Ben Berden (Raleigh-Clement) attacked Zach McDonald (Rapha-Focus), and Troy Wells (Clif Bar) with one lap to go to win the first day of racing at the Gateway Cross Cup. The Gateway Cross Cup is the second stop of the Cross After Dark series, and a UCI C2 event on the USAC Pro CX series. The victory gives Berden a commanding lead over Wells in the Cross After Dark standings, and will pull Berden within striking distance of Pro CX series leader, Jeremy Powers (Rapha-Focus).
As the Red Sox battled the St. Louis Cardinals in game three of the World Series a mere eight miles away, cycling fans lined up for one of the biggest Midwestern cyclo-cross events of the year. While the Gateway Cross Cup drew a smaller pro field this year due to its conflict with the World Cup cyclo-cross race in Tabor, Czech Republic, it did attract a hungry fleet of racers, looking to capitalize on the absences, in search of UCI points.
Berden suffered a poor start after missing his pedal when the gun went off, but he kept his focus, and settled in with an early group of leaders that included McDonald, Wells, and Mike Garrigan (Van Dessel). McDonald drove the lead group, which ballooned to 10 riders, for several laps until he established a significant gap with Berden, Wells, and Cody Kaiser (California Giant-Specialized.)
Kaiser was unable to hang onto the leaders, and fell out of the lead group with four laps to go. Berden, McDonald, and Wells kept the pace high and maintained their gap over Kaiser, and a second chase group, for the remainder of the race.
Going into the final lap Berden surged away from the lead group and soloed in for the win. "Halfway I tried to attack and we made a pretty good gap, so I knew it was safe to wait a little bit," said Berden about his tactics for the day. "I let them come back, and then, with one and half laps to go, I attacked again. I had four or five seconds and it was enough to win."
Berden lamented the lack of rain and mud, which he credits for helping him win the 2012 Gateway Cross Cup, but was confident going into the finish. "I have a really fast sprint, so I didn't really need to attack," said Berden. "But if you can drop them with one to go it is more secure."
Zach McDonald held on for second place, followed by Troy Wells, Cody Kaiser, and Mike Garrigan.
|1||Ben Berden (Bel) Raleigh-Clement||1:02:21|
|2||Zach McDonald (USA) Rapha-Focus||0:00:08|
|3||Troy Wells (USA) Team Clif Bar||0:00:29|
|4||Cody Kaiser (USA) Cal Giant Berry Farms-Specialized||0:00:54|
|5||Mike Garrigan (Can) Van Dessel||0:01:09|
|6||Robert Marion (USA) American Classic Pro CX Team||0:01:16|
|7||Tristan Schouten (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies|
|8||Michael Van Den Ham (Can) Cycle-Smart|
|9||Mitchell Hoke (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies|
|10||Ryan Knapp (USA) Pony Shop Cyclocross||0:01:17|
|11||Eric Thompson (USA) Mt. Borah Epic Team||0:01:20|
|12||Isaac Neff (USA) Trek Cyclocross Collective||0:01:31|
|13||Skyler Trujillo (USA) Boo Bikes||0:02:37|
|14||Taylor Carrington (USA) Feedback Sports||0:02:38|
|15||Craig Etheridge (USA) Raleigh-Clement-Hodala!||0:02:43|
|16||Mark Savery (USA) Midwest Cycling Community NE||0:02:54|
|17||Rotem Ishay (Isr) Boo Bikes||0:03:21|
|18||Tom Burke (USA) Wolverine Sports Club||0:03:23|
|19||Joshua Johnson (USA) Giant Factory Off-Road Team||0:03:27|
|20||Daniel Miller (USA) Dogfish Racing Team|
|21||Shadd Smith (USA) Think Finance p/b Trek Bike Stores||0:03:31|
|22||Andrew Reardon (USA) Sophisticated Living-Bob's Red Mill||0:04:03|
|23||Dylan Postier (USA) Team Undiscovered||0:04:49|
|24||Travis Braun (USA) Magnus Cycling Jersey Squad|
|25||Devin Clark (USA) Bissell ABG Giant||0:07:02|
|26||Skyler Mackey (USA) Team Soundpony||-1lap|
|27||Anthony Dust (USA) Dogfish Racing Team||-2laps|
|28||Scott Peipert (USA)|
|29||Eric Fischer (USA) Southern Gentlemen Racing p/b Voss Bike|
|DNF||Jacob Lasley (USA) Team Soundpony|
|DNF||Edwin Bull (USA) Van Dessel Factory Team|
|DNF||Jeff Kluck (USA) Queen City Cycling|