McConneloug increases her lead in the first lap. © Paul Weiss

McConneloug didn't wait around for anyone. © Paul Weiss

The 19th annual Cycle-Smart International wrapped up a weekend of top-level UCI racing in Northampton this weekend. Blue skies and a fast, hard packed course greeted racers for the tenth round of the Verge New England Championship Cyclo-Cross Series. As has become tradition on the course in Northampton, much of the course was reversed today with an off-camber descent turned into a difficult run- or ride-up and the steep ride-up becoming a fast drop-off into a raised track crossing. For many of the racers on course today, the second day of the Cycle-Smart International represents the pinnacle of New England cyclocross.

The Elite Women featured a tough battle between Mary McConneloug (Kenda/Seven/NoTubes), Laura Van Gilder (C3/Athletes Serving Athletes), Natasha Elliott (Garneau/Club Chaussure/Ogilvy) and Andrea Smith (Minuteman Road Club). On the first lap, McConneloug used the mountain biking prowess that brought her to the Olympics to begin to pull away on the ride-up and once she went clear, she never looked back and soloed to another victory in front of an enthusiastic home crowd. Behind her, Van Gilder and Elliott were neck and neck the whole race, each having different strengths with Van Gilder taking the lead on the power sections and Elliott leading through the sinuous roots on the upper level of the course. Elliott’s tactic of keeping the pressure up in hopes of forcing her competition to make a mistake did not work, as Van Gilder was able to hold tight until the last lap. The final pass through the sand pit with a quarter lap left saw Van Gilder launch an attack, pulling clear and crossing the line second. Elliott was close behind in third; Andrea Smith came through alone for fourth.

Series leader Maureen Bruno-Roy (MM Racing) came onto the finishing straight with Rebecca Wellons (Team Plan C) and Sara Bresnick-Zocchi (’s Bicycles) and was not able to match their acceleration, finishing seventh, but holding onto the series lead.

Elite Men's first lap crash. © Paul Weiss

Elite Men's first lap crash. © Paul Weiss

For the second day of the weekend, carnage marked the beginning of the Elite Men’s race. This time, the crash came only twenty-five meters into the race as normal shoulder rubbing ended with an enormous pile-up that took down nearly half the field. Most of the noteworthy racers made it through cleanly with the exception of Adam Craig (Giant MTB Team) who emerged with a flat tire and broken shifter at the back of the field. Forced for the second day to fight back from a mechanical issue, Craig chased valiantly, showing his spirit and ended the day in ninth.

Adam Craig despite a first lap crash launches into the air and makes it back to the front. © Paul Weiss

Adam Craig launches. © Paul Weiss

At the front of the race, Jamey Driscoll (Cannondale/, Dan Timmerman (Richard Sachs/RGM/Radix) and race promoter Adam Myerson (Cycle-Smart) took an early lead. Driscoll led after the first lap and held a gap of only a few seconds on Myerson and Timmerman. Timmerman though, rolled a tire on the second lap, losing many positions, forcing him to claw his way back to defend his series leader’s jersey.  Timmerman rode like a man possessed and crossed the line seventh, in front of U-23 winner and series leader Luke Keough (Team Champion System). Myerson’s hopes were dashed when he flatted far from the pit and had to ride conservatively to stay in the game, eventually rolling through in 14th place.

At the front of the race, though, it was the Jamey Driscoll show. In a rare race without a teammate, Driscoll rode smoothly and efficiently, stretching his lead over a four-man chase group to over thirty seconds. As it became clear that the chase was not going to succeed, Nicholas Weighall (California Giant Berry Farms/Specialized) attacked, followed only by Derrick St John (Garneau/Club Chassure/Ogilvy). Without the rest of their chase group, Weighall and St John were able to get in sight of Driscoll, despite being five seconds apart themselves. At one point, going into the bell lap, Weighall got within ten seconds of the leader, it was as close as he would get though. Driscoll picked up his fist victory since Cross Vegas to go with seemingly countless podiums. Weighall pulled in second with St. John third.

The 35+ Masters race shook out differently than it had for most of the season with the lead group including more than just the duo from Corner Cycle – Johnny Bold and Kevin Hines – and Roger Aspholm. Joining them on Sunday were Curtis Boivin (Planet Bike), Kurt Perham ( and, for the second time on the weekend, Richard Sachs/RGM/Radix rider Matt Kraus. These six maintained a solid group for much of the race and it was only on the last lap that it started to shed racers, first Boivin, then Perham. Going into the bell lap, Hines loosed with an attack on the group but Kraus and Aspholm had other ideas and brought it back. Aspholm, desperate to regain his leader’s jersey lost on Saturday, launched an attack of his own on the final pass through the sand, creating a gap of a few bike lengths that he was able to hold to the finish, taking victory. Behind him, Kraus outsprinted Hines for second and his second podium of the weekend. Bold pulled in fourth and surrendered the leader’s jersey to Aspholm.

The Canadian trio from EMD Serono/Specialized of Evan McNeely, Conor O’Brien and Karl Hoppner and the Clif Bar Development Cyclocross Team pair of Nate Morse and Curtis White dominated the U-19 juniors race. McNeely demonstrated his dominance with his fifth win in six Verge races ahead of his teammate O’Brien. Third and fourth spots were taken by Morse and White with Hoppner rounding out the top five.

Once again, U-15 phenom Austin Vincent from CL Noonan/KAM/Coast to Coast’s strong development squad took a solo ride to victory ahead of Minuteman Road Club’s Peter Goguen. The battle of the day, as it often is, was for third and My Way racer Nicholas Catlin led Cooper Willsey from White’s Bikes/GMBC/Catamount over the line in a reversal of Saturday’s fortunes.

Today’s racing capped a great 19th anniversary for the oldest UCI race in America. Near record turnout, perfect weather and great competition left racers and spectators satisfied and energized. The Verge NECCS will resume in two weeks with the return of the Bay State Cyclocross Weekend in Sterling, Massachusetts on November 28 and 29.

The Verge New England Championship Cyclo-Cross Series will be contested over 7 weekends in 2009, starting with the New England Cross-toberfest of Cycling:  3 straights weekends of UCI calendar racing to be held in Williston VT, Gloucester MA, and Providence RI.  After a weekend of much needed rest, the series will continue with stops in New Gloucester ME on Oct 24, Northampton MA on Nov 7, Sterling MA on Nov 28, and the series finale in Warwick RI on Dec 5.  This year series is generously supported by Verge Sport, makers of fine cycling clothing and products since 1993; by Cycle-Smart, purveyors of personalized cycling coaching and solutions for riders across the country; by, the official online registration service of the NECCS; by Paul Weiss Photo/Video, the official photographer of the NECCS, by October Handmade Bicycles, and by Ryders Eyewear.  You can visit these sponsors and get more information on the series by going to the web at

Photo Gallery:

Full Results:

UCI Elite/U23 Men 52 Starters
Place First Name Last Name Team Bib U23 Time
1 Jamey Driscoll Cannondale/ 2 1:01:15
2 Nicholas Weighall California Giant Berry Farms/Specialized 13 1:01:27
3 DERRICK ST JOHN Garneau Club Chaussure Ogilvy 4 1:01:32
4 Josh Dillon RICHARD SACHS – RGM WATCHES – RADIX 7 1:01:42
5 Justin Lindine / Joe’s Garage / IF 12 1:01:53
6 William Dugan RICHARD SACHS – RGM WATCHES – RADIX 10 1:02:34
7 Dan Timmerman RICHARD SACHS – RGM WATCHES – RADIX 3 1:02:55
8 Luke Keough Team Champion System 8 1 1:02:55
9 Adam Craig Giant MTB Team 48 1:03:25
10 Jerome Townsend / Joe’s Garage / IF 9 2 1:03:42
11 Dylan McNicholas CCB Racing 14 1:03:51
12 Manny Goguen / Joe’s Garage / IF 22 3 1:03:52
13 Nathaniel Ward / Joe’s Garage / IF 20 1:04:43
14 Adam Myerson Cycle-Smart 6 1:05:01
15 Ethan Gilmour 27 4 1:05:04
16 Peter Bradshaw Embrocation Cycling Journal 45 1:05:06
17 Colin Reuter International Bicycle/ 34 1:06:00
18 david wilcox Geekhouse Bikes / Boston Rock Gym 29 1:06:03
19 John Burns 23 1:06:04
20 Todd Wheelden KONA/OA/CycleMania 21 1:06:08
21 Wayne Bray Syracuse Bicycle / 24 1:06:34
22 Greg Whitney Back Bay Bicycles / Espresso Royale Caffe 37 1:07:05
23 mitchell Hoke Cliff Bar Development Cyclo Cross Team 49 5 1:07:08
24 Tyler Wren Boo Bicycles 11 1:07:09
25 andrew crooks NYC Velo 39 1:07:24
26 Peter Rubijono Embrocation/IGLEHEART/MadAlchemy 54 1:07:53
27 Christopher Hamlin UVM Cycling 41 1:08:06
28 Rickey Visinski Echappe Equipment Elite Team 16 1:08:20
29 Michael Rea NorEast Cycling 53 1:08:30
30 PETE SMITH Embrocation Cycling Journal / Mad Alchemy 26 1:09:13
31 matthew green Spooky bikes 38 6
32 John Hanson IF/Lionette’s 31
33 Jake Keough Team Champion System 15
34 Adam Sullivan Cycle-Smart / NCC 33
35 Kevin Sweeney International Bicycle Center 32
36 Soren Klingsporn Signature Cycles / Rockstar Games 51 at 1 to go
37 Tom Gosselin Peak Performance Multisport 47 at 1 to go
38 Michael Jenks Highland Park Hermes p/b Kim’s Bike Shop 30 at 1 to go
39 Pierre Vanden Borre Embrocation Cycling Journal / Mad Alchemy 43 at 1 to go
40 Macky Franklin Pioneer Racing 52 at 2 to go
41 Alistair Sponsel Van Dessel Factory Team 46 at 2 to go
42 Joshua Friedman NYC Velo 44 at 2 to go
43 Michael Norton Verge Sport / Test Pilot 40 at 3 to go
DNF Chris Gagnon 50 at 3 to go
DNF Patrick Bradley Rutgers University Cycling Team 25 DNF
DNF Nick Keough Team Champion System 35 DNF
DNF Matt Mainer UVM Cycling 42 DNF
DNF Gavin Mannion Hot Tubes Junior Development Team 17 10 DNF
DNF Kirt Fitzpatrick Sexual Camel 18 DNF
DNF Michael Broderick KENDA-Seven-NoTubes 19 DNF
DNF christian favata Favata’s Tablerock Tours and Bikes 28 DNF
DNF John Peterson 55 DNF
UCI Elite Women 25 starters
Place First Name Last Name Team Bib Time
1 Mary McConneloug KENDA-Seven-NoTubes 6 0:38:43
2 LAURA VAN GILDER C3 Athletes Serving Athletes 3 0:38:52
3 NATASHA ELLIOTT Garneau Club Chaussure Ogilvy 1 0:39:02
4 Andrea Smith Minuteman Road Club 5 0:39:27
5 Rebecca Wellons Team Plan C 4 0:40:17
6 Sara Bresnick-Zocchi Landrys Bicycles 7 0:40:18
7 Maureen Bruno Roy MM Racing 2 0:40:19
8 Ann D’Ambruoso Minuteman Road Club 15 0:40:28
9 sally annis Hub Racing 10 0:40:53
10 Anna Barensfeld Minuteman Road Club 9 0:41:10
11 Anna Milkowski / Joe’s Garage / IF 24 0:41:13
12 Linnea Koons October Factory Racing 8 0:41:17
13 Christina Tamilio Minuteman Road Club 17 0:41:32
14 Arielle Filiberti Dartmouth College 23 0:41:55
15 Rebecca Blatt US Army/ Central Wheel 22 0:41:56
16 Karin Holmes Sunapee S&W 20 0:41:57
17 Sarah Krzysiak Syracuse Bicycle/ 21 0:42:33
18 BETH MASON Verge Test Pilot 14 0:42:56
19 Bryna Nestor Anthem Sports 18 0:42:57
20 Michelle Kersbergen Joe’s Garage 11 0:43:32
21 Callie Gordon 26 0:43:34
22 Allison Snooks Minuteman Road Club 16 0:44:00
23 Natalia Gardiol Cambridge Bicycle / Igleheart Frames 12 0:44:15
24 Marilyn Ruseckas Seven Cycles 19 0:44:56