The second day of the Verge New England Cyclocross Series featured a more technical course than yesterday’s, as racers carved lines up and down a hillside in Williston, Vermont under sunny skies. Riders faced a barely-rideable dirt berm early in the lap, a significant challenge that forced selections and caused major shake-ups in both Elite races. The Verge series jersey remains with Crystal Anthony (cyclocrossworld.com) who swept the weekend in the Elite Women’s series competition; in the Elite Men’s category, however, Jamey Driscoll (Cannondale/cyclocrossworld.com) gapped some of the strongest racers in cyclocross to take the series jersey from Frenchman Nicolas Bazin (Big-Mat Auber 93).
The Elite Women’s race saw a repeat Herculean performance from Anthony, who once again rode away in the first half lap as the field bobbled through the tricky berm section, forcing riders off their bikes. Behind Anthony, the race for the podium heated up with Maureen Bruno Roy (Bob’s Red Mill pb Seven Cycles) riding strong, leading Catherine Sterling (Bikeman.com), Sally Annis (pedalpowertraining.com), and Julie LaFreniere (Stevens Racing p/b The Cyclery) through the course.
Anthony did not let up, her gap continually growing as the race wore on. Bruno Roy cranked the pace for a second-place finish, putting Annis and Sterling in difficulty as LaFreniere held fast for third. Anthony holds on to the leader’s jersey for an early season lead in this year’s Verge New England Series.
After the technical challenges strung the field out, a lead group of ten emerged which included many of the biggest names in North American cyclocross. Dylan McNicholas (cyclocrossworld.com) looked strong leading a group including Driscoll and his teammate Tim Johnson, Luke Keough (Corner Cycling Club/Champion), Jonathan Page, Justin Lindine (Redline) and Bazin. Bazin went for an early attack and Lindine followed alone in pursuit. The attack was caught, but the strain in the group was evident. Johnson suffered a mechanical after an early counterattack, but then cranked his way back up for a hard-earned third place finish. Obviously feeling very strong, Johnson shook his head and said of his troubles “‘cross gives, and ‘cross takes away.” Page rode strong into a great result on his birthday, pedaling to fourth behind Johnson.
However, it was hometown racer Driscoll of nearby Jericho, VT who dug deep for an upset over Bazin, creating a big enough gap to have time to high-five cheering fans as he crossed the finish line. Bazin followed for second place almost twenty seconds behind. “It means so much to win in front of a hometown crowd,” said Driscoll, who completed an inspired ride to the delight of the crowd.
UCI Elite Women Top 10 (complete results at crossresults.com)
1. Crystal Anthony, cyclocrossworld.com
2. Maureen Bruno Roy, Bob’s Red Mill pb Seven Cycles
3. Julie Lafreniere, Stevens Racing p/b The Cyclery
4. Catherine Sterling, Bikeman.com
5. Sally Annis, pedalpowertraining.com
6. Maghalie Rochette, PowerWatts – Fit Time
7. Evelyne Blouin, Ride With Rendall
8. Kate Northcott, Beam Team Racing
9. Sheila Vibert, Sunapee Racing Team
10. Christina Birch, J.A.M. Fund / NCC
UCI Elite Men Top 10 (complete results at crossresults.com)
1. Jamey Driscoll, Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld
2. Nicolas Bazin, Big-Mat Auber 93
3. Tim Johnson, Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld
4. Jonathan Page
5. Justin Lindine, Redline
6. Dylan McNicholas, cyclocrossworld.com
7. Shawn Milne, cyclocrossworld.com
8. Flavien Dassonville, Big-Mat Auber 93
9. Luke Keough, Corner Cycling Club/Champion
10. Dan Timmerman, Richard Sachs – RGM Watches – Radix