by Cindy Brennan
Enormous snowflakes floated to the ground under frigid skies in Warwick, Rhode Island as the first day of the NBX Gran Prix of Cyclocross kicked off the last weekend of racing in the 2012 Shimano New England Professional Cyclocross Series presented by Verge. The amatuer, intermediate, and masters racers carved lines amid the roots and along the long beach run, preparing this challenging course for the headliners of the day: the Elite Men and Elite Women’s races, with two under-23 races contained within them. With such tight series competitions, everything comes down to this weekend along the scenic edge of Greenwich Bay.
An extraordinarily strong field of Elite Women readied themselves on the start grid, including favorites to win the series Crystal Anthony (Cyclocrossworld.com) and Mary McConneloug (Team Kenda-Seven-NoTubes). Arley Kemmerer (C3-Athletes Serving Athletes) took off from the whistle and was the first onto the first turns of the course. A group formed on her wheel and built a gap on the field, with Laura Van Gilder (Mellow Mushroom) and Elle Anderson (Ladies First Racing) getting away from Kemmerer, leaving her to chase with Anthony, Cassandra Maximenko (Silverbull/Bones/Thule), and New England’s favorite racer Mo Bruno Roy (Bob’s Red Mill p/b Seven Cycles). Anderson and Van Gilder worked together to keep the others at bay, knowing very well the prowess of the chase group. An attack from Van Gilder in the last lap proved one that Anderson couldn’t match, as Kemmerer, Anthony, and Bruno Roy each attempted attacks on the chase to claim the third podium spot. Bruno Roy suffered a run-in with a tree, leaving her unhurt but ruining her chances at a podium, and Kemmerer broke free from the rest in the melee. The final placings for the day’s race: Kemmerer third, Anderson second, and Van Gilder with an amazing win. “Laura was riding really strong today,” noted Elle Anderson of her competitor. Meanwhile, Ellen Noble (Trek Cyclocross Collective) moves into the lead for the U23 Women’s division.
The Elite Men’s race started under darkening skies as the gloomy day gave way to dusk. The fast course left few places to gain an advantage early on, but repeated attacks from Nick Keough (Keoughcyclocross.com) forced breaks in the field. Dan Timmerman (RGM Watches – Richard Sachs) and contender for series podium Justin Lindine (Redline) stayed with Keough, but Shawn Milne (Cyclocrossworld.com) and Mike Garrigan (Stage-race/Blacksmith Cycle) were in hot pursuit. Milne led the charge and caught the lead trio, then launched a successful attack with two laps to go. Garrigan took second, and Timmerman grabbed the third spot in the podium. The day held disappointments for some, however. In order to win the U23 division of the series, Manny Goguen (CF Racing p/b Trek Portsmouth) needed to be the first U23 racer to cross the line both days this weekend, but fell short to Evan McNeely (Specialized Canada) despite having a great race today. Jeremy Durrin (JAM Fund/NCC/Vittoria) had his mind set on claiming the win, and with it collecting enough points to land on the series podium. However, an early crash in a loose, sandy corder took him down, leaving him out of contention for today. “Tomorrow is another day,” said Durrin.
Indeed, the final race and last stand for series points in the Shimano New England Professional Cyclocross Series presented by Verge means tomorrow’s racing is sure to bring plenty of excitement as these talented racers in their top form of the season battle it out on one of the best cyclocross courses in New England. Follow live race updates on Twitter by following @NEproCX. Stay tuned for final series updates, which will be included in tomorrow’s report.
Elite Women’s Top Ten
1 Laura Van Gilder, MELLOW MUSHROOM
2 Elle Anderson, LADIESFIRST RACING
3 Arley Kemmerer, C3-ATHLETES SERVING ATHLETES
4 Crystal Anthony, CYCLOCROSSWORLD.COM
5 Cassandra Maximenko, SILVERBULL/BONES/THULE
6 Natasha Elliott, STEVEN’S RACING P/B THE CYCLERY
7 Julie Lafreniere, XPREZO-BORSAO
8 Maureen Bruno Roy, BOB’S RED MILL PB SEVEN CYCLES
9 Mary McConneloug, KENDA-SEVEN-NOTUBES
10 Kathleen Lysakowski, CYCLE LODGE
Elite Men’s Top Ten
1 Shawn Milne, CYCLOCROSSWORLD.COM
2 Michael Garrigan, STAGE-RACE/BLACKSMITH CYCLE
3 Dan Timmerman, RGM WATCHES – RICHARD SACHS
4 Justin Lindine, REDLINE
5 Nicholas Keough, WWW.KEOUGHCYCLOCROSS.COM
6 Derrick St John, STEVEN’S RACING P/B THE CYCLERY
7 Jeremy Durrin, JAM FUND / NCC / VITTORIA
8 Anthony Clark, JAM FUND / NCC / VITTORIA
9 Tyler Wren, JAMIS/SUTTER HOME
10 Evan Mcneely, SPECIALIZED CANADA