A day of unpredictable conditions made for a display of power in the women's and a tactical battle in the men's
Light rain made for a wet and greasy course for the Elite Women’s race, which was dominated by Ellen Noble (Trek Factory Racing). The course had then dried up for the Elite Men’s, which saw a tactical final lap, with Curtis White (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com) edging the win.
Noble started hard and stayed strong to win
Noble dominated the women’s race, who led from the start and went on to win in 46:28. Erica Zaveta (Garneau-Easton p/b TLC) finished in second place, having whittled down a small group of riders later in the race. She crossed the line 1:28 behind Noble. Local favorite from Beverly, Mass., Crystal Anthony (Liv Cycling), fought hard to place third, 27 seconds behind Zaveta.
“Starting the race, it was still really slick,” said Noble. “It got super tacky by the end, but at the beginning, it was really slippery. I wanted to be able to have my choice of lines and be able to dictate the pace, so I started hard. I was able to get a small lead and it felt good to just know that I had some wiggle room. I just wanted to leave it all out there.”
“I just attacked the group and just rode good lines,” said Zaveta. “The key to this was not going too fast on just the fitness parts, so you are focused and smooth through all the technical parts. That’s what helped.”
White takes the win by three seconds
Racing was fast in the men’s race thanks to the course drying up, and the field initially stayed in groups. However, White put the pressure on late in the race, with only Jack Kisseberth (Garneau Easton p/b Transitions) initially able to follow. Cooper Willsey (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com) and Jamey Driscoll (Pivot-Maxxis p/b Stans-DNA Cycling) made a late effort to bridge to the lead pair, making the final half lap a four-up sprint to the line.
White claimed the win in 57:45, with Kisseberth three seconds behind him. Driscoll, who had worked his way through most of the 52-rider field to the front of the race, edged Willsey at the line for third.
“I wanted to make sure the position was good, to watch the other guys, see where they were strong, where they were weak,” said White about the initial laps.
“With three to go, I hit it over the climb and the pavement,” the winner said. “Jack (Kisseberth) was the only one who could stay with me. Then for the last lap, lap and a half, it was pretty tactical.”
“It was one of the worst first minutes of a race I can remember,” said third-place Driscoll. “Off the line, feeling a little out-gunned on the pavement. It was a hot mess for me out there. And then when I finally settled in through the zig-zags up here, it was single file and I was close to 30th. It was full gas, as hard as I could and trying to (chase) those guys.”