Powers Doubles Up, Smith Back on Top

November 27, 2010
Jeff Bramhall
Media Coordinator, Verge New England Championship Cyclo-Cross Series
(617) 669-5056

The Bay State Cyclocross weekend was closed with an exclamation point by Jeremy Powers (Cannondale p/b cyclocrossworld.com) taking a solo victory in the men’s race in impressive fashion and Andrea Smith (Ladies First Racing) outsprinting Maureen Bruno-Roy (Bob’s Red Mill p/b Seven Cycles) for the women’s victory.

With overnight temperatures well below-freezing, today’s course in Sterling stayed frozen for much of the day giving racers a greasy and rutted conditions to top off the generally more technical Sunday parcours. Some of the course’s primary features, including three long off-camber sections remained frozen for the entire day, claiming the glue jobs of several underinflated tubulars. A section added to today’s course distinct from yesterday’s, a series of tight corners that even in the best conditions would prove difficult for racers to flow through, ended the day soft and sloppy and allowed some of the key selections on the day to be made.

For the elite women, the race started out in a similar fashion to yesterday with a big selection being made and a group of six burning the laps down together. Today’s group included C3/Athletes Serving Athletes teammates Laura Van Gilder and Arley Kemmerer, NECCS leader Sally Annis of crossresults.com p/b JRA Cycles, Natasha Elliott (Garneau Club/Chaussure/Ogilvy), Andrea Smith and Mo Bruno-Roy. The group held together for almost the entire race with all racers making attempts at getting away, but between the nature of the course and the strength of the lead group, no attacks were able to stick. With two to go, on the descent from the upper level, Laura Van Gilder, who had already recovered from one mechanical that forced her into the pit, slid out on a frozen turn, taking down Annis and briefly holding up Elliott. Bruno-Roy and Smith took advantage of the slip and built a quick ten-second gap. The other racer who wasn’t held up in the crash was Arley Kemmerer, who had been sitting at the back of the group, ready to take advantage of mistakes made by anyone in the group. Though she was unable to get up to the leaders, Kemmerer held Elliott off and held on for an impressive third place. At the front, Bruno-Roy and Smith kept a high pace for the final lap with Smith leading much of the time. Bruno-Roy took to the front on the approach to the finishing straight knowing her best chance to outsprint Smith would be to be in front and control the available course. In the final fifty meters, Smith found a small opening along the fencing and bested Bruno-Roy by the slimmest of margins. Elliott came across fourth with Van Gilder fifth and Annis sixth.

With her victory, Smith regained the Verge NECCS leader’s jersey by a slim margin heading into the final weekend of the series, next weekend in Warwick, Rhode Island.

The elite men had a near-repeat of yesterday with Jeremy Powers sitting comfortably in a large group for the first half of the race until he decided that it was time to turn up the heat. The early selection came quickly with Powers, Nick and Luke Keough (Champion System p/b Keough Cyclocross), Josh Dillon (Richard Sachs/RGM Watches/Radix), Adam Myerson (Cycle-Smart), Justin Lindine (bikereg.com/Joe’s Garage/Scott) and new face from North Carolina, Travis Livermon (Mock Orange Racing). After the first few laps, the group had begun paring down with Lindine, Livermon, Nick Keough and Dillon dropping off the pace. At the front, Luke Keough, Myerson and Powers seemed to be working well together until Powers stepped it up a notch, gapping Myerson off the back. With two laps to go, Luke Keough was dropped from Powers’s wheel and local favorite J-Pow was able to take a second win on the weekend in front of his family. In contrast to yesterday, Luke Keough was able to keep himself clear for yet another series podium. Behind, Lindine was able to make contact with Myerson for the final few laps. Knowing that, in the interest of maintaining his series lead, Lindine would need to stay with Myerson through to the finish. He did just that, leading through most of the final two laps. Myerson and Lindine both seemed ready to make an attack, but both knew that without a mistake, they’d not be able to get free. No mistakes came and Lindine led Myerson onto the tarmac and resigned himself to damage control as Myerson took the sprint for third and came closer still to Lindine’s position at the top of the series podium. Of note, the U-23 podium was a family affair as Luke Keough topped the podium with U-23 series leader Nick Keough second and their brother and teammate Jesse third.

Lindine’s grip on series leadership is tenuous going into the last weekend. With many of the bigger names in Portland for the USGP finals, each has a chance to win the series with top placements in at NBX in Rhode Island.

Next weekend, December 4 and 5, are the final two rounds of the 2010 Verge New England Championship Cyclocross Series. They will take place at the NBX GP of Cross in Warwick, RI.

Stay tuned for more cyclocross news from the Verge New England Cyclo-Cross Series by following the series on Twitter @VergeNECCS and also on Facebook.

The 2010 Verge New England Championship Cyclo-Cross Series will be contested over five weekends. Rounds one and two will take place in Williston, VT at the Green Mountain Cyclocross Weekend on September 18 and 19. Rounds three and four will be Downeast Cyclocross in New Gloucester, Maine on October 23 and 24. The 20th Edition of the Cycle-Smart International will be rounds five and six on November 6 and 7 in Northampton, MA. Bay State Cyclocross and the NBX GP of Cross will hold the final four rounds of the series in Sterling, MA on November 28 and 29 and in Warwick, RI on December 4 and 5, respectively. This year’s series is generously supported by Verge Sport, makers of fine cycling clothing and products since 1993; by Bob’s Red Mill, producers of whole grain foods for every meal of the day; by Cycle-Smart, purveyors of personalized cycling coaching and solutions for riders across the country; by BikeReg.com, the official online registration service of the NECCS; by Pedal Power Photography, the official photographer of the NECCS; by crossresults.com, the internet’s premier race result and ranking resource; by Challenge, makers of professional level tubulars and open tubulars, by the Northampton Cycling Club Youth Development Program, helping to bring the champions of the future to the sport of bicycle racing. and by Ryders Eyewear, sport-specific and performance eyewear.

2010 Verge New England Championship Cyclo-Cross Schedule:

  • Green Mountain Cyclo-Cross Weekend – September 18th and 19th – Williston, Vermont
  • Downeast Cyclo-Cross – October 23rd and 24th – New Gloucester, Maine
  • The Cycle-Smart International – November 6th and 7th – Northampton, Massachusetts
  • Bay State Cyclo-Cross – November 27th and 28th – Sterling, Massachusetts
  • NBX Grand Prix – December 4th and 5th – Warwick, Rhode Island