Reminiscent of a sector at Paris Roubaix, visibility was down to three bike lengths during the start of most races at Huber’s Apple Cross, the Zipp OVCX series opener held on a working apple farm, vineyard and restaurant just outside of Louisville. Nearly 500 racers participated across all categories.
When the dust settled on the farm roads in the women’s elite race, Wisconsin’s Ashley James (KCCX/Fuji) wowed the crowd by holding off Kaitlin Antonneau (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld). With Collegiate track nationals on Thursday and USGP Saturday and Sunday, the next week will be busy for the U23 National Champion.
Throughout the race, third place Marne Smiley (Bob’s Red Mill) impressively continued to close the gap to Antonneau, leaving only a seven second gap at the finish. After the race Smiley said, “Catching Katie was motivation, but so was staving off Erin Silliman (Corsa Concepts) who was consistently only a few meters behind.” Along with the cash prize, podium finishers were treated to a half peck of Huber’s farm fresh apples and a bag of Bob’s Red Mill Honey Oat Granola.
For the mid-afternoon Elite Men’s race the farm was in full fall harvest mode. Spectators cheered the races from moving hayrides, hay bales book-ended the barriers and apples lined some corners of the course. According to Joshua Johnson (Bissell-ABG-Nuvo), “From the gun, Bob’s Red Mill showed their strength taking the holeshot and creating a train at the front.” As the race sliced through the hairpins of the orchard, Johnson was the first to attack the Bob’s Red Mill train, initially shedding BRM’s Greg Wittwer.
Now down to Johnson and BRM’s Andrew Dillman and Reardon, Johnson said “the game of tactics, attack-chase-attack” began to play out eventually slowing the pace at the front enough for Wittwer to rejoin. Wittwer attacked with Dillman on his wheel, creating a gap on Johnson. At the line, Dillman hopped his way to victory with Wittwer and Johnson seconds behind.
After a one week break, the next stop for OVCX is St. Mary’s Child Care Center Cyclocross in Indianapolis on September 30th.
Top 10 Elite Women (Full results at crossresults.com)
1. Ashley James (KCCX)
2. Kaitlin Antonneau (Cannondale)
3. Marne Smiley (Bob’s Red Mill Cyclocross Team)
4. Erin Silliman (Corsa Concepts Cyclocross Team)
5. Katie Arnold (Bob’s Red Mill Cyclocross Team)
6. AnnaJean Dallaire (Papa John’s Racing)
7. Kiersta Tucker (Be Real Sports / Wood N Wave)
8. Erika Howard (Secret Cycling)
9. Bridget Donovan (BioWheels/Reece-Campbell Racing)
10. Elizabeth Cobb (Bob’s Red Mill Cyclocross Team)
Top 10 Elite Men
1. Andrew Dillman (Bob’s Red Mill Cyclocross Team)
2. Greg Wittwer (Bob’s Red Mill Cyclocross Team)
3. Joshua Johnson (Bissell-ABG-Nuvo)
4. Andy Reardon (Bob’s Red Mill Cyclocross Team)
5. Stephen Bassett (Bob’s Red Mill Cyclocross Team)
6. Mitchell Kersting (Bob’s Red Mill Cyclocross Team)
7. Steven Gordon (XO Communications p/b Cisco Systems)
8. Frederick Rose (Bob’s Red Mill Cyclocross Team)
9. Andrew Messer (DRT Racing pb Revolution Bike & Bean)
10. Christopher Bogedin (Wolverine Elite Cyclocross Team)