Ellen Noble (Trek Factory Racing CX) was victorious in the elite women’s field and Curtis White (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com) won the elite men’s competition in dominant fashion on a cool, windy day in Northampton, Massachusetts Saturday.
Noble wins from the front
Noble escaped the 45 rider-field along with Regina Legge (Trek Cyclocross Collective) on the first lap. Behind them, Rebecca Fahringer (Kona Maxxis Shimano) and Courtenay McFadden (Pivot-Maxxis p/b Stans-DNA Cycling) chased hard in the strong winds and kept the lead pair close for the first three laps of the five-lap event.
With two laps to go, Noble would make her move, growing her gap on Legge to five seconds as she started the final lap. She came into the finish line solo, 9 seconds ahead of Legge, in a time of 44:47. Legge, taking her 5th UCI podium of the season would finish second, 18 seconds ahead of third place finisher Fahringer.
“With a lap and a half to go, I didn’t really make an attack so much as I think maybe Regina [Legge] made a mistake or just eased off for a second,” said Noble. “I got a little bit of a gap so I figured I’d ride with it but leave a little bit in case she pulled back. I was able to make a gap. It was awesome, I’m crazy impressed with how Regina was riding.”
“There’s one mud puddle in this course and in pre-ride I wanted to see if you should ride it or run it, and I found the hole-in root, buried my front wheel in it and completely splatted into the puddle,” third-place Fahringer commented on a stressful start to the day’s racing. “I was covered in mud, I ended up needing to cut my pre-ride short in order to clean up and I realized that I didn’t do a hot lap. And it was in my head, I was so frantic.”
Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com wipe up as White wins
The race started with large groups of riders staying together, with White and Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com teammates Spencer Petrov and Sam Noel making the front group.
By the second lap, the newly-crowned Pan-American Champion White was solo off the front, with Petrov and Noel riding like teammates monitoring Jack Kisseberth (Garneau Easton p/b Transitions) in the chase group behind. As White pushed on, the chasers raced tactically, not wanting to take the wind, allowing the leader to increase his advantage.
White took the win in 01:03:30, with Petrov taking the sprint from Kisserberth and Noel behind. Kisserbeth took third.
“The three of us and Jack Kisseberth made the selection. I pressed it a couple of times, and got a gap and left the group from that,” White said. “I got to see that the two behind were racing like teammates so that was great to see. Cannondale, one, two and four, I was happy with that.”
“It was tough, it was pretty much three to one,” said Kisseberth. “They all sat on my wheel while I tried to bring it back to Curtis [White] on the straightaways which is a difficult game to play.”