A strong field of men from the U.S., Canada, Switzerland and Italy started the race, which quickly broke into several large groups. The front group consisted of over a dozen riders in the early stages of the race, before attrition whittled it down to a five-man group.
Consisting of defending MAC champ Valentin Schertz (CYFAC/Champion System/Revolution Wheelworks), Cycle Smart's Adam Myerson (fresh off his first UCI win), Ryan Knapp (BikeReg.com), Adam McGrath (Thule/Van Dessel) and Canadian Craig Richey (CyclocrossRacing.com/Blue), the group rode together, constantly shuffling the lead, but without urgency.
Myerson indicated after the race that he never pulled really hard any time he came to the front. "It's really, really hard to get away on this course because it's so simple," said Scherz. "I mean, it's technical because it's so fast. But I don't think that even a real strong rider, someone like Tim Johnson, could get away here. It's just not possible."
While the lead group wasn't exactly out for an easy cruise, they weren't on afterburners either. Several riders bridged up to the lead group, only to almost immediately fall back again. The exception was another of the C3-Athletes Serving Athletes storm troopers, former MAC Champion Wes Schempf.
Once Schempf bridged up, the composition of the six-strong lead group was complete and consisted of one rider each from Europe, Canada, New England, the Pacific Northwest, the Midwest and the Mid Atlantic. With a straight, paved finish that favored power and positioning out of the final sharp turn, it seemed a perfect scenario for Myerson, who makes his primary living as a road sprinter. Alluding to Myerson, one of the race announcers commented, "surely not all of the riders in this group think they can win this race in a sprint."
But no attacks were forthcoming. The final 750 meters of the Beacon lap consist of a sweeping left turn up a steep, punchy hill. This is followed by a turn and drop-in to the Amphitheater of Pain and its 24" to 28" high steps that are approached via a hairpin turn. Following the remount is the short wooded section where Laura Van Gilder crashed in the women's race, a short drop and the tight finish corner leading to a 200 meter paved straight.
Sprinter Myerson approached the section in seemingly perfect position as second wheel behind Scherz, then lightning struck. In a classy move going up the run-up, Myerson told the group he had punctured and then moved out of the way so he wouldn't interfere with the sprint.
Heading into the final turn, Scherz led McGrath, who has become a regular at the New Jersey races because he races for New Jersey-based Van Dessel bicycles. The two had barely a bike-length gap on the rest, but it was enough to turn the fight for victory into a one-on-one duel. McGrath explained what happened next. "I can't sprint," he said, despite coming from behind to lose by inches in a battle of bike throws. Knapp claimed third ahead of Schempf and Richey, while Myerson stayed ahead of all the chasers to finish sixth.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Valentin Scherz (Swi) Cyfac-Champion System Racing Team p/b Revolution Wheelworks||0:57:05|
|2||Adam McGrath (USA) Feedback Sports-Van Dessel|
|3||Ryan Knapp (USA) BikeReg.com||0:00:04|
|4||Weston Schempf (USA) C3-Athletes Serving Athletes||0:00:08|
|5||Craig Richey (Can) Cyclocrossracing.Com p/b Blue||0:00:18|
|6||Adam Myerson (USA) Cycle-Smart||0:00:35|
|7||Luca Damiano (Ita)||0:00:54|
|8||Jerome Townsend (USA) BikeReg.com / Joe's Garage / Scott||0:00:58|
|9||Andrew Wulfkuhle (USA) C3-Athletes Serving Athletes||0:01:01|
|10||Dan Chabanov (USA) NYCross.com / CBRC||0:01:13|
|11||Greg Wittwer (USA) ALAN North America Cycling Team||0:01:33|
|12||Steve Fisher (USA) Rad Racing Nw-Hagens Berman Llp||0:01:59|
|13||Bobby Lea (USA) Van Dessel Factory Team||0:02:27|
|14||Nicholas Keough (USA) Champion Systems p/b Keough Cyclocross||0:02:35|
|15||Patrick Bradley (USA) Rutgers University-Raleigh-Kim's Bike Shop||0:02:50|
|16||Shaun Adamson (Can) Cycle-Smart||0:02:03|
|17||Jonathan Sundt (USA) Kenda Pro Cycling p/b Geargrinder||0:03:13|
|18||Peter Rubijono (USA)||0:03:26|
|19||Jesse Keough (USA) Champion Systems p/b Keough Cyclocross||0:04:06|
|20||John Minturn (USA)||0:04:56|
|21||Anthony Grand (Swi) Cyfac-Champion System Racing Team p/b Revolution Wheelworks||0:07:48|
|22||Mark Broadwater (USA) C3-Athletes Serving Athletes||0:08:03|
|23||Adam Szczepanski (USA) Wissahickon|
|24||Peter Hagerty (USA) Team Plan C|
|25||David Weaver (USA) ALAN North America Cycling Team|
|26||Matt Spohn (USA) Cyfac-Champion System Racing Team p/b Revolution Wheelworks|
|27||Guillaume Nelessen (USA) Van Dessel Factory Team|