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Justin Lindine wins opener to 2011 Providence Cyclocross Festival

Justin Lindine (BikeReg.com-Joe's Garage) rode alone to victory on Saturday in day one of the Providence Cyclocross Festival in Rhode Island.

2011 Providence Cyclocross Festival
Men's winner Justin Lindine

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (VN) — Justin Lindine (BikeReg.com-Joe’s Garage) rode alone to victory on Saturday in day one of the Providence Cyclocross Festival here.

In hot and sunny conditions on a sinuous Tom Stevens-designed course around Roger Williams Park, Lindine, a full-time bike mechanic, took the biggest win of his career. The victory at the UCI C1 event will give the 27-year-old a pile of UCI points that will ensure good start positions for the rest of the season.

“This is huge,” the thrilled Lindine said at the finish. Lindine had finished 11th and eighth at last weekend’s Gloucester Grand Prix, then won a muddy Wednesday night race in Massachusetts.

“That gave me a good indication that I had good legs. But it was a little bit of a gamble,” Lindine said of the Wednesday race. “But a rested pretty hard the rest of the week and felt good today, obviously.”

Lindine hung back on the first lap as Dylan McNicholas (Cyclocrossworld.com) charged to grab the $250 first-lap prize and then kept going.

“I saw Dylan out there and he was going so fast I figured I had to get up to him,” Lindine said. Lindine bridged to McNicholas on the second lap and soon tool control of the front, hammering out a steady pace as McNicholas fell into a back to the no-man’s land ahead of a large chase group.

With two laps to go, things started to change. Lindine tired a bit and McNicholas seemed to be gaining a bit before he flatted just after the pits. Meanwhile, 19 year old Canadian Evan McNeely (EMD Serono-Specialized) opened up a gap on the chase group by bunny hopping a set of barriers.

“I thought I was going for fourth,” McNeely said. But McNeely soon passed McNicholas, who was riding a flat, and was charging into second.

Behind. Maryland’s Weston Schempf (C3-Athletes Serving Athletes) also got free of the large chase group to take third. A dissappointed McNicholas managed to salvage fourth place on the day.

The Providence Cyclocross Festival continues Sunday with a C2 race. Stevens tweaked the course overnight and by most reports the new layout favors power over technique. The forecast is for even warmer conditions, possibly hitting 85 degree in the early afternoon.

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