Category: Cyclocross

CX commentary: Doing it wrong can sometimes be right


I rolled up to the start line unprepared, in a snowy field, with a muddy cyclocross track ahead of me. I didn’t warm up due to my late arrival at the venue. I missed my call-up to the grid because I was peeing. Tire pressure? It was pure guesswork. I didn’t have a spare bike in the pit if things went wrong.

My seat-of-the-pants approach stood in stark contrast to how I used to approach cyclocross races. For more than 10 years, every autumn weekend, I would carefully pack my car before each race. I would warm up thoroughly. I always pre-rode the course.

This past Sunday, I tried a new approach: winging it. The Spencer Powlison of five years ago would have freaked out. Here’s the thing: I found that carelessness might be the first step toward being carefree.

My relationship with cyclocross has changed a lot since my first season in 2005. In those days, cyclocross race entries were cheap, beer hand-ups were plentiful, and the racing was grassroots — for better and for worse. There was wild variation when it came to course quality and organization.

One thing was consistent from week to week, though. Everyone was there simply because it was fun. The racing was seriously hard but not that serious.

After that first season, my approach evolved. Results became more important to me. Cyclocross’s popularity grew rapidly, and I became fixated on the fall season. I watched hours of European ‘cross racing on Internet streams. Maybe I thought I had to emulate Sven Nys. Or perhaps all of the hype around ‘cross nationals and UCI races ignited my competitive urge. No matter the root of this obsession with being “pro,” I ended up with a quiver of carbon fiber tubular wheels, elaborate training plans, and an encyclopedic knowledge of call-up procedures. I swapped carbon-rim brake pads on, and off, and back on, again and again, week after week.

After almost 10 years of the “pro” approach, I found myself not having as much fun anymore. And like many racers, I evolved and changed. I sought out a new experience.

I decided to only race singlespeed cyclocross, hoping to revive the simple grassroots spirit that first got me excited to race through mud and snow when most people are smart enough to stay indoors and watch football. It was a step in the right direction, but I was still treating these races like, well, races. In the back of my mind, I hadn’t fully escaped the serious mentality cultivated over the course of 100+ cyclocross races.

That was until Sunday, at Cross of the North in Fort Collins, when I did everything wrong but it ended up right.

It isn’t ideal to show up unprepared. It is pretty painful to start a ‘cross race cold, without any warm-up. Hopping in two races on the same day is maybe a little excessive, and doing an open race on a singlespeed is not the best way to win (unless you’re Travis Brown).

But once the starter’s whistle blew, none of this mattered. Sure, it took me a few corners to figure out how my tires were handling the slushy mud track. Without having previewed the course, I blew a few critical lines on greasy off-cambers, with comical results. However, it almost felt like the lack of a scripted pre-race ritual made the race itself the true highlight of the day.

Bike racing is downright simple. Every so often, I need to remind myself of that because my natural inclination is to overcomplicate things, to let my competitive urge take over.

It is okay to care about racing, to put in the time and effort to be your best. I’ve been there before, I’ll probably go there again, and there is joy to be had in that pursuit. But take it from me, the essence of ‘cross racing — any bike racing — has always been having fun. If it takes a muddy, painful misadventure to put everything in perspective, then I say screw the warm-up, forget the pit bike, and grab that beer feed.

Read the full article at CX commentary: Doing it wrong can sometimes be right on VeloNews.com.

Noho CX: White, McFadden earn solo wins


Curtis White and Courtenay McFadden topped the podium in Sunday’s cyclocross races at Verge Northampton International Cyclocross in Massachusetts.

White sweeps men’s racing

Noho men's podium
White (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com) won the elite men’s race on Saturday and Sunday, adding another notch to his recent stretch of success on two wheels.

In Sunday’s race, White got into the front group early and made a move that saw him ride ahead of the field a short time later. Several riders in a chase group desperately tried to catch him but were unable to do so.

The chasers eventually whittled themselves down to two riders — White’s Cannondale teammates Spencer Petrov and Sam Noel. The pair worked together over the final three and a half laps to stave off the additional chasers behind them. White was more than a minute ahead of the pair.

“I could see behind that my two teammates were racing together and trying to lock up the podium for a Cannondale sweep, so [I’m] happy with that,” White said.

In the end, Petrov took second in a mad sprint to the finish line. Noel was one tick behind in third.

“Whoever led into that final corner was going to take it, so it was just a full-on sprint to there,” Noel said. “We ended up colliding but luckily it wasn’t too serious.”

White, who recently won the Pan-American Cyclocross Championship, continues to lead in the Vittoria Northeast Cyclocross Series through four races.

McFadden’s solo win

Courtenay McFadden
McFadden (Pivot-Maxxis-Stans-DNA Cycling) was one of four riders in the front group that formed early in the race, along with Rebecca Fahringer (Kona Maxxis Shimano), Caroline Nolan (Voler-Easton-HRS-Rock Lobster), and Crystal Anthony (Liv Cycling). But by the second lap, a crash shook things up.

After the incident that occurred in the wooded part of the course, McFadden made her move — much earlier than originally planned — and jumped ahead of everyone else on the 2.1-mile loop.

From there, it was all about keeping the pedals turning and using the wind whenever possible.

“I tried to play the wind,” McFadden said. “I would, on the tailwind, try to catch my breath and then hammer through the headwind. I knew that I was pretty proficient in the woods so I tried to stay smooth through there and put all the energy down here [in the lower section] and catch my breath a little bit more through the woods.”

No one was able to catch McFadden and she finished 29 seconds ahead of Fahringer and 45 seconds faster than Nolan.

For Nolan, riding onto the podium was an emotional result because she dedicated her race to her hometown of Chico, California, which is suffering from the wildfires that are causing massive destruction in the Golden State.

“I have big fires going on back in my hometown, so in this race I wanted to do as best I can since I’m not home to volunteer, to raise money and awareness for the wildfires back in California, so I did that,” she said. “I’m happy with it.”

Read the full article at Noho CX: White, McFadden earn solo wins on VeloNews.com.

Noho CX: Noble goes solo while White takes advantage of team strength


Ellen Noble (Trek Factory Racing CX) was victorious in the elite women’s field and Curtis White (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com) won the elite men’s competition in dominant fashion on a cool, windy day in Northampton, Massachusetts Saturday.

Noble wins from the front

Noho CX

Noble escaped the 45 rider-field along with Regina Legge (Trek Cyclocross Collective) on the first lap. Behind them, Rebecca Fahringer (Kona Maxxis Shimano) and Courtenay McFadden (Pivot-Maxxis p/b Stans-DNA Cycling) chased hard in the strong winds and kept the lead pair close for the first three laps of the five-lap event.

With two laps to go, Noble would make her move, growing her gap on Legge to five seconds as she started the final lap. She came into the finish line solo, 9 seconds ahead of Legge, in a time of 44:47. Legge, taking her 5th UCI podium of the season would finish second, 18 seconds ahead of third place finisher Fahringer.

“With a lap and a half to go, I didn’t really make an attack so much as I think maybe Regina [Legge] made a mistake or just eased off for a second,” said Noble. “I got a little bit of a gap so I figured I’d ride with it but leave a little bit in case she pulled back. I was able to make a gap. It was awesome, I’m crazy impressed with how Regina was riding.”

“There’s one mud puddle in this course and in pre-ride I wanted to see if you should ride it or run it, and I found the hole-in root, buried my front wheel in it and completely splatted into the puddle,” third-place Fahringer commented on a stressful start to the day’s racing. “I was covered in mud, I ended up needing to cut my pre-ride short in order to clean up and I realized that I didn’t do a hot lap. And it was in my head, I was so frantic.”

Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com wipe up as White wins

Noho CX

The race started with large groups of riders staying together, with White and Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com teammates Spencer Petrov and Sam Noel making the front group.

By the second lap, the newly-crowned Pan-American Champion White was solo off the front, with Petrov and Noel riding like teammates monitoring Jack Kisseberth (Garneau Easton p/b Transitions) in the chase group behind. As White pushed on, the chasers raced tactically, not wanting to take the wind, allowing the leader to increase his advantage.

White took the win in 01:03:30, with Petrov taking the sprint from Kisserberth and Noel behind. Kisserbeth took third.

“The three of us and Jack Kisseberth made the selection. I pressed it a couple of times, and got a gap and left the group from that,” White said. “I got to see that the two behind were racing like teammates so that was great to see. Cannondale, one, two and four, I was happy with that.”

“It was tough, it was pretty much three to one,” said Kisseberth. “They all sat on my wheel while I tried to bring it back to Curtis [White] on the straightaways which is a difficult game to play.”

Read the full article at Noho CX: Noble goes solo while White takes advantage of team strength on VeloNews.com.

Gallery: Sun shines on day 2 of Really Rad Festival of Cyclocross

Really Rad Festival of Cyclocross, day 2
Scott Smith (Dirt League) took the holeshot and made the lead group that broke away. Photo: Dave McElwaine
Really Rad Festival of Cyclocross, day 2
Kevin Bradford-Parish (SET Coaching) got a bit sideways during his first trip through the long sand pit. Photo: Dave McElwaine
Really Rad Festival of Cyclocross, day 2
Robert Marion (Carpe Diem Racing) is slowly making his way back from injury, but is riding well. Photo: Dave McElwaine
Really Rad Festival of Cyclocross, day 2
Justine Lindine (Hyperthreads-Apex) did not get as good a start as he was hoping for but made the lead group. Photo: Dave McElwaine

Really Rad Festival of Cyclocross, day 2
Kevin Bradford-Parish (SET Coaching) running the barriers with Scott Smith close behind. Photo: Dave McElwaine
Really Rad Festival of Cyclocross, day 2
Big Merwin Davis (Cycle-Smart) was first through the sand pit on lap one. Photo: Dave McElwaine
Really Rad Festival of Cyclocross, day 2
Merwin Davis (Cycle-Smart) did quite a bit of work at the front of the race which may have played a factor in the outcome. Photo: Dave McElwaine
Really Rad Festival of Cyclocross, day 2
Scott Smith (Dirt League) leading the race during the third lap. Photo: Dave McElwaine

Really Rad Festival of Cyclocross, day 2
Justine Lindine (Hyperthreads-Apex) leading the race in a section of course behind the stadium. Photo: Dave McElwaine
Really Rad Festival of Cyclocross, day 2
Merwin Davis (Cycle-Smart) riding an uphill U-Turn during lap three. Photo: Dave McElwaine
Really Rad Festival of Cyclocross, day 2
Molly Cameron (Point S Nokian) on a steep descent. Photo: Dave McElwaine
Really Rad Festival of Cyclocross, day 2
Parker Bloom (Broad St. Cycles) riding in the top 10 during lap four. Photo: Dave McElwaine

Really Rad Festival of Cyclocross, day 2
Justine Lindine (Hyperthreads-Apex) about to be passed by Scott Smith who rode the stairs. Photo: Dave McElwaine
Really Rad Festival of Cyclocross, day 2
Riders were treated to gorgeous New England foliage. Many of the leaves came down during Saturday’s storms. Photo: Dave McElwaine
Really Rad Festival of Cyclocross, day 2
Scott Smith (Dirt League) took the win after having a flawless last lap. Photo: Dave McElwaine
Really Rad Festival of Cyclocross, day 2
Scott Smith (Dirt League) won his second UCI race at age 24. Photo: Dave McElwaine

Really Rad Festival of Cyclocross, day 2
Arley Kemmerer (Fearless Femme Racing) got some good luck kisses at her tent before the race. Photo: Dave McElwaine
Really Rad Festival of Cyclocross, day 2
Cassie Maximenko (Van Dessel Factory Team) was one of the pre-race favorites. Photo: Dave McElwaine
Really Rad Festival of Cyclocross, day 2
Arley Kemmerer (Fearless Femme Racing) took the hole-shot for the second day in a row. Photo: Dave McElwaine
Really Rad Festival of Cyclocross, day 2
Crystal Anthony (Liv Cycling) consistently rode the long sand pit while Arley Kemmerer (Fearless Femme Racing) was forced off her bike. Photo: Dave McElwaine

Really Rad Festival of Cyclocross, day 2
For all of the race Crystal Anthony (Liv Racing) and Arley Kemmerer (Fearless Femme Racing) traded pulls at the front. Photo: Dave McElwaine
Really Rad Festival of Cyclocross, day 2
Regina Legge (Trek Cyclocross Collective) running the barriers on her way to a sixth place finish. Photo: Dave McElwaine
Really Rad Festival of Cyclocross, day 2
Crystal Anthony (Liv Cycling) riding the long sand pit while Arley Kemmerer (Fearless Femme Racing) was again forced off her bike. Photo: Dave McElwaine
Really Rad Festival of Cyclocross, day 2
Anna Megale rode impressively all weekend generally in the first chase group behind the leaders. Photo: Dave McElwaine

Really Rad Festival of Cyclocross, day 2
Regina Legge (Trek Cyclocross Collective) riding a tricky uphill U-turn while in fifth position. Photo: Dave McElwaine
Really Rad Festival of Cyclocross, day 2
Brittlee Bowman (RSCX-House) cresting a steep uphill on the back side of the course. Photo: Dave McElwaine
Really Rad Festival of Cyclocross, day 2
Cassie Maximenko (Van Dessel Factory Team) somehow lost many positions mid-race and had to fight her way back onto the podium. Photo: Dave McElwaine
Really Rad Festival of Cyclocross, day 2
Arley Kemmerer (Fearless Femme Racing) generally had the advantage over Crystal Anthony when it came to ride the long uphill stairs. Photo: Dave McElwaine

Really Rad Festival of Cyclocross, day 2
Brittlee Bowman (RSCX-House) riding a chicane that was unrideable the day before. Photo: Dave McElwaine
Really Rad Festival of Cyclocross, day 2
Rebecca Gross (Zero D Racing) riding to a top-10 finish. Photo: Dave McElwaine
Really Rad Festival of Cyclocross, day 2
Crystal Anthony (Liv Cycling) leading Kemmerer on the one flat section of the course. Photo: Dave McElwaine
Really Rad Festival of Cyclocross, day 2
Philicia Marion (Carpe Diem Racing) riding a tricky off-camber section of the course. Photo: Dave McElwaine

Really Rad Festival of Cyclocross, day 2
Rebecca Gross (Zero D Racing) had no problems with the technical sections of the course. Photo: Dave McElwaine
Really Rad Festival of Cyclocross, day 2
Crystal Anthony (Liv Cycling) had a small lead over Kemmerer with one lap remaining. Photo: Dave McElwaine
Really Rad Festival of Cyclocross, day 2
Danielle Arman (Ten Speed Hero) leading the chase group with two laps remaining. Photo: Dave McElwaine
Really Rad Festival of Cyclocross, day 2
Crystal Anthony (Liv Cycling) swept the inaugural weekend of the Really Rad Cyclocross Festival. Arley Kemmerer (Fearless Femme Racing) finished second. Photo: Dave McElwaine

Read the full article at Gallery: Sun shines on day 2 of Really Rad Festival of Cyclocross on VeloNews.com.

Gallery: Fresh faces atop Pan-American ‘cross podium

2018 UCI Pan-American Cyclocross Championships
The day’s racing was preceded by a drum ceremony by First Nations members. Photo: Wil Matthews
2018 UCI Pan-American Cyclocross Championships
Course conditions Sunday were firm and tacky following Saturday’s rain, but start-time temps for the elite races hovered around five degrees celsius. Photo: Wil Matthews
2018 UCI Pan-American Cyclocross Championships
Magnus Sheffield (Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld.com) led a group of favorites for the 17-18 junior men’s Pan-American championship on the fifth and final lap, and then held on for the win. This age group is always competitive and features close racing, with the top four riders on Sunday separated by just five seconds at the finish. Photo: Wil Matthews
2018 UCI Pan-American Cyclocross Championships
Following his win in the elite men’s field at Cross Reno, Lance Haidet (Donnelly) was a favored rider for the U23 men’s Pan-American Championship, but a tangle with another rider early in the first lap left him mid-pack. Two subsequent falls in trying to regain contact with the leaders negated his chase efforts. Photo: Wil Matthews
2018 UCI Pan-American Cyclocross Championships
The 25 starters of the U23 men’s field bolted from the line toward the first dirt section en masse. Photo: Wil Matthews
2018 UCI Pan-American Cyclocross Championships
Gage Hecht (Alpha Bicycle-Groove Subaru) worked his way to the front by the time the U23 men hit the sand for the first time Sunday. Photo: Wil Matthews
2018 UCI Pan-American Cyclocross Championships
Sunday was marked by clear skies and crisp fall conditions. Photo: Wil Matthews
2018 UCI Pan-American Cyclocross Championships
After posting his race’s fastest lap time of 7:35 on the fifth of six laps, Gage Hecht’s advantage at the finish was substantial enough to allow for a more relaxed victory salute. Photo: Wil Matthews
2018 UCI Pan-American Cyclocross Championships
The U23 women fielded 28 riders, more than the U23 men. Photo: Wil Matthews
2018 UCI Pan-American Cyclocross Championships
Kerry Werner, whose UCI ranking relative to the rest of the elite men’s field provided him bib number 1, warmed up at his team tent. Race organizers placed the men’s championship races before the women’s for the U23 and elite fields. Photo: Wil Matthews
2018 UCI Pan-American Cyclocross Championships
Clara Hosinger (Team S&M CX) pulled in front of Ruby West (TSH) to take the lead in the U23 women’s race on the second lap, and continued to stretch the lead to 23 seconds by the finish. Photo: Wil Matthews
2018 UCI Pan-American Cyclocross Championships
Cody Kaiser (Lange Twins) led the 33 riders of the elite men’s field out of the start. Photo: Wil Matthews
2018 UCI Pan-American Cyclocross Championships
A major part of the total elevation gain each lap was provided by these concrete stairs. Photo: Wil Matthews
2018 UCI Pan-American Cyclocross Championships
Michael Van Den Ham (Garneau-Easton) took a turn at the front on the second lap as the lead group began to establish itself. Photo: Wil Matthews
2018 UCI Pan-American Cyclocross Championships
Curtis White (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com) led teammate Stephen Hyde and the rest of the lead group early on the fourth lap. Photo: Wil Matthews
2018 UCI Pan-American Cyclocross Championships
Anthony Clark (Squid) spent several laps making a heroic effort chasing the select group by himself, and wound up fifth overall. Photo: Wil Matthews
2018 UCI Pan-American Cyclocross Championships
Michael Van Den Ham (Garneau-Easton) summited the concrete stairs ahead of Curtis White. Photo: Wil Matthews
2018 UCI Pan-American Cyclocross Championships
The lead four riders of the elite men’s field hit the first of two beach sections along the northern edge of Little Lake, just off Lake Huron’s Georgian Bay. Prevailing winds traveled across the water, bringing cold temperatures onto the venue. Photo: Wil Matthews
2018 UCI Pan-American Cyclocross Championships
Defending Pan-Am champion Stephen Hyde (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com) tried pulling away from the select group on the fifth lap. His sixth lap fall on the concrete stairs would end his race. Photo: Wil Matthews
2018 UCI Pan-American Cyclocross Championships
Kerry Werner (Kona-Maxxis) renewed his effort at the front early in the fifth lap along the lake shore. Werner finished third. Photo: Wil Matthews
2018 UCI Pan-American Cyclocross Championships
Stephen Hyde (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com) held his side as he coasts toward the pit following his sixth-lap crash. Photo: Wil Matthews
2018 UCI Pan-American Cyclocross Championships
After teammate Stephen Hyde’s day was finished, Curtis White (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com) turned in the fastest lap of the day on his sixth lap with a monstrous effort that clocked in at 7:27. Despite that, Michael Van Den Ham (Garneau-Easton) managed to claw his way back to the leader on the penultimate lap. Photo: Wil Matthews
2018 UCI Pan-American Cyclocross Championships
Curtis White (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com) and Michael Van Den Ham (Garneau-Easton) sprinted to the line on the eighth lap of the elite men’s race. Photo: Wil Matthews
2018 UCI Pan-American Cyclocross Championships
Curtis White (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com) edged out Michael Van Den Ham (Garneau-Easton) to take the elite men’s continental championship. The win makes White the first rider to own both the U23 and elite Pan Am championship jersey. Photo: Wil Matthews
2018 UCI Pan-American Cyclocross Championships
Curtis White (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com) chose file-tread tires for the tacky, fast course conditions. Photo: Wil Matthews
2018 UCI Pan-American Cyclocross Championships
Curtis White (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com) following his victory. Photo: Wil Matthews
2018 UCI Pan-American Cyclocross Championships
Ellen Noble (Trek Factory Racing) led the elite women onto the dirt by a couple bike lengths. Thirty-two riders started the race. Photo: Wil Matthews
2018 UCI Pan-American Cyclocross Championships
Courtenay McFadden continued to improve following hip surgery, finishing fourth in the elite women’s field after chasing the lead trio for much of the race. Photo: Wil Matthews
2018 UCI Pan-American Cyclocross Championships
Ellen Noble (Trek Factory Racing) winds her way through the forest. Photo: Wil Matthews
2018 UCI Pan-American Cyclocross Championships
Maghalie Rochette (CX Fever-Specialized) pulled away from Ellen Noble (Trek Factory Racing) on the fourth of five laps, gaining almost 10 seconds. Photo: Wil Matthews
2018 UCI Pan-American Cyclocross Championships
Maghalie Rochette (CX Fever-Specialized) took the win in her home country for the headlining event of the continental championship weekend. Photo: Wil Matthews
2018 UCI Pan-American Cyclocross Championships
Maghalie Rochette (CX Fever-Specialized) shortly after her win. Photo: Wil Matthews
2018 UCI Pan-American Cyclocross Championships
Laurel Rathbun (Donnelly) and Emily Werner (Amy D Foundation) after the elite women’s race. Photo: Wil Matthews
2018 UCI Pan-American Cyclocross Championships
Maghalie Rochette’s Specialized Cruz is equipped with SRAM Force 1 drivetrain, with Quarq power meter. Photo: Wil Matthews
2018 UCI Pan-American Cyclocross Championships
Maghalie Rochette was the only Canadian to claim a championship jersey on the home field over the weekend, and the first rider in the elite women’s field not named Katie Compton to take it. Photo: Wil Matthews

Read the full article at Gallery: Fresh faces atop Pan-American ‘cross podium on VeloNews.com.

Anthony, Smith wrap up Really Rad weekend with day 2 wins


After a day of tough, muddy racing on Saturday, the wind picked up and the course dried out for day two of the Really Rad Festival of Cyclocross, but that didn’t stop Crystal Anthony from winning the women’s race again, sweeping the weekend. Scott Smith came out on top in the elite men’s race, his first UCI win of the season Sunday in Falmouth, Massachusetts.

Anthony takes third ProCX win of 2018

Anthony
Crystal Anthony (Liv Cycling) rode the long sand pit while Arley Kemmerer (Fearless Femme Racing) was again forced off her bike. Photo: Dave McElwaine

Coming off of her win the day prior, Anthony (Liv Cycling) was assertive from the gun, riding clear of the field early with Arley Kemmerer (Fearless Femme).

“We wanted to work together, because it was a really fast race, so it benefited us to take turns,” said Anthony. “And then Arley had to get off on the stairs [back section of course], so I got a gap there. That’s when I decided to go for it.”

Behind, a chase group of about five riders formed, compelling the lead duo to stay on the gas and avoid cat-and-mouse games.

“We were hanging out with each other because it was too long and too much pedaling to not do it [lead] with somebody else. And we knew there was a group of five people, at one point, behind us,” said Kemmerer.

By the final two laps, the duo had a comfortable lead of about 40 seconds. That’s when Kemmerer bobbled and Anthony made her winning move.

“I think we were evenly matched power-wise for the whole course,” said Kemmerer. “We kept it pretty fast the whole time. I wouldn’t say we sat up much. It probably was a little bit of waiting for somebody to make a mistake, and it was me that did it. That was it.”

Kemmerer ended up second, 10 seconds behind. Cassie Maximenko (Van Dessel Factory Team) sprinted to third after battling back into the picture following a mechanical early in the race.

“So right off the start, my bike just wasn’t shifting great. I noticed it especially after we went through the sand the first time. I was like, shifting, and nothing was happening. So I lost some spots because I couldn’t shift up to a harder gear,” Maximenko said.

“With two laps to go, I could see the group that was fighting for third in front of me. I was like, ‘Oh man, they are really far ahead.’ I finally caught on to the group, maybe halfway through the last lap. Then we started battling with each other. If I hit the pavement first, I knew I could outsprint them. So I just got in the drops, head down, shifted through the gears and managed to get it.”

Smith pulls win ‘out of thin air’

Smith
Scott Smith (Dirt League) took the win after having a flawless last lap. Photo: Dave McElwaine

With the course running fast and the winds whipping across the Cape Cod Fairgrounds, the men’s field was tightly knotted up throughout the race.

“I knew it was going to be a group race today with the course being so fast,” said Smith (Dirt League), who was second on Saturday.

“It was really punchy, so you wanted to be in the front of the group, like second wheel. And that’s what I tried to do all day, I just tried to stay second wheel. Justin [Lindine] kept attacking us a lot and he was putting us under pressure. And finally, I got Nick Lando to pull through for a couple of laps. And he put us under a lot of pressure.”

Saturday’s winner Lindine was riding aggressive but found himself out of the lead group after a front flat with three to go.

Kevin Bradford-Parish (Setcoaching-FSA) led into the final lap and served up a strong attack.

However, Smith kept his cool and rode the technical sections a bit more smoothly to regain the lead into the back half of the lap.

“I rode back on his wheel around the log-hop and the uphill,” Smith said. “I passed him there and put the pressure on through the technical sections. Then I rode as hard as I could in the straightaways. I had about five seconds. I rode the stairs on the last lap pretty clean. And when I came onto the start/finish, I was by myself so I was really happy with that. I was happy to pull the win out of thin air. I mean, I’ve been having a rough season, with fitness and sickness.”

Bradford-Parish ended up second although he regretted losing track of which lap he was on midrace.

“Guys were attacking and I was just trying to follow wheels and stay in contention and not get too far off the lead group. I was still trying to be patient,” said Bradford-Parish. “I was not on the right laps in my head, and so I put in a pretty hard dig on the second to last lap, which was trying to be a win. So, I went too early and paid for it. Scott just feathered by me and I was too far in the red to really respond and do anything.”

Nicholas Lando (UVM Cycling) ended up third, saying smart racing tactics carried the day for him.

“I could tell from pre-riding that it was going to come down to group racing,” said Lando. “I kind of just stalked the back and make sure not to let any gaps open up. If they did, close them down. The group just whittled down until three to go, and it was just the three of us. It just exploded with one to go. Scott and Kevin kept drilling the attacks. I just couldn’t hang. I managed to come around for third.”

Read the full article at Anthony, Smith wrap up Really Rad weekend with day 2 wins on VeloNews.com.

White, Rochette earn Pan-American CX titles


Curtis White and Maghalie Rochette rode to victories in Sunday’s 2018 Pan-American Cyclocross Championship.

Rochette’s win in Midland, Ontario marked the first time a Canadian has won the Pan-American title.

Rochette nabs historic win

Maghalie Rochette (CX Fever-Specialized) takes the win in her home country for the headlining event of the continental championship weekend. Photo: Wil Matthews

The 25-year-old Rochette (CX Fever-Specialized) was glued to the wheel of early leader Ellen Noble (Trek Factory Racing CX) right from the start. The pair rode at or near the front of the race through the first three laps, with a handful of other riders jockeying with them for position.

With two laps remaining, however, Rochette found herself at the sharp end of the race after attacking on the previous lap. She got a break when Noble crashed, which created some additional real estate between the pair.

Rochette hit the final lap hard, riding in the drops as much as possible as she powered toward the finish line. Noble, who lost nine seconds because of her crash, was unable to make up the ground and ultimately finished second, 14 ticks behind Rochette. Kaitlin Keough (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com) finished third, 40 seconds slower than Rochette.

White wins close sprint

Curtis White
Curtis White (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com) edges out Michael Van Den Ham (Garneau-Easton) to take the elite men’s continental championship. The win makes White the first rider to own both the U23 and elite Pan Am championship jersey. Photo: Wil Matthews

White (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com) was one of several riders fighting for position at the front of the race right from the start. Others included Michael van den Ham (Garneau-Easton-Transitions Lifecare), Stephen Hyde (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com), Kerry Werner (Kona Maxxis Shimano), Tobin Ortenblad (Santa Cruz-Donkey Label Racing), Cody Kaiser (Langetwins-Specialized), and Jack Kisseberth (Garneau Easton-Transitions Lifecare).

The group was whittled down to five riders over laps three and four. With three laps remaining, Hyde crashed out of the race when he went down running up the second set of stairs. He exited the race soon after the crash.

On that same lap, the leading group was comprised of White, van den Ham, and Werner — which ended up being the podium a short time later.

On the final lap, White and van den Ham rode shoulder-to-shoulder as they sprinted toward the finish line. It was a furious sprint to the end, with White eking out the victory by mere inches. Werner crossed the line 36 seconds behind them to take third.

Read the full article at White, Rochette earn Pan-American CX titles on VeloNews.com.

Cross gallery: Really rad, really muddy day 1 of RRFCX

Really Rad Festival of Cyclocross, day 1
Veteran cyclocross racers (L to R) Cassie Maximenko, Beth Ann Orton, Crystal Anthony, Arley Kemmerer, and Rebecca Gross would all be on the front row today. Photo: Dave McElwaine
Really Rad Festival of Cyclocross, day 1
The masters fields had as many a 80 men taking on the muddy conditions. Photo: Dave McElwaine
Really Rad Festival of Cyclocross, day 1
Masters racers run a muddy hill with small steps as the rain started to dissipate. Photo: Dave McElwaine
Really Rad Festival of Cyclocross, day 1
Crystal Anthony (Liv Cycling) had to be considered the pre-race favorite. Photo: Dave McElwaine
Really Rad Festival of Cyclocross, day 1
Conditions for the early races were brutal as the rain made everything slippery. Photo: Dave McElwaine
Really Rad Festival of Cyclocross, day 1
Arley Kemmerer (Fearless Femme Racing) takes the holeshot in the UCI women’s race. Photo: Dave McElwaine
Really Rad Festival of Cyclocross, day 1
Arley Kemmerer (Fearless Femme Racing) almost got away as the other women struggled in a sandpit behind her. Photo: Dave McElwaine
Really Rad Festival of Cyclocross, day 1
Crystal Anthony (Liv Cycling) took the lead on the first lap and never relinquished it. Very few women attempted to ride this muddy off-camber section of the course. Photo: Dave McElwaine
Really Rad Festival of Cyclocross, day 1
Crystal Anthony (Liv Cycling) crests a small hill early in the race. Photo: Dave McElwaine
Really Rad Festival of Cyclocross, day 1
Britlee Bowman (RSCX-House) and Rebecca Gross (Zero D Racing) had a bit of a battle going on. Photo: Dave McElwaine
Really Rad Festival of Cyclocross, day 1
Cassie Maximenko (Van Dessel) running a muddy hill with steps. She went on to finish fifth. Photo: Dave McElwaine
Really Rad Festival of Cyclocross, day 1
Some racers chose to push their bikes through the mud while others found it easier to carry them. Photo: Dave McElwaine
Really Rad Festival of Cyclocross, day 1
Rachel Rubino (Fearless Femme Racing) pushing her bike up a slick hill. Photo: Dave McElwaine
Really Rad Festival of Cyclocross, day 1
Rebecca Gross (Zero D Racing) was looking forward to a muddy course and she got her wish. Photo: Dave McElwaine
Really Rad Festival of Cyclocross, day 1
Crystal Anthony (Liv Cycling) did not bother to ride the twisty sand pit, running it instead. Photo: Dave McElwaine
Really Rad Festival of Cyclocross, day 1
Rebecca Gross (Zero D Racing) making one last trip over the barriers Photo: Dave McElwaine
Really Rad Festival of Cyclocross, day 1
Crystal Anthony (Liv Cycling) prevailed over the mud, wind, and other racers to take the victory going away. Photo: Dave McElwaine
Really Rad Festival of Cyclocross, day 1
Crystal Anthony (Liv Cycling) said she took a pit bike on every lap. Photo: Dave McElwaine
Really Rad Festival of Cyclocross, day 1
Justine Lindine (Hyperthreads Apex) on the front row of the start. Photo: Dave McElwaine
Really Rad Festival of Cyclocross, day 1
Merwin Davis (Cycle-Smart) got off to a very fast start. Photo: Dave McElwaine
Really Rad Festival of Cyclocross, day 1
Molly Cameron (Point S Nokian) racing to a sixth place finish today. Photo: Dave McElwaine
Really Rad Festival of Cyclocross, day 1
Riders who attempted to ride this hill usually ran into trouble. Photo: Dave McElwaine
Really Rad Festival of Cyclocross, day 1
Justine Lindine (Hyperthreads (Apex) with about a 10-second lead during the second lap. Photo: Dave McElwaine
Really Rad Festival of Cyclocross, day 1
Justine Lindine (Hyperthreads Apex) had no trouble riding this off-camber section of the course. Photo: Dave McElwaine
Really Rad Festival of Cyclocross, day 1
Molly Cameron (Point S Nokian) running the longest hill on the course with two laps remaining. Photo: Dave McElwaine
Really Rad Festival of Cyclocross, day 1
Kevin Bradfor-Parish (SET Coaching) racing in second place early in the contest. Photo: Dave McElwaine
Really Rad Festival of Cyclocross, day 1
The mud started to dry out a bit toward the end of the race but off-camber portions of the course were still slippery. Photo: Dave McElwaine
Really Rad Festival of Cyclocross, day 1
Merwin Davis (Cycle-Smart) racing through the trees with one lap remaining. Photo: Dave McElwaine
Really Rad Festival of Cyclocross, day 1
Robert Marion (Carpe Diem Racing) descending into the woods mid-race. Photo: Dave McElwaine
Really Rad Festival of Cyclocross, day 1
Merwin Davis (Cycle-Smart) taking a pit bike with two laps remaining. Photo: Dave McElwaine
Really Rad Festival of Cyclocross, day 1
Justine Lindine (Hyperthreads Apex) trying to find a line with some traction. Photo: Dave McElwaine
Really Rad Festival of Cyclocross, day 1
Robert Marion (Carpe Diem Racing) racing through the trees on his last lap. Photo: Dave McElwaine
Really Rad Festival of Cyclocross, day 1
Justine Lindine (Hyperthreads Apex) taking the win by nearly a minute and a half. Photo: Dave McElwaine

Read the full article at Cross gallery: Really rad, really muddy day 1 of RRFCX on VeloNews.com.

RRFCX: Anthony wins in the winds whilst Lindine blows away the field


The Really Rad Festival of Cyclocross, held in Falmouth, Massachusetts, made its inaugural entry on USA Cycling’s Pro Cyclocross Calendar Saturday, with Crystal Anthony (Liv Cycling) taking the top step in the Elite Women’s and Justin Lindine (Hyperthreads/Apex Pro Cycling) winning in dominant fashion in the Men’s.

Anthony too hot to handle for Legge and Kemmerer

RRFCX-WC2SAT-CrystalAnthony by Angelica Dixon-654A1284
Photo: Angelica Dixon

The pace was set in the early laps by Anthony, Arley Kemmerer (Palmerton, Penn./Fearless Femme Racing), and Regina Legge (Salem, N.H./Trek Cyclocross Collective), who stretched out the field on a muddy course.

With three laps to go, Legge began to fall off the pace set by Anthony and Kemmerer, and with two remaining, Anthony pulled away from Kemmerer. She would continue to push through steady winds of 24 to 30 miles per hour and gain more time on the final lap, winning in 46:09.

Kemmerer finished 14 seconds behind, whilst Anthony held on for third, 30 seconds behind the winner.

“There were some pretty bad lines you could take out there, and some better lines, and some impossible. It was definitely challenging,” said Anthony.

“I would say that the wind was, for me, the bigger factor [than mud or lines] because a few places where you would be able to sort of chill, you couldn’t,” said Kemmerer.

Lindine rides seven laps solo to take top step

RRFCX-MC2SATpodium-byAngelicaDixon
Photo: Angelica Dixon

A group went clear immediately, made up of Lindine, Kevin Bradford-Parish (Setcoaching p/b FSA), Scott Smith (Dirt League), Tyler Cloutier (TCCX), and Merwin Davis (Cycle-Smart), who took the holeshot. However, Lindine wasted no time and made his move on the second of eight laps, and soon broke free from the quartet.

Bradford-Parish initially put a lot of pressure on Lindine, keeping him in close sight. However, Lindine eventually distanced him and went on to ride seven full laps solo, winning in 1:00:37.

Behind the winner, Smith caught and overtook Bradford-Parish when the latter’s wheel caught something, costing him momentum as he unclipped. Smith went on to finish second, nearly 90 seconds down on Lindine. Bradford-Parish rode in for third, 42 seconds behind Smith.

“I knew with the wind and the mud, it was a day that I wanted to be in front, and maybe have a little bit of a gap,” said Lindine. “It frees you up to be able to make mistakes, if you make them, and pick your own lines. From there I just tried to keep the gap.”

“It was a bit of a gamble [riding out front alone],” said the winner. “It was really windy. It’s kind of like a catch-22, it’s nice sometimes if you can get a gap; if you are confident in your ability to pedal that hard for the hour then the wind works in your favor because nobody wants to chase in it (the wind) either.”

 

Read the full article at RRFCX: Anthony wins in the winds whilst Lindine blows away the field on VeloNews.com.

Cincy CX: Noble notches another win; Werner wins sprint finish


Ellen Noble (Trek Factory Racing) extended her win streak to six races Sunday at Cincy CX as the weather cleared and conditions became tacky. In the men’s race, Kerry Werner (Kona) got the better of Saturday’s winner Gage Hecht (Alpha Bicycle-Groove Subaru) in a sprint finish in Mason, Ohio.

Noble stays unbeaten in October

Ellen Noble
Ellen Noble won her sixth UCI cyclocross race in a row, sweeping the Cincinnati weekend. Photo: Bruce Buckley

The elite women’s race began with a sizeable group of about 10 riders at the front early in the race.

Kaitie Keough (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com) struck first, taking the holeshot and leading the selection that included Noble.

“It’s just positioning, holding the wheel and being in the right place in the technical sections and stuff like that. Just using your head a little more so it was good.” Keough said about riding in a big group.

In the early laps, things would separate momentarily, but then the large pack would regroup, making Noble nervous.

“I obviously really wanted to win today and that’s something I had to remind myself: ‘Remember how badly you want this and don’t let previous wins take away from how badly you want the future ones,’” Noble said. “I never want to lose that fight. … With that in mind, I was actually really nervous early on in the race — I was like, ‘I don’t know if I can do this,’ especially I think on lap three, the group came back together and it was a big group of six or seven, and that kind of freaked me out.”

However, she soon was able to break clear of the bunch, joined by Keough and Katerina Nash (Clif Bar).

In the final laps of the 45-minute race, Keough and Noble used the course’s one steep climb in the woods to escape.

“I was proud of myself because I was riding the hill in the woods, and I think Ellen [Noble] and I were the only ones riding it. And that’s where we got our gap from Katerina [Nash],” said Keough. “Then the next lap I bobbled there and that’s where Ellen got her gap.”

Noble kept her lead on the final lap to win ahead of Keough who was second, nine seconds slower. Nash held on for third.

“For me, I’ve really enjoyed the last six wins, it’s been a different win every single day,” Noble said. “While a couple of them have been start-to-finish and a couple have been strategic, I feel that the course and the conditions and the way that I wanted it have been different and that bodes well. I think it’s easy for riders to get pigeon-holed and for people to say, ‘Oh they’re only a sprinter or whatever,’ so I’m really proud of myself to feel that I’m racing smart enough to not just be this watt-machine — I hate that word.”

Werner wins by a bike throw

Werner

The elite men lined up as the wind began to whip across Kingswood Park. That didn’t discourage Werner from taking the holeshot right away, leading a large front group into the first lap. In fact, it might have been advantageous for the Pennsylvanian to be on the front.

“The front guys would get slowed down and the back guys would get pushed up so it really shuffled the field going into the first lap and there was a lot of mixing going on but I ended up fighting back into the group by the second lap, kind of being back and part of the race,” said Hecht. “That was the biggest factor there and staying on wheels was a big thing today.”

The building winds brought in the rain, and as things got wet on lap three, a trio broke clear of the 10-man bunch. Hecht and Stephen Hyde (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com) were the only riders who could follow Werner’s acceleration.

“As soon as it started to sprinkle, it seemed like everybody was going into the pit,” Werner said. “So I just laid down a little bit of an effort just because I didn’t know if everybody else was also going to pit so I wanted to have a little bit of a buffer when I did pit. I went in, and then the next half a lap, other people went it. I think the pit actually opened up some of the gaps that then stayed true to the end of the race.”

The three riders tested each other, trying to determine the right moment to attack. Hyde thought he saw an opportunity on a high-speed section and punched it.

“I went on the front through the tailwind section, and tried to give it,” the national champion Hyde said. “When we got back to that pond area, they both went around me into the woods and I was like, ‘Okay that’s it.’ I tried to stay with them, I tried to be smooth, but honestly, I was in over my head at that point fitness-wise and I just started making mistakes. I was like, ‘Alright, if I’m going to make it to the end of this, I’ve got third and that’s great.’”

As he faded out of the picture, Hecht was setting up for a big move.

“Gage [Hecht] poured it on with a quarter of a lap to go so I jumped on his wheel,” said Werner. “He opened up a bit of a gap on me, maybe two or three seconds by the time we hit pit two. I managed to pull out of my pedal as he laid down some power. It wasn’t a lot but it was enough to stretch that gap out a little bit more.”

While Hecht ran the barriers, Werner chose to bunnyhop the planks, which helped him close down the gap.

“We hit the pavement and he sat up for a split second,” Werner added. “Right when he sat up, I touched his wheel and I went. I knew all I needed was a little bit, and man I was a little nervous, he was coming up on me and I was putting in all in. It came down to a bike throw, probably half a wheel.”

Hyde ended up third behind Hecht.

Read the full article at Cincy CX: Noble notches another win; Werner wins sprint finish on VeloNews.com.