Sally Annis (crossresults.com -JRA Cycles) and Tim Johnson (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com) opened up the Verge New England cyclocross series with wins at Vermont’s Catamount Family Center on Saturday.
In day one of the Green Mountain Cyclocross weekend, Annis took women’s field by surprise by powering away from a group that included Maureen Bruno-Roy (Bob’s Red Mill/Seven Cycles) and Crystal Anthony (Ladies First).
“I knew I was going well but those girls are really fast, I knew I just had to keep on the gas,” said Annis following her victory, seeming almost surprised that she was able to create an insurmountable lead.
Annis’s win was her first ever UCI level victory. Behind, Anthony and Bruno-Roy were taking hard pulls to keep away from an elite chase group of six riders. As the laps ticked down, it became apparent that Anthony and Bruno-Roy were going to battle for the final two steps of the podium; heading into the final corners, Anthony took the lead with Bruno-Roy content to sit second wheel, confident in her ability to come around in a sprint. Bruno-Roy attempted to make her move with about 50 meters left and Anthony closed the door, forcing the Bob’s Red Mill racer to try to change sides. Unable to do so, Anthony crossed the line second with Bruno-Roy third.
The Elite Men saw Johnson power away from a stacked field. Second place finisher Luca Damiani (El Gato CX p/b Podium Cycling), “I tried to attack and TJ went after I did. Nobody could catch him.”
As Damiani chased, solidifying his second place, the battle for third as well as the U23 lead came into play. A group containing Justin Lindine (bikereg.com/Cannondale, Joachim Parbo (KCH Leopard Cycles) and Jerome Townsend (bikereg.com/Joe’s Garage/Scott) vied for the third spot overall while Lindine solidified his position at the top of the U23.
According to Parbo, who came fourth, Lindine discovered a new gear unmatchable by his chasing companions and soloed into third. The U23 podium was rounded out by a pair of Keoughs — Luke and — on their new Champion Systems/Keough Racing team.