Curtis White and Courtenay McFadden topped the podium in Sunday’s cyclocross races at Verge Northampton International Cyclocross in Massachusetts.
White sweeps men’s racing
White (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com) won the elite men’s race on Saturday and Sunday, adding another notch to his recent stretch of success on two wheels.
In Sunday’s race, White got into the front group early and made a move that saw him ride ahead of the field a short time later. Several riders in a chase group desperately tried to catch him but were unable to do so.
The chasers eventually whittled themselves down to two riders — White’s Cannondale teammates Spencer Petrov and Sam Noel. The pair worked together over the final three and a half laps to stave off the additional chasers behind them. White was more than a minute ahead of the pair.
“I could see behind that my two teammates were racing together and trying to lock up the podium for a Cannondale sweep, so [I’m] happy with that,” White said.
In the end, Petrov took second in a mad sprint to the finish line. Noel was one tick behind in third.
“Whoever led into that final corner was going to take it, so it was just a full-on sprint to there,” Noel said. “We ended up colliding but luckily it wasn’t too serious.”
White, who recently won the Pan-American Cyclocross Championship, continues to lead in the Vittoria Northeast Cyclocross Series through four races.
McFadden’s solo win
McFadden (Pivot-Maxxis-Stans-DNA Cycling) was one of four riders in the front group that formed early in the race, along with Rebecca Fahringer (Kona Maxxis Shimano), Caroline Nolan (Voler-Easton-HRS-Rock Lobster), and Crystal Anthony (Liv Cycling). But by the second lap, a crash shook things up.
After the incident that occurred in the wooded part of the course, McFadden made her move — much earlier than originally planned — and jumped ahead of everyone else on the 2.1-mile loop.
From there, it was all about keeping the pedals turning and using the wind whenever possible.
“I tried to play the wind,” McFadden said. “I would, on the tailwind, try to catch my breath and then hammer through the headwind. I knew that I was pretty proficient in the woods so I tried to stay smooth through there and put all the energy down here [in the lower section] and catch my breath a little bit more through the woods.”
No one was able to catch McFadden and she finished 29 seconds ahead of Fahringer and 45 seconds faster than Nolan.
For Nolan, riding onto the podium was an emotional result because she dedicated her race to her hometown of Chico, California, which is suffering from the wildfires that are causing massive destruction in the Golden State.
“I have big fires going on back in my hometown, so in this race I wanted to do as best I can since I’m not home to volunteer, to raise money and awareness for the wildfires back in California, so I did that,” she said. “I’m happy with it.”