Kerry Werner (Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies) and Ellen Noble (JAM Fund-NCC) took muddy wins in Sterling, Massachusetts, for day two of Baystate Cyclocross Weekend, which doubled as Round 6 of the Verge New England Cyclocross Series (NECXS) presented by Stan’s NoTubes and Cycle-Smart.
Conditions were perfect for a legendary sendoff for the Baystate event with melting snow, slush, and mud covering the tricky course. (It was announced Sunday that the Sterling event will not be returning in 2015.)
Conditions changed rapidly through the day, with several difficult sections proving faster to run than ride, even for elite racers.
Thick, slushy snow on the first half of the course limited racers to one narrow line, meaning that a good start would be crucial.
The elite women’s race began with Saturday’s winner Ellen Noble (JAM Fund-NCC) again charging onto the tricky course. Hot on her heels were challengers Mo Bruno Roy (Bob’s Red Mill-Seven Cycles), Elizabeth White (UVM Cycling), and Cassandra Maximenko (Rare Vos Racing-Van Dessel-PowerBar).
Bruno Roy and White attempted to reel in Noble, with a huge chase forming behind them. Maximenko was joined by a group including Brittlee Bowman (House Industries-SimpleHuman-Richard Sachs), Amanda Carey (Rhino Rush), Becca Fahringer (JAM Fund-NCC) and Emily Shields (Ken’s Bike Shop).
As Noble’s gap grew, Bruno Roy pulled away from White. Noble finished with her second win of the weekend over 30 seconds ahead of Bruno Roy, in second, with White in third.
After plenty of shake-ups in the chase group, Fahringer crashed out of the race, Shields crossed the line fourth, Bowman fifth, Maximenko sixth, and Carey seventh.
“It was fun to race in these conditions,” said Noble. “Everyone’s going to make mistakes in this. I told myself not to get nervous about it. If you panic, that’s when you make even more mistakes.”
Noble’s ride helped her cement her overall and U23 series lead.
The elite men were up next, and all the key players from Saturday’s race were again in the mix.
Dan Timmerman (House Industries-SimpleHuman-Richard Sachs) hoped to retain his series lead, with plenty of competition hoping to take the leader’s jersey.
Among those in contention for the win included Saturday’s winner, Curtis White (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com), as well as Werner, Christian Favata (TRT Bicycles), Justin Lindine (Redline Factory-NBX), Travis Livermon (Mock Orange Pro CX) and Anthony Clark (JAM Fund-NCC).
Timmerman, Werner, and White each tried to get away from the group, repeatedly foiled by bobbles and slips on the slick, tricky course.
Werner went clear as White chased, Timmerman and Favata behind. After Timmerman made his way up to White, who had a bike issue, he continued to charge with Werner in his sights. On the final lap, Werner had only a few seconds on Timmerman and the gap was shrinking, but Werner held it to the line first.
“The whole last lap, I was on rails trying to hold Dan off,” Werner said of his hard-fought win. “I just put my head down and dug it out to the line.”
Timmerman claimed second and retained his Verge NECX Series leader’s jersey.
White crossed the line third, Favata fourth, and Lindine fifth.
The U23 Series leader, Scott Smith (JAM Fund-NCC) claimed his first UCI points and retained his series lead.
Next week, the Verge New England Cyclocross Series finale unfolds on the rooty, sandy course at the NBX Gran Prix of Cyclocross in Warwick, Rhode Island.
Elite races will be broadcast live on gnarlymonkey.com, and tweeted live from @VergeNECXS.
Elite Women Top 10
|2||Maureen||Bruno roy||Bob’s Red Mill-Seven Cycles||0:44:57|
|4||Emily||Shields||Ken’s Bike Shop||0:47:23|
|5||Brittlee||Bowman||House Industries-SimpleHuman-Richard Sachs||0:47:26|
|6||Cassandra||Maximenko||Rare Vos Racing-Van Dessel-PowerBar||0:47:35|
|7||Amanda||Carey||Team Rhino Rush||0:47:43|
|8||Jenny||Ives||Verge Sport-Test Pilot||0:47:51|
|9||Jessica||Cutler||Jamis Bikesport-WA Bike Law||0:47:52|
|10||Kate||Northcott||NESS Team New England||0:47:59|
Elite Men Top 10
|1||Kerry||Werner||Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies||1:05:46|
|2||Dan||Timmerman||House Industries-SimpleHuman-Richard Sachs||1:05:48|
|6||Travis||Livermon||Mock Orange Pro CX||1:07:37|
|9||Scott||Smith||JAM Fund-NCC-Family Bike||1:08:38|
|10||Ben||Frederick||Hefler Performance Coaching||1:08:50|