Weekend Preview: NBX Gran Prix of Cyclocross hosts thrilling Shimano NEPCX & Verge NECX Series Finales
December 3, 2013No Comments
The NBX Gran Prix of Cyclocross closes out the monumental 2013 cyclocross season this weekend in Warwick, Rhode Island. Two days of racing December 7 & 8 serve as the finales of both the amateur Verge New England Cyclocross Series and the Elite Shimano New England Cyclocross Series, promising exciting competitions throughout both days as top-notch racers in every category fight explosive battles for the 2013 crowns.
A strong contender for the Elite Men’s Shimano New England Cyclocross Series win is Raphael Gagne (Rocky Mountain Factory), a first-timer at NBX who recently distinguished himself as the 2013 Quebec Cyclocross Champion. Gagne’s technical skill and solid bike handling will be tested not only by the challenging race course this weekend, but also by Justin Lindine (Redline/NBX), the unstoppable racer affectionately known as the “Honey Badger.” Although former New Englander Lindine relocated to Utah, he’ll make the long trip east just for NBX. The likely winner in the U23 Elite Men’s category, rising star Curtis White (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com), is also certain to be a factor in the overall Elite men’s races this weekend.
Laura Van Gilder (Van Dessel p/b Mellow Mushroom) is focused on repeating her 2012 sweep of NBX weekend, since wins on both days this weekend will ensure she also wins the Shimano New England Cyclocross Series Elite Women’s division. “I’ve raced this event five times and the venue is terrific. It offers the riders so many challenging elements,” Van Gilder says. “I am hoping to put in strong rides both days at NBX. I’ve focused on the Shimano NEPCX Series this season because they offer a fantastic group of events.”
Also in the mix will be Mo Bruno Roy (Bob’s Red Mill p/b Seven Cycles), who will ride the technical course with her trademark smooth speed, making every attempt to control this race. Talented Emma White (Cyclocrossworld.com), who, a rising cyclocross star like her brother Curtis, heads into this weekend emboldened by strong rides at Baystate last weekend. White has her work cut out for her if she hopes to grab the U23 Women’s victory, though, since she’ll have to win the U23 category within the Elite women’s races on both days this weekend.
Amateur racers make a final stand this weekend, fighting for the prestigious honor of being named champion in the Verge New England Cyclocross Series. Ryley Mosher (WheelWorks) and Daniel John Vaughn (Corning/No Tubes/Swan Cycles) hope to retain their 10-14 Juniors jerseys in the girls’ and boys’ divisions. Stephen Pierce (JAM Fund/NCC/Vittoria) retains his lead in the category 3 men’s division, although Pierce must remain focused to emerge the victor over strong competition. Mike Magur (Verge Sport) claimed the 35+ jersey over Al Donahue (JAM Fund/NCC/Vittoria). Ian Keough (Keough Cyclocross p/b Felt Bicycles) retains the lead in the Juniors 15-18 category. Former points leader Peter Goguen and teammate Austin Vincent held over a minute lead on third place in today’s race, though, so look for Goguen to make a resurgence. Melissa Seib (Bikeman) holds a strong lead in the amateur women’s field, while Alisa Allegrini (Nantucket Velo) appears similarly unstoppable in the 35+ masters women’s field. 45+ leader Roger Aspholm (Finkraft Cycling Team) retains the series jersey, and 55+ leader Al Blanchard (Finkraft Cycling Team) also keeps that jersey.
Stick around after the fireworks of the final Elite races on Sunday for the Verge New England Cyclocross Series and the Elite Shimano New England Cyclocross Series podium party! The ultimate 2013 champions in all categories will be celebrated with a jersey presentation ceremony closing out the New England Cyclocross season following the Elite Men’s podium at 3:45p on Sunday.
Follow live updates from the race on Twitter, where @VergeNECXS and @NEproCX will be updating all day, and follow #NBXcx on Twitter and Instagram.