November 25/12 22:26 pm - Verge New England Cyclocross Series: Round 6 report
Posted by Editoress on 11/25/12
Powers, Anderson win the final races of the 2012 Verge New England Cyclocross Series; champions in 11 categories determined
A cold wind blew through the fields of Sterling, Massachusetts as racers took to the course at Baystate Cyclocross. This final day of the 2012 Verge New England Cyclocross Series determined who would emerge victorious as winners of the series in eleven different categories. This course, created by renowned course designer Tom Stevens, is reputed to be one of the most formidable and unforgiving in New England, with fast grass chutes, rooty trails, power-draining climbs and tricky cambers.
The Elite Women hit the first corner with ferocity, Arley Kemmerer (Charm City Cycling) taking the hole shot with Laura Van Gilder (Mellow Mushroom Racing) right behind her. By the second lap, a lead group of four formed including Kemmerer, Van Gilder, Crystal Anthony (Cyclocrossworld.com), and Elle Anderson (Ladies First Racing). Anderson launched a bold attack into the wind, building a solid gap as Anthony led the chase. Anthony seemed to take on water, falling off of Van Gilder and Kemmerer's chase group. Like yesterday's race, the two worked together in an unsuccessful attempt to bring Anderson back, battling to the line for a sprint. Kemmerer took second with a photo finish, with Van Gilder in third, not far behind the victorious Anderson.
Temperatures plummeted as the Elite Men's race began. National Champion Jeremy Powers (Rapha-Focus) and former National Champion Tim Johnson (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld) lined up, taking advantage of a tough UCI race close to home. Mike Garrigan (Stage-Race/Blacksmith Cycle) led the charge, and a large group organized behind him to create a gap on the rest of the field. Attack after attack tried to thin the group. Johnson and Durrin launched an attack that stuck, but Shawn Milne (Cyclocrossworld.com) and Powers joined them. Johnson, determined to take the win, attacked the group, riding away into what would grow into a fifteen-second gap. With one lap to go, Johnson tragically suffered a front flat. By the time he rode it gingerly to the pit, Powers had stampeded away from the others to claim the victory. Milne managed second and Durrin took the third-place spot.
Despite not sweeping the Verge Series, Crystal Anthony won the overall Elite Women's competition with a decisive margin, having won five out of six races in the series. Canada's Maghalie Rochette (Powerwatts-FT Time) maintained second despite having a difficult race today, and talented local racer Catherine Sterling (Bikeman.com) claimed third.
Meanwhile, Justin Lindine (Redline) won the Elite Men's competition. His victory was especially sweet, as it is his first series win after losing the distinction on the last day of racing two years ago. Rising star Jeremy Durrin (JAM Fund/NCC/Vittoria) rode into second, and Shawn Milne (Cyclocrossworld.com) took third.
In other categories, many fierce battles came to dramatic conclusions today in Sterling. Melissa LaFleur (BONK! Support) cleared the competition to win the Amateur Women's division, while Karen Tripp (Blue Steel Cyclery) won a close race in the Masters Amateur Women's race. In the Junior 10-14 races, boys champion Kevin Goguen (CF Racing p/b Trek Portsmouth) and the undefeated girls champion Turner Ramsay (Killington Mountain School) both show promising futures in cycling. In the Masters Men's categories, Brian Wilichoski (Cyclocrossworld.com) rode away with narrow victory over Todd Bowden (Expowheelmen) in the 35+ race, Paul Richard took the 45+ champion title from Todd Rowell (NEBC p/b Cycle Loft), and in the 55+ division Al Blanchard (Blue Ribbon Restaurants/Translations.com) was the clear victor. Peter Goguen (CF Racing p/b Trek Portsmouth) became the second Goguen wearing the Verge Series champion's jersey as he won the Junior 15-18 category, and Chris Algar (C4) had an amazing season to win the Category 3 men's division, likely on his way to an upgrade into the Elite field.
This year's series is supported by the Northeast's own Verge Sport, makers of fine cycling uniforms and apparel for men and women since 1996; Cycle-Smart, coaching services for elite and amateur competitive cyclists since 1999; and BikeReg.com, the premiere online registration site for cycling events in the country.
Report by By Cynthia Brennan