by Lauren LeClaire

The NBX Gran Prix of ‘Cross on December 3rd and 4th will be the concluding weekend of the Vittoria Northeast Cyclocross Series presented by Cycle-SmartGoddard Memorial State Park in Warwick, Rhode Island will host the final rounds on a course that is the essence of cyclocross in New England: technical turns, rooty descents and the legendary beach sections.

Curtis White was not to be denied on Day 2 of the 2016 Supercross Cup. © Chris McIntosh

Curtis White is the current points leader for the Vittoria Northeast Cyclocross Series. © Chris McIntosh

With the current Elite Women’s overall leader Maghalie Rochette (Clif Pro Team) not attending this weekend and the Elite Men’s race all but locked up, Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com will look for a double overall win with siblings Curtis White and Emma White. With a near perfect streak of five Vittoria Series wins for Curtis and four podiums for Emma, both will cap off the Northeast run and will use this weekend as a final tune-up before heading to Europe.

Rochette, who has three Vittoria Series wins this season, was disappointed to miss the final rounds due to a training camp conflict, but appreciative of her experience in the Vittoria Series this season. “I honestly didn’t expect to be leading the series when I planned that training camp,” Rochette said. “I feel bad not being able to come out and try to defend and battle for the title.”

After missing out on available series points at Supercross Cup two weeks prior, Emma White looks to overtake Rochette in the final weekend. “I’m looking forward to racing at NBX! It’s my last race before I head over to Europe. With a course as twisty and technical as this one, it’ll be about making the least possible mistakes.”

Curtis shares his sister’s enthusiasm about the venue. “Every round of the Vittoria Northeast Series has been unique. Matt (Bodziony) and his crew do a great job utilizing Goddard Park to make a great cyclocross course, especially in the sand along the beach. The venue has some awesome features you certainly don’t see every weekend. The NBX Gran Prix will be my last bit of tune-up before heading over to Europe to race for the rest of the month.”

After a hard fought weekend in Northampton and a podium performance there, New England native Dylan McNicholas (Polartec) hopes to put together another good weekend. “I always look forward to NBX, it’s always a great course with tight racing. Last year I had nice races finishing 5th and 2nd. After being sick last week I’m feeling better and looking to put together a pair of good races this weekend.”

Rounding out the top competitors, make certain to watch Justin Lindine (Apex/NBX/Trek) and Robert Marion (American Classic Pro Cyclocross), and JAM/NCC rider Jack Kisseberth.

For Lindine, it’s an important weekend with two of his primary sponsors involved in putting on the NBX Gran Prix. “With Apex Technology Group and NBX Bikes being the main sponsors and promoters of the race, this is a big weekend for me to try and race well in front of everyone that makes the season possible for me. Even though I moved from the Northeast to Ogden, UT about four years ago now, coming back east always feels like coming ‘home’ to me and is something I really look forward to.”

Lindine has always been a fan of the Goddard Park course. “I’ve raced on versions of this course for a lot of years, with a number of podiums and even one win. It can be deceptively tough with both high-speed and technical sections, not to mention the often decisive beach run, that can be a make-or-break feature in the race. I think it’s a nicely balanced course, with sections that favor those with good bike ‘driving’ ability, and sections that let you really put the power down. It makes getting and holding a gap a tough thing to accomplish, especially since there can often be a lot of wind off the ocean.”

Marion, who, like Lindine, is also supported by Apex, and is excited to return to Warwick as well. “The NBX race always has a course in which the rider must bring all of his skills from running, to technical, to pack racing and tactics. We are very fortunate to have Vittoria on board this year keeping us on the best tread patterns that cyclocross has to offer, and Apex is always there to help us out with anything that we need. Because of their efforts it makes it easier for us to continually find ourselves at the front of the races this season.”

The Vittoria Series is the only UCI series in the U.S. and attracts top racers to compete for the coveted Verge overall Series jersey. In addition to UCI Elite and U23 titles for both men and women, amateur racers are offered a chance to compete for Series points in 10 categories. The NBX Gran Prix of ‘Cross is also a featured event on the USA Cycling Professional Cyclocross Calendar (Pro CX), the highest level of professional cyclocross racing in the U.S.

Watch the races unfold in person or by following tweets at @VittoriaSeries. For more information visit www.necyclocross.com.

Series Calendar

CRAFT Sportswear Gran Prix of Gloucester
Stage Fort Park, Gloucester, MA
October 15-16

The Verge Northampton International
Look Park, Northampton, MA
November 12-13

Supercross Cup
Rockland Community College, Suffern, NY
November 19-20

NBX Gran Prix of ‘Cross
Goddard Memorial Park, Warwick, RI
December 3-4

Series Competition Categories
Elite Men
Elite Women
U23 Men
U23 Women
Elite Masters 35+ Women
Men 3
Women 3
Masters 45+ (Cat 3) Women
Masters 35+ (Cat 1-3) Men
Masters 45+ Men
Masters 55+ Men
Juniors 15-18 (Cat 1-3) Men
Juniors 15-18 (Cat 3) Women
Juniors 10-14 Boys
Juniors 10-14 Girls