Full Report by Cindy Brennan
The Verge NECX Series races heated up throughout the day as some of the nation's best racers entered into season-long competitions spanning fifteen categories of elite and amateur racing. The Series' commitment to equality in men's and women's racing is evidenced by the newly added 45+ Category 3 women's category and an Elite 35+ women's category, and by this weekend's entirely sold out races for Category 4 Women, Category 3 Women, and Elite Women.
The Elite Women took to the course, a cloud of dust billowing from the course as the large field of racers sped through the dry, sandy track. Helen Wyman (Kona Factory Racing) and Ellen Noble (JAM Fund/NCC/Vittoria) gained a gap early, as a large chase massed behind them. Caroline Mani (Raleigh/Clement), a winner at Gloucester last year, bridged to the leaders. The chase was on: a few seconds back, Katie Compton (Trek Factory Racing), Amanda Miller (Boulder Cycle Sport/YogaGlo), and Australian National Champion Lisa Jacobs hunted down the leaders.
Compton bridged to the front as Wyman, whose strengths were not favored by today's course, fell a bit off pace. Noble, Mani, and Compton gained time on the field as Wyman rode alone in fourth spot. The chase hung on, working to reel in Wyman, as Mani and Noble traded attacks in the hopes of weakening Compton. Compton clung with tenacity to the leaders, but was unable to muster the legs to come around the other two in the lead group.
Noble launched an attack in the final corners and gained several seconds on Mani, only to bobble. Mani won by a slim margin over Noble in second and Compton in third. Wyman remained in fourth spot, holding off the chase from Miller in fifth.
In the Series competitions, Mani claims the overall jersey. Noble is the U23 leader, while Compton has the first-ever 35+ Elite Women's leader's jersey in the history of the Series.
Use the slider below for full results and photos from the event.