Nineteen year-old Chris Blevins (Specialized) battled Australian Champion Dan McConnell (DanAndBec) for six laps to take the win on Adams Farm and assume the lead in the Pro-XCT Series. Former World Cup winner McConnell had to settle for second place as he cramped in the final rock garden. Sany Floren finished in third place, just two seconds behind McConnell.
With fifty-five starters from several different countries riding on the relatively flat course at Adams Farm, it was difficult for anyone to get away from the peloton. But somewhere on lap two, Blevins and McConnell got a gap and then set a pace that nobody could match. Blevins seemed to have a slight advantage on the small, punchy climbs, while McConnell was slightly stronger on the flats.
Blevins commented on is race with McConnell, “It was an absolute honor to be able to battle with him. I had to kind of check myself to realize whom I was racing against. The past two weekends in Vermont, and at Nationals (at Snowshoe Mountain), were like mental battles to keep yourself flowing through the roots and the trees. And today there was a lot of that.”
Blevins added, “I think he (McConnell) cramped on the last rocky section and after that I kind of surged ahead, but it was a good battle.”
McConnell explained what happened at the finish, “I didn’t have the legs to back myself in a sprint so I just went for it during the last rock garden, trying to get a gap because I knew I was fairly strong through there the last few laps. But, I just went off-line and my leg locked up pretty bad, so I had to just coast it in to the finish.”
The Pro Men will compete in Short Track Racing on Sunday at Adams Farm.
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