Anthony and Bessette to defend leads in New England 'cross series

Jesse Anthony

Jesse Anthony (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/

Saturday's Chainbiter and Sunday's Cycle-Smart International are part of the second weekend of the 2007 Verge New England Cyclo-Cross Championship series.

The Chainbiter offers a diverse course that will include at least one sandpit, a leg-blasting climb, and the soul-crushing uphill paved finish stretch, said race director Jan Tanner. "It's a rhythmic course, it's a powerful course," Tanner said. "It's a very fast course with very few recovery areas. The weather forecast is pretty spectacular and the pre-registration numbers are up, so we are predicting a great race."

Sunday's course favors riders who can maintain momentum and use a deft braking touch through the upper tree section while pumping out maximum power on the lower fields. The race is the oldest UCI-sanctioned 'cross race in the US, according to race director Adam Myerson. "This is our 17th year, and we've been a UCI event since the late '90s. We're not trying to be the biggest race; we just focus on having a great course and an event that is fun for regular racers and the elites."

23 year-old Jesse Anthony (Jamis) will battle it out with NERAC's Chris Jones, who is in just his second season of cyclo-cross. Jones has racked up five third places at UCI events this fall, and is eager to take a couple steps up the podium, and maybe take the Verge jersey away from Anthony.

"I need to beat Jesse both days by at least one place to take the jersey, so that's my plan," Jones said. "It looks like it will be fast and dry, so that plays to my strengths."

Series leader Lyne Bessette ( will be coming off a difficult stretch of travel and racing, but the Canadian star will look to defend her jersey against challenges from eager New Englanders including Anna Milkowski (Velo Bella/Kona), Rebecca Wellons (Ridley), and Maureen Bruno-Roy (Independent Fabrication/Wheelworks).

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