The 3rd and 4th rounds of the Verge series will take place this weekend, October 20 and 21, at Downeast Cyclocross in New Gloucester, Maine, where racers will face a demanding and newly redesigned course. Only twenty miles from Portland, this weekend of racing will allow New England’s best talent and emerging stars to shine through for two UCI Category 2 races on a famously technical course surrounded by the spectator-friendly Pineland Farm, offering racers, their families, and fans plenty of food, beverages, and activities in scenic rural Maine.
New England’s own Dylan McNicholas (Cyclocrossworld.com) and Justin Lindine (Redline), last year’s winners on Downeast day 1 and 2 respectively, will arrive to compete for the Verge Series Elite Men’s points leader jersey on the traditionally muddy terrain of New Gloucester. McNicholas has indicated that he has the series win in his sights, while Lindine is also within grasp of the points leadership.
Local favorite and emerging superstar Crystal Anthony (Cyclocrossworld.com), series leader in the Elite Women’s points competition, has shown this season that she has the form to hold her own among the top racers in the country. She will defend her Verge Series points lead this weekend, facing a challenging field of famously fast and tough New England women, including Catherine Sterling, who could pose a significant threat to Anthony’s dominance in the series.
The points competitions are not only heating up in the Elite races. This year’s expanded Verge Series offers points competitions in ten total categories including Juniors, Amateur Men’s and Women’s, and Masters Men’s and Women’s fields in addition to the Elite fields. New categories this year include separate divisions for Amateur Women and Masters Women, answering the need created by explosive growth in women’s racing in recent years. In addition, Junior girls between the ages of 10 and 14 race in their own points competition for the first time.
This weekend, watch for the race for Junior 15-18 points leader as Peter Goguen (CF Racing p/b Trek Portsmouth) squares off against Cooper Willsey (Cyclocrossworld.com). Karen Tripp (Blue Steel Cyclery) looks set to stage a coup for the Masters Women’s crown, while Melissa LaFleur (BONK! Support) promises to retain her lead in the Amateur Women’s field. Jacob Harris (Norm’s Ski and Bike) could take the jersey this weekend in the Amateur Men’s race, and expect Todd Bowden (Expowheelmen) to take over the 35+ Masters lead.
The champions in all categories will be clear by the close of rounds 5 and 6 on November 24 and 25 at Bay State Cyclocross in Sterling, Massachusetts. Racers will compete for series dominance on a classic New England cyclocross course developed by Tom Stevens to offer the technical challenges unique to New England cyclocross.