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By Jason Gay
New York City is the proud home of the House that Ruth Built, The World’s Most Famous Arena, and a legendary marathon that concludes with a final sprint into Central Park. To that world-class sports heritage you can add one more landmark:
The Cinnabon of Despair.
That was the name bestowed upon a muddy, vertigo-inducing spiral at the center of this year’s Staten CX, the first cyclocross race to be held in New York City in seven years. Held in a Staten Island city park several miles from downtown Manhattan, the race attracted more than 160 riders to a course that overlooked the Atlantic Ocean and included a sandy run on a wind-whipped beach.
“I think we set the tone for a new cyclocross tradition in New York,” said Staten CX organizer Christophe Jammet. “Today was a total blast.”
Blustery wind and cold, driving rain did little to deter the local cyclocross riders. If anything, the harsh, Belgium-like conditions pleased Jammet and his co-organizer Jed Kornbluh, who had enlisted Flemish sponsors like the travel site Visitflanders.us and Wafels and Dinges, a Belgian food truck that served free waffles to riders all day.
“We couldn’t have asked for better weather to go with our super Belgian flair,” said Kornbluh.
In the men’s elite field, Westwood Velo’s Roger Aspholm fought off several early challenges before pulling away for a decisive victory. In the women’s field, Lenore Pipes of Zoveta Construction/Cyclesports also won by a substantial margin over her rain-soaked competition.
Aspholm praised the Staten Island course, which navigated throughout Wolfe’s Pond Park, a coastal preserve managed by the NYC parks department. He didn’t even seem to mind the Cinnabon of Despair, which slowed many riders to a crawl and clogged up fields early on.
“It was a very good race,” Aspholm said. Pointing to future Staten CX competitions, he added: “It’s a great park, and there are plenty of areas to put other courses.”
Men’s Elite results
1. Roger Aspholm (Weswood Velo)
2. Patrick Wilder (Cyclosportif)
3. Soren Klingsportn (DKNY-Signature)
4. Bill Elliston (Indiana Regional Medical Center/FUJI)
5. Thomas Wood (Philly Ciclismo)
Women’s Elite results
1. Lenore Pipes (Zoveta Construction/Cyclesports)
2. Tara Parsons (CRCA)
3. Brittlee Bowman (Unattached)
4. Jess Kates Galatro (Keltic Construction)
5. Gabrielle Fisher (CRCA)