by Joe Bellante
A day that began with a layer of frost on the ground turned into a warm sunny celebration as Day 3 of Toyota Cincy3 Cyclocross Festival at Devou Park awarded the first ever Pan American Championship jerseys. Coming out on top of arguably the toughest most challenging course of the 3-Day weekend, the four new title holders are as follows: Gage Hecht (Alpha Vista Subaru) for the 17-18 Junior Men, Canadian Maghalie Rochette (Luna Pro Team) for the U23 Women, Curtis White (CCB Racing) for U23 Men and Katie Compton (Trek Cyclocross Collective) for Elite Pan American Women. The Men’s race was a UCI-C2 event where Jamie Driscoll (Raleigh/Clement) rocketed through the daunting descent deemed “The Pan-Am Plunge” to take the win over teammate Ben Berden.
In the day’s first Pan-American Championship race a very excited and smiling Canadian Maghalie Rochette claimed the top stop of the podium for the U23 Women over Allison Arensman (K-Edge/Felt) and Laurel Rathbun (Raleigh/Clement).
The Junior’s 17-18 Pan-American Championship race delivered tons of drama as Gage Hecht battled closely with 2nd place Gavin Haley (Hincapie Development Team) while eventual 3rd and 4th place riders Christopher Blevins (NCCF/Team Specialized Juniors) and Spencer Petrov (Element Cycles) continuously surged dangerously close to upsetting the podium positions. Lance Haidet (BEV DEV TEAM) finished 5th.
The last few laps of the Men’s U23 was a nail biter with Curtis White (CCB Racing) and Logan Owen (California Giant/Specialized) duking it out and marking each other till nearly the last corner. Inciting a roar from the crowd, White attacked incredibly hard on the final descent and passed Owen with a head of steam through the 2nd to last corner. Owen tried to return the favor but came up short when the grass u-turned on to the finishing pavement. Andrew Dillman (Midwest Devo) claimed 3rd ahead of Tobin Ortenblad (California Giant/Specialized) and Maxx Chance (The Pro’s Closet).
In the Women’s Elite event, Katie Compton overcame two days of prior mechanical trouble to claim the first ever Women’s Elite Pan American Championship title. Meredith Miller (Noosa CX) tweeted after the race, “Wow, that was an insanely hard race. It was technical and punchy and awesome. Very stoked to have finished 2nd in the inaugural CX Pan Ams!” Georgia Gould (Luna Pro Team) added, “Ok today’s continental champs course at @Cincy3CX might be best cx course ever!! Excited to finish 3rd.” Kaitlin Antonneau (Cannondale Cyclocross World) finished 4th ahead of Canadian Catherine Pendrel (Luna Pro Team).
The final event of Toyota Cincy3 CX Festival was the Elite Men’s C2 event. With Day 2 winner Jeremy Powers (Rapha/Focus) noticeably absent, many thought the “W” may go to Day 1 winner Danny Summerhill (K-Edge/Felt.) While Summerhill made an early showing along with Zach MacDonald (KCCX) and Tim Johnson (Cannondale/Cyclocross World), it was the Raleigh/Clement duo of Jamie Driscoll and Ben Berden who pulled away mid race. After riding flawless corners the night before at KingsCX, MacDonald bobbled on one of the many tricky off camber sections and found himself off the bike and in the tape. Tim Johnson would pull out due to an apparent wreck. Summerhill was last man standing with Berden and Driscoll until he suffered an untimely flat. That left Driscoll and Berden to battle to the end. With a sizeable gap, the two could be seen talking with a little more than a lap to go. Berden led into the steep run-up and Driscoll buried it from there for the C2 win.
Now in its 11th year, the Toyota Cincy3 Cyclocross Festival delivered some of the most intense competition on the ProCX calendar this year; 3 days, 3 different venues, $35,000 in prize money, loads of UCI points, and equal payouts. The ZIPP OVCX Series, including the MudFund Derby City Cup and Cincy3 UCI weekends, will continue its focus on maximizing the growth of regional cyclocross through great courses, competitive fields, and good times. Find the complete schedule and registration links online at OVCX.com. Like OVCX on Facebook and follow OhioValleyCX on Twitter. For more information visit CincinnatiCyclocross.com.