JAMESBURG, N.J.—Mud, and more mud, provided the course at Highland Park Cyclocross (HPCX) in Jamesburg with an entirely new look and feel for Sunday. A second day of UCI Category 2 races was contested at Thompson Park, with light showers turning to steady downpours by the time the Elite Women and Men navigated through the soggy ccourse for USA Cycling’s Professional Cyclocross Calendar (ProCX) points.
Samantha Runnels (Squid Bikes) of Austin, Texas made it two-for-two with her win in the Elite Women’s event. Scott Smith (JAM/ NCC) of Westhampton, Mass. proved he liked the mud by winning his first ProCX contest when the Elite Men took the soggy course.
Runnels Goes Back to Back on Sunday
Before the course became a quagmire, Lily Williams (Pony Shop CX Team) of Asheville, N.C. grabbed the early lead. Fighting for her wheel was Runnels, and Kathryn Cumming (Jalapeno Cycling) of Bloomfield, N.J. about 20 seconds off the pace. With two laps to go, Runnels made her first move. She and Williams then exchanged turns at the front, before chasers closed in to make it a real contest.
Runnels said the weather did play a big factor in the race today, as compared to the dry track on Saturday. “The front was a different mix of women, the girls who can handle their bikes a little better. It was awesome. (You’ve got) to handle it in the mud.”
On the bell lap, Julie Wright (Team Averica) joined Cumming in the chase, barely catching on the back of the two-woman engine at the front. Then Runnels used a new gear on one of the sharp elevation changes to make the final pass, taking a three-second margin for the win over Wright. Cumming would finish third, nine seconds behind the repeat winner.
“There was a lot of movement in the race,” Runnels said. “I was just trying to get in the front a couple of turns before the finish, and I ended up passing a girl on the uphill, so about six turns before the straightaway. I figured whoever comes into the pavement first is going to win. So, I was just trying to stay upright. I probably fell six or eight times. It was a really fun race.”
Williams crossed the line in fourth and N.J.’s Stacey Barbossa (Midatlantic Colavita Women’s Team), who finished second on Saturday, was fifth on Sunday.
Scott Smith Jams in the Mud
Steady rain progressed into a full downpour for the UCI C2 Men’s race. Like the falling precipitation, Smith amped up the pressure shortly after the holeshot, which was won by Kevin Bradford-Parish (Gillespie Eye Care/setcoaching) of Spokane, Wash. With an early pass, Smith dropped the rest of the 31-rider field to take a commanding win.
“There is a pinch-point right after the holeshot, so I wanted to be first there. I was second wheel, and then went around the guy in first, and from there it was just me for the rest of the way,” said Smith about jumping to the front early and staying there to the end.
He wasn’t alone the entire race though, as Justin Lindine (Apex/NBX/Hyperthreads) of North Ogden, Utah, was on his wheel for the first two laps. On lap three, Smith put in an attack and created a 10-second gap to Lindine, who was joined by Smith’s Massachusetts-based teammate, and Saturday C2 race winner, Jack Kisseberth.
“I knew Justin was going to be there, and Jack was going to be there,” said Smith about how the race unfolded in the mud, which he said played a major factor in his win. “Being able to handle the bike in the mud, I really like riding in these conditions. I grew up mountain biking, and I just love the mud.”
Kisseberth would use a final sprint to grab second place. Five seconds later, Lindine finished third. Michael Owens (Hands-On Cycling p/b Guerciotti), a 19-year-old from Richmond, VT., came in two full minutes later for fourth, 3:04 behind Smith. Bradford-Parish would secure fifth. A total of 14 riders completed all seven, soggy laps.
Next weekend, Nov. 4-5, races will take place at the 11th annual Derby City Cup in Louisville, Ky., showcasing a new course at Joe Creason Park. ProCX races will take place on Nov. 4, as well as the grand finale of the ShoAir US Cup-CX Series, where a cash purse of $35,000 will be divided equally among Elite Women and Elite Men. On Nov. 5 the same venue will be used for Pan-American Cyclocross Championships.
The final event for this year’s American Cyclocross Calendar (ACXC) will be part the Really Rad Festival of Cyclocross, presented by Corner Cycle Cape Cod in Falmouth, Mass Nov. 4-5. It is the second year for the Really Rad Festival of Cyclocross, held at the Cape Cod Fairgrounds.
Women's Results - 2017 HPCX Day 2
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Men's Results - 2017 HPCX Day 2
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