In the wake of yesterday’s mud-fest, racing today at the Downeast Cyclocross Weekend in New Gloucester, Maine was fast and furious. With precious UCI points on the line, the stars of New England cyclocross were out in force. The course once again featured the sweeping turns and undulating terrain of Pineland Farm, while the creative course design made for one of the most spectator-friendly courses in the region. With a firm top layer across almost the entire course, racers were able to really rip through several series of tight off-camber corners. With each end of the course punctuated by fast asphalt and dirt roads, today’s course was designed with the pure cyclocross racer in mind.
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Following her dominating performance yesterday, Andrea Smith (LadiesFirst Racing) came out gangbusters, taking the holeshot off the line and leading the race through the first set of corners. She was quickly joined by two of her teammates at the front. Crystal Anthony, no stranger to the pointed end of a New England ‘cross race, was able to join Smith along with new member of LadiesFirst Racing, Elle Anderson. With all chasers well off the torrid pace set by the LadiesFirst trio, it became a chess match between three very talented racers. Anthony was often at the front, putting Smith under pressure and nearly dropping Anderson several times. Smith fought back, attacking early in the final lap and was able to solo to victory. The surprise, and finest ride of the day, came from Anderson who overtook Anthony for second and easily the most impressive result of her young career. Sara Bresnick (Embrocation Cycling Journal) crossed the line fourth with Rebecca Wellons (Quad Cycles) in fifth.
The Elite Men’s race started with a pileup – several riders found themselves tangled among one another before the race even left the pavement. Caught up in the crash, most notably, was the favorite of the day Justin Lindine (bikereg.com/Joe’s Garage). While Lindine was quick to assort himself, yesterday’s winner, Dylan McNicholas (cyclocrossworld.com) got to the front with Luke Keough (Champion System p/b Keough Cyclocross). Craig Richey (Renner Custom Cyclocross p/b Raleigh) came through the leaders with a full head of steam, and drove a blistering pace. The front group formed over the first couple laps with Richey, McNicholas, Keough and breakout rider Jeremy Durrin (JAM Fund/NCC). As the four worked to establish a gap, Lindine began to move quickly through the field, joining the leaders as they neared the end of the third lap.
Lindine, never one to let someone else dictate the race, took charge with five to go, attacking in one of the few remaining sloppy sections and did what he does best – rode the race alone, gaining almost half a minute over the course of a lap. As Lindine established his gap, only McNicholas was able to make any headway in the chase, as Richey began to lose contact. Keough repeatedly made attempts to get back to McNicholas, but the cyclocrossworld.com racer was having none of it. Lindine was able to cross the line first, with an advantage of 26 seconds, while McNicholas, in his best UCI result of the season, picked up second place and valuable points for staging in two weeks at the Cycle-Smart International. Luke Keough’s third place demonstrated the consistency and perseverance New England cyclocross fans are used to. Richey completed his New England campaign with a solid fourth place. Notably, Jesse Anthony proved his retirement, announced at Gloucester, to be premature – coming out and picking up fifth place in his World Bicycle Relief kit. Jeremy Powers’s protégé, Anthony Clark (JAM Fund/NCC) scored 6th place for his best-ever UCI result. Understandably, he freaked out.
The Verge New England Cyclo-Cross Series continues on November 5th and 6th in Northampton, Massachusetts for the 21st edition of the Cycle-Smart International. Cycle-Smart International is also the third weekend in the UCI Shimano New England Professional Cyclocross Series and is one of the most hotly anticipated weekends of racing in New England.
Top 10 Women
1. Andrea Smith (LadiesFirst Racing)
2. Elle Anderson (LadiesFirst Racing)
3. Crystal Anthony (LadiesFirst Racing)
4. Sara Bresnick-Zocchi (Embrocationcycling.com)
5. Rebecca Wellons (Quad Cycles)
6. Sally Annis (crossresults.com p/b JRA cycles)
7. Catherine Sterling (Bikeman.com)
8. Frances Morrison (J.A.M. Fund / NCC)
9. Linnea Koons (Embrocation Cycling Journal)
10. Evelyne Blouin
Top 10 Men
1. Justin Lindine (BikeReg.com / Joe’s Garage)
2. Dylan Mcnicholas (CYCLOCROSSWORLD.COM)
3. Luke Keough (Champion System p/b Keough Cyclocross)
4. Craig Richey (Renner Custom CX Team – Raleigh)
5. Jesse Anthony (World Bicycle Relief)
6. Joshua Dillon (RGM WATCHES – RICHARD SACHS)
7. Shawn Milne (Essex County Velo – Driven by Mazda)
8. Anthony Clark (J.A.M. Fund / NCC)
9. Jeremy Durrin (J.A.M. Fund / NCC)
10. Adam Myerson (Team Mountain Khakis presented by SmartStop)