(Stony Point, NY) -In the morning, the course at Stony Point was a jarring, unyielding mixture of frozen ground, with only the middle of the course providing a flat, grassy area for the powerhouse racers. As the day went on, the corners softened up. The wooded section at the back of the course began to form large muddy puddles and even the front of the course near the barriers felt leg sapping.
There were a few places where riders could carry some serious speed, especially the finishing stretch, which was a punchy descent off road leading to an approximately 200m length of pavement.
It was there the Men’s and Women’s Elite races were finally dictated.
Ellen Noble (JAM Fund) had an astonishing ride everywhere except that finishing stretch. She continually attacked the other leaders over and over until only her and Arley Kemmerer (PB2) remained. Mo Bruno Roy (Bob’s Red Mill) and Laura Van Gilder (Mellow Mushroom p/b Van Dessel) were able to maintain great paces, but Noble’s ride seemed punishing. With a half lap to go, it appeared as if the race was over, and the JAM Fund rider had first locked up, and although the buzz on social media only shows the last few seconds of the race, it was actually hard to blame Noble for what happened next.
In the last section on the downhill, Noble played the descent conservatively, and if she looked over her shoulder (which she must have done), she likely would have seen no one there. Kemmerer hit the downhill just at the right time to see that Noble wasn’t carrying loads of speed to the pavement, and then just risked everything to see how fast she could take the last section of the race. Noble zipped up her jersey and put her hands in the air, possibly knowing the distance advantage she had, but not realizing the sheer velocity that the PB2 rider was carrying. In the last few feet, Kemmerer was tucked and throwing her bike forward, while Noble could only react, as seen by this video posted by dirtwire.tv:
“I took it at the end by a half of a bike length,” Arley Kemmerer told Cyclocross Magazine immediately following her race. She was out of breath, her eyes almost in disbelief after trailing so far behind. “That’s a lesson everyone learns the hard way,” she said, half-brimming with excitement but half-empathizing with Noble for how hard that kind of loss is to get.
We were able to catch up with Noble later at NBX, where she reflected on the loss along with her last second win in Warwick.
Van Gilder was able to catch back to Bruno Roy’s wheel by the last lap and take third.
The Men’s Elite Race took slightly longer to break apart, with Cameron Dodge (Pure Energy / Scott Bikes) leading and making many of the early attacks while Dan Timmerman (House Industries/Simplehuman / Richard Sachs), Kerry Werner (Optium p/b Kelly Benefit Strategy), Anthony Clark (JAM Fund), and four others maintained pace. The only surprise out of the lead group was Travis Livermon (Mock Orange Pro CX), who took a nasty fall early and put in hard efforts after with mud covering half his jersey.
With three laps to go, Dodge and Timmerman were battling the race out together, both taking turns up front and neither allowing the other much room. Their lead over the rest of the field continued to grow. Neither rider was waiting for the other to make a mistake; they were both putting in constant hard efforts.
The race came down to the pavement stretch, with both riders giving a clinic for sprinting. Dodge had the lead hitting the road, and he gave a slight hesitation as he looked back, trying to judge where Timmerman was going to unleash his power. The Richard Sachs rider instantly laid the hammer down, tossing his bike from side to side, and Dodge immediately reacted. The two fought out to the end, and although Dodge gave up a little space initially, he was able to stay away long enough in the lead for the win.
Werner took third, while Livermon put in a great effort to fight back up to finish fourth.
2014 Supercross Day One, Women's Elite Race
|3||Laura VAN GILDER||50||44:37:00|
|4||Maureen BRUNO ROY||39||44:39:00|
2014 Supercross Day One, Men's Elite Race
|12||Adam ST. GERMAIN||30||1:06:51|
|16||Derrick ST JOHN||37||1:08:29|