By David Mable
Racers took to the cold and muddy terrain of Iowa City’s Jingle Cross course for a Friday night race under the lights. Slick conditions were a large factor in the racing, with mechanical issues and crashes aplenty.
In his inaugural Jingle Cross trip, Jonathan Page (Page/Fuji) paced perfectly, making a late race pass on a fading Troy Wells (Team Clif Bar) and soloing to victory. Katerina Nash (Luna Pro Team) was well on her way to a win in the Elite Women’s race when she was struck with drivetrain issues, opening the door for Caroline Mani (Raleigh-Clement) to come from behind for the win.
Read on for all the details on the night’s racing action.
Nash led an early group in the Elite Women’s race, which included Kaitlin Antonneau (Cannondale/pb Cyclocrossworld), Katie Compton (Trek Factory Racing) with Courtney McFadden (American Classic/Zones) close behind.
It looked to be a wrap as Nash went into the final lap with a sizable lead, though a hard-charging Mani was climbing through the field. The mud got the better of Nash’s bike, pausing her enough for several women to pass. The determined Mani dropped Compton, whom she’d been riding with for several laps, and finally caught and dropped Antonneau on the final trip up Mt. Krumpit. Coming across the line with the victory, Mani was overcome with emotion.
“I was having a pretty tough day for personal reasons,” said Mani. “But I was trying to be consistent. It was a mess at the beginning and I got stuck in the first corner and everyone was so far away. I didn’t panic, I just tried to be smooth, consistent and other people made mistakes and I though “All right, let’s do it!”
Antonneau hung on for second and Compton completed the podium to take third.
Due to technical difficulties, there is no video replay for the Elite Women’s race.
On his first visit to Iowa for the three days of Jingle Cross, Jonathan Page (Fuji Racing) found the sticky mud and greasy climb up Mt. Krumpit to his liking. After an early challenge by Troy Wells (Team Clif Bar), Page took control in the final laps of the late-night race, taking the lead before hearing the bell for the final lap not looking back.
“It’s my first time here at Jingle Cross and I’m really pleasantly surprised,” said Page. “The climb here is like a little slice of Belgium, like the Koppenberg, and a lot of thick mud.”
Andrew Dillman (Cyclocross Network Racing) moved through the field, passing a tiring Wells on the final lap to take second. Alan Krughoff (Noosa Yogurt) held steady in the top three or four positions throughout the race and made his move late in the race to take final step of the podium, finishing third.
Check out a replay of the Elite Men’s race, courtesy of gnarlymonkey.com.
Stay tuned throughout the weekend as we bring you full coverage of Jingle Cross. Live streaming video starts today at 1:45 p.m. Central time.
Jingle Cross Elite Women's Day One Results
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Jingle Cross Elite Men's Day One Results