PROVIDENCE, R.I. (VN) — Justin Lindine (BikeReg.com-Joe’s Garage) swept the Providence Cyclocross Festival in Rhode Island this weekend, riding away to solo victories on both Saturday and Sunday.
It was a big weekend for the 27 year old bike shop mechanic, who is looking forward to enjoying front-row start positions at later events this fall, and perhaps a bit more attention from the bigger teams.
“I love the team I’m on,” Lindine said. “But I am 27 and I want to make that next jump in my career.”
Lindine, a compact and muscular rider, resembled fellow New Englander Tim Johnson as he powered over the course Sunday, rolling out his energy steadily and riding the swooping corners and frequent dismounts smoother than anyone.
With questionable legs after his big effort Saturday. Lindine was uncertain how he would feel in Sunday’s race. Still he made sure to start aggressively enough to stay clear of trouble on the long opening straight.
“It was a squirrely start and I didn’t want to get taken out in the first corner. It took a while for me to get going,” He said.
Sunday’s course was similar to Saturday’s except it contained a long pavement section that favored power riders. The rest of the course included a dizzying array of tight corners that allowed little passing room.
After Swiss youngster Eric Brungger (Philadelphia Cyclocross School) grabbed the first lap prime and the front of the race settled in, Lindine used the paved section to move up and counter an attack by Canadian Derrick St. Johns (Stevens-The Cyclery).
“Once I got out on my own, I used the corners to make up time and kind of rode tempo on the pavement,” Lindine said. “The hill (on the pavement) was so long, that if you attacked it you’d blow up. It was nice to kind of mentally check out on that section, too.”
Unlike Saturday, when Lindine finished feeling a bit parched, he took water bottle handups three times on Sunday and kept up a torrid pace right to the end of the 60-minute race.
Behind, a long line of chasers came together; for a time there were 15 riders in the line. The powerful riders were able to stay on the front up the pavement, while the technicians looked for opportunities to pass in the turns.
Under a blazing sun that was relieved only slightly by a breeze, those with the right combination of technical skills and power rose to the top, and for the last two laps five riders battled for the second-place spot, with Lindine’s win all but certain at that point. The five were Luke Keough, (Champion System-Keough Cyclocross), Jerome Townsend (Smartstop-Mockorangebikes), Shawn Milne (ECV), St. Johns, and Jeremy Durrin (J.a.m. Fund / NCC). Danish champion Joachim Parbo latched on with less than two laps to go.
Under pressure from Keough and St. Johns, Lindine’s gap came down significantly on the last lap, but he was never in danger and had plenty of time to celebrate his win.
Much like women’s winner Mary McConneloug had done earlier, Keough passed St. Johns on the high-speed barriers that are just a few hundred meters from the finish, and took it to the line. St. Johns was third.