The 21st edition of the Cycle-Smart International wrapped up today under bright skies with high intensity racing. The sixth race in the Shimano New England Professional Cyclocross Series saw the same winners as Saturday, with Katerina Nash (Luna Pro Team) and Luke Keough (Champion Systems p/b Keough Cyclocross) taking big UCI victories, but the races developed completely differently. Today’s course at Look Park gave room for group racing and both winners emerged from their groups late in the race. The Sunday course was marked by a steep off-camber climb and a long section of technical, rooty turns on the upper level before dropping back down into the fast and smooth lower field.
The selection in the women’s race came very early as the front group formed on the first lap with Nash joined by Andrea Smith (LadiesFirst Racing), Sally Annis (crossresults.com p/b JRA Cycles), Series leader Laura Van Gilder (Mellow Mushroom p/b C3) and Maureen Bruno Roy (Bob’s Red Mill p/b Seven Cycles). The five at the front were working well and created separation from the rest of the field, with Nash sharing the work evenly with the rest of the group. About halfway through the race, Nash put in an attack in te rooty upper section of the course and put the chase, led by Van Gilder under pressure. On the rivet, Van Gilder bobbled a corner, allowing Nash the space she needed. Nash rode perfectly once the gap was established, pulling in for her second victory on the weekend.
Behind Nash, the battle among the four was furious with Annis and Van Gilder doing the lion’s share of the work. Each racer made an attempt to get away, but none of them were able to make the bridge to Nash, nor to drop their breakaway companions. On the second half of the final lap, Bruno Roy came unhitched, leaving the battle for second to Annis, Smith and Van Gilder. The decisive move came in the final set of turns as Van Gilder made a deft pass, leaving Annis to chase with Smith further behind. First to the pavement, Van Gilder was able to cross the line for second ahead of Annis and Smith, with Bruno Roy in fifth.
By virtue of her two second places on the weekend, Van Gilder stretched her lead in the Shimano Series overall, heading into the final racing weekend at the NBX Gran Prix of Cross in December.
The Elite Men’s race almost looked like a criterium today, with large groups scattered across the course. The leading group after the first two laps was ten racers, with the front driven by Dylan McNicholas (cyclocrossworld.com), Justin Lindine (bikereg.com/Joe’s Garage) and Luke Keough (Champion Systems p/b Keough Cyclocross). About halfway through the race, the final selection was made as racers dropped off the pace, leaving group with McNicholas, Keough and Lindine, along with Lukas Winterberg (Philadelphia Cyclocross School) and SmartStop/MOB p/b Ridley teammates Jerome Townsend and Adam Myerson. Townsend launched a ferocious attack with two laps to go, but was reeled back by Lindine and Keough. The driving pace shed Myerson first and then Winterberg. For the final two laps, Lindine, Townsend, Keough and McNicholas were riding tactically for the win. Playing out almost to a T from the day prior, Keough hit the pavement first and held on to take his second victory on the weekend and his fourth consecutive win at the Cycle-Smart International. McNicholas bested Townsend for second despite having to put a foot down in the last set of corners. Lindine’s fourth place, while not the result he hoped for, was a world better than his sixth place the day before.
His two wins on the weekend give Luke Keough leadership of both the U23 and Elite Series for the Shimano Series.
The Shimano New England Professional Cyclocross Series continues at the NBX Gran Prix of Cross in Warwick, Rhode Island on December 3rd and 4th.
About the Shimano New England Pro Cyclocross Series Presented by Verge: The 2011 Shimano Series includes eight races in four venues: The Great Brewers Gran Prix of Gloucester, Oct. 1 & 2 at Stage Fort Park in Gloucester, Mass.; The Providence Cyclocross Festival Presented by Interbike, Oct. 8 & 9 at Roger Williams Park in Providence, R.I.; The Cycle-Smart International, Nov. 5 & 6 at Look Park in Northampton, Mass.; and The NBX Grand Prix of Cyclocross Dec. 3 & 4 in Goddard Park in Warwick, R.I. For more information visit www.NEPCX.com.
About the Verge New England Cyclo-Cross Series: The Verge New England Cyclo-Cross Series includes fifteen races in eight venues. The opening weekend is in Williston, Vermont on September 17th and 18th with the Green Mountain Cyclocross Weekend. The following Saturday, September 24th brings Nor’Easter Cross at the Nor’easter Festival in Burlington, Vermont. The Great Brewers Gran Prix of Gloucester comes next on the 1st and 2nd of October followed by the Providence Cyclocross Festival presented by Interbike on October 8th and 9th. Rounds 8 and 9 bring the series back to New Gloucester, Maine for the Downeast Cyclocross weekend on the 22nd and 23rd of October. The series hits the home stretch on November 5th and 6th in Northampton, Massachusetts for the Cycle-Smart International. After a two-week break, the series pays its annual visit to Sterling, Massachusetts for Tom Stevens’s Bay State Cyclocross on November 26th and 27th. The series finale comes the next weekend with the NBX Gran Prix of Cyclocross. For more information, visit http://www.cycle-smart.com/
Updated on May 23, 2013, 2:21am