By VeloNews Interactive
With the national championships just two weeks away, many of America’s best cyclo-cross riders showed up in Wayland, Massachusetts for the fifth stop of the Verge New England Cyclo-Cross Series last Saturday.
In the men’s pro race, a group of 11 moved to the front early, with Todd Wells (Mongoose-Hyundai), Saturn’s Mark McCormack and Tim Johnson the most well known names. But it was Matt Svatek (Wheelworks-Cannondale) surprising the group by launching an attack that saw him go clear for two laps.
But unwilling to let Svatek ride away with the race, Wells took it upon himself to reel in the runaway while the rest of the group held on. From there a series of attacks and counters formed a group of six at the front: Wells, McCormack, Johnson, Johannes Huseby (Independent Fabrication-CCB), Josh Anthony (Saturn Development), and Justin Spinelli (Saeco). As the day went on, everyone tried their hands at attacking, but it was the efforts of supposed underdogs Spinelli and Huseby that really got the huge crowds excited.
The only casualty of all the attacks was Anthony, and it became clear that the race would come down to the final sprint. McCormack attacked again with half a lap remaining, but it was Johnson who led into the final pair of barriers and never looked back. Wells, showing off his mountain bike skills, bunny hopped them both to take a close second, while McCormack held on for third and retained the Verge Series leaders jersey.
On the woman’s side, Mary McConneloug (Jamba Juice) and Kathryn Roszko (BikeReg.com) lead out a fast start. But by the second lap it was Emily Thorne (Cyclocrossworld.com) and McConneloug that had separated themselves from the group. A lap later Thorne gapped the Jamba Juice rider on a sandy turn and took the win by extending her lead every lap.
Behind Thorne, McConneloug held off hard charging master’s national champion, Jodi Groesbeck (Putney-West Hill).
Series leader Lyne Bessette took the weekend off. In the junior race, reigning U.S. national champion Jesse Anthony of Saturn Development won in convincing style, with Chris Hill (NCC-BikeReg.com) taking second, in what might be a preview of what’s to come in two weeks in Baltimore.
Round 6 of the Verge New England Cyclo-Cross Series will be the American Express Financial Advisors Cyclo-Cross on December 9 in Merrimack, New Hampshire. The seven-race series finishes up with the Caster’s Cyclo-Cross race in South Kingston, Rhode Island.
VERGE NEW ENGLAND CYCLO-CROSS SERIES, Round 6, Wayland, Mass. Dec. 1, 2001; Pro men; 1. Tim Johnson, Saturn, 59:40; 2. Todd Wells, Mongoose-Hyundai, same time; 3. Mark McCormack, Saturn, at 0:04; 4. Johannes Huseby, Independent Fabrication-CCB, same time; 5. Justin Spinelli, Saeco, same time; 6. Rob Hult, Harvard, same time; 7. Chris Peck, Wheelworks-Cannondale, at 0:05; 8. Michael Broderick, Jamba Juice, at 0:11; 9. Kirk Albers, Jelly Belly, same time; 10. Jeff Leake, NCC-BikeReg.com, at 1:28; Also; 20. Derek Bouchard-Hall, Mercury, at 3:56; Pro women; 1. Emily Thorne, Cyclocrossworld.com-Empella, 38:40; 2. Mary McConneloug, Jamba Juice, at 0:53; 3. Jodi Groesbeck, Putney-West Hill, at 1:43; 4. Shauna Gillies-Smith, Gearworks-SRP, at 2:20; 5. Kathryn Roszko, BikeReg.com, same time; 6. Elizabeth Coleman, SoBe-HeadShok, at 2:28; 7. Yvonne Ilton, Verizon wireless, at 2:36; 8. Katrina Davis, Richard Sachs, at 3:10; 9. Kathy Savary, Midstate Cycling Club, at 3:17; 10. Heather Peck, Wheelworks-Cannondale, at 4:28