A strong elite field, led by three-time Danish national champion Joachim Parbo and defending New England Cyclo-cross Series (NECCS) women's champion Rebecca Wellons, are among the more than 350 racers who are expected to head north for the opening weekend of the NECCS in Williston, Vermont, on September 26-27. The race is the first of three consecutive weekends of cyclo-cross in a region of the US where the discipline is very popular.
Parbo (CCV Leopard Cycles) has raced in the United States before and held his own against the best that the US has to offer; but he will have to work hard for the win with the likes of veteran Adam Myerson (Cycle-Smart), Justin Spinelli (Svelte Cycles), Canadian stalwart Derrick St. John (Garneau Club Chaussure Ogilvy), New York native and last year's race runner-up Dan Timmerman (Richard Sachs/RGM Watches/Radix), and local powerhouse Josh Dillon (Richard Sachs/RGM Watches/Radix) in the field.
The three-plus-kilometer parcours at the Catamount Family Center is a uniquelly challenging course in its climbing and technical sections. Look for the next generation of top riders to turn some heads, too. Riders like Justin Lindine (BikeReg.com/Joe’s Garage/IF), Alec Donahue (NCC/Cycle-Smart), Tyler Wren (Colavita/Sutter Home), and Dillon will be looking for their first podium place of the northeast UCI campaign.
The women's field will be battle of some of the best talent the region has available. Laura Van Gilder (C3-Athletes Serving Athletes) makes her debut in Vermont having come off of a win in last week’s Nittany Lion Cross race in Trexlertown, Pennsylvania, but will have her hands full with the nature of the course and the competition, including Wellons, who is expected to race after competing in a criterium in Boston, Natasha Elliott (Garneau Club Chaussure Ogilvy), Charm City Cross and former NECCS series winner Maureen Bruno-Roy (MM Racing), and Anna Milkowski (Bikereg.com/Joe’s Garage/IF), who's coming off a win of her own at the early season classic Sucker Brook Cross in New Hampshire.
But as is the case with the men, there are other women who could showcase their talents to the next level and grab a podium spot away, including Cris Rothfuss (Seven Cycles), Nikki Thiemann (Human Zoom/Pabst Blue Ribbon), and the latest from the legendary Anthony household from Beverly, Massachusetts, Crystal Anthony (Minuteman Road Club), who broke out of the beginner's class last year to continue the uphold the tradition of one of the New England's first-families of cyclo-cross.
The The NECCS will be contested over seven weekends in 2009 (see schedule below). For more information, visit www.cycle-smart.com/neccs.
2009 Verge New England Championship Cyclo-Cross Schedule
September 26-27: Green Mountain Cyclo-Cross Weekend, Williston, Vermont (UCI category C2 races)
October 3-4: Great Brewers Grand Prix of Gloucester, Gloucester, Massachusetts (UCI category C2 races)
October 10-11: Providence Cyclo-Cross Festival, Providence, Rhode Island (UCI Category C2 races)
October 24-25: Downeast Cyclo-Cross, New Gloucester, Maine
November 7-8: The Cycle-Smart International, Northampton, Massachusetts
November 28-29: Bay State Cyclo-Cross, Sterling, Massachusetts
December 5-7: NBX Grand Prix, Warwick, Rhode Island
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