The Night Weasels Cometh presented by BikeJD.com brought New England racers a truly unique experience under the lights last night at the Ski Ward in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts. Justin Lindine (bikereg.com/Joe’s Garage/Scott) and Meredith Miller (California Giant/Specialized) took wins in the elite races, both handily over extremely strong fields, but everyone who came to the race was treated to the first real cyclocross conditions of the season combined with a festive atmosphere more reminiscent of Portland than New England.
The race, organized by Colin Reuter of crossresults.com, Linnea Koons of Embrocation Cycling Journal and Chip Baker of HUP United was a first attempt at holding a midweek race between two of the biggest race weekends in New England – Gloucester and Providence. The course wound across the Ski Ward hill, forcing racers to climb and descend across a tight, sinewy track. The two days of rain leading up to the race meant for a slick, soft, greasy course with challenging ruts throughout. The mud combined with the course’s thick grass kept the Pedro’s bike wash humming well into the night, letting the racers enjoy the fun and friendly atmosphere. The prize list reflected the atmosphere, awarding a bag of sand to the winner of the Cat 3 race, an award to the last woman on Meredith Miller’s lead lap and a prize for the worst mechanical of the night.
As predicted by the pre-race prize list, the Elite Women’s race was dominated by Meredith Miller. From the first lap to the last, she held a gap over a hard charging group of chasers. Behind Miller, Crossresults.com p/b JRA Cycles teammates Sarah Bresnick-Zocchi and Sally Annis were battling to complete the podium with Bresnick-Zocchi getting the edge in the final lap as Annis flatted shortly before the finish and ran across the finish line. Coming out of retirement for Night Weasels was Lyne Bessette (cyclocrossworld.com) who crossed the line fourth in her return to racing. Co-promoter Linnea Koons came across the line fifth for Embrocation Cycling Journal.
The Elite Men seemed a replay of the Nor’easter race ten days prior at Loon Mountian where Justin Lindine followed a massive start by his teammate Jerome Townsend and took victory. The difference last night at Ski Ward was this time Townsend stayed in the race. Townsend pulled in second just ahead of Alec Donahue (Wheelhouse/NCC). Adam Myerson (Cycle-Smart) came across the line fourth.
Mixed in with the Elites was a selection of big name masters who were racing for a secondary prize list. In a fantastic duel, Rob Hult (Gear Works/Spin Arts) edged National Champ Jonny Bold (Corner Cycle) to take top honors.
Late into the night, well after the last prizes had been awarded, there was a palpable buzz about the venue. The Night Weasels Cometh clearly filled a void in the New England cyclocross calendar and will hopefully be back next year.
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Top 10 Cat 1/2/3 Women (Complete Results)
1. Meredith Miller (California Giant/Specialized)
2. Sarah Bresnick-Zocchi (crossresults.com p/b JRA Cycles)
3. Sally Annis (crossresults.com p/b JRA Cycles)
4. Lynne Bessette (Cyclocrossworld.com)
5. Linnea Koons (Embrocation Cycling Journal)
6. Anna Barensfeld (LadiesFirst Racing)
7. Rebecca Blatt (silver bull/central wheel)
8. Kate Northcott (BEAM TEAM RACING)
9. Catherine Sterling ()
10. Alexandra Jospe (Umass Bicycle Racing Club)
Top 10 Cat 1/2/3 Men (Complete Results)
1. Justin Lindine (BikeReg.com / Joe’s Garage / Scott)
2. Jerome Townsend (BikeReg.com / Joe’s Garage / Scott)
3. Alec Donahue (Wheelhouse / NCC)
4. Adam Myerson (Cycle-Smart)
5. Steve Fisher (Rad Racing NW / Hagens Berman LLP)
6. Adam Snyder (Team Jamis)
7. Rob Hult (Gear Works/Spin Arts)
8. Jonny Bold (Corner Cycle)
9. Shawn Milne (Seaside Cycle – Antero Resources)
10. Brian Wilichoski (CYCLOCROSSWORLD.COM)