Van Gilder leads the race on Day 2 at Nittany. © Cyclocross Magazine

Van Gilder leads the race on Day 2 at Nittany. © Cyclocross Magazine

We caught up with Laura Van Gilder after her win on Saturday at Nittany (and a second place finish on Saturday).

On her new team… “I’m very, very excited. I signed with a new team for the season, the Van Dessel Factory Team presented by Mellow Mushroom. I’ll be racing on a new Van Dessel bike that will be built by CrossVegas [the Aloominator]. It’ll be standard with canti brakes. That’s my choice, I wanted to stick with the traditional.”

“I’ll hit the big races, the Shimano series, and of course, I like to support the Mac. I’ll be down for the Boston Crit and then Charm City on Sunday.”

On the race… “Arley took off, probably got the holeshot but I beat her to the first transition to the technical section. Then Gabby came around us heading into the wind, and she was forced to lead for a lot of the race. I took over for a little while and Arley did as well, but it really became a waiting game because the course wasn’t super technical and there was nothing that was really going to divide us. The other two chasing, Nikki and Stacey, probably came pretty close to catching us on the last lap but Gabby lit it up again. They were always contending though. I just had it in my mind, the place I was going to attack from to go for the win, and it worked.”

On the field… “Fifty women, and fifty-some in the other women’s event early in the day. Over 100 women represented today this early in the season. It’s exciting and it’s nice to see we’re supported from the promoters with good prize money.”

On women’s racing… “It’s good for the women who are entering the race and the level of competition is high again. It’s nice to see everyone out here. I was surprised there weren’t as many New England riders down here but I know they have a Vermont race next weekend. But in the same respect, I thought they might want to kick it off too, it’s early for everyone. But you have to pick and choose.”