Wells, Van Gilder ride to leads in $40,000 U.S. ’cross calendar

Big-money U.S. calendar opens in dusty Pennsylvania

Todd Wells and Laura Van Gilder rode to early leads in the new USA Cycling Professional Cyclo-cross Calendar last weekend in Pennsylvania. The $40,000 season-long calendar includes the top events in U.S. cyclocross and wraps with the Kingsport Cyclo-cross Cup in Tennessee on January 5, 2014.

Wells (Specialized) swept the Fuji Bike MAC Series-opening weekend in the men’s elite races at the Nittany Lion Cross at the Valley Preferred Cycling Center in Breinigsville. The former U.S. ’cross champion topped Weston Schempf (SEAVS-Haymarket) on Saturday and Justin Lindine (Redline-NBX) on Sunday. The twin victories gave Wells a 24-point lead over Stephen Hyde (JAM Fund-NCC) in the first round of the season-long Pro CX standings.

Van Gilder (Mellow Mushroom) took the lead in the women’s series on the strength of her win on Saturday over Gabby Day and her runner-up ride on Sunday behind Arley Kemmerer (C3-Twenty20 Cycling Co.). Van Gilder, 48, leads Kimmerer by four points in the women’s standings.

The Pro CX continues with a split calendar this weekend. The Catamount Grand Prix takes place Saturday and Sunday, September 14-15, in Williston, Vermont. The Pacific Northwest season opens with Starcrossed: A Rapha Super Cross Event on September 14 in Redmond, Washington. USA Cycling will split the $40,000 purse among the top 20 riders in the season-ending men’s and women’s standings.