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By VeloNews Interactive
MAINE: Verge New England series starts Saturday
The 2005 Verge New England Championship Cyclo-Cross Series kicks off Saturday in New Gloucester, Maine.
The difficult course designed by Tom Stevens provided a shocking introduction to last year’s series, but a slightly modified version should make for a friendlier but still challenging event this year.
Last year’s elite men’s winner, Mark McCormack (Clif Bar-Colavita Olive Oil), will line up alongside third-place overall Ben Turner (TIAA-CREF-Clif Bar), under-23 world’s team member Matt White (NCC-BikeReg.com), and former Canadian national champion Peter Wedge (Kona).
In the women’s elite race, defending champ Mary McConneloug (Seven Cycles) will face Anna Milkowski (Rona), who returns to the cyclo-cross scene after a year of racing in all of the top domestic events; 30-plus national champion Marianne Stover (Gearworks-Spinarts), who rarely fails to set the race alight early; Maureen Bruno (Cyclocrossworld.com), who emerged as one of the top riders late last season; and former national champion Katrina Davis (CYBC-Richard Sachs).
Next weekend, the Verge series continues with a pair of races in Gloucester, Mass. The Michelob Ultra Gran Prix of Gloucester will feature a UCI Category 2 race on Saturday, October 30, and a UCI Category 1 on Sunday, October 31. The races also will be part of the Crank Brothers U.S. Gran Prix of Cyclo-Cross.
OHIO: Johnson, Schwartz race to UCI wins
Tyler Johnson (CYBC-Richard Sachs) and Anne Schwartz (Flying Rhino) won the BioWheels-United Dairy Farmers UCI race on October 10 in Fairfield, Ohio, a suburb of Cincinnati.
Racing in Harbin Park, where the course included a pair of tough sand pits, Johnson outkicked a pair of Fiordifrutta riders — Johannes Huseby and Jon Hamblen — to win the elite men’s race in 57:43.
In the women’s race, meanwhile, Schwartz soloed to victory in 38:43, trailed by runner-up Betsy Schauer (FORT-GPOA) at 29 seconds back and Alicia Genest (Richard Sachs) third at 0:40.
For results, see www.kentuckycyclocross.com.
KANSAS: Smith, Neville win second Mid-America Cup race
Shadd Smith (HRRC-Maclaren Racing) and Marie Neville (Team Kaos Cycling) won the second round of the Mid-America Cross Cup on October 10 in Leavenworth, Kansas.
In his first appearance of the series, Smith rode to an impressive solo win over Tony Wilhelm (LBC-Highgear), who finished 37 seconds back in second. Mark Studnicki (Cowtown Cycling) took third.
The 1.5-mile circuit on the grounds of Leavenworth High School featured a healthy mix of pavement, grass, gravel and off-camber turns, which stretched the field in the opening lap.
While Wilhelm fought to reel in the charging Smith, the battle behind heated up as a group of six, including Studnicki, Mark Savery (Scheels-Specialized), Jesse Petersen (Cycle Works-Moose’s Tooth), Eric Struckhoff (Free State Racing) and Tyler Carmichael (LBC-Highgear) fought for the final step on the podium.
With three laps to go, Savery pulled away from the group with Studnicki in tow, only to see Studnicki slip away in the finale.
In the women’s event, Lincoln rider Neville snatched her second win of the series over Trudie Rebsaman (Wheatland).