Five UCI cross races on tap this weekend, the 2-day/2-race Bay State Cyclocross in Sterling, Massachussetts and the 3-day/3-race Jingle Cross Rock in Iowa City, Iowa.
Rounds 11 and 12 of the Verge New England Championship Cyclo-Cross Series (NECCS), the Bay State Cyclocross looms heavily over the heads of the series leaders as only one weekend will remain in December. In his first ever Sterling appearance, Dan Timmerman (Richard Sachs/RGM/Radix) will be aiming to extend his series lead as second-place overall Jamey Driscoll (Cannondale/cyclocrossworld.com) will not be racing this weekend leaving his teammate Josh Dillon as his closest rival for the overall. Having taken last weekend off, Timmerman could use his fresh legs to clinch the overall victory in the series. Other riders to watch include Cycle-Smart’s Adam Myerson and Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com’s Jeremy Powers who is always a threat for the win.
The U23 men will be fully represented with the top contenders, Luke Keough (Champion Systems) and Jerome Townsend (bikereg.com/Joe’s Garage/IF). These two racers have dominated the Espoirs competition and have the top two places in their competition locked up. Despite Keough’s edge, he is not out of Townsend’s reach and will have to put out two solid races this weekend to maintain his edge.
In the Elite women, Maureen Bruno-Roy (MM Racing/Seven) will be trying to take the top step on the podium for the second consecutive year in Sterling. Also slated to appear this weekend, coming off a sweep of the Cycle-Smart International is Kenda/Seven/NoTubes racer and former Olympian, Mary McConneloug. Her return to the domestic cyclocross circuit has been extremely successful, piling up three victories and seven podiums. If the cards fall right, McConneloug could once again be a contender for the overall in the series. Not to be forgotten is the breakout racer of the series, Andrea Smith (Minuteman Road Club). Currently sitting in third overall, Smith could make up some serious ground over the weekend, possibly pushing herself into contention for the title.
Racing begins this Saturday morning with the Cat 4/Cat 4 Masters race at 8:30, with the Elite Women starting at 1:30pm followed byt he Elite/U23 Men at 2:30pm. There will be day-of registration available for all fields with registration opening at 7:30 both days. See full schedule and list of pre-registered riders over at BikeReg.com
The 2009 UCI Carousel Volkswagen Jingle Cross Rock powered by Musco is a 3-day cyclocross event to benefit the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital.
The race is held at the Johnson County Fairgrounds includes the Run-up-it to Mt. Krumpit where spectators can see over 90% of the race from atop this craggily peak, and the Grinch’s Lair is back. A new set of surprises will certainly mix things up for 2009 including the Whoville Whirl and the new course for 2009, Rock Night on Friday, November 27th. (Course maps for Friday, Saturday and Sunday).
Many of the top Elite riders have chosen to stay home and train on this Thanksgiving Holiday weekend as they do their final tune-up before US Cross National Championships but the Wells brothers, Todd Wells for Specialized and Troy Wells with Clif Bar who split the 2-races last year. Other riders to watch from Planet Bike include Marko LaLonde, Kristin Wentworth and Linda Sone, GearGrinder’s Brian Matter and CalGiant’s Meredith Miller who might score her first UCI win this weekend. Specialized’s Ned Overend is also registered for the Saturday and Sunday races.
The racing starts at 4pm on Friday with the Elite Women at 6:30om followed by the Elite Men. On Saturday and Sunday, the Elite Women start at 1:30pm followed by the Elite Men at 2:30pm. See full schedule and list of pre-registered riders at BikeReg.com
Highlights from 2008 JingleCross by GizmoPictures: