Nash and Rochette were in a class of their own on the dark slopes of Night Weasels

Nash and Rochette were in a class of their own on the dark slopes of Night Weasels.

by Colin Reuter

SKI WARD SKI AREA, SHREWSBURY, MA – The New England Holy Week of Cyclocross headed into the darkness Wednesday night, with weather conditions changing drastically from the weekend’s dust bowl at Gloucester.  Nearly two inches of rain fell overnight, so the mud tires were out and “real cyclocross weather” arrived, as over 400 racers gathered to race up and down a dark, slippery ski hill 40 miles west of Boston at The Night Weasels Cometh.

The Women’s Elite field was the strongest in the event’s history, headlined by LUNA Pro Team riders Katerina Nash and Maghalie Rochette, as well as Emma White (Cyclocrossworld Devo) who took her first cyclocross ride of the season, after a second place at Junior Road Worlds in Richmond last week.

The LUNA riders wasted no time stamping their authority on the race, with Rochette taking the holeshot ahead of Nash.  They were chased by Kate Northcott (West Hill Shop), White, Gabby Durrin (Neon Velo) and Kathleen Lysakowski (Joe’s Garage CX pb BikeReg), but by the end of the first lap the duo established a gap that would only grow for the rest of the evening.

Defending champion Rochette, led Nash for much of the night, but the current World Cup leader was never more than a few bike lengths back.  With just over a lap to go, Nash launched an attack on the biggest climb that Rochette couldn’t match, and notched her second major night cyclocross victory of the year.  Afterward, Nash was all smiles — “I can’t believe how many people are out here on a Wednesday night… I think I’m going to become a night race specialist,” she quipped.

"I'm going to become a night racing specalist," quipped Nash

“I’m going to become a night racing specalist,” quipped Nash

As the chase group splintered on the relentless course, Northcott dropped her challengers to ride onto the last step of the podium.  Emma White survived a spectacular, stake-crushing crash to roll in fourth, with Lysakowski narrowly holding off Jessica Cutler (Jamis) for fifth.

The Men’s Elite race also featured record depth, with five-time winner Justin Lindine (Apex/NBX/Trek) facing his toughest title defense yet against the likes of Ryan Trebon (Cannondale/cyclocrossworld), Tobin Ortenblad (Cal Giant/Specialized), Cody Kaiser (Lange Twins Specialized), Michael Van Den Ham (Red Truck), Jeremy Martin (Louis Garneau), and a host of other UCI-points-holders in town for Holy Week.

Justin Lindine enjoyed the non-pack racing course of Night Weasels

Justin Lindine enjoyed the non-pack racing course of Night Weasels

Ortenblad took the holeshot ahead of Lindine, with a surprising gap to the rest of the field, led by Trebon.  By the time the leaders emerged from the darkness on lap two, though, order had been restored with Lindine now pushing the pace and Ortenblad struggling to follow.  Trebon continued to lurk, leading a chase group of Van Den Ham, Mark McConnell (Hot Sauce Cycling Club), and Ben Frederick (beyondCX).

The demands of riding at Lindine-speed on a dark and bumpy course became apparent, with first Trebon, then Ortenblad succumbing to flat tires, while Van Den Ham laid waste to course tape as he found the limits of traction several times.  Frederick added to the mayhem with a tilted saddle after a remount, which left a clean-riding McConnell clear in second.

Just like every year, though, once Lindine had a gap he never relinquished it, threatened more by delirious lapped riders than chasers as he led solo for the rest of the night.  A surging McConnell came through in second, with Frederick in third to round out the podium.

Trebon, no stranger to chasing after flat tires this year, came out of the pit deep in the scrub zone—giving a few cat 3s pictures they can treasure for a lifetime — but was soon closing in on the leaders, and the race was between him and lap cards.  He tore into the top ten and came out victorious in a furious final-lap battle with Van Den Ham to finish fourth on the night.

Glowing bikes and big air -- just another night at Holy Week

Glowing bikes and big air, just another night at Holy Week

Lindine explained his annual domination of Night Weasels, “It’s not a course which favors group racing or sitting in… which is good because I’m not any good at that.  It’s sort of a bull-headed and stubborn course… like me.”

After a late night race with a bustling beer garden, you might think that a few days to recover would be warranted, but many of the amateur racers are headed to the KMC Cyclo-cross Festival in Providence on Friday, barely 36 hours after the close of Night Weasels.  If you’re making a pilgrimage to Holy Week, there’s no time to rest.

2015 Night Weasels Elite Women's Results

PlaceTimeFirst NameLast NameTeamCityState
10:39:11KaterinaNashLUNA Pro Team
20:39:36MaghalieRochetteLUNA Pro TeamSt-JeromeQC
30:40:07KateNorthcottWest Hill ShopWalpoleNH
40:40:33EmmaWhiteCyclocrossworld Devo TeamDelansonNY
50:41:13KathleenLysakowskiJoe's Garage CX p/b BikeRegWareMA
70:41:45GabbyDurrinNeon Velo
80:42:32AmandaNaumanSDG - Muscle MonsterMission ViejoCA
90:42:41MeghanKorolTeam HandmadeAshevilleNC
110:43:14JenniferMalikGranville Brewing Co -- Stanridge CXColumbusOH
120:43:35RubyWestCenturion Next WaveDundasON
130:43:39EllenSherrillRock Lobster CyclocrossSouth Lake TahoeCA
140:44:06ErinFacconeTeam AvericaMedfordMA
160:44:33FrancesMorrisonC3 Twenty20 CyclingEasthamptonMA
170:44:40Julievan der HoopGREEN LINE VELO driven by ZipcarWoods HoleMA
190:47:33CoreyTuckerGREEN LINE VELO driven by ZipcarSomervilleMA
200:48:10HeidiBaksPawling Cycle & SportPoughkeepsieNY
21lapElizabethCummingsKeep It TightBostonMA
23lapHannahRossiTeam AvericaAllstonMA
24lapElizabethAllenDanielson Adventure SportsDanielsonCT
25lapKarenPurtillStedmans Bicycle CoNarragansettRI
27lapT.A.RabbitDown CyclesMontroseNY
28lapHilaryScheintaubRiverside RacingByfieldMA
29lapJenniferMineryComprehensive Racing/Salem CycleSalemMA
dnfdnfVickieMonahanTeam ERRACE p/b DSO ManufacturingWethersfieldCT
dnfdnfIngridLovittHellgate CycleryMissoulaMT
dnfdnfrebekahweinerjra cyclesworcesterMA

2015 Night Weasels Elite Men's Results

PlaceTimeFirst NameLast NameTeamCityState
10:47:44JustinLindineApex / NBX / TrekNorth OgdenUT
20:47:55MarkMcConnellHot Sauce Cycling ClubcalgaryAB
50:48:26Michaelvan den HamRed Truck -- Garneau p/b Easton CyclingEdmontonAB
60:48:32RobertMarionAmerican Classic Pro CX TeamMount AiryNC
70:48:34JeremyMartinLouis GarneauBoischatelQC
80:49:10AndrewJuilianoVOLER/HRS/ROCK LOBSTERSanta BarbaraCA
90:49:15TobinOrtenbladCalifornia Giant / SpecializedSanta CruzCA
100:49:18CodyKaiserLange Twins Specialized
110:50:26ToddBowdenTrek CX CollectiveGlastonburyCT
120:50:32MerwinDavispathfinder of wvMorgantownWV
130:50:37AdamSt. GermainNEXT-BMBBurlingtonVT
140:50:43AbeGoorskeyAmerican Classic Pro CX TeamFloydVA
150:51:09HugoRobinsonNEON Velo
180:51:23JohnPetersonwww.bikebarnracing.comNorth EastonMA
190:51:27AndrewLintsRIT CyclingcambridgeMA
200:51:43DougThorpColonial Bicycle Company #ShowUpOrBlowUpYARMOUTHME
220:51:50TimRattaBarks X Wreck Adventure ClubGuilfordCT
230:51:59JesseQuagliaroliExpo WheelmenTollandCT
240:52:08TreverKingsburyBOO BicyclesPetoskeyMI
250:52:09PrestonBuehrerB2C2 p/b BolocoBostonMA
260:52:12MarkMillerElm City VeloMarlboroughNH
270:52:27CharlesBerhtramTeam CuppowRoxburyMA
280:52:30BenjaminGrenierRancourt & Co. CyclingLewistonME
290:52:35IanSchonTeam CuppowBrooklineMA
300:52:43DavidSheekSDG - Muscle MonsterLaguna HillsCA
310:52:53MatthewDomnarskiHorst Engineering Masters Cycling TeamWareMA
320:53:11BrianHughesFast Splits MultisportMiddleboroMA
330:53:15ScottYaroshNorthampton Bicycle RacingHatfieldMA
340:53:24JohnMundeliusCal Giant/SpecializedAlamoCA
350:53:31MatthewTylerLaughing Dog CycleryMorristownNJ
370:53:45NolanGaronMinuteman Road ClubDunstableMA
390:53:54DanielFitzGibbonsGREEN LINE VELO driven by ZipcarDorchesterMA
400:54:07ChristopherMerolaLaughing DogNorthamptonMA
410:54:14AndrewLysaghtTeam CUPPOWSomervilleMA
430:54:52KevinChurchHUP United
440:55:33JimGentesFamily CyclingSoquelCA
45lapPaulLaStayoKUHLSalt Lake CityUT
46lapAdamSullivanGrinta! p/b Best Buddies ChallengeNorth KingstownRI
47lapRussellThorstromTeam Rhino RushBoiseID
48lapMarkMcCormackClif Bar/Pactimo/Meltsnow.comFoxboroMA p/b CraftPorter CornersNY
50lapAlanDouglassCompetetive Edge CyclingWilbrahamMA
53lapScottRosenthalZanconato Racing
54lapJerryDe Zutter545 VeloHudsonMA
55lapSteveOuzounianDolores Grotta / Big Swingin' CyclesRenoNV
56lapEdwardParsonsHUP UnitedBurlingtonMA
58lapDavidKirkpatrickNovember BicyclesNewportRI
59lapThomasCasparisBikeway Source/Bell Lap RacingCarlisleMA
60lapjeremybrazealAetna-Expo WheelmenmanchesterCT
62lapStevenHopengartenGREEN LINE VELO driven by ZipCarSomervilleMA
63lapBrianRutterLaughing DogBelchertownMA
64lapJoelBrownClif Bar/Pactimo/MeltSnow.comChestnut HillMA
65lapDavidGoodwinNorthampton Cycling ClubShutesburyMA
66lapJohnGrenierRancourt Shoe/ Rainbow BikeLewistonME
67lapTobiSchultzeClif Bar/Pactimo/MeltSnow.comFoxboroMA
68lapMichaelCahillBoston Racing IndependentArlingtonMA
69lapRobertRolsmaRiverside RacingHaverhillMA
dnfdnfmichaelwissellTeam CuppowHyde ParkMA
dnfdnfKevinSweeneyTeam CUPPOWMedfordMA
dnfdnfDanOuelletteSpin Arts CyclingWestminsterMA
dnfdnfChristopherRaymondGrinta! P/B Best Buddies ChallengeJamaica PlainMA
dnfdnfJustinBucktroutDolore Grotta / Big Swingin CyclesSan FranciscoCA
dnfdnfleocandidus545 velowaylandMA
dnfdnfmaxcandidus545 velowaylandMA
dnfdnfJoshBurgelBikeway Source/Bell Lap RacingConcordMA
dnfdnfjoefabrisPlus3 / Fightin' BobasLos GatosCA
dnfdnfSteveMcGrathLagunitas Racing ExperiencePortsmouthNH