Sally Annis (Crossresults.com-JRA Cycles) and Adam Myerson (Cycle-Smart) emerged triumphant at the penultimate round of the Verge New England Championship Cyclocross Series on Saturday.
Sunny skies and temperatures in the 40s graced the NBX GP of ‘Cross at Goddard Park in Warwick, Rhode Island, as racers tackled a course that featured a long sand run, lots of elevation change and long power sections.
In the women’s race a lead group of seven racers formed, including Annis and teammate Sara Bresnick-Zocchi; Laura Van Gilder (C3-Athletes Serving Athletes); Natasha Elliott (Garneau-Club Chaussures); series leader Andrea Smith and Crystal Anthony (Ladies First Racing); and Nicole Thiemann (Team CF).
Thiemann lost contact with the hard-driving group, followed by Smith and Anthony with two laps to go. Bresnick-Zocchi put in some hard efforts to push Smith off the back and fell victim to the pace as well.
With one to go, the race was down to Van Gilder, Elliott and Annis. Elliott drove the pace for much of the lap while Van Gilder sat in, clearly looking to take advantage of a sprint finish.
At the final turn, though, Annis got the drop on Van Gilder for the win. With Smith finishing fifth, Annis once again donned the leader’s jersey — but with an advantage of only five points going into Sunday’s series finale.
The men’s race also saw a big group whittled down to an elite few. Jerome Townsend (Bikereg.com-Joe’s Garage) drove the pace for most of the first lap, carrying his teammate and series leader Justin Lindine. Also making the early selection were Myerson, Derrick St John (Garneau-Club Chaussure), Christian Favata (Favata’s Tablerock Tours and Bikes), Josh Dillon (Richard Sachs-RGM Watches), Andrew Wulfkuhle (C3-Athletes Serving Athletes) and Manny Goguen (Bikereg.com).
As Townsend began to fade, Lindine took the front and drove the pace, hoping to shed Myerson. But he may have overdone it, because he saw St John and Myerson shoot off the front.
St John was doing most of the work until the final lap — when Myerson took the front coming onto the finishing straight he was not about to let St John come around. Forty seconds later, Lindine out-kicked Favata for third.
The victory — Myerson’s second in a UCI race — brought him to within striking distance of the series lead. That battle will be settled in Sunday’s finale to the Verge NECCS.