Caroline Mani (Alpha Groove Silverthorne) started her 2022 season in the same fashion as last year with a sweep of two days of racing at Virginia’s Blue Ridge GO Cross p/b Deschutes Brewery in Roanoke. On the men’s side, Vincent Baestaens (Spits CX Team) captured both days at GO Cross, returning to dominance like he did in early US races from a year ago.
GO Cross hosted the opening C1 event on the international cyclo-cross calendar and a C2 race to launch the 2022 USA Cycling Pro Cyclo-cross calendar (Pro CX), the points-based series covering 18 races across nine states. GO Cross was also the opening weekend for the eight-race USCX Cyclo-cross Series, which offers points and a new prize purse for elite fields.
While French rider Mani took the early USCX lead by winning back-to-back races in Virginia, she was joined at the top of the standings by two US riders, Raylyn Nuss (Steve Tilford Foundation Racing) in second and Austin Killips (nice bikes) followed in third each day. Maghalie Rochette (Specialized/Feedback Sports) of Canada, who was seventh at UCI Cyclo-cross Worlds, only raced the C1 event on Saturday and finished fifth.
Top competition for Baestaens came from US elite CX national champion Eric Brunner (Blue Competition Cycles p/b Build), who tried to respond to late charges by the Belgian both days and took a pair of second places. On Saturday, Roanoke resident Kerry Werner (Kona Adventure Team) held off Michael van den Ham (Giant x Easton) for third. On Sunday, Curtis White (Steve Tilford Foundation Racing) took the final step on the podium, distancing the duo of Werner and Van den Ham.
USCX returns with $15,000 payout, 4 cities, livestreams
The USCX Cyclocross Series returns with four weekends racing this fall, and announced this month that all events will be live streamed, beginning with last weekend’s opening C1 and C2 races at Virginia’s Blue Ridge GO Cross presented by Deschutes Brewery. Broadcasts for elite women’s and men’s races will be available for subscribers with GCN+, Eurosport+, and Discovery+.
In addition to a reformatted points structure, athletes will also compete for a $15,000 prize purse, split equally between men’s and women’s elite fields at the conclusion of the season, November 5-6 at Really Rad Festival of Cyclo-cross.
GO Cross and Really Rad Festival were added this year to the lineup, as both events added C1 racing days. Returning to the series are Rochester Cyclo-cross in upstate New York on September 24-25 and Charm City Cross in Baltimore, Maryland on October 1-2.
Baestaens won five straight races to open the USCX series last year - in Rochester, Charm City, and Jingle Cross - and then travelled back to Europe leaving the door open for Werner to wrap up the overall men’s title. Gosse van der Meer of the Netherlands moved into second overall ahead of Baestaens, while Brunner was fourth.
Mani secured the women’s overall USCX title with consistent results in seven of eight races. While Rochette won five of six races, the lack of a full schedule gave the advantage to Mani. Last year’s Pan Am Champion Nuss secured third overall.
New England Cyclo-cross Series postponed
The long-standing run for the New England Cyclo-cross Series has been put on hold for 2022. Series organiser Adam Myerson called it a postponement for 2022, and will look to reinvigorate the series, which has existed to varying degrees for more than 40 years.
In 2018, the series had four established events with eight days of racing across Massachusetts, New York and Rhode Island - GP of Gloucester, Northampton, Supercross (which replaced Baystate Cyclo-cross in 2016), and the NBX Grand Prix. Event cancellations took their toll on several events and a reshuffling added Really Rad Festival of Cyclo-cross. However, when Really Rad moved to the USCX series this year only Northampton remained, which will operate on its own and be part of USA Cycling’s Pro CX calendar.
“Today, there are only four UCI races in New England, and two race weekends. With Falmouth joining the USCX Series, that leaves only Northampton. While I considered running a series based around just two races, I decided it was best to put the Series on hold instead,” said Myerson in a statement on the NECXS website. “When more New England events are ready to step back up to UCI status, and match the format and categories we’ve focused on, the Series will return.”
Coles-Lyster, Feehery top 2022 American Criterium Cup
Brandon Feehery (Project Echelon Racing) and Maggie Coles-Lyster (DNA Pro Cycling) wrapped up the overall and sprint classification titles at the 2022 American Criterium Cup. Best Buddies Racing dominated the men’s team standings and Colavita Factor Pro Cycling edged ButcherBox Cycling p/b LOOK for the women’s team title.
Individual riders and teams shared a $100,000 prize purse, split evenly between men and women, after the final races on September 4 at the Giro Della Montagna, part of the four-day Bommarito Audi Gateway Cup in St. Louis.
In the women’s six-month competition, Andrea Cyr of ButcherBox Cycling p/b LOOK took second in both the sprint and overall categories after chasing Coles-Lyster. Anna Christian of Colavita Factor took third overall and won the under-23 category. Her teammate Christina Gokey-Smith took third in the sprint competition.
On the men’s side, Feehery had an insurmountable lead going into the final event. Second place in the overall individual standings was secured by Clever Martinez (Miami Blazers) and Alfredo Rodriquez (Best Buddies Racing) took third. Best Buddies went one-two in the sprint competition with Feehery and Ethan Craine, who also won the under-23 category. Michael Hernandez (Best Buddies) had enough points through the first half of the series to finish third.
US Criterium season concludes with Bucks County Classic
The Bucks County Classic in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, founded as a men’s criterium in 2004 and added the women’s race in 2015, served as the final race on the USA Cycling calendar to close out the Pro Road Tour.
Katia Martinez (CWA Racing p/b Goldman Sachs ETFs), the reigning Mexican national road champion, soloed to victory in the Doylestown Health Pro Women’s race, with her teammate Daniely Garcia taking third. Samantha Schneider (L39ION of Los Angeles) squeezed between the duo in second place.
Racing in cool, wet conditions on a 1.4-mile course with eight turns the field was shaved by 50 per cent during the course of the 25-mile contest.
“This is our favorite race on the calendar and we came to win it,” said Dennis Ramirez, team director for CWA Racing, which fielded a full, fresh squad that focused on the single day instead of doubling up on the weekend like other teams.
In the nightcap, the 50-mile Thompson Pro Men’s Race, Scott McGill (Wildlife Generation) sprinted across the uphill finish ahead of runner-up Danny Summerhill (Best Buddies Racing) and Australian youngster Ethan Craine (Project Echelon Racing).
It all came down to three laps to go, with a L39ion of LA train consisting of Ty Magner, Alec Cohen,Tyler Williams and Eder Frayre charging at the front of the peloton. On the final uphill finish with 350 metres to go, Noah Granigan of Wildlife Generation attacked and launched teammate McGill for the win.
“Noah’s leadout was incredible,” McGill said. “All I had to do was come off his wheel.”
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