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By Nathan Mealey
Marc Gullickson (Redline) and Mary McConneloug (Seven Cycles) made it two for two this weekend, each winning the final weekend’s worth of racing in the Verge New England Championship Cyclo-Cross Series.
Today, in the Patterson Construction-NEBC Cyclo-Cross, riders were greeted with a course that was shockingly slick with ice, snow, and mud, pushing riders’ abilities to the limit.
In the men’s series, Mark McCormack (Saturn) held the lead in the overall standings over last year’s series winner, Marc Gullickson (Redline), winner of the previous day’s race in Rhode Island. Meanwhile, in the race for the under-23 series overall, Jeremy Powers (NCC-BikeReg.com) faced a challenge from second-placed Jesse Anthony (Hot Tubes).
The sprint for the hole shot at the start was furious, and McCormack was first into the crucial, ice-slick first turn. Behind him, a crash brought down several riders, including Anthony, and left just a small group of riders alone off the front, including Powers, Gullickson, and Ben Turner (7UP-Maxxis), all chasing McCormack, who quickly established a 15-second gap.
In the treacherously icy conditions, the chase group didn’t stay together long, and soon Gullickson launched a solo chase, while behind him Johs Huseby (FiordiFrutta-Wheelworks), Turner, Noah Taylor (Verge Sport), Jamey Driscoll (GMBC-Invensys), and Troy Wells (Devo-Balance Bar) began racing for third place.
At the race’s midway point, Gullickson caught McCormack, then attacked and headed off alone. As McCormack raced home for second place, the chase group continued to splinter, and soon the race for third was down to Huseby and Wells, as Taylor, Turner and a resurgent Anthony scrapped for the remaining podium spots.
As Wells and Huseby rode the last downhill section, Huseby slipped and had to stop to regain his balance, giving Wells the chance to attack him and grab third.
McCormack’s second place clinched the overall series title. Meanwhile, Jeremy Powers won the series overall under-23 title, edging out Anthony by a comfortable margin.
In the elite women’s race, McConneloug set out to stamp her authority on the series after regaining the overall lead the day before.
But from the gun, it was Marianne Stover (Gearworks-Spin Arts) who blazed a lightning trail to the first corner, immediately building a gap. Meanwhile, Anna Milkowski (Gearworks-Spin Arts), who was just a handful of points behind McConneloug in the overall standings, crashed in the first corner and spent the bulk of the race working her way through the field.
McConneloug and Maureen Bruno (Dansko-Wheelworks) set off in pursuit of Stover, eventually reeling her in midway through the second lap. McConneloug kept the pressure on and dropped Stover, but she could not shake the surprising Bruno, who kept the series leader within a handful of seconds for the entire race.
Still, McConneloug rode the rest of the race with no mistakes and came across the line for a great victory, her third in the series, good for her second consecutive series title. Bruno finished second, with Stover in third.
Other winners on the day included junior national champion Jamey Driscoll, claiming, his fifth series victory of the year; Jonny Bold (CCCC-Corner Cycle) in the masters 35+; Paul Curley (Gearworks-Spin Arts) in the masters 45+; Steve Rescigno (Bethel Cycle) in the B men; William Keiler (NECSA) in the C men; Alexis Wruble in the B women; and Michael Olbrys (NEBC-Cycle-Loft) in the B masters.
1. Marc Gullickson, Redline, 56:33
2. Mark McCormack, Saturn
3. Troy Wells, Balance Bar-Devo
4. Johannes Huseby, Fiordifrutta-Wheelworks
5. Michael Broderick, Seven Cycles
6. Ben Turner, 7UP-Maxxis
7. Noah Taylor, unattached
8. Jesse Anthony, Hot Tubes Cycling Team
9. Jamey Driscoll, GMBC
10. Jeremy Powers, NCC-BikeReg.com
1. Mary McConneloug, Seven Cycles, 37:09
2. Maureen Bruno, Dansko-Wheelworks
3. Marianne Stover, Gearworks-Spin Arts
4. Sinead Fitzgibbon, EAS- CRCA
5. Anna Milkowski, Gearworks-Spin Arts
6. Celeste Drumm, Mean Wheels Bicycle Shop
7. Stephanie White, Dansko-Wheelworks
8. Susan MacLean, Gear Works-Spin Arts Cycling Team
9. Pauline Frascone, Arc-En-Ceil
10. Mary Ann Martinez, CCB-Volkswagen