Not even colliding into a tree mid-race was enough to stop Davide Frattini from taking his second consecutive solo victory of the weekend at the Charm City Cross held in Baltimore, Maryland. Former Canadian national champion, Mike Carrigan (La Bicicletta) secured a convincing second place ahead of Adam Myerson (CycleSmart) after a two-man sprint for the remaining podium spots.
"It wasn't easy today because I crashed following Adam around a tree through an off-cambre corner basically because I was coming in too hot," said Frattini, who won this race in 2007. "I lost both wheels, crashed and I lost a lot of time because I bent my brakes, my wheels were looking right and my handlebars were looking left. But I'm happy about my 'cross season start. I wasn't expecting to start with two wins. My next race will be in Gloucester GP and I'm looking forward to building my skills and I'm confident that I can have a good 'cross season."
Frattini made his bid for victory when he saw the front group of eight riders struggling to hang onto one another. Four rivals remained in contention with three laps to go, including Myerson, Carrigan and Ryan Dewald (Battley-Harley Davidson) and he timed his winning move up a gradual climb. The gap was only a mere bike length but quickly grew to 20 seconds over the final two laps.
"When I got back to the lead group after the crash, it took me a one full lap to recover," said Frattini. "It was an uphill with a few long straightaways right after and I remember that that was where I attacked to win two years ago. I wasn't sure if it would work again but I saw that I was able to grow my gap in half a lap so I kept going full gas for one full lap. Then I cruised the last lap."
Mike Carrigan took matters into his own hands leading the chase with Myerson on his wheel. When it became apparent that the pair wasn't going to reconnect with the Italian, they changed tactics and set up for a two-man sprint. "I knew Myerson was going to get real strategic based on how he raced yesterday," Carrigan explained. "We were holding off people behind us and I knew Myerson has a really good kick so I tried to keep the pace high. We started sprinting at the bottom of the climb and into the last corner."
Dust flies in Charm City
The gun went and Luke Keough (Champion System) took it as an opportunity to sprint for the hole shot onto the grass. He lead a core group of eight riders that would remain the leaders over the following nine laps. The group included Keough, Frattini, Myerson, Carrigan and Dewald, along with Ryan Knapp (Bikereg.com), Weston Schempf, Andrew Wulfkuhle (C3 Athletes Serving Athletes) and Tyler Wren (Colavita-Sutter Home).
"There was a bigger group but the top five guys from yesterday were there attacking and basically trying to hold their position at the front," said Carrigan. "We wanted to avoid any crashes and that basically got the group down to about eight."
Four laps into the race, Myerson lead the group in a quick pace through the wooded twists and turns. Frattini followed in second wheel through a corner but took a poorly calculated inside line and crashed into a tree taking down Keough and blocking the passage for the next riders. Myerson looked back, saw the gap and took that as his queue to make for a solo move.
"I didn't want to make myself as vulnerable today and I knew Davide was the strongest guy," said Myerson who bore the brunt of the chasing work in the previous day's Nittany Lion CX. "I had to mark his attacks more. When Davide crashed he was on my wheel and the next thing you know everyone came to a complete stop. We were only half way into the race so it's a long time to be alone but you have to try and take advantage of an opportunity like that."
Keough got up and back into the chase group but a flat tyre took him out of the mix for a second time. Frattini picked himself up, straightened his handle bars and brakes and set off on a high speed chase to catch the front group. It took two full laps to work his way back up to the leaders, who were desperately trying to regain contact with Myerson. The escapee was caught with four laps to go, unhappy with the chasers' decision to bring him back.
"I went full gas for two full laps," said Myerson. "The group had split behind me and there were guys in that group that maybe they shouldn't have been chasing. That was the critical moment in the race and it could have completely separated for the day or [they could have] neutralised each other. If you look at the guys who were chasing, they aren't the guys who got the result at the finish, they gave up the result today."
When the eight riders regrouped the racing continued with several attempts to break away. Dewald attacked, causing the group to dwindle to just four riders with three laps to go and the door to open for Frattini to make his winning move.
|1||Davide Frattini (Ita) Team Fuji||0:57:40|
|2||Mike Garrigan (Can) La Bicicletta/ Jetpower||0:00:06|
|3||Adam Myerson (USA) Cyclesmart||0:00:09|
|4||Ryan Knapp (USA) Bikereg.com||0:00:17|
|5||Weston Schempf (USA) C3-Athletes Serving Athletes||0:00:20|
|6||Ryan Dewald (USA) Battley Harley-Davidson||0:00:33|
|7||Tyler Wren (USA) Colavita-Sutter Home||0:00:48|
|8||Luke Keough (USA) Champion Systems Pro Cyclocross||0:00:58|
|9||Greg Wittwer (USA) Alan North America Cycling Team||0:01:08|
|10||Travis Livermon (USA) Cannondale||0:01:22|
|11||Jared Nieters (USA) Haymarket Bicycles/Trakkers||0:01:28|
|12||Stephen Cummings (USA) Indiana Regional Medical Center||0:01:35|
|13||Patrick Bradley (USA) Rutgers University Cycling Team||0:01:45|
|14||Rickey Visinski (USA) Exodus Road Racing||0:02:05|
|15||Nathan Wyatt (USA) Carolina Fatz pb Santa Cruz Bicycles||0:02:29|
|16||Noah Niwinski (USA) Boone Velo||0:02:33|
|17||Zachary Adams (USA) C3-Athletes Serving Athletes||0:02:46|
|18||Christopher Consorto (USA) Allied Milk||0:02:52|
|19||Andrew Wulfkuhle (USA) C3-Athletes Serving Athletes||0:02:53|
|20||Matt Spohn (USA) Dynaflo Racing||0:03:08|
|21||Ian Mathias (USA) Team BBC||0:03:26|
|22||William Elliston (USA) Van Dessel Factory Team||0:03:43|
|23||Dan Langlois (USA) Embrocation Cycling Journal||0:05:01|
|24||Michael Jenks (USA) Highland Park Hermes p/b Kim's Bike Shop||0:05:34|
|25||Jordan Kahlenberg (USA) Breakawaybikes.com||0:06:20|
|26||Adam Szczepanski (USA) Wissahickton||0:07:08|
|27||Tim Ciarkowski (USA) Hudz-Subaru Cycling Team|
|28||Jacob Florence (USA) Boone Velo|