This summer, our semi-regular Rumors and Rumblings column brings you updates on what cyclocrossers are up to during the offseason. Today, we have a good mix of road, mountain and gravel results to report on. For more recent coverage of offseason results, see our results post from Sunday’s XCO UCI World Cup mountain bike race and last week’s Amgen Tour of California.
Van Gilder Wins Across the Decades
When Laura Van Gilder (Mellow Mushroom) won her first Tour of Somerville criterium, she wasn’t able to share the podium photo on Facebook or Instagram and chances are good it is in a shoebox with other 4 x 6″ cycling memories. The living cycling legend first won the New Jersey race in 1999, and this year, she was gunning for a record fifth win at the annual New Jersey race celebrating its 75th anniversary this year. A record fifth win would also give her wins across three decades.
Van Gilder accomplished her record feat by winning the TofS criterium on Monday. For good measure, she also added a win in Saturday’s Bound Brook Cycling Classic that is also part of the Somerville weekend. She celebrated by showing her mad podium ups:
19 years since my first @TourSomerville win, more pressure trying to achieve a record 5th victory here (1999,2002,2005, 2017). Grateful, thankful, appreciative of my team, sponsors, family, NJ community. #pizzawatts pic.twitter.com/oaLt3IjrEh
— Laura Van Gilder (@Lvgbike) May 29, 2018
Schneider, Williams Go Racing in the Streets
The USA Crits series is an eight-race criterium series run from April through August that gives professional road teams races to target. The series has grown over the years, and this year, organizers added a live stream subscription service fans can order to watch the racing and help support the series.
In keeping with the team nature of racing, the USA Crits series has 10 Women’s and 9 Men’s teams committed to racing the series. Those teams include a number of women and men familiar to cyclocross fans.
The most recent stop of the series was the Winston-Salem Cycling Classic in North Carolina. The event featured a criterium on Saturday and then a pro-only road race on Sunday. In the Women’s criterium, former cyclocrosser Samantha Schneider (ISCorp p/b Progress Software) took the win. Christina Gokey Smith (Colavita/Bialetti Pro Cycling) picked up another top ten by finishing seventh.
The pro women were ferocious this evening on one of the most challenging courses of the Series. Sam Schneider @iscorpprocycling was victorious in her 2nd Series race in a row at @winstonsalemcycling & claims the @colavitaoliveoil orange leader jersey. #usacrits #racefororange pic.twitter.com/xtkm0XKEhT
— USA CRITS Series (@USACRITS) May 27, 2018
The top ’crosser in the Men’s race was Kerry Werner (The Dred Rockets), who added a road race to go with his gravel and mountain bike experience at the race in his adopted home town.
Monday’s road race brought another win for Lily Williams (Hagens Berman / Supermint), who has been on a roll so far during the 2018 road season. Williams took another sprint win over a group of several women to add to her success at the Sunny King Classic last month. Lance Haidet (Aevolo) finished 22nd to take top honors for the contingent of male cyclocross folk.
Ftw @runt2pb @supermintusa pic.twitter.com/ZPVfKL30ow
— USA CRITS Series (@USACRITS) May 28, 2018
See results for the criterium and road race.
Richey, Van den Ham Get One Last DK200 Tune-Up In
Garneau-Easton teammates Craig Richey and Michael van den Ham have embraced gravel racing this season, and fittingly, they both decided to target the Dirty Kanza 200 coming up this weekend. This past weekend, the two Canadians got one last DK200 tune-up at the 95km Golden Ears Gravel Fondo—which we assume is the more lustrous cousin of the Silver Goose Cyclocross Festival–held in the Vancouver suburb of Port Coquitlam.
The two teammates reversed their finishing order from the Race for Water, with Van den Ham taking the win and Richey finishing second. They also found some time for a very sassy podium photo. We would hypothesize the duo will look a bit more haggard after 200 miles in the Kansas heat on Saturday, but maybe they can manage to turn Kansas into Kansass this weekend.
Ortenblad aka Napoleon Dynamite Wins Old Cabin Classic MTB Race
One professional cyclocrosser we really have not heard from since Worlds is Tobin Ortenblad. After the season, the California native took it relatively easy before kicking up his training during the last month. Included in his big May was a stop at the Old Cabin Classic mountain bike race at Wilder Ranch State Park outside his hometown of Santa Cruz. As he often does for local races, Ortenblad (and his Strava alter ego Napoleon Dynamite) rode to the race, won the race and then rode home.
As Ortenblad trains to knock two-time defending champion Stephen Hyde off his pedestal, it appears he is trying to throw Hyde off his game with a new truck that would make the Cannondale p/b CyclocrossWorld rider green with envy.
See full race results to see how all racers fared.
Young Stars Shine at Iowa’s Snake Alley Criterium
The Midwest can get a reputation for being flat and boring—or as a Midwesterner, I assume that’s what people think—but as we have seen with Mt. Krumpit at Jingle Cross and last weekend’s climby Almanzo 100, it has a hill or two in spots. This weekend, Midwest road racers descended on Burlington, Iowa along the Mississippi River for the annual Snake Alley Criterium.
Snake Alley is a destination for racers thanks to its steep, winding climb up Snake Alley, a cobble wall of a street with 5 switchbacks and 60 feet of climbing. The race attracts impressive professional fields, and it also brought out a number of young stars we saw at MontanaCrossCamp and Junior Nationals in Reno.
Former cyclocross professional Danny Summerhill climbed and descended to the win in the Elite Men’s race. In sadder news, 2017 Baby Masters and Single Speed National Champion Isaac Neff suffered a broken arm and knee in a freak crash when a spectator went onto the course. We wish him a speedy recovery from his injuries.
Perhaps the most impressive performance was that of 15-year old Cassidy Hickey. U.S. ’cross fans likely know her from her second-place finish in the Women’s Junior 15-16 race in Reno. Hickey won the Cat 3 race and then jumped in the Elite Women’s race, where she finished on the podium in third.
The Men’s Cat 3 race was another chance for young stars to shine. Alex Morton won the Cat 3 race against an impressive field. Other top Junior performances include Tyler Reynolds in fourth, 2017 Junior 15-16 Cyclocross National Champion Nick Carter in 6th and Luke Feurehelm in 10th. Lucas Stierwalt also took second in the Men’s Junior 17-18 race.
For full results, see road-results.com.
For more offseason updates, see our Rumors and Rumblings archive.
It’s not quite CX Nats Fantasy, but for those of you who need a fantasy cycling fix, you can win a prize package by guessing Amanda Nauman’s finishing time at the Dirty Kanza 200.