Temperatures in the mid-40s with whipping winds greeted racers today in Sterling, Massachusetts for the eleventh round of the Verge New England Cyclo-Cross Series. Some very impressive performances came from all sides, elite and amateur, men and women. Mary McConneloug (Kenda/Seven/NoTubes) dominated the elite women while Jeremy Powers (Cannondale/cyclocrossworld.com) was on top of the elite men, taking his seventh UCI win of the season. Powers is using the Sterling race as a final tuneup before the big push of USGP Portand and Cross Nationals races.
All photos copyright Dave McElwaine – used with permission
The women’s race shook out quickly with McConneloug, Andrea Smith (Minuteman Road Club), Rebecca Wellons (Team Plan C) and series leader Maureen Bruno-Roy (MM Racing) off the front by the time they reached the horse jump only a third of a lap in. A bottleneck in the set of turns directly after the horse jump helped to make the selection, allowing the four women in the front to create an insurmountable lead.
From there on, it was a game of strength with McConneloug able to extend herself beyond her chasers. Behind her Smith broke free only a few seconds behind but was never able to close the gap. In pursuit of her, Wellons and Bruno Roy matched each other on their strengths, but were never able to close down the space to Smith who ended up second. Coming into the finishing straight, Bruno Roy attempted to put some space between herself and Wellons but was unable to shake her. Wellons timed her sprint perfectly and came around for a podium finish. Despite her fourth place, Bruno Roy maintained her hold on the leader’s jersey for another day.
In the elite men, last-minute registrant Powers took control of the race quickly, starting at the front of a group containing Adam Myerson (Cycle Smart), elite series leader Dan Timmerman (Richard Sachs/RGM/Radix), and U-23 series leader Luke Keough (Champion Systems). A bobble by Keough in front of Myerson gave Powers and Timmerman the space they needed to make this a two-horse race. Behind them formed a strong and motivated chase group of Myerson, Josh Dillon (Richard Sachs/RGM/Radix), Justin Lindine (bikereg.com/Joe’s Garage/IF), Will Dugan (Richard Sachs/RGM/Radix), Justin Spinelli (Svelte Cycles) and Mike Broderick (Kenda/Seven/NoTubes) at bay.
Powers and Timmerman held the chase at arm’s length for much of the race, despite a brutal headwind that stopped them both dead in their tracks at one point. Taking advantage of the wind, Lindine attacked his group and made contact with the two leaders.
The catch was met with great enthusiasm from the crowd, but it was short-lived as Powers and Timmerman had no interest in a passenger on their train, pulling away before Lindine had a chance to recover. In a similar fashion, Powers turned on his afterburners and very slowly rode Timmerman off his wheel, little by little, Timmerman found himself alone. Powers cruised home for yet another victory on his stellar season. Timmerman maintained his second through the finish with Lindine rounding out the podium. Jerome Townsend (bikereg.com/Joe’s Garage/IF) fought his way up and won a four-way sprint for seventh and the U23 victory.
The Masters 35+ race was, once again, a battle between series leader Roger Aspholm (Westwood Velo) and the Corner Cycle duo of Johnny Bold and Kevin Hines. Today, they had company in the lead group in the person of Kurt Perham (bikeman.com/pbmcoaching.com) who took the holeshot, avoiding the bottleneck on the run-up and making the selection at the front. Bold, Hines and Aspholm were able to ride tempo and away from the rest of the field, per usual, and shedding Perham. With two to go, Hines made a huge dig going into a technical set of corners with Bold on the front of the group. With his teammate unwilling to chase, he gained nearly ten seconds before Aspholm was able to counter the move. Once it came back together, Aspholm rode the group like a chess match. Coming onto the straightaway finish, Aspholm was able to hold off Bold for another series victory, with Bold in second and Hines third.
The U19 race showed, once again, the dominance of EMD Serono/Specialized racer Evan McNeely from Kingston, Ontario. Behind him, Jesse Keough (CL Noonan/KAM/Coast to Coast) and Joshua Lehmann (Sunapee) battled for the second and third steps of the podium. McNeely’s victory is his seventh in eight attempts in Verge races this season.
In the U15 race, Peter Goguen (Minuteman Road Club) and Austin Vincent (CL Noonan/KAM/Coast to Coast) once again battled for the top. In what is proving to be one of the best competitions of the series, Goguen got the best of Vincent for the fourth time this season. Vincent, who had been a bit under the weather, managed to keep a hold on second place despite a hard rush from Joshua Anderson, who finished third in only the third bike race he’s ever entered.
Racing on Sunday begins at 8:30am with the Cat4 and Cat4 35+ race. Tom Stevens’s new course for the Sunday race is expected to add a number of new features and take even better advantage of the Chocksett Middle School grounds. It will be the last race before the decisive series finale next weekend in Warwick, Rhode Island.
Race report by Jeff Bramhall, Media Coordinator, Verge New England Championship Cyclo-Cross Series
Elite Women Top 10
1. Mary Mcconneloug (KENDA-Seven-NoTubes) 0:39:42
2. Andrea Smith (Minuteman Road Club) 0:40:07
3. Rebecca Wellons (Team Plan C) 0:40:33
4. Maureen Bruno roy (MM Racing p/b Seven Cycles) 0:40:33
5. Anna Barensfeld (Minuteman Road Club) 0:41:13
6. Amanda Carey (Kenda/Trainwitheric.com) 0:41:38
7. Ann D’ambruoso (Minuteman Road Club) 0:41:43
8. Arielle Filiberti (Dartmouth College) 0:42:07
9. Sally Annis (Hub Racing) 0:42:23
10. Rebecca Blatt (US Army/ Central Wheel) 0:42:40
Elite Men Top 10
1. Jeremy Powers (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld) 0:56:09
2. Dan Timmerman (Richard Sachs/RGM Watches/Radix) 0:56:22
3. Justin Lindine (BikeReg.com / Joe’s Garage / IF) 0:56:38
4. Josh Dillon (Richard Sachs/RGM Watches/Radix) 0:57:01
5. William Dugan (RICHARD SACHS – RGM WATCHES – RADIX) 0:57:24
6. Justin Spinelli (Svelte Cycles) 0:57:36
7. Jerome Townsend (BikeReg.com / Joe’s Garage / IF) 0:57:52
8. Adam Myerson (Cycle-Smart) 0:57:52
9. Nathaniel Ward (BikeReg.com / Joe’s Garage / IF) 0:57:52
10. Michael Broderick (KENDA-Seven-NoTubes) 0:57:52
Complete results here