By the time the Men’s Elite Race started at Nittany Lion, Day One, the temperature dropped to the low 80’s. The earlier fields, including the Elite Women, had to contend with an open sky and a blistering sun to start many of their cyclocross seasons. The first race enjoyed a heavy layer of dew on the untrodden grass, but that quickly dried up when the temperatures hit above 90.
Nittany Lion is annually considered a non-technical, fast course, and day one of this year seemed to take this aspects to an extreme. Every inch of a long-stretching hill between two large fields was used to test off-camber work, and while the dirt in the back section was soft, the roots appeared to be less of a threat than in years past.
The course designers also moved the barriers from last year’s run up to a more traditional setup, and many riders who bunny-hopped them never needed to dismount the entire race. Although technical rider Todd Wells won here in 2013, it was clear that conditioning was more important than technical prowess today.
Lioness’ Battle Comes Down to Last Corner – Women’s Elite Race
The race started at an amazingly fast pace, with many racers trying to make their presence felt early in the cyclocross season. Within the first lap, however, a small group emerged off the front, consisting of Laura Van Gilder (Van Dessel p/b Mellow Mushroom), Arley Kemmerer (PB2 Pro Cycling), Ellen Noble (JAM Fund / NCC), and Gabby Durrin (Neon Velo Cycling).
Van Gilder took command of the small field early and often, putting her head into the wind for much of the race. Known as one of the fiercest sprinters in criterium racing and cyclocross, Van Gilder kept the other riders in check, preventing any breakaways. Meanwhile, Stacey Barbossa (MidAtlantic Colavita Women’s Team) was in fifth, and cutting away the lead of the other four women.
Right before the finishing stretch, Van Gilder ideally positioned herself for the sprint, leading Durrin and Noble. Kemmerer, meanwhile, had fallen back nine or ten seconds.
In the final turn, Van Gilder cornered while leaning forward to power through the finish, and her bike slid from beneath her. Her Van Dessel bounced beyond the race tape while Van Gilder slid to a halt. Durrin and Noble took advantage of the situation, and the new Neon Velo rider beat Noble to the line. Van Gilder slid under the tape and remounted her bike before Kemmerer came along, but it was too late. Kemmerer was carrying enough speed through the last stretch that she was able to catch Van Gilder in the final 10 feet.
“It was a tactical race,” Durrin told us after her win. “And I hate tactical races!” She stood by the announcer’s stand, proudly displaying her “13” Pro CX number to the officials. Not one for superstition, Durrin didn’t even flip it upside down, and it clearly didn’t put her in misfortune’s way.
The Lions of Nittany: Men’s Elite Race
The first few laps of the men’s race saw a group of thirty-plus remaining together, emphasizing the speed of the Nittany Lion Cyclocross course. The fast pace was too much for the entire group to handle, however, and with five laps to go, the group shrank down to a dozen.
Swiss rider Lukas Winterberg (MG-Cycling Team), who is no stranger to American cyclocross races and World Cups alike, remained up front for most of the race to keep the pressure high with a fast pace. Stephen Hyde (JAM Fund / NCC) remained right behind, and Jeremy Durrin (Neon Velo Cycling) kept his place as the third wheel for most of the day. Dan Timmerman (HOUSE INDUSTRIES/SIMPLEHUMAN/RICHARD SACHS) flirted between first and second early in the race, and stayed with the pack when it cut down to seven guys. Mike Garrigan and Curtis White (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com) also stayed with the leaders, along with an unfamiliar rider, Jacob Lasley (Team Soundpony) from Oklahoma.
On the first half of the last lap, as the riders made their way onto the rising plateau of the course, Lasley used his road cycling tactical know-how to his favor, and picked the perfect time to launch an attack.
The remaining six riders gave chase, but couldn’t match the Oklahoma rider’s fervor as he crossed the line in first. White had unfortunate mishap, flatting his rear tire and losing the chance at a podium position. He was able to change bikes in the pit, from his single chainring race bike to his double-ring pit bike, and was ultimately able to keep away from following riders Adam Myerson (Team SmartStop) and Robert Marion (American Classic Pro Team).
After Lasley took the win, the Swiss rider, Winterberg, took second and Hyde finished at third. Dan Timmerman followed close behind for fourth, and Jeremy Durrin took fifth.
Jacob Lasley Talks Starting Slow and Finishing Fast:
2014 Nittany Lion Cyclocross Day 1 - Men's Results
|1||43||LASLEY Jacob||Team Soundpony||1:00:48|
|2||31||WINTERBERG Lukas||Mg-Cycling Team||00:01|
|3||8||HYDE Stephen||Jam Fund / Ncc||00:02|
|4||34||TIMMERMAN Dan||House Industries/Simplehuman/Richard Sachs||00:03|
|5||12||DURRIN Jeremy||Neon Velo Cycling Team||00:05|
|7||3||WHITE Curtis||Cannondale P/B Cyclocrossworld.Com||00:46|
|8||36||MYERSON Adam||Team Smartstop||00:46|
|9||45||GAFFNEY Lewis||American Classic Pro Team||00:47|
|10||6||MARION Robert||American Classic Pro Team||00:47|
|11||78||DODGE Cameron||Pure Energy/Scott Bikes|
|12||47||WITTWER Greg||C3-Twenty20 Cycling Co.|
|14||58||WAITE Nick||Pro Tested Gear|
|15||33||WERNER Kerry||Optum Pro Cycling Cx Team|
|16||37||SCHEMPF Weston||Seavs/Haymarket Pb Van Dessel|
|17||42||WELLS Jake||Stan'S Notubes Elite Cx|
|18||67||ADASAVAGE Gerald||Crca/Weather Channel Cycling Team|
|21||46||MESSER Andrew||Team Upland Brewing - Soma Coffee|
|23||44||O'KEEFE Sam||C3 - Twenty20 Cycling Co.|
|24||63||SNYDER Jordan||C3 Twenty Twenty Cycling|
|25||53||D'AVINO Mark||Toasted Head Racing|
|27||71||MIHALIK Michael||Freddie Fu Cycling Team|
|28||38||FAVATA Christian||Trt Bicycles|
|29||70||FESTA Mike||Philadelphia Ciclismo|
|30||50||MEADVANCORT Jonah||Kms Cycling- Killington Mountain School|
|31||62||BEELS Marten T Roberts||Lamprey Cycling|
|32||40||RYAN Alex||Mock Orange Pro Cx Team|
|33||74||LACOSTA Cody||High Gear Cyclery/ Cannondale|
|34||69||PIGGA Joe||Lamprey Systems|
|35||32||MILNE Shawn||Boulder Cycle Sport/Yoga Glo|
|36||64||LEBAIR Craig||Philadelphia Ciclismo|
|37||39||NOILES Kevin||Voler/Steven'S Creek B.M.W./Hrs/Rocklobster|
|38||75||COMEAU Ryan||Team Lake Effect|
|39||66||BROOKS Andy||The Cycle Works|
|DNF||56||CHABANOV Daniel||House Industries/Simplehuman/Richard Sachs|
|DNF||41||DILLON Joshua||Bikereg.Com Elite Cycling Team|
|DNF||57||GREENBERG Eric||Kelpius Cycling|
|DNF||59||WOLF Dan||Pro Tested Gear|
|DNF||73||ORDONS Steven||Philadelphia Ciclismo|
|DNF||54||COOPER Evan||Hudson-Flash Cyclocross|
|DNS||61||YOZELL Michael||Kapelmuur Independent|
|DNS||68||MONTALBANO Mike||Toasted Head Racing|
2014 Nittany Lion Cyclocross Day 1 - Women's Results
|1||13||DURRIN Gabriella||Neon Velo Cycling Team||0:45:20|
|2||32||NOBLE Ellen||Jam Fund / Ncc||0:00|
|3||8||KEMMERER Arley||Pb2 Pro Cycling||00:11|
|4||28||VAN GILDER Laura||Van Dessel P/B Mellow Mushroom||00:12|
|5||33||BARBOSSA Stacey||Midatlantic Colavita Women'S Team||01:04|
|6||23||MAXIMENKO Cassandra||Rare Vos Racing/Van Dessel/Powerbar||01:21|
|7||38||BOWMAN Brittlee||House Industries/Simplehuman/Richard Sachs||01:29|
|8||31||HUNTER Julie||Seavs/Haymarket Pb Van Dessel||01:33|
|9||34||SHIELDS Emily||Ken'S Bike Shop||01:45|
|10||54||SORNSON Cheryl||Team Rare Disease Cycling||01:47|
|11||44||CUMMING Kathryn||Team Yacht Club|
|12||39||LYSAKOWSKI Kathleen||Cycle Lodge|
|13||36||DOWIDCHUK Katrina||Midatlantic Colavita Women'S Team|
|14||40||SHIELDS Katherine||Ken'S Bike Shop|
|15||74||NORTHCOTT Kate||Ness Team New England|
|16||43||TUFANO Allyson||Sportif Coaching Group/Patapsco Bike And Sport|
|17||84||FAHRINGER Rebecca||Jam Fund / Ncc|
|18||62||SANSOME Carol Jeane||County Cycles Masters Cx P/B Trek|
|20||61||JORGENSEN Laura||Mellow Mushroom Racing|
|21||78||GATES Victoria||Jam Fund / Ncc|
|22||80||MONAHAN Vickie||Nycross P/B Craft|
|24||86||TIMM Leslie||Ladies First Racing|
|25||50||MCCAFFERY Vanessa||Stan'S Notubes/Corning Race Team|
|26||70||SEMIAN Bailey||C3-Twenty20 Cycling Co.|
|27||51||WULFKUHLE Kathleen||C3 Twenty 20 Cycling Co.|
|28||58||BARCLAY Victoria||Stan'S Notubes Elite Women'S Team|
|29||37||MORRISON Frances||C3-Twenty20 Cycling Co.|
|30||83||NORDHEM Jennifer||Crca: Stan'S Notubes P/B Endurancewerx|
|32||57||HURFORD Molly||Midatlantic Colavita Women’S Team|
|33||73||WALKER Katina||Bike Loft East|
|35||64||FESTA Lauren||Peanut Butter & Co. Human Zoom|
|36||45||POPOVIC Carolyn||Engin Cycles P/B Kelpius|
|37||56||FERRO Shane||Crca / Rockstar Games / Signature Cycles|
|38||59||NABHOLZ April||Giant Northeast Grassroots|
|39||41||PRESNELL Melissa||Rogue Velo Racing|