Posted by Editoress on 11/18/18
A significant snow storm dumped more than six inches of frozen precipitation on Suffern, N.Y. two days prior to the 16th edition of Rockland County Supercross Cup. As temperatures warmed into the mid-40s Saturday, elite athletes were greeted by cold, sloppy, slushy mud on the course at Rockland Community College.
It is the third year Supercross Cup has been held in Suffern. Racers competed for the coveted Verge leader's jerseys in the Vittoria Northeast Cyclocross Series presented by Clif Bar and Cycle-Smart, as well as for UCI Category 2 points in USA Cycling's Pro Cyclocross Calendar (ProCX).
Ruby West (Specialized-Tenspeed Hero) battled the No. 2-ranked ProCX rider, Rebecca Fahringer (Kona Maxxis Shimano), to take the win on day one for the elite women. Curtis White (Cannondale p/b CyclocrossWorld) settled a score from 2018 and won the elite men's competition.
"It was just a crazy day out there," said West about the mud that developed from melted snow. "The conditions were changing every lap. There were really no lines to follow, just everyone fighting themselves on the course more than each other."
West would lead the Elite Women's race early, then struggle on the course on the middle laps, falling 21 seconds behind Rebecca Fahringer (Kona Maxxis Shimano).
"I got the holeshot on lap one, and then just as soon as we went into the mud I panicked. The first lap was really rough for me, I was just not riding well," said the Canadian, who hasn't competed in ProCX events since Rochester Cyclocross in early September. "I dropped my chain, and Becca (Fahringer) got a gap. I was just losing my mind. Then the second lap I kind of recollected, got into a rhythm, started riding my own race and not worrying about her. As the laps went on, I got more and more comfortable with the course and was able to kind of find my own lines and make up some time with some running sections."
It wasn't until the final lap that West was able to close the gap to Fahringer, who currently sits second overall in ProCX points and seventh in the Vittoria Series standings.
"I didn't think I would close that gap, but coming into the finish here, I got right on her wheel. I was sprinting as hard as I could. Then I got on (my bike) and rode a section and she got a little ahead. But once I got my momentum back, I was able to pass her, get off, run, then it's all a blur. That last bit was just instinct and it worked out. I'm really happy," added West, who finished the four-lap event in 40 minutes, 17 seconds. The Canadian improved from her fifth-place finish from last year to the top step on the podium with a final push in the closing meters.
Fahringer couldn't hold off the charging 19-year-old and would finish second, 7 seconds behind West.
"I sort of knew that a smooth race would win. I rode really smooth from the start," said Fahringer, who scored her sixth ProCX podium of the season. She is still missing a win. "Maybe halfway through the first lap I ended up taking the lead. I held a pretty solid gap until the last half of the last lap. Lost the gap to Ruby (West), and she nipped me right at the line."
Magdeleine Vallieres, who turned 17 in October, would come in third, 1 minute, 27 seconds after the winner. "I was trying to catch them since the beginning (West and Fahringer)," said Vallieres. "It was like this for all of the race. It was really muddy. I like riding in the mud, so it was fun."
Cassandra Maximenko (Van Dessel Factory Team), who was second in this Saturday event last year, finished fourth. She came into the contest this year ranked fourth overall in the women's Vittoria Series standings.
Of the 28 elite women who started the race, 23 finished. It was a different scenario in the elite men's race, as the field of 28 dwindled to just eight completing the eight laps, and two riders fighting at the front. White would make the initial selection with ProCX points leader Kerry Werner (Kona Maxxis Shimano).
"Kerry and I went back and for the first few laps," said White. "At one point, I made a mistake and he got a gap. Then he made a mistake and I got the gap back on him. He kept me within arms reach. It seemed like 10 to 15 seconds for a while. Getting two to go, he was right there with me."
It would come down to the final lap, where Werner relented to the cold and muddy conditions, unable to respond to White's big push.
"With about two laps to go, I managed to kind of make contact," said Werner. "But I spent quite a few matches and by then my appendages turned into frozen nubs. I made contact, and then I kind of just fell apart. I think the effort did me in. And the cold was starting to wear on me, so maybe I'll dress a little bit more appropriately tomorrow. Or, maybe go harder the whole time."
White had a 14-second advantage after five laps. It was in the final lap where White would seal the deal in 1 hour, 5 minutes, 16 seconds. Last year it was Werner who won this race and White finished second This year Werner was 1 minute, 32 seconds off he winning pace.
"Just before one lap to go, he was pretty close and then I went all-in on that last lap. I opened the gap and sealed it for the win," said White, who claimed his fifth consecutive Vittoria Series victory of the season. The white and light blue leader's jersey was almost indistinguishable with all the mud covering the Vittoria brand.
Taking his first ProCX podium of the season was Merwin Davis (Cycle-Smart), who rolled across the line in third, close to three minutes behind White.
"You know, my number one thing today was to just try to minimize any and all mistakes. Everyone's making mistakes on a day like today, it's impossible not to," said Davis. "I saw myself right there with Curtis and Kerry on the first lap. I could tell they were both going to ride away from me eventually. But I just wanted to hang on for as long as I could."
Davis was in an early group that included 18-year-old Sam Noel (UVM Cycling / Cannondale Cyclocross) and 21-year-old Cooper Willsey (Furman University). Davis said he pulled ahead of the group, but dropped his chain about the middle of the race and Noel was able to catch up.
"I could tell he had worked pretty hard to get back to me, so I just made sure to jump back in front in a couple of key spots and open up small gaps here and there," Davis explained about making a move in the final lap to break free of Noel. "It was enough to break him, I think. I was able to ride in from there. This is my first podium in a UCI race, so there might have been a little bit of extra power in the legs when I realized that was happening."
Noel would finish a minute behind Davis for fourth, and Willsey would claim fifth.
Ellen Noble (Trek Factory Racing CX) remained in the Vittoria Series leader's jersey for the Elite Women's competition with 150 points. White extended his lead to 250 points after sweeping the first five Series races. There are three races remaining in the Series, which include Sunday's events at Supercross Cup, then races Dec. 1-2 in Warwick, R.I.for NBX Gran Prix of Cyclocross.
|Women, 4 laps|
|1 Ruby West (Can) Specialized - Tenspeed Hero||0:40:17|
|2 Rebecca Fahringer (USA) Kona Maxxis Shimano||at 0:07|
|3 Magdeleine Vallieres (Can)||1:27|
|4 Cassandra Maximenko (USA) Van Dessel Factory Team||3:18|
|5 Jane Rossi (USA) Rhode Island School of Design||3:34|
|6 Emily Werner (USA) Amy D. Foundation||3:49|
|7 Kathryn Cumming (USA) Jalapeno Cycling||4:12|
|8 Stacey Barbossa (USA) Colavita-Whole Foods Market Race Team||4:58|
|9 Caroline Nolan (USA) Voler / Clif / Rock Lobster||5:16|
|10 Rebecca Gross (USA) Zero D Racing||5:44|
|11 Laura Van Gilder (USA) Mellow Mushroom||6:36|
|12 Meghan Owens (USA) Hands-On Cycling p/b Guerciotti||6:57|
|13 Leslie Lupien (USA) Velocio NECX||7:09|
|14 Elizabeth Sheldon (USA) CXHAIRS DEVO : TREK BIKES||7:18|
|15 Emily Curley (USA) Corner Cycle||7:36|
|16 Brittlee Bowman (USA) RSCX - House Ind - DWR - HM||8:02|
|17 Caitlin C. Bernstein (USA) Vive La Tarte||8:04|
|18 Alexandra Campbellforte (USA) Vanderkitten Entourage Racing/VKCX pb Van Dessel||8:45|
|19 Anna Sofie Larsen (Den) AMK||9:08|
|20 Philicia Marion (USA) CarpeDiem Racing||10:34|
|21 Jenny Wojewoda (USA) pedalpowertraining.com||10:52|
|22 Kelly Paduch (USA) Rocktown Bicycles||11:35|
|23 Elizabeth Huuki (USA) Army West Point Cycling||12:07|
|24 Aliza Tobias (USA) Killington Mountain School/BMB||-1 lap|
|25 Anna Savage (USA) JAM Fund / NCC||-1 lap|
|26 Kelli Montgomery (USA) STAGE 1/AirLine Cycles||-1 lap|
|DNF Shane Ferro (USA)|
|DNF Sara Melikian (USA) Competitive Edge Racing|
|DNS Natasha Elliott (Can) Van Dessel p/b Hyperthreads|
|DNS Taylor Kuyk-White (USA) Philly Bike Expo|
|DNS Katherine Northcott (USA)|
|Men, 8 Laps|
|1 Curtis White (USA) Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.||1:05:16|
|2 Kerry Werner Jr. (USA) Kona Maxxis Shimano||at 1:32|
|3 Merwin Davis (USA) Cycle-Smart||2:59|
|4 Sam Noel (USA) UVM Cycling / Cannondale Cycloc||3:59|
|5 Cooper Willsey (USA) Furman University||5:03|
|6 Nicholas Lando (USA) UVM Cycling / Comp Edge Racing||6:54|
|7 Allan Schroeder (USA) High Desert Hustle||8:07|
|8 Michael Owens (USA) RSCX - House Ind - DWR - HM||9:55|
|9 Andrew Nicholas (USA)||-3 Laps|
|10 Andrew Frank (USA) Montana Velo||-3 Laps|
|11 Max Judelson (USA) Voler/Clif/HRS/Rock Lobster||-3 Laps|
|12 Jacob Leblanc (USA) Comp Edge Racing||-3 Laps|
|13 Adam Myerson (USA) Cycle-Smart||-3 Laps|
|14 Daniel Chabanov (USA) RSCX - House Ind - DWR - HM||-4 Laps|
|15 Patrick Collins (USA) kb PHOTO cx / A-D Bikes||-4 Laps|
|16 Ethan Call (USA) Dartmouth College||-4 Laps|
|17 Andrew Wulfkuhle (USA) 717cycling||-4 Laps|
|18 Kevin Bouchard-Hall (USA) Velocio Northeast||-4 Laps|
|19 Daniel Vaughn (USA) JAM Fund / NCC||-4 Laps|
|20 Peter Thidemann (Den) AMK||-4 Laps|
|21 Geno Villafano (USA) Storrs Center Cycle Racing||-4 Laps|
|22 Finnegan O'connor (USA) UVM Cycling / Comp Edge Racing||-4 Laps|
|23 Matthew Curbeau (USA) Velocio Northeast||-4 Laps|
|24 Robert Marion (USA) CarpeDiem Racing||-5 Laps|
|25 Brendan Lehman (USA) Rock Lobster||-5 Laps|
|26 Joshua Noggle (USA) CRCA/Rockstar Games||-5 Laps|
|DNF Jeremy Powers (USA) Pactimo / Fuji / SRAM|
|DNF Trevor Raab (USA) The 5th Floor NYC|
|DNS Stephen Hyde (USA) Cannondale P/B Cyclocrossworld.|
|DNS Spencer Petrov (USA) Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.|
|DNS Derrick St John (Can) Van Dessel p/b Hyperthreades|
|DNS Sam O'Keefe (USA) RSCX - House Ind - DWR - HM|
|DNS Andrew Dietz (USA) Trek Cyclocross Collective|
|DNS Keith Garrison (USA) KING KOG / SUN AND AIR|
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