Registration for Green Mountain Cyclocross Weekend closes on Thursday at 6pm, so if you’re going to make the trip to Vermont, time is ticking down.
The dog days of summer have passed and the 2010 cyclocross season is underway! This year’s edition of the Verge New England Championship Cyclo-Cross Series (NECCS) kicks off this weekend with the 12th annual Green Mountain Cyclocross Weekend in Willison, Vermont. The prestige of being the first UCI-level race in New England makes this race a focus for some of the biggest names in American cyclocross. This year’s start list is no exception with two World Champions and four National Champions as well as a long list of past series leaders making the trip to the Catamount Family Center for this early-season classic.
Highlighting the start list this year in the Elite Women are past series champ Maureen Bruno-Roy (MM Racing) who is coming off a strong second place at Nittany Cross in Pennsylvania last weekend, New England racing stalwart Rebecca Wellons (Pedro’s) and Andrea Smith (Ladies First), who is hoping to keep hold of the momentum from her sixth at nationals last year. Smith’s teammates Crystal Anthony, Anna Barensfeld, Ann D’Ambruoso and Christina Tamilio will hope to dominate the Elite field. A wild card in this race is Marilyn Ruseckas (Seven Cycles) who is coming back from winning the Masters World Championship in Mol, Belgium last year.
The Elite Men are bringing a stacked and large field up to Vermont this year headlined by National Champ Tim Johnson (Cannondale/cyclocrossworld.com), last year’s day-two runner up and reigning Danish National Champion Joachim Parbo (KCH Leopard Cycles). The retirement of Dan Timmerman means there will be an opening at the top step for this year’s series, but his former teammate Josh Dillon (Richard Sachs/RGM Watches/Radix) will look to carry the Sachs team torch. Justin Lindine of Bikereg.com/Joe’s Garage/Scott is making a return to improve on his third overall from last year.
Returning to the Verge NECCS this year will be Jonny Sundt (ElGato/Geargrinder p/b Podium Cycling). Sundt led the series going into Gloucester in 2001 and has chosen the Verge NECCS as the testing ground for his new team – El Gato/Geargrinder p/b Podium Cycling. New England seemed like a natural choice for Sundt, despite living in the Pacific Northwest, because of its “top level competition, geographically optimized schedule, and top flight promotion.” Along with Sundt will be Luca Damiani, who, coming off contesting World Cup races last year on the Italian national team, is coming to show New England cyclocross what “the LuzShow” really is. As always, there are some opportunists who can make the leap to the front on any given day like Adam Myerson (Cycle-Smart) and Justin Spinelli (Richard Sachs/RGM Watches/Radix).
The U-23 series is wide open with a number of new names coming up and several big names moving on to the Elites. One of the clear favorites for this race and the series is Jerome Townsend (bikereg.com/Joe’s Garage/Scott). Not to be counted out is Champion System p/b Keough Cycling racer Nick Keough. This year’s U-23 field introduces a few new faces from last year’s U-19 series, including Conor O’Brien (EMD Serono/Specialized) and Joshua Lehmann (Pedro’s). With the aging of some of the major players of the U-19 field, it has opened up for Karl Hoppner (EMD Serono/Specialized), Nate Morse (CL Noonan/Bay Hill Capital p/b Corner Cycle) and Curtis White (Clif Bar Developmental Cyclocross team).
The Verge NECCS Masters fields have always been a hotbed of competition and this year will be no different. The Masters 35+ field brings eight of last year’s top ten to Vermont, headlined by current national champ Jonny Bold (Corner Cycle), last year’s national champ Roger Aspholm (Westwood Velo) and the ever-present Curtis Boivin (Ride Blue). The 45+ field is highlighted by Sam Morse (Corner Cycle) and John Mosher (Wheelworks Racing) as last year’s champion Mark Gunsalus (Team Fuji/Clif Bar) has decided to race with the 35+. The seemingly omni-present and so often decked in stars and stripes Paul Curley (Gear Works/Spin Arts) looks to take victory in the 55+ field over the man himself, Richard Sachs (Richard Sachs/RGM Watches/Radix). The Category 3 men saw a huge exodus and will be anyone’s race to win this year. Nearly all of the top-10 from last year’s racing have upgraded and will be racing with the Elites. This year, then, the ‘best of the rest’ will be anyone’s race to win.
Finally, and with great pride, the newest series race will be the Women 3/4 series. The odds-on favorites going into the season are at both ends of the spectrum, beginning with Emma White (nycross.com), the 13 year-old from New York, current leader of the NY Cross series and ending with former masters World Champ Kathy Savary (Blue Steel Cyclery).
The 2010 Verge New England Championship Cyclo-Cross Series will be contested over five weekends. Rounds one and two will take place in Williston, VT at the Green Mountain Cyclocross Weekend on September 18 and 19. Rounds three and four will be Downeast Cyclocross in New Gloucester, Maine on October 23 and 24. The 20th Edition of the Cycle Smart International will be rounds five and six on November 6 and 7 in Northampton, MA. Bay State Cyclocross and the NBX GP of Cross will hold the final four rounds of the series in Sterling, MA on November 28 and 29 and in Warwick, RI on December 4 and 5, respectively.