Break is over. Cross season started this weekend, with the first four UCI races on the 2009/2010 USA Cycling Cyclo-cross National Calendar: Star-Crossed and Rad Racing in Washingston State and Nittany Lion and Charm City in the Mid-Atlantic.
- Star Crossed on September 19 – (Seattle. WA)
- RAD Racing Gran Prix on September 20 – (Seattle, WA)
- The Erdinger Gran Prix of Gloucester on October 3-4 – (Gloucester, MA)
- Toronto International Cyclocross on October 17-18 – (Toronto, ON)
- Blue Sky Velo Cup on October 31 – (Longmont, CO)
- The Boulder Cup on November 1 – (Boulder, CO)
- Whitmore’s Landscaping Super Cross Cup on November 21-22 – (Southampton, NY)
The rain started shortly after the UCI women’s field took off at FSA Star Crossed and British Champion Helen Wyman (Kona), currently ranked eighth the world, rode away from a top-notch women’s field to take the win. A chase group consisting of last year’s winner MonaVie Cannondale’s Sue Butler, Alison Dunlap (Luna) and Alison Sydor (Rocky Mountain) tried to give Wyman a run for her money never made contact with the solo rider off the front. Butler powered through on the home straight away to take second ahead of Dunlap.
The men’s Star Crossed was a mudfest and crashfeston the long grassy straight-aways going in and out of the Marymoor velodrome with off-camber turns slickened with rain.
YouTube video by “sprklnld”
Soon an elite lead group was formed which included Jonathan Page (Planet Bike), USA Champion Trebon, Swiss Champion Christian Heule (Rendementhypo), Troy Wells (Clif Bar), Andy Jacques-Maynes (BISSELL) and last year’s winner Jeremy Powers (Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld). Crashes and bad corners would whittle the group down but riders kept fighting to get back to the lead group, with Trebon and Page taking turns on the front and attacking. Heule hit the velodrome first, holding off Page and Powers on the finishing straight. Trebon was fourth and Jacques-Maynes rounded out the top five. Tim Johnson (Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld) crashed hard and abandoned the race, the first time in many years that he did not finish a cross race.
The weather did a complete turnaround for Sunday’s Rad Racing. Under sunny skies and dry conditions, Butler and Wyman took the hole shot and the duo began to build a lead over the rest of the field. With Sydor pulling out before the race, Dunlap was alone in mounting a chase group. Kari Studley (Velo Bella), Wendy Williams (Subaru Hudz), and Alice Pennington (Veloforma) trailed Dunlap, but things were shaken up when Wyman flatted just after passing the pit. Butler took full advantage, widening her lead over Dunlap while Wyman chased. The Knapp run-up, the eighty meter staircase, took its toll on racers. The field spaced out and Bulter rider took the win. Dunlap finished second and Studley third. Wyman chased back to finished fourth and Barbara Howe (Vanderkitten) was fifth.
In the men’s race, Trebon took the hole shot and the usual suspects congregated on the front: Page, Heule and others hit the barriers at full speed before heading up to the run-up. Jamis’s Jesse Anthony got tangled up in the barriers sending him to the back of the race. After two laps, Heule and Page pulled away from the chasers. Jamey Driscoll (Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld) and Jacques-Maynes got together to chase but never made contact to the leading pair. Behind them, Kona’s Barry Wicks kept the chase group hot along with Danish champion Joachim Parbo (Ccv Leopard), Chris Jones and others. Trebon, who crashed on Saturday, eventually abandoned the race along with a couple other riders. Heule and Page took turns attacking and drafting, Heule hitting the grass chicanes on the final lap but Page won the two-man sprint at the line. Driscoll took third ahead of Jacques-Maynes and Jones slotted in into fifth spot.
Johnson chose not to start the race to give a chance to his shoulder to get better and his teammate Powers had a bad bike exchange in the pit that put him in the middle of the pack.
The first two races of the Mid-Atlantic Cross (MAC) Series were won by Davide Frattini (Team Fuji) and Laura Van Gilder (C3). With about half of Saturday’s Nittany Lion race completed, Frattini powered away from a seven-rider lead group, never looked back and soloed to victory. Behind him, Adam Myerson (CycleSmart) lead the chase group which splintered in the final lap and won the sprint to take second ahead of Luke Keough (Corner Cycle Cycling Team).
In the women’s race, Van Gilder made the lead group along with Mo Bruno-Roy (MM Racing Seven Bikes) and her C3 teammate Deirdre Winfield. Winfield lost contact with the group after falling while Van Gilder was content to stay on Bruno-Roy’s wheel until the finish when she unleashed her sprint to take the win. Winfield finished third.
In Sunday’s Charm City in Baltimore Maryland, once again Frattini and Myerson made the lead group of six riders with Myerson making his move when Frattini crashed. But the group came back together again after three laps, and once again Frattini escaped the group in the final lap to claim victory. Mike Garrigan (La Bicicletta) finished second and Myerson was third.
Once again, Bruno-Roy and Van Gilder made the six rider lead group in the women’s race. Despite numerous attempts, Bruno-Roy was not able to drop Van Gilder who pulled away in the final lap to take her second win of the weekend. Bruno-Roy was second and Rebecca Wellons (Northeast Bicycle Club) finished third.
What’s next? The UCI C1 Cross Vegas on Wednesday evening in Las Vegas and the opening act of the US Gran Prix of Cyclocross, the C1 and C2 Planet Bike races in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin next weekend. Podiuminsight will be there.