Luke Keough out-sprints Damiani for Cycle-Smart victory

Brother Nick Keough takes third

Luke Keough (Champion System-Keough Cyclocross) out-duelled his all-day race companion Italian Luca Damiani (El Gato CX) in a cagey sprint to the line to win the UCI C2 Cycle-Smart International in Northampton, Massachusetts. His older bother and teammate Nick Keough dashed to the line ahead of a chase group to take third place on the day.

“I wasn’t feeling super good today and I got sick last weekend,” Damiani said. “I did some training rides during the week and was feeling OK but I had no sprint power. I know Luke from some criterium races in the summer so I knew that he was fast. He was riding very good and there was no way to drop him during the race so the only chance I had was the sprint and he beat me.”

The Cycle-Smart International is a member of the Verge New England Championship Cyclo-cross ten-round series. The double-header marks rounds five and six of the series that was lead by Justin Lindine (Bikereg.com-Joe’s Garage) at the start of the day.

It is oldest UCI-sanctioned cyclo-cross race in the nation and celebrated its 20th anniversary. The races took place in Look Park on a traditional course that includes a steep run up, a deeply rooted upper level followed by a drop-off and several raised train track crossings on the lower portion of the circuit. Event organizer and racer Adam Myserson placed fourth on the day.

Damiani kicked off the race by taking the hole shot ahead of a long line of some of New England’s talented ‘crossers. Myerson slipped into the top three positions along with the pair of Keough brothers, Weston Schempf (C3-Athletes Serving Athletes), Justin Lindine and Jerome Townsend (Bikereg.com-Joe’s Garage).

“I was bunny hopping the barriers and attacking through the sand but Luke was always coming back to me,” Damiani said. “The course was the same as the previous years which was very fast on the bottom half, almost like racing on the pavement. You could tell that it was fast because it was pretty easy to sit in if you were in a group. But there was a nice run up that you couldn’t ride because the dirt was broken up after all the other races earlier in the day.”

Slightly further back and fighting to catch up to the leaders was a second group that included Christian Favata (Favatas Tablerock Tours and Bikes), Ryan Knapp (Bikereg.com), Jonny Sundt (El Gato CX), Dylan McNicholas (Pedros), Andrew Wulfkuhle (C3-Athletes Serving Athletes).

Keough and Damiani drove the pace reducing the lead group to just three riders with Townsend in tow. Damiani launched an attack in the closing laps the caused Townsend to fall off pace. Keough used his quick sprint to outpace Damiani at the line for the victory.

Townsend was absorbed by a chase group of six riders lead by Myerson, Nicholas Keough, Schempf, Lindine, Knapp and Favata. Keough won the small group sprint for third place ahead of Myerson in fourth.

Full Results
1Luke Keough (USA) Champion System p/b Keough Cyclocross0:59:51 
2Luca Damiani (Ita) El Gato CX0:00:01 
3Nicholas Keough (USA) Champion System p/b Keough Cyclocross0:00:35 
4Adam Myerson (USA) Cycle-Smart0:00:36 
5Weston Schempf (USA) C3-Athletes Serving Athletes0:00:38 
6Justin Lindine (USA) BikeReg.com / Joe's Garage / Scott0:00:39 
7Jerome Townsend (USA) BikeReg.com / Joe's Garage / Scott  
8Christian Favata (USA) Favata's Tablerock Tours and Bikes0:00:59 
9Ryan Knapp (USA) BikeReg.com0:01:47 
10Jonathan Sundt (USA) El Gato CX0:02:12 
11Dylan McNicholas (USA) Pedro's0:02:25 
12Andrew Wulfkuhle (USA) C3-Athletes Serving Athletes0:02:27 
13Peter Bradshaw (USA) Embrocation Cycling Journal / Mad Alchemy  
14David Wilcox (USA) Pedro's Grassroots Cycling Club0:02:41 
15Jesse Keough (USA) Champion System p/b Keough Cyclocross0:02:52 
16Wayne Bray (USA) MVP Health Care0:03:08 
17Shadd Smith (USA) Kccx-Verge Elite Cyclocross Team0:03:10 
18Evan Huff (USA) BikeReg.com0:03:13 
19Kevin Sweeney (USA) crossresults.com p/b JRA Cycles0:03:21 
20Anthony Clark (USA) nebikeconsulting.com0:03:31 
21Michael Jenks (USA) Highland Park Hermes p/b Kim's Bike Shop0:03:40 
22Colin Reuter (USA) crossresults.com p/b JRA Cycles0:03:44 
23Seamus Powell (USA) Ollett Coaching0:03:49 
24Cary Fridrich (USA) Embrocation Cycling Journal / Mad Alchemy0:03:59 
25Peter Rubijono (USA) Embrocation Cycling Journal0:04:03 
26Joshua Dillon (USA) Richard Sachs-RGM Watches-Radix0:04:26 
27Ryan Kelly (USA) crossresults.com p/b JRA Cycles0:04:32 
28Greg Whitney (USA) B2C2 p/b Boloco  
29John Burns (USA) Bikeman.com0:04:48 
30John Hanson (USA) Silver Bull/Central Wheel0:05:00 
31Cory Burns (USA) Full Moon Vista0:05:14 
32Christopher Hamlin (USA) UVM Cycling0:05:19 
33Michael Wissell (USA) B2C20:05:31 
34Matt Mainer (USA) UVM Cycling0:06:00 
35Matthew Green (USA) Spooky Bikes0:06:45 
36Adam Sullivan (USA) Embrocation Cycling Journal0:06:51 
37Stephen Pierce (USA) Cambridge Bicycle-Igleheart Frames0:06:53 
38James Harmon (USA) 503 Cycleworx/LHCC0:07:25 
39Graham Garber (USA) Silver Bull/Central Wheel0:07:45 
40Michael Bartlett (USA) Competitive Edge/Power Bar0:07:50 
41Ryan O'Hara (USA)0:08:17 
42R. Michael McKittrick (USA) Cambridge Bicycle / Igleheart Frames0:08:27 
43Jeff Gelt (USA) Silver Bull/Central Wheel0:08:29 
44Pierre Vanden Borre (USA) Embrocation Cycling Journal / Mad Alchemy0:08:36 
45Noah Tautfest (USA) Vermont Tech0:09:43 
46Joshua Lehmann (USA) Pedro's Race Team  
47Collin Huston (USA) Moots  
48Jonathan Awerbuch (USA) SweetOpenRoads.com  
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