The Beatles could have provided the soundtrack for MAC's Beacon Cyclo-cross on Saturday. Seattle's Nick Weighall (California Giant Strawberries - Specialized) out-dueled Mike Broderick to win the UCI Elite Men's division on the long and winding roads through the woods of Bridgeton, New Jersey's Central Park.
Unlike the women's race, the men stayed together for several laps before the first selection was made when Swiss rider Valentin Scherz (Pro Cycles-Scott- Newwork) crashed. The early morning misty rain compacted the sandy soil of the park's network of single-lane roads, making for perhaps the fastest conditions ever for the annual race. Riders found themselves in pacelines on the winding roads.
Weighall, frustrated with the lack of effort by some in the large lead group, attacked. Broderick went with him and the two worked together to establish a gap that proved insurmountable. Though working together just enough to maintain their lead of the chase group, the two still were able to engage in one of the most intriguing duels of the year, especially in the area surrounding the venue's signature obstacle: the two-story high "Amphitheater of Pain" run-up.
Like his wife Mary McConneloug, Broderick was using a tubeless set-up based on Stan's No-Tubes 29er wheels and Kenda clincher tires, and was able to consistently pass Weighall on the sketchy outside line on the approach to the amphitheater run-up, and then hold it on the short, twisty woods section leading into the final turn leading onto the long, paved, uphill finish straight. This final turn started with a short, steep dirt drop through deeper sand before transitioning onto asphalt as it bent 180 degrees onto the finish straight.
It was here that the Weighall-Broderick duel was at its most spectacular. On the fourth lap, Broderick took a wide approach, stuck his leg out, heaved his bike to the side and rocketed away from Weighall. This happened several more laps, before Weighall decided he'd had enough and duplicated the line. For the next three laps, the two riders rocketed and raced through this corner legs out and bike hung way over like speedway motorcycle racers.
With little more than two laps to go, Weighall was able to take the line away from Broderick on the amphitheater approach. "I have short legs, and he was able to run away from me up the steps," said Broderick.
Weighall, realizing that Broderick suddenly wasn't next to him, literally ran away from Broderick who was never again able to make contact. Behind them the battle for third came down to a sprint with Battley Davidson's Ryan Dewald holding off Cycle-Smart's Adam Myerson for the third step on the podium after a race-long battle that also included Jonathan Sundt and Adam McGrath.
|1||Nicholas Weighall (USA)||0:57:14|
|2||Michael Broderick (USA)||0:00:12|
|3||Ryan Dewald (USA)||0:00:23|
|4||Adam Myerson (USA)||0:00:24|
|5||Jonathan Sundt (USA)||0:00:34|
|6||Adam Mcgrath (USA)||0:00:38|
|7||Valentin Scherz (Swi) Pro Cycles-Scott-NewWork||0:00:54|
|8||Travis Livermon (USA)|
|9||Guillaume Nelessen (USA)||0:01:10|
|10||Andrew Wulfkuhle (USA)||0:01:19|
|11||Jerome Townsend (USA)||0:02:09|
|12||Greg Wittwer (USA)||0:02:24|
|13||Joe Dombroski (USA)||0:02:35|
|14||Weston Schempf (USA)||0:02:42|
|15||Nathan Wyatt (USA)||0:02:44|
|16||Stephen Kincaid (USA)||0:02:54|
|17||Rickey Visinski (USA)||0:03:25|
|18||Jeff Buckles (USA)||0:03:34|
|19||Adam Driscoll (USA)||0:03:42|
|20||William Elliston (USA)||0:03:57|
|21||Zachary Adams (USA)||0:04:11|
|22||John Burns (USA)||0:05:14|
|23||Stephen Cummings (USA)||0:06:22|
|24||Mike Stubna (USA)||0:07:43|
|25||Patrick Bradley (USA)||0:08:33|
|26||Hunter Pronovost (USA)|
|27||Bradley Ford (USA)|