Luke Keough and Laura Van Gilder swept the Cycle-Smart International weekend, winning their respective races on Saturday and Sunday in Northampton, Massachusetts.
Sunday’s sixth round of the Verge New England Championship Cyclo-Cross Series in Northampton featured a long off-camber climb, a steep drop-off and some of the fastest sweeping grass turns New England has to offer.
For Van Gilder, it was another hard-fought victory out of an extremely strong group that included series leader Sally Annis (Crossresults.com p/b JRA Cycles), Annis’s teammate Sara Bresnick-Zocchi, Maureen Bruno Roy (Bob’s Red Mill p/b Seven Cycles) and Andrea Smith (LadiesFirst Racing).
Annis was active early, attacking constantly, but Van Gilder never seemed in danger. She comfortably closed down gaps, forcing her competitors to ride perfectly, which they did not — a slight bobble in the sand pit between Bruno Roy and Bresnick-Zocchi was all Van Gilder needed; she immediately opened a gap too big to be bridged.
As Van Gilder soloed in for her second victory of the weekend, the battle for second raged on. Bresnick-Zocchi, knowing her best chance was to hit the pavement first, led through the last series of turns, giving no space to pass.
And it worked — she took second with Smith third. Annis had to settle for fifth, and lost her leader’s jersey to the LadiesFirst racer.
The elite men were several laps into their race before a five-man break went away, containing Keough, Adam Myerson (Cycle-Smart), Dylan McNicholas (Pedro’s), Luca Damiani (El Gato CX) and Justin Lindine (Bikereg.com-Joe’s Garage).
McNicholas and Damiani kept the pace high with Myerson leading through the technical sections of the course. The group held together for the first half of the race until first McNicholas, then Myerson slipped off the back.
The surviving trio seemed evenly matched until Lindine stacked a tight corner, taking Damiani down and letting Keough get away. Damiani abandoned with a badly cut leg, and Myerson and McNicholas absorbed Lindine.
The three fought to bring back Keough, but to no avail — he took his second victory on the weekend a solid 25 seconds ahead of the battle for the rest of the podium, in which Myerson unleashed a sprint that left Lindine standing still.
- 1. Luke Keough, Champion System p/b Keough Cyclocross, 58:23
- 2. Adam Myerson, Cycle-Smart, 58:48
- 3. Justin Lindine, Bikereg.com-Joe’s Garage-Scott, 58:49
- 4. Dylan McNicholas, Pedros, 59:08
- 5. Nicholas Keough, Champion System p/b Keough Cyclocross, 59:13
- 1. Laura Van Gilder, C3 Athletes Serving Athletes, 39:49
- 2. Sara Bresnick-Zocchi, Crossresults.com-Pedalpowercoaching.com, 39:55
- 3. Andrea Smith, LadiesFirst Racing, 39:55
- 4. Maureen Bruno Roy, Bob’s Red Mill p/b Seven Cycles, 39:55
- 5. Sally Annis, Crossresults.com p/b Jra Cycles, 40:18