The second day of the NBX Gran Prix of Cyclocross marked the historic conclusion of the Shimano New England Professional Cyclocross series as well as the Verge New England Cyclocross Series, North America’s top amateur series. Racers fought the final battles in epic season-long wars for the win in categories all day long, including extraordinarily tight races in the Elites.
Laura Van Gilder (Van Dessel p/b Mellow Mushroom Pizza) would need to finish on the podium today in order to claim the Shimano NEPCX Series win, a goal she’s had all season. In the U23 category, Emma White (Cyclocrossworld.com) needed to be the first U23 woman today order to claim the series lead.
As Arley Kemmerer (C3-Twenty20 Cycling Co.) and Emma White sped off from the whistle, gaining a gap within the first half-lap, Van Gilder assembled a solid chase group. Ellen Noble (Trek Cyclocross Collective), Chris Birch (JAM Fund/NCC), and Natasha Elliott (Rare Vos Racing/Stevens) worked with Van Gilder to hunt down Kemmerer and White, but the two leaders only moved forward. Kemmerer attacked with only a half-lap left in the race, leaving White behind and Kemmerer claimed an amazing victory to bolster her confidence before she heads to Belgium. White crossed the line for second, and, as the first U23, claimed the U23 series jersey. Meanwhile, Van Gilder made a jump on the chase, a move no one could follow. Van Gilder dropped the rest of the chase, taking third and the Shimano NEPCX series win.
In the Elite Men’s field, Shawn Milne (Keough Cyclocross) and Raphaël Gagné (Rocky Mountain Factory) had their work cut out for them: if one of the racers won the race today, he would win the Shimano NEPCX Series as well. Gagné took the hole shot with fellow Canadian mountain biker Mike Garrigan (Van Dessel/Shimano) right on his wheel, increasing their lead by riding the two log barriers. The chase was on as Curtis White (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com), Robert Marion (American Classic Pro CX Team), Justin Lindine (Redline/NBX) organized.
Milne hung on just off the pace of the chase as Lindine led the group to the leaders and immediately attacked. His escape was quickly thwarted, however, and the group came together with the addition of Milne. With three to go, Milne leapt off the front of the group, gaining at first a few bike lengths and growing his lead to seconds over the chase. Garrigan and Marion chased hard, with White just behind them, but Milne was unstoppable in his quest for the series victory. Milne won the day and the season-long crown in the Shimano NEPCX Elite Men’s division. Garrigan finished in second, Marion third, Lindine fourth, and Curtis White fifth to win the U23 Men’s category in the series.
On the final day of the 2013 Verge New England Cyclocross Series, the ultimate champions were determined in nine categories. Ryley Mosher (WheelWorks) claimed the 10-14 Junior girls’ win. Lane Maher (Team Edge) tied Daniel John Vaughn (Corning/No Tubes/Swan Cycles) in the 10-14 Juniors boys’ division in an exciting race. The most recent result decides the win, and Maher’s win today means he wins the series. Melissa Seib (Bikeman) won the Amateur women’s category and upgraded to racing in the UCI Elite field this weekend. Alisa Allegrini (Nantucket Velo) was unstoppable this season in the 35+ masters women’s field, winning by a huge lead. Stephen Pierce (JAM Fund/NCC/Vittoria) retained his lead in the category 3 men’s division, and Mike Magur (Verge Sport) won the 35+ jersey soundly. Ian Keough (Keough Cyclocross p/b Felt Bicycles) won the Juniors 15-18 division, while teammates 45+ leader Roger Aspholm (Finkraft Cycling Team) and 55+ leader Al Blanchard (Finkraft Cycling Team) finished the season strong to claim the series wins.
Complete results at crossresults.com