Laura Van Gilder, Shawn Milne win day 1 of 2012 NBX Gran Prix of Cyclocross

The NBX Gran Prix of Cyclocross marks the final weekend in the 2012 Shimano New England Professional Cyclocross Series

WARWICK, Rhode Island (VN) —Laura Van Gilder (Mellow Mushroom) and Shawn Milne (Cyclocrossworld) stood atop the elite podiums on Saturday as the final weekend of racing in the Shimano New England Professional Cyclocross Series got under way.

Enormous snowflakes floated to the ground under frigid skies along the edge of Greenwich Bay as the first day of the NBX Gran Prix of Cyclocross kicked off round one of the conclusion to the New England series.

In the women’s race, Arley Kemmerer (C3-Athletes Serving Athletes) took off from the whistle. A group formed on her wheel and they built a gap on the field.

Van Gilder and Elle Anderson (Ladies First Racing) got away from Kemmerer, leaving her to chase with Anthony, Cassandra Maximenko (Silverbull-Bones) and Mo Bruno Roy (Bob’s Red Mill-Seven Cycles).

Van Gilder and Anderson worked together to keep the others at bay, until a last-lap attack by the Mellow Mushroom rider severed the relationship.

“Laura was riding really strong today,” said Anderson.

As Van Gilder rode on to the victory, pursued by Anderson, Kemmerer, Anthony, and Bruno fought to claim the final podium spot until Bruno Roy clipped a tree; Kemmerer then broke free to take third.

In the elite men’s race, repeated attacks by Nick Keough (Keoughcyclocross) forced breaks in the field. Dan Timmerman (RGM Watches-Richard Sachs) and Justin Lindine (Redline) stayed with Keough, but Shawn Milne (Cyclocrossworld) and Mike Garrigan (Stage-Race-Blacksmith Cycle) were in hot pursuit.

Milne led the charge and caught the lead trio, then launched a successful attack with two laps to go. Garrigan took second, and Timmerman grabbed third.

Sunday brings the final race in the New England series.