By VeloNews Interactive
The domestic cyclo-cross season continues Saturday, October 27, at the Amherst International, a selection race for the U.S. team that will compete in the world championships in Zolder, Belgium. The Amherst race will also crown the 2001 North Atlantic regional champions. A UCI category 3 race, Amherst International is the third leg of the seven-race Verge New England Cyclo-Cross Series and will pay out $3500 in prize money.
The event began 11 years ago as a University of Massachusetts dorm-room project by then-student Adam Hodges Myerson, who is still promoting the race today. National champion Tim Johnson and Carmen D’Aluisio will return to defend their 2000 wins and Johnson’s Saturn teammates Mark and Frank McCormack will join the elite riders that include 1999 U.S. champ Marc Gullickson (Mongoose-Hyundai) and Canadian national champion Peter Wedge (Kona-Voicestream).
On the women’s side, Lyne Bessette (Saturn), the Canadian road race and time trial champion who is training on a ‘cross bike this fall and has won every race she’s entered will try to keep that streak alive. Masters champion Emily Thorne (Cyclocrossworld.com), Canadian cyclo-cross champion Shauna Gillies-Smith (Gearworks-SRP), local pro Kathryn Roszko (BikeReg.com), and Kona-Voicestream powerhouses Ann Grande and Gina Hall will also be there.
Still true to its collegiate roots, the Amherst International course is set in the rolling Orchard Hill section of the UMass campus. The circuit features grassy, off-camber sections, short, tough climbs and a paved finishing sprint carved through a hillside that offers stadium seating for New England ‘cross fans.
Racing begins with an amateur race at 10 a.m. The elite women start at noon, followed by the elite men at 1:15 p.m. Check back to VeloNews for a full report.