Van Gilder victorious in NECCS finale

Smith, Bresnick Zocchi round out podium

Laura Van Gilder bounced back from a runner-up finish the previous day to win the final race of the Verge New England Championship Cyclo-cross Series (NECCCS) in Warwick, Rhode Island. Van Gilder outsprinted Andrea Smith (LadiesFirst Racing) for the victory while 13 seconds later Sara Bresnick-Zocchi ( similarly dispatched of Sally Annis ( p/b JRA Cycles) for third place.

Annis held a slim lead in NECCS over Smith entering the final event, but Smith's runner-up finish secured the series championship for the LadiesFirst Racing rider.

The race for the elite women started off in a similar fashion to Saturday with a large group taking off at the front. The selection included LadiesFirst racers Crystal Anthony and Andrea Smith, Sally Annis and Sara Bresnick-Zocchi of p/b JRA Cycles, C3/Athletes Serving Athletes teammates Laura Van Gilder and Arley Kemmerer and the lone Canadian, Natasha Elliott (Garneau Club/Chaussures/Ogilvy).

The group whittled itself down over the course of the race with Anthony falling off the pace and Kemmerer succumbing to a mechanical that forced her to abandon. At the front, Smith was keen to press the pace with Van Gilder stuck to her wheel. Annis, Bresnick-Zocchi and Elliott were often forced to chase back as they let small gaps open through the corners.

As the race wore on, those gaps grew to a point that were barely manageable and Annis was turning herself inside out to catch back on. However, on the final lap the elastic began to snap. While Smith and Van Gilder were pushing the pace, Annis totally lost contact and was absorbed by Bresnick-Zocchi. The last chance for Annis to keep the NECCS leader's jersey from leaving her shoulders was to hope for a bobble from the leaders coming out of the sand, but the bobble never came.

Smith and Van Gilder hit the pavement at the same time and Van Gilder locked up the victory with a rapid sprint. Smith was able to raise her hands as she crossed the finish line, knowing that her second place would be good enough to take the Verge New England Championship Cyclo-Cross Series title.

Bresnick-Zocchi and Annis hit the pavement a short thirteen seconds later with Bresnick-Zocchi taking the sprint for third. Elliott came across the line alone a few seconds later for fifth.

The final women’s series podium was topped by Andrea Smith with Sally Annis second and Laura Van Gilder in third.

Full Results
1Laura Van Gilder (USA) C3 - Athletes Serving Athletes0:37:25 
2Andrea Smith (USA) LadiesFirst Racing  
3Sara Bresnick-Zocchi (USA) Crossresults.Com-Pedalpowercoaching.com0:00:13 
4Sally Annis (USA) p/b JRA Cycles  
5Natasha Elliott (Can) Garneau Club Chaussure-Ogilvy0:00:15 
6Crystal Anthony (USA) LadiesFirst Racing0:01:12 
7Catherine Sterling (USA) Bikeman.com0:01:25 
8Rebecca Wellons (USA) Pedro's  
9Christina Tamilio (USA) LadiesFirst Racing0:01:27 
10Ann D'Ambruoso (USA) LadiesFirst Racing0:02:06 
11Cassandra Maximenko (USA) silverbull centralwheel0:02:16 
12Laura Ralston (GBr) MIT0:02:32 
13Allison Snooks (USA) LadiesFirst Racing0:03:00 
14Jena Greaser (USA) Colavita Racing0:04:08 
15Jessica Hayes Conroy (USA) North American Velo0:04:59 
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