Weather, unpredictable and ever-changing, featured prominently in today’s race at Baystate Cyclocross. Early morning racers faced not only a treacherously icy course, but also black ice on roads in the surrounding area causing a delayed start for the first race. As a light rain fell, the icy dirt softened to greasy mud, creating increasing challenges on an already tough race course for Rounds 9 & 10 of the Verge New England Cyclocross Series, the premier amateur series in the US.
The Elite women took to the muddy course, and a determined Crystal Anthony (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) attacked as some riders struggled on a muddy off-camber. As Anthony moved into the lead, Arley Kemmerer (C3-Twenty20 Cycling Co.) made sure she led the chase, not wanting to let Anthony go. Mo Bruno Roy (Bob’s Red Mill p/b Seven Cycles), adept in tricky conditions like these, had her eye on the podium as she moved into the third spot, while yesterday’s winner and USA Cycling Pro CX points leader Elle Anderson (California Giant Berry Farms/ Specialized) struggled with some bike issues in fourth.
Anthony created an eight-second gap, but Kemmerer was determined; Kemmerer’s focused riding returned the talented racer to Anthony’s wheel, and the two remained locked in battle for much of the race. Bruno Roy and Anderson also traded swipes, fighting for that third podium step, but Anderson escaped. Anthony attacked Kemmerer repeatedly in the final lap, eventually escaping to claim a well-deserved victory with Kemmerer in a strong second. Bruno Roy put in an amazing ride, chasing Anderson down, but ultimately Anderson prevailed for third.
“I loved the course today. It was like going to Belgium without having to travel!” exclaimed an exuberant Anthony, happy with the technical conditions today.
Like in the women’s race, the first technical muddy off-camber section created a decisive split in the field. Jeremy Durrin (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) seized the opportunity presented by the pile-up in the first lap to launch a solo attack, quickly gaining a strong lead on the field. Jeremy Powers (Rapha-Focus), Curtis White (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com), Dan Timmerman (House Industries – Richard Sachs), and Anthony Clark (JAM Fund / NCC) organized to hunt Durrin down but Durrin’s lead only grew.
Seeing he needed to take the matter into his own hands, Powers set off on his own to bridge to Durrin. Meanwhile, Clark bobbled, leaving Timmerman and White warring for third. Powers dropped Durrin’s lead to twenty seconds, then fifteen, then twelve, but was unable to shut down Durrin’s lead. Durrin crossed the line first, finally earning a win and verifying that his season is really on the upswing. As Powers claimed second, White boldly attacked the technically proficient Timmerman early in the last lap. White held Timmerman off to claim third place.
In the Verge New England Cyclocross Series, racers endured classic cyclocross weather: mud, ice, rain, and fog, on a challenging race course. Ryley Mosher (WheelWorks) and Daniel John Vaughn (Corning/No Tubes/Swan Cycles) retain the 10-14 Juniors jerseys in the girls’ and boys’ divisions. Stephen Pierce (JAM Fund/NCC/Vittoria) retains his lead in the category 3 men’s division, while Mike Magur (Verge Sport) strengthens his lead in the 35+ category. Ian Keough (Keough Cyclocross p/b Felt Bicycles) . Melissa Seib (Bikeman) holds a strong lead in the amateur women’s field, while Alisa Allegrini (Nantucket Velo) appears similarly unstoppable in the 35+ masters women’s field. 45+ leader Roger Aspholm (Finkraft Cycling Team) retains the series jersey, and 55+ leader Al Blanchard (Finkraft Cycling Team) also keeps that jersey.
Complete results on crossresults.com
Next, NBX Gran Prix of Cyclocross will be the setting for the fiery finale of both the Shimano New England Professional Cyclocross Series presented by Verge and the Verge New England Cyclocross Series. The true champions in all categories, amateur and elite, will be decided at NBX on December 7 & 8.