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Laura Van Gilder, Justin Lindine take wins at Nor’easter ’Cross

Laura Van Gilder gets the hole shot in the New Hampshire UCI event, while Justin Lindine bides his time before attacking.

Laura Van Gilder (C3-Athletes Serving Athletes) continued a strong early season run on the East Coast, taking the women’s elite race at Nor’easter ’Cross presented by Smartwool and Cycle-Smart. Justin Lindine (bikereg.com-Joe’s Garage-Scott) rode away from the men’s elite field early in the first-year UCI event at Loon Mountain in Lincoln, New Hampshire.

The ski area course included two challenging climbs, several off-camber descents, two run-ups and two long paved straightaways linking the sides of the course. A festival atmosphere surrounded the event, as the course wound through the rock climbing competition and concert stage at Eastern Mountain Sports’ Nor’easter Festival.

Van Gilder’s rivals included Crystal Anthony, Ann D’ambruoso and Christina Tamilio of Ladies First, as well as New England cyclocross staple Rebecca Wellons (Pedro’s), former New Zealand national champion Linnea Koons (Embrocation Cycling Journal) and Rebecca Blatt (Silver Bull-Central Wheel).

The winner of the three opening rounds in the Mid-Atlantic ’Cross series, Van Gilder took the start with an eye at a long bid at the front of the race.

“I knew I wanted to be on the front,” she said. “I needed to be able to ride my own lines. These women in New England are just getting stronger and stronger.”

Van Gilder took the hole shot and led D’ambruoso and Anthony through the first lap. Her companions fell off the pace soon after, though, as the criterium stalwart used the paved power sections of the course to take a gap. Entering Saturday’s race, Van Gilder was uncertain how the long travel days to and from CrossVegas, where she finished in the second chase group on Wednesday, would affect her race legs.

That uncertainty was laid to rest when the USA Cycling National Cyclocross Calendar leader held on for 40 minutes to take the solo win in the UCI C2 event. The Ladies First tandem of Anthony and D’ambruoso held on for second and third, respectively.

Lindine put his stamp on the men’s elite race early, too.

“My teammate, Jerome (Townsend) took the hole shot and pinned himself pretty hard, so I sat in for a few minutes early before attacking,” said Lindine. The New Salem, Massachusetts-based rider attacked the front chase group, bridged to a fading Townsend, and left his teammate to take control on the front of the race.

Dylan McNicholas (Pedro’s) and Phil Wong (Seaside Cycle-Antero Resources) overtook Townsend and battled for second, gradually drawing Lindine back. Wong left McNicholas when the latter suffered a puncture at the hands of a discarded safety pin, but could not close the gap to the leader.

The recently un-retired 30-year-old eventually came across second, with Lindine sealing the win a week after finishing third both days at the Green Mountain Cyclocross Weekend.

McNicholas pitted and was able to hold onto third, saying later he was fueled by anger after the mishap. Event promoter Adam Myerson (Cycle-Smart) dropped Justin Spinelli (Richard Sachs-RGM/Radix) on one of the long climbs and finished fourth.

Quick results

Men

  • 1. Justin Lindine, Bikereg.com-Joe’s Garage-Scott
  • 2. Phil Wong, Seaside Cycle-Antero Resources
  • 3. Dylan McNicholas, Pedro’s

Women

  • 1. Laura Van Gilder, C3-Athletes Serving Athletes
  • 2. Crystal Anthony, Ladies First
  • 3. Ann D’ambruoso, Ladies First