by Lauren LeClaire
Whiteout conditions were present for Day 2 of the NBX Gran Prix of ‘Cross in Warwick, R.I. on Sunday, but not weather related. The UCI Category 2 (C2) race would be dominated for a second day by siblings Emma and Curtis White of Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com. The two would also win the overall season titles of the Vittoria Northeast Cyclocross Series presented by Cycle-Smart, the only UCI race series in the U.S.
Elite Women: Emma White Dominates from Start to Finish
Emma would waste no time hitting the gas early and often on lap one of the Elite Women’s race. She would pull away and solidify a comfortable gap, leaving Melinda McCutcheon (DNA-Cotton Sox) and Cassie Maximenko (Van Dessel/Atom Composites/ISM) to chase. White would finish at cruising speed, 36 seconds over second place McCutcheon, a far more decisive victory than on Saturday at Goddard Memorial State Park in Warwick, R.I.
It would be White’s third Vittoria Series win of the season, all C2 events that are part of the USA Cycling Professional Cyclocross Calendar (Pro CX). She also has eight additional podium finishes in Pro CX Elite Women’s races this year.
“I had nothing to lose today,” White said. “I went hard until the end. It was a little bit smoother today; there were some roots in the back. I took those a little bit easy, but for the most part there were a lot of power sections, so I took advantage of those. This is definitely a little bit of a training weekend, knowing there’s another C1 down in Oklahoma (Ruts N’ Guts), and I head to Europe on Tuesday. So this is the last big intense weekend before some racing over there.”
Maximenko, who was seventh on Day 1, had an incredible come-back performance after suffering multiple severe injuries early in the season. “I got my head in the right place today and it’s been a really rough season with having two big injuries right at the start of the season. And then, you know, you come into the season and everyone’s already been racing hard and you’ve been on the trainer for six weeks and, you know, you just don’t have that racing mentality. So today it clicked, finally. It was like, ok, I’m back! And my head was in the game the whole time.”
Maximenko would round out the podium for third, just seven seconds down on McCutcheon. It was the second day in a row for McCutcheon to finish behind White for second place.
Elite Men: Curtis White Wins Tactical Battle
Curtis White would take a slightly more conservative approach than his sister. He would face a tactical battle with Jack Kisseberth (JAM/NCC) and Peter Goguen (RaceCF). Kisseberth would ultimately finish second, 18 seconds behind White, and Goguen would finish third.
This was Curtis White’s eighth win on the Pro CX circuit, to go along with one second and one third. Going into the weekend he was sitting third overall on the Elite Men’s Pro CX standings.
White would take his time in asserting his gap over Kisseberth. He said he began to pull away a little at a time, not with one big surge. “It was a longer concerted effort, it was probably a lap long effort,” noted White. “There are a couple spots where I felt like he was slipping a little bit, but then a lot of places he was strong, so I just needed to stretch the gap out slowly and that’s just how it worked out in the end. I don’t think the gap was more than like 15 seconds at any point, so he was really there for the whole time.”
Goguen, who led the race in the early laps on Saturday, changed his approach on Day 2 in Warwick. “I was trying to kind of conserve more energy today,” Goguen said. “Curtis (White) talked to me yesterday and today, and told me to try to stay calm. He said, you know, just ride third, fourth wheel, follow, and be able to conserve energy and use that later in the race. And so I followed them as much as I could. I think today started faster, so I was happy to not be the one setting the pace and be able to sit behind and follow.”
Jeremy Durrin (Neon Velo Cycling Team) would get caught in an unfortunate crash immediately after the start and would not finish. He was second overall on Saturday.
Winners of the Vittoria Northeast Cyclocross Series presented by Cycle-Smart were recognized in 15 categories, ranging from cub juniors to masters. Sunday non-UCI events at NBX Gran Prix of ‘Cross included the crowning of Rhode Island State Champions for amateur racers.
2016 NBX Gran Prix Day 2 Photo Gallery: