyclingLive (#ProCX).
Featured image: Angelica Dixon
Elite Women Results: 2018 NBX Gran Prix of Cyclocross Day 2
|Rank||BIB||Last Name||First Name||Country||Result|
|27||30||MEICHSNER||Anja Genia||GER||1 Lap|
Elite Men Results: 2018 NBX Gran Prix of Cyclocross Day 2
|Rank||BIB||Last Name||First Name||Country||Result|