by Lauren LeClaire
In round seven of the Vittoria Northeast Cyclocross Series presented by Cycle-Smart, Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com picked up double wins on Day 1 of Category 2 (C2) racing at NBX Gran Prix of ‘Cross with Emma and Curtis White.
Elite Women: Emma White Leads Early and Late for the Win
In the Women’s Elite race, Emma White would go on the hunt for the win early at Goddard Memorial State Park in Warwick, R.I., known for classic New England terrain with its technical turns, rooty descents, and legendary beach sections. White would take the holeshot and never look back.
Early on lap one; she began to pull away from the field riding in a league of her own. Only Melinda McCutcheon (DNA-Cotton Sox) would come close to White. She finished only four seconds down in second place after a huge effort to catch the leader on the final lap.
“Last lap I was playing it safe a little bit” said White, who sits in second place in the USA Cycling Professional Cyclocross national standings coming into the weekend. “I knew I had a pretty strong lead. With all these roots I kind of played it safe there. She (McCutcheon) was strong until the end. I wasn’t going slow by any means but would rather have won by less of a gap than flattened and lost it.”
The battle for third continued throughout the race between Ruby West (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com), Arley Kemmerer (Fearless Femme Racing) and Julie Wright (Team Averica). After several bobbles split the group of three, West would come in for third place seven seconds ahead of Kemmerer, who would take fourth.
With today’s win, White is one step closer to clinching the overall Vittoria Series title as she cuts into Maghalie Rochette’s (Clif Pro Team) overall lead. Rochette is not in attendance this weekend at NBX.
West was thrilled with her podium performance, securing third place on the final lap. “It’s my first one ever, so I am really, really happy. On the last lap going up the stairs, Arley missed her pedal getting back in so I just kinda clipped in quickly and went around her and tried to hold the gap.”
Elite Men: Curtis White Cruises to a Solo Victory
Peter Goguen (Race CF) would lead the charge to open the Elite Men’s race, driving the pace for a group of six that included Curtis White, Jack Kisseberth (JAM/NCC), Jeremy Durrin (Neon Velo Cycling Team), Dylan McNicholas (Polartec), and Justin Lindine (Apex/NBX/Trek). With four laps to go, White would make his move and was quickly on his own for the remainder of the day, flying around the technical track. White would take the win with 24 seconds over second-place Durrin.
“I came into this weekend, I had a plan,” said White. “I knew I wanted to go with four to go. It was a ways out but I felt like I had a solid week of training. I took last weekend of from racing so I was able to get the training in I wanted to. I came in well rested and that was what I set out to do. Right with four to go I got the front and hit it up a couple of the hills and the gap just started to slowly open and just kept opening after that.”
It came down to a sprint finish for Durrin at the end to edge out Kisseberth for the second step on the podium. Lindine would finish fourth and Goguen fifth.
“I think I burned one too many matches in the beginning when I was on the front. I wanted to just get a feel of the course, get the feel of my pace and kind of hold at that. I wasn’t trying to push it hard, just go my own pace,” said Goguen, who held an early lead in the race.
Curtis White sits in third overall on the Pro CX Men’s Elite standings. He is also the top-ranked U23 Men’s rider going into the weekend.
The NBX Gran Prix of Cross continues Sunday with another pair of C2 races. Sunday non-UCI events will crown Rhode Island state champions for amateur racers.
Watch the races unfold in person or by following tweets at @VittoriaSeries. For more information visit www.necyclocross.com.
2016 NBX Gran Prix of Cross Day 1 Results - Elite Women
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2016 NBX Gran Prix of Cross Day 1 Results - Elite Men