Ellen Noble (JAM Fund/NCC/Vittoria) at last year's edition of the Cycle-Smart Northampton International. Photo provided by Verge NECXS

Ellen Noble (JAM Fund/NCC/Vittoria) at last year’s edition of the Cycle-Smart Northampton International. Photo provided by Verge NECXS

by Cynthia Brennan

New England cyclocross reaches a historic milestone this weekend as Northampton, Massachusetts hosts the 25th annual Cycle-Smart Northampton International Cyclo-cross. The oldest UCI cyclocross race in North America is also the third and fourth rounds of the Verge New England Cyclo-cross Series presented by Stan’s NoTubes and Cycle-Smart. The Verge Series is the longest running UCI-recognized cyclocross series in North America—and currently the only series in the US that has received that honorable designation.

Recently crowned Pan-American U23 Women’s Champion, hometown heroine Ellen Noble (JAM Fund/NCC/Vittoria) will certainly play a starring role in the Elite Women’s race, with equal prize money made possible by local bike shop Joe’s Garage. Joining the scrum with Noble will be Cassandra Maximenko (Van Dessel/ISM/PowerBar/Challenge Tires), hoping to continue her four-race UCI winning streak. Kathryn Cumming (Cyclocross Magazine Racing), Kate Lysakowski (Joe’s Garage CX p/b BikeReg), and, freshly back from racing in Europe, Brittlee Bowman (House Industries/Withings/Simplehuman) will all be eyeing steps on the podium as well.

In the Elite Men’s race, tight competition is a sure bet with Canadian National Champion Raphael Gagne and his Red Truck teammate Michael van den Ham ready to do battle with Pioneer Valley local Anthony Clark (Squid Bikes) and perennial favorite Justin Lindine (Apex/NBX/Trek). Former Danish national champion Joachim Parbo (Challenge Tires) is also likely to make the front group. Exciting racing won’t be limited to the Elite categories, however; Series competitions in fifteen categories mean non-stop racing action all weekend long.

Stay tuned to Cyclocross Magazine for race results and more information from the Cycle-Smart Northampton International.