Powers Sweeps, Anthony wins on day two of the 22nd Annual Cycle-Smart International

November 26, 2012No Comments

The second day of the 22nd Cycle-Smart International unfolded under clear blue skies on a fantastic New England autumn day. The dry, fast course offered racers plenty of wide, sweeping turns, some power sections and a long run-up. The trademark course layout, with its lower fields and more technical upper deck, allowed spectators a view of most of the race action from one central vantage point – and the large crowds appreciated watching their favorite pro racers from around the country. Organizers made sure the day was perfect, employing a small army of volunteers from the tight-knit New England cyclocross community to hand out race numbers at registration, marshal course crossings, and repair course tape.

In addition to the food trucks, offering race fans a variety of snacks ranging from tacos to cupcakes, the JAM Fund, founded by Jeremy Powers, CSI co-organizer Alec Donahue, and Makunda Feldman, once again offered fare raising money for promising young racers to offer them chances to compete at the highest levels nationally. This program has benefited some of the best racers in the Elite races today, all riding for team JAM Fund/NCC/Vittoria: Anthony Clark, Jeremy Durrin, and Frances Morrison.

From the whistle, the Elite Women competed with ferocity as a group of six immediately broke from the field, including Mary McConneloug (Team Kenda-Seven-NoTubes), Crystal Anthony (Cyclocrossworld.com), Anna Barensfeld (Pedal Power), Arley Kemmerer (C3/Athletes Serving Athletes), and Evelyne Blouin (Ride with Rendall). Anthony looked ready for revenge after slipping out on some turns yesterday cost her the victory as Olympic mountain biker rode the challenging corners with smooth finesse. Knowing she’d need to escape McConneloug early in order to handle the corners at a pace she felt comfortable with, Anthony powered up and motored away from the others, blowing the group apart. Kemmerer was the only one able to match, sticking on Anthony’s wheel as McConneloug sputtered. Anthony attacked again, putting Kemmerer in some trouble as McConneloug accelerated, catching and surpassing Kemmerer. McConneloug was unable to reel Anthony back, however, and Crystal Anthony rode into a clean victory, McConneloug second behind her and Kemmerer third. “I tried to be patient in the corners, but stay on the gas, I knew Mary was right there,” said Anthony of her winning strategy.

Jeremy Powers (Rapha-Focus) was in the lead through the first twists and turns on the course, putting pressure on the Elite Men in order to form a group of select racers in the front. With him, Powers brought Dylan McNicholas (Cyclocrossworld.com), Jeremy Durrin (JAM Fund/NCC/Vittoria), former Olympic mountain biker Adam Craig, Mike Garrigan (Stage-Race/Blacksmith Cycle), and Raphael Gagne (Rocky Mountain Factory). In a show of strength, Justin Lindine (Redline) bridged back to the lead group, but as the lead group took turns attacking off the front, Lindine crashed and was forced to chase back once again. Powers covered attacks from Gagne and Craig with measured pedal strokes, appearing in control of the race even when several wheels back. After Lindine’s second successful chase back to the lead group, it was his attack that put real pressure on the group, splitting the race apart and setting Powers several seconds behind Lindine’s wheel. Powers and Craig were the only ones who could make it back to Lindine’s wheel with McNicholas at the helm of a chase group trying to close down the gap. Lindine exhausted from chasing, it was Powers and Craig battling though the final corners of the last lap. Powers hit the pavement first to cross the line for the win, Craig just behind for second, and Lindine with a tremendous ride for third. “Winning today was incredible. I was getting a lot of motivation from my family and the cyclocross community here, so it means a lot to me to win both days,” said an exuberant Powers.

Meanwhile, in the Shimano New England Pro Cyclocross Series, Jeremy Powers held a solid lead in the Elite Men’s category, while Mary McConneloug moved into the lead in the Elite Women’s division, just barely beating Crystal Anthony; however, Anthony could challenge McConneloug at the series finale at NBX Gran Prix of Cyclocross. Manny Goguen (Team CF p/b Trek Portsmouth) received the honor of the Under 23 Men’s leaders jersey today, a wonderful feat after only just completing a several-week-long hospital stay as he underwent treatment for his cystic fibrosis. In only her first season racing with the Elites, young Ellen Noble (Trek Cyclocross Collective p/b Trek Portsmouth) takes the Under 23 Women’s crown.

The Shimano New England Pro Cyclocross Series will head to its grand finale in Warwick, Rhode Island for the beach-side runs and challenging trails of the NBX Gran Prix of Cyclocross on December 1 and 2. The 2012 season has been a memorable one in the series, and some of the best races in the country have enticed world-class racers to their courses. The NBX GP of Cyclocross will be no exception as sparks fly in the competition for the series crowns.

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Gran Prix of Gloucester - September 28 & 29

Providence Cyclocross Festival - October 5 & 6

Cycle-Smart International - November 2 & 3

NBX Gran Prix of Cyclocross - December 7 & 8