A perfect tonic for post-turkey lethargy, the 2006 Verge New England Championship Cyclocross Series picks back up November 25 with the gut busting Gear Works Bay State Cyclocross in Sterling, Massachusetts. Run on the undulating grounds of the Chocksett School, the Bay State Cross will once again benefit from the course designing wizardy of Tom Stevens, who also happens to be course designer for Decembers National Championships in Rhode Island. Racers from last years Bay State well remember the distinct similarities between the challenges at Sterling and Nationals (hint, hint).
Entering Sterling, round 5 of the Verge NECCS, the points chases for the overall Series championships have tightened considerably. Matt White (FiordiFrutta) will wear the Elite Mens leaders jersey, though he and Mark McCormack (Clif Bar) are tied on points after four races. Since winning the last Verge NECCS race in Northampton, White has gone on a winning tear, snagging UCI victories in New Jersey and North Carolina in the interceding weeks. But the return of top racers Tim Johnson (Cannondale-cyclocrossworld.com) and Jeremy Powers (Jelly Belly) to the Series will apply distinct pressure on White and McCormack.
On the Elite Womens side Verge NECCS leader Mackenzie Dickey (Verge) will try to keep her dream season rolling along. Having swept the Farmington/Northampton weekend, Dickey is in ideal position to defend her overall leadership through the remaining three races. However, recently crowned U.S. Gran Prix champion Lyne Besette (Cyclocrossworld.com) will re-enter the Verge NECCS chase at Sterling. With a 48-point lead over Bessette going into Sterling, Dickey will need to ride a perfect final three races in order to hold off the hard-charging Canadian Champion for the overall title.