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The 21st edition of the Cycle-Smart International wrapped up Sunday under bright skies with high intensity racing.
The sixth race in the Shimano New England Professional Cyclocross Series saw the same winners as Saturday, with Katerina Nash (Luna Pro Team) and Luke Keough (Champion System-Keough Cyclocross) taking big UCI victories, but the races developed completely differently. The course at Look Park gave room for group racing and both winners emerged from their groups late in the race. The Sunday course was marked by a steep off-camber climb and a long section of technical, rooty turns on the upper level before dropping back down into the fast and smooth lower field.
The selection in the women’s race came very early as the front group formed on the first lap with Nash joined by Andrea Smith (LadiesFirst Racing), Sally Annis (crossresults.com-JRA Cycles), series leader Laura Van Gilder (Mellow Mushroom p/b C3) and Maureen Bruno Roy (Bob’s Red Mill-Seven Cycles). The five at the front were working well and created separation from the rest of the field, with Nash sharing the work evenly with the rest of the group.
About halfway through the race, Nash put in an attack in the rooty upper section of the course and put the chase, led by Van Gilder under pressure. On the rivet, Van Gilder bobbled a corner, allowing Nash the space she needed. Nash rode perfectly once the gap was established, pulling in for her second victory on the weekend.
Behind Nash, the battle among the four was furious with Annis and Van Gilder doing the lion’s share of the work. Each racer made an attempt to get away, but none of them were able to make the bridge to Nash, nor to drop their breakaway companions.
On the second half of the final lap, Bruno Roy came unhitched, leaving the battle for second to Annis, Smith and Van Gilder. The decisive move came in the final set of turns as Van Gilder made a deft pass, leaving Annis to chase with Smith further behind. First to the pavement, Van Gilder was able to cross the line for second ahead of Annis and Smith, with Bruno Roy in fifth.
By virtue of her two second places on the weekend, Van Gilder stretched her lead in the Shimano Series overall, heading into the final racing weekend at the NBX Gran Prix of Cross in December.
The Elite Men’s race almost looked like a criterium, with large groups scattered across the course. The leading group after the first two laps contained 10 racers, with the front driven by Dylan McNicholas (cyclocrossworld.com), Justin Lindine (bikereg.com/Joe’s Garage) and Luke Keough (Champion Systems-Keough Cyclocross).
About halfway through the race, the final selection was made as racers dropped off the pace, leaving group with McNicholas, Keough and Lindine, along with Lukas Winterberg (Philadelphia Cyclocross School) and SmartStop/MOB p/b Ridley teammates Jerome Townsend and Adam Myerson.
Townsend launched a ferocious attack with two laps to go, but was reeled back by Lindine and Keough. The driving pace shed Myerson first and then Winterberg. For the final two laps, Lindine, Townsend, Keough and McNicholas were riding tactically for the win.
Playing out almost to a T from the day prior, Keough hit the pavement first and held on to take his second victory on the weekend and his fourth consecutive win at the Cycle-Smart International. McNicholas bested Townsend for second despite having to put a foot down in the last set of corners. Lindine’s fourth place, while not the result he hoped for, was a world better than his sixth place the day before.
His two wins on the weekend give Luke Keough leadership of both the U23 and Elite Series for the Shimano Series.
The Shimano New England Professional Cyclocross Series continues at the NBX Gran Prix of Cross in Warwick, Rhode Island on December 3-4.
- 1. Katerina Nash, Luna Pro Team
- 2. Laura Van Gilder, Mellow Mushroom Pizza Bakers
- 3. Sally Annis, Crossresults.com P/b Jra Cycles
- 4. Andrea Smith, Ladies First
- 5. Maureen Bruno Roy, Bob’s Red Mill
- 1. Luke Keough, Champion System P/b Keough Cyclocross
- 2. Dylan Mcnicholas, Noreast Cycling
- 3. Jerome Townsend, Smartstop / Mockorangebikes Pb Ridley
- 4. Justin Lindine, Bikereg.com / Joe’s Garage
- 5. Lukas Winterberg,