Laura Van Gilder (C3 Athletes Serving Athletes) soloed her way into victory at the UCI C2 Granogue Cross held in Wilmington, Delaware, located in the Mid Atlantic. The Pocono Mountains native displayed her top technical skills on a challenging course to secure the win ahead of Andrea Smith (LadiesFirst Racing) in second and Nicole Thiemann (Team CF) in third.
"There were about five riders chasing me, but I really tried to power through the sections where I felt strong," Van Gilder told Cyclingnews. "The first lap was the closest the chasers were. I felt in control, as much as you can feel in control during a 'cross race. I know my gap was only one mistake away from coming back initially, but by the last lap it was 30 seconds. I was trying to keep the pressure on and remain mistake free."
Van Gilder's victory marked her second in two consecutive weekends. She won the opening day in Providence last Saturday and is currently leading the New England Professional Cyclo-cross Series. Although she will continue to compete in the cyclo-cross events along the Mid Atlantic, there is currently no series for the UCI Elite women.
"The Mid Atlantic doesn't meet the UCI guidelines anymore for the elite standards but I enjoy all the races and I would still like to win them all and maybe be the unofficial women's leader," Van Gilder said. "I am considering targeting the New England series, I wasn't sure if I was going to be a contender, but after winning in Providence, I was leading the series and I would like to support it."
The elite women lined up to contest what is affectionately known as the crown jewel of Mid Atlantic cyclo-cross. The event is traditionally held at the Dupont Estate, a private and scenic property on 400 acres of rolling green hills and wooded sections.
Riders raced over a technically challenging course, well known for its off camber hillside corners, muddy sections through the woods and a steep run up to the stone silo tower. "I had a clean race and it was actually a very challenging course," Van Gilder said. "There weren't a lot of places that you could recover and there was a lot of elevation gain and hard descents. I was able to capitalize on my strengths and hold my lead throughout the whole race."
Some of the top women registered in this year's event include Laura Van Gilder, Andrea Smith, Kristin Gavin (Cystic Fibrosis), Nicole Thiemann (Team CF), Crystal Anthony (LadiesFirst Racing).
Arlie Kremmerer (C3 Athletes Serving Athletes) dominated the race off the start line lap after taking the hole-shot onto the grass. Van Gilder moved into the early race lead and opened up a solid gap that a chase group of four riders could not close before the end of the race.
"We started on a long pavement section, and I was not first off the line," Van Gilder said. "I jumped the group to get onto the grass near the beginning. There was a dirt hill in the woods that could have been run or ridden, so I wanted to get there first to try and ride it. It was there that I got my first little bit of a lead. Some came back to my wheel but I continued to push it and by the end of lap two I had a goo lead."
Smith was the strongest rider among the chasers and soloed into second place ahead of Thiemann in third and Anthony in fourth.
|1||Laura Van Gilder (USA) C3 p/b Mellow Mushroom||0:39:33|
|2||Andrea Smith (USA) LadiesFirst Racing||0:00:26|
|3||Nicole Thiemann (USA) Team CF||0:00:47|
|4||Crystal Anthony (USA) LadiesFirst Racing|
|5||Arley Kemmerer (USA) C3 - Athletes Serving Athletes||0:01:19|
|6||Meghan Korol (USA) Bob's Red Mill Cyclocross||0:01:40|
|7||Kristin Gavin (USA) Team Cystic Fibrosis||0:01:56|
|8||Patricia Buerkle (USA) VA Asset Group p/b Artemis - Trek|
|9||Stacey Barbossa (USA) Elite Endurance Training Systems||0:02:03|
|10||Erin Silliman (USA) Alan North America Cycling Team||0:03:02|
|11||Katrina Dowidchuk (USA) Team TBB-Deep Blue||0:03:03|
|12||Carolyn Popovic (USA) Team CF||0:03:51|
|13||Brittlee Bowman (USA) crossresults.com p/b JRA Cycles||0:04:11|
|14||Molly Hurford (USA) Team Rockstar Games-Signature Cycles||0:04:12|
|15||Lauren Kling (USA) New England Athletic Cyclocross||0:04:44|
|16||Allyson Tufano (USA) WHCC-Sportif Coaching Group||0:04:47|
|17||Alice Henriques (USA) Zanconato Racing||0:05:22|
|18||Kristine Church (USA) Human Zoom||0:05:36|
|19||Jennifer Maxwell (USA) Van Dessel Factory Team||0:05:53|
|20||Rebecca Frederick (USA) Kelly Benefit Strategies-LSV||0:06:01|
|21||Vicki Barclay (USA) Stan's NoTubes-Freezethaw||0:06:02|
|22||Elizabeth Bonilla (USA) Human Zoom Cycling||0:06:14|
|23||Liz So (USA) Team Tati||0:06:43|
|24||Jessica Kutz (USA) Penn State Racing||0:06:44|
|25||Michelle Bishop (USA) Cannondale Cadence Women's Racing||0:07:05|
|26||Kelly Chang (USA) SyCip||0:07:58|
|27||Kristy Scheffenacker (USA) C3 - Athletes Serving Athletes||0:09:22|
|28||Bailey Semian (USA) Team Specialized - Rising Stars p/b Bicycling Magazine||-1lap|
|29||Kim Dubeck (USA) Trestle Bridge Racing|
|30||Kathleen Wulfkuhle (USA) C3 - Athletes Serving Athletes|
|DNS||Erica Yozell Miller (USA) Pavalleys.Com|
|DNS||Amy Breyla (USA) C3-Athletes Serving Athletes|
|DNS||Kathrin Schumacher (Can) Guys Racing Club|
|DNS||Jennifer Pope (USA) Vanderkitten Racing|
|DNS||Lauri Webber (USA) Secret Henrys Team|
|DNS||Erin Mascelli (USA) Elite Endurance Training Systems|