The final round of the 2010 Verge New England Championship Cyclo-Cross Series dawned to seasonably cold temperatures but surprisingly dry conditions. Once again, the series conclusion was held at the NBX GP of ‘Cross at Goddard Park in Warwick, Rhode Island. Coming in to the final day of the series, the Elite categories were too close to call with Sally Annis (crossresults.com p/b JRA Cycles) and Justin Lindine (bikereg.com/Joe’s Garage/Scott) holding the slimmest of leads. The leaders and their competitors knew that there would be no margin for error, today, as all the chips were on the table. Today’s course favored racers more adept at bike handling with more of the tight, rooty turns that define the course and fewer open flat sections. Also included in today’s course was a second sand run in addition to the long run from Saturday’s course. Clearly, the winner today’s final round of the Verge New England Championship Cyclo-Cross Series would have to earn their title.
The race for the elite women started off in a similar fashion to yesterday with a large group taking off at the front. The selection included Ladies First racers Crystal Anthony and Andrea Smith, Sally Annis and Sara Bresnick-Zocchi of crossresults.com p/b JRA Cycles, C3/Athletes Serving Athletes teammates Laura Van Gilder and Arley Kemmerer and the lone Canadian, Natasha Elliott (Garneau Club/Chaussures/Ogilvy). The group whittled itself down over the course of the race with Anthony falling off the pace and Kemmerer succumbing to a mechanical that forced her to abandon.
At the front, Smith was keen to press the pace with Van Gilder stuck to her wheel. Annis, Bresnick-Zocchi and Elliott were often forced to chase back as they let small gaps open through the corners. As the race wore on, those gaps grew to a point that were barely manageable and Annis was turning herself inside out to catch back on but on the final lap, the elastic began to snap. While Smith and Van Gilder were pushing the pace, Annis totally lost contact and was absorbed by Bresnick-Zocchi. The last chance for Annis was to hope for a bobble from the leaders coming out of the sand, but the bobble never came.
Smith and Van Gilder hit the pavement at the same time and Van Gilder locked up the victory with a rapid sprint. Smith was able to raise her hands as she crossed the finish line, knowing that her second place would be good enough to take the Verge New England Championship Cyclo-Cross Series title. Bresnick-Zocchi and Annis hit the pavement a short thirteen seconds later with Bresnick-Zocchi taking the sprint for third. Elliott came across the line alone a few seconds later for fifth.
The final women’s series podium was topped by Andrea Smith with Sally Annis second and Laura Van Gilder in third.
For the elite men, the series was down to a duel between Adam Myerson (Cycle-Smart) and Justin Lindine (bikereg.com/Joe’s Garage/Scott). Lindine has been the leader of the series for almost the whole season, since he took it from Tim Johnson’s shoulders in New Gloucester, Maine and had been a valiant defender of the jersey, defending it through New Gloucester, Northampton and Sterling. The series prizes consistency and that’s been Lindine’s strength this season, rarely finishing off the podium. Behind Lindine, Myerson had been gaining ground all season, following a sub-par performance in Vermont back in September, but had never quite gotten to the point where the jersey was on his shoulders.
In today’s race, the early selection was a group of Myerson, Lindine, Derrick St John (Garneau Club/Chaussure/Ogilvy), Lindine’s teammate Manny Goguen, Nick Keough (Champion System p/b Keough Cyclocross) and Josh Dillon (Richard Sachs/RGM Watches/Radix). Unlike the women, the race was largely not of attrition as the group stayed together for nearly the entire race. The only changes came when St John fell victim to a flat tire and slow bike change and Goguen fell off the pace. Both St John and Goguen were able to fight tooth and nail to get back on board with the lead group. St John made contact after a lap and was able to sit in. Goguen, on the other hand, regained contact with the group with two to go and immediately got to the front and launched an attack.
Quickly reabsorbed, the group was held together until the second pass through the sand on the last lap. A slight bobble by someone between Myerson and Lindine was all Adam needed to launch his attack, with Keough and St John on his wheel. Lindine fought with all his might to come back into the group but was just not able to make contact in the last few hundred meters. Coming onto the pavement, Nick Keough was able to gain a slight advantage over Myerson and held it across the line for the first-ever UCI victory for the U-23 series champion. Myerson came across second and cemented his comeback, defeating Lindine for the series title.
Myerson’s series victory was an emotional one as it was his first-ever series title and came following his first two UCI victories. The podium was completed by Justin Lidine, whose performance this season has been nothing short of inspirational and, on the legs of today’s victory, Nick Keough. Following the series award presentation, Myerson addressed the New England cyclocross faithful and emotionally thanked his fellow racers and the series staff and sponsors for him and the series through the tough past week and through yet another long and successful season.
Top 10 Elite Women (Complete Results)
1. Laura Van Gilder (C3 Athletes Serving Athletes)
2. Andrea Smith (Ladiesfirst Racing)
3. Sara Bresnick-Zocchi (Crossresults.Com P/B Jra Cycles)
4. Sally Annis (Crossresults.Com P/B Jra Cycles)
5. Natasha Elliott (Garneau Club Chaussures – Ogilvy)
6. Crystal Anthony (Ladiesfirst Racing)
7. Catherine Sterling (Bikeman.Com)
8. Rebecca Wellons (Pedro’S)
9. Christina Tamilio (Ladiesfirst Racing)
10. Ann D’Ambruoso (Ladiesfirst Racing)
Top 10 Elite Men (Complete Results)
1. Nicholas Keough (Champion System P/B Keough Cyclocross)
2. Adam Myerson (Cycle-Smart)
3. Derrick St John (Garneau Club Chaussures – Ogilvy)
4. Justin Lindine (Bikereg.Com / Joe’S Garage / Scott)
5. Josh Dillon (Richard Sachs – Rgm Watches – Radix)
6. Manny Goguen (Bikereg.Com / Joe’S Garage / Scott)
7. Erik Box (The Hub Race Team)
8. Christian Favata (Favata’S Tablerock Tours And Bikes)
9. Andrew Wulfkuhle (C3-Athletes Serving Athletes)
10. Anthony Clark (Ncc/Wheelhouse)
Photo Gallery (Click for larger images)