By Ken Getchell
Barry Wicks (Kona-YourKey.com) took advantage of world champion Erwin Vervecken’s derailleur failure with half a lap to go to take the win at the second day of the Whitmore’s Landscaping Super Cross Cup on Sunday at Southampton, New York.
Wicks, who lost to Vervecken (Fidea) by a wheel in the previous day’s sprint finish, was never out of contention on the much more technical course featured on the second day at the Southampton Youth Services Center.
He and Vervecken (Fidea) were wheel to wheel for the lead when the Belgian’s derailleur snapped off his frame, leaving Wicks free to cross the line alone for the win.
“It’s unfortunate that we couldn’t race it out to the win,” said Wicks. “But a win’s a win. Ryan [Trebon] didn’t feel too good after his efforts in the heat yesterday and I don’t think Erwin felt that good either.”
Indeed, Vervecken conceded: “My legs just didn’t feel good. Maybe it’s normal with the airplane trip and the heat yesterday.”
Wicks’s teammate Trebon, who also led much of the race, finished second with Jeremy Powers (Cyclocrossworld.com) a strong third. German national champion Malte Urban (Heinz von Heiden) finished fifth behind Tim Johnson (Leer-Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com) while Canadian champ Greg Reain (RWR-Colnago-Time) finished seventh.
Sunday’s course featured much more climbing and required more technical skills than the previous day’s course. Trebon got the hole shot, but Powers controlled the tempo for most of the first four laps before Trebon attacked approaching the log-strewn run-up.
At midrace, a lead group containing Trebon, Johnson, Vervecken, Wicks and Powers established itself as the wind picked-up and clouds began to build. The next time they approached the log run-up, Johnson and Powers were off the back, with Urban another 20 seconds behind them.
Wicks and Trebon began taking turns attacking Vervecken. With three and a half laps to go, Trebon took off on the approach to the log run-up, this time taking Wicks with him. As they crossed the line with three laps to go, Trebon and Wicks had a five-second gap. However, Trebon bobbled on the loose dirt of Methane Hill, allowing Vervecken to catch him. But Wicks was still clear by over four seconds.
With two laps to go, the three were back together, and with one to go, Vervecken took the lead approaching Methane Hill. Immediately following the hill, Trebon was dropped. And then Vervecken crashed approaching the steepest hill on the course, a 20 percent monster. Wicks, who was right on his wheel, passed immediately and Trebon was close enough to pass before Vervecken could get up.
Vervecken carried his bike to the edge of the course, ducked under the tape and stepped out of the race as Wicks rode toward the victory.
“It was just bad luck,” said Vervecken. “It happens maybe two times a year.”
Compton does the double
In the preceding women’s event, the women competitors were once again racing for a purse equal to that of the men — a two-day purse of more than $6400. And once again it was Katie Compton (Spike Shooter) and Lyne Bessette (Cyclocrossworld.com) who dominated the proceedings.
The two were together for the first half of the race, neither able to gain and hold a substantial advantage, until Compton began to pull away at about mirace. Once gone, Compton stayed gone to score her second consecutive victory for the weekend and the lion’s share of the purse.
Behind Bessette, a race-long duel for third between two West Coast competitors drew the crowd’s attention. Californian Barbara Howe (Velo Bella-Kona) appeared to be away for third by the end of the second lap, only to have Megan Elliott of Bend, Oregon, launch out of the remains of the pack to catch her.
The two were never more than a bike length apart for the remainder of the race until Howe pulled away in the last quarter of the last lap to take the final podium position.
Whitmore’s Landscaping Super Cross Cup
1. Barry Wicks, Kona-YourKey, 1:04:07
2. Ryan Trebon, Kona-YourKey, at 0:17
3. Jeremy Powers, Cyclocrossworld.com, at 0:30
4. Timothy Johnson, Leer-Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com, at 0:55
5. Malte Urban (G), Heinz von Heiden, at 2:04
6. Matt White, Fiordifruitta, at 2:14
7. Greg Reain (Can), RWR-Colnago-Time, same time
8. Mathieu Toulouse (Can), Maxxis, at 2:21
9. Matt Shriver, Jittery Joe’s, at 2:36
10. Jamey Driscoll, Fiordifruitta, at 3:29
1. Katie Compton, Spike Shooter, 41:13
2. Lyne Bessette (Can), Cyclocrossworld.com, at 0:34
3. Barbara Howe, Velo Bella, at 4:24
4. Megan Elliott, at 3:58
5. Anna Milkowski, Velo Bella, at 4:32
6. Amanda Sin (Can), 3 Rox Racing, at 5:00
7. Natasha Elliott (Can), Stevens, at 5:23
8. Rebecca Wellons, Ridley Factory Team, at 5:40
9. Marci Titus Hall, Desalvo, at 5:47
10. Amy Wallace, RGM Watches-Richard Sachs, at 6:19