Kaitie Keough (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com) commanded the women’s race while Stephen Hyde (also Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com) reignited his season at the first day of racing in Warwick, Rhode Island.
The day’s second-place finishers extended their leads in the Vittoria series, with Rebecca Fahringer (Kona Maxxis Shimano) now on 200 points and Curtis White (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com) clinching the men’s overall title with 350 points.
Keough untouchable in a dominant performance
Keough lead from the very start. She took the holeshot, and immediately built a gap that wouldn’t be threatened throughout the race.
“I made a couple of little mistakes here and there, but that’s, for the most part, normal,” said the winner. “This is my last race weekend before Nationals, so I was just trying to get a hard day in.”
The race became a fight for second place, with Fahringer, Arley Kemmerer (Fearless Femme Racing), and last year’s winner Ruby West (Specialized-Tenspeed Hero) battling it out.
Fahringer held off Kemmerer and West, crossing the line 42 seconds behind the winner. West took third place in a sprint, a further 15 seconds back.
“I had a really bad start,” said Fahringer. “So, I dealt with some traffic on the first lap and I found myself in second. I knew Kaitie [Keough] was gone. She was riding smooth, she was so far up.”
Fahringer is now third in the ProCX standings, with Keough in fifth overall.
“Kaitie [Keough] was here, so that also made it a super fast race,” said West. “She just kind of got the holeshot and rode away from us right away. So I tried to stay with her for as long as possible because I knew she was the strongest one out there.”
Hyde bounces back after layoff
The Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com team dominated the race early on, with Hyde taking the holeshot and setting a rapid pace.
By lap three, teammates Hyde and White were off the front as a pair, while Spencer Petrov (also Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com) battled ProCX points leader Kerry Werner (Kona Maxxis Shimano) for third.
Behind them were Jack Kisseberth (Garneau Easton) and 18-year-old Sam Noel (UVM Cycling / Cannondale Cyclocross).
Hyde won in 58:06, with White eight seconds behind. Werner took the sprint for third place from Petrov, 01:27 seconds behind the winner.
“This is my first race back in four weeks, I think,” the winner said, having broken his sternum in September at the UCI Cyclocross World Cup in Waterloo. “And before that, I did two race weekends, and it was six weeks off for the injury. You know, I’ve had a lot of anxiety about racing, and getting back to it. I was so excited today.”
“I honestly had no idea where my fitness is at, because I haven’t been racing and everyone else has,” said Hyde. “That always puts a big question mark in your head.”
Third-place Werner noted that “Spencer [Petrov] actually came inside of me onto the final corner and had me by half a bike length or so. But I was able to get on top of it and hold him off.”