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Van Gilder victorious in sprint finale

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Van Gilder (C3/Athletes Serving Athletes) adds another impressive win to her resume.

Van Gilder (C3/Athletes Serving Athletes) adds another impressive win to her resume. (Image credit: Natalia Boltukhova/Pedal Power Photography)
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The Women’s Podium (L to R) Elliott, Van Gilder, Annis.

The Women’s Podium (L to R) Elliott, Van Gilder, Annis. (Image credit: Natalia Boltukhova/Pedal Power Photography)
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Laura Van Gilder (C3 Athletes Serving Athletes) wins the sprint

Laura Van Gilder (C3 Athletes Serving Athletes) wins the sprint (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/ www.trailwatch.net)
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Justine Lindine (Redline/ NBX) launching an unsuccessful attack

Justine Lindine (Redline/ NBX) launching an unsuccessful attack (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/ www.trailwatch.net)
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Elliot, Annis, and Van Gilder riding the ridge on top of the course

Elliot, Annis, and Van Gilder riding the ridge on top of the course (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/ www.trailwatch.net)
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Natasha Elliot (Garnerau Club Chaussure) on the front of the race

Natasha Elliot (Garnerau Club Chaussure) on the front of the race (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/ www.trailwatch.net)
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Andrea Smith (Ladies First Racing) leading the chase group

Andrea Smith (Ladies First Racing) leading the chase group (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/ www.trailwatch.net)
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Natasha Elliot (Garnerau Club Chaussure) hammering against two other roadies

Natasha Elliot (Garnerau Club Chaussure) hammering against two other roadies (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/ www.trailwatch.net)
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Mo Bruno-Roy (Bob's Red Mill-Seven) leading up the climb after Elliot had a bobble

Mo Bruno-Roy (Bob's Red Mill-Seven) leading up the climb after Elliot had a bobble (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/ www.trailwatch.net)
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Natasha Elliot (Garnerau Club Chaussure) lead for almost the whole race

Natasha Elliot (Garnerau Club Chaussure) lead for almost the whole race (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/ www.trailwatch.net)
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Series leader Andrea Smith (Ladies First Racing) gets the hole shot

Series leader Andrea Smith (Ladies First Racing) gets the hole shot (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/ www.trailwatch.net)
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Elite Women's podium (L to R) Natasha Elliot (Garnerau Club Chaussure) 2nd, Laura Van Gilder (C3 Athletes Serving Athletes) 1st, Sally Annis (Crossresults) 3rd

Elite Women's podium (L to R) Natasha Elliot (Garnerau Club Chaussure) 2nd, Laura Van Gilder (C3 Athletes Serving Athletes) 1st, Sally Annis (Crossresults) 3rd (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/ www.trailwatch.net)
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Rapheal Gagne (Rocky Mountain Factory Team) taking the victory at Green Mountain Cyclocross Weekend

Rapheal Gagne (Rocky Mountain Factory Team) taking the victory at Green Mountain Cyclocross Weekend (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/ www.trailwatch.net)
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Jessica Hayes-Conroy (North Atlantic Velo) sprinting up the the run-up

Jessica Hayes-Conroy (North Atlantic Velo) sprinting up the the run-up (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/ www.trailwatch.net)
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Elliot in action

Elliot in action (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/ www.trailwatch.net)
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Natasha Elliot (Garnerau Club Chaussure)

Natasha Elliot (Garnerau Club Chaussure) (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/ www.trailwatch.net)
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Laura Van Gilder (C3 Athletes Serving Athletes) being interviewed by Richard Fries

Laura Van Gilder (C3 Athletes Serving Athletes) being interviewed by Richard Fries (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/ www.trailwatch.net)
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Arley Kemmerer (C3 Athletes Serving Athletes) edging out Mo Bruno-Roy for fourth place

Arley Kemmerer (C3 Athletes Serving Athletes) edging out Mo Bruno-Roy for fourth place (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/ www.trailwatch.net)
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Laura Van Gilder (C3 Athletes Serving Athletes) rarely loses a field sprint

Laura Van Gilder (C3 Athletes Serving Athletes) rarely loses a field sprint (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/ www.trailwatch.net)
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Arley Kemmerer (C3 Athletes Serving Athletes) riding another impressive race

Arley Kemmerer (C3 Athletes Serving Athletes) riding another impressive race (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/ www.trailwatch.net)
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Natasha Elliot (Garnerau Club Chaussure) felt she had an advantage in some of the technical sections

Natasha Elliot (Garnerau Club Chaussure) felt she had an advantage in some of the technical sections (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/ www.trailwatch.net)
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Natasha Elliot (Garnerau Club Chaussure) leading over the barriers

Natasha Elliot (Garnerau Club Chaussure) leading over the barriers (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/ www.trailwatch.net)
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The setting sun was blinding for the riders at times

The setting sun was blinding for the riders at times (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/ www.trailwatch.net)
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Carolyn Popovic (PAValleys.com) struggling to get her bike to the top of the climb

Carolyn Popovic (PAValleys.com) struggling to get her bike to the top of the climb (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/ www.trailwatch.net)
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Mo Bruno-Roy (Bob's Red Mill-Seven) got dropped from the lead group and settled in to a battle for fourth

Mo Bruno-Roy (Bob's Red Mill-Seven) got dropped from the lead group and settled in to a battle for fourth (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/ www.trailwatch.net)
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Laura Van Gilder (C3 Athletes Serving Athletes) wasted no time making contact with the leaders

Laura Van Gilder (C3 Athletes Serving Athletes) wasted no time making contact with the leaders (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/ www.trailwatch.net)
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Carolyn Popovic (PAValleys.com) re-mounting her machine after the barriers

Carolyn Popovic (PAValleys.com) re-mounting her machine after the barriers (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/ www.trailwatch.net)
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Natasha Elliot (Garnerau Club Chaussure)

Natasha Elliot (Garnerau Club Chaussure) (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/ www.trailwatch.net)
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Sally Annis (Crossresults.com)

Sally Annis (Crossresults.com) (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/ www.trailwatch.net)
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Mo Bruno-Roy (Bob's Red Mill-Seven) leading on the first lap

Mo Bruno-Roy (Bob's Red Mill-Seven) leading on the first lap (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/ www.trailwatch.net)
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Sally Annis (Crossresults.com) chasing Bruno-Roy on the first run-up

Sally Annis (Crossresults.com) chasing Bruno-Roy on the first run-up (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/ www.trailwatch.net)
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Laura Van Gilder (C3 Athletes Serving Athletes) did not get off to a great start today

Laura Van Gilder (C3 Athletes Serving Athletes) did not get off to a great start today (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/ www.trailwatch.net)
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Elite women on a steep run-up

Elite women on a steep run-up (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/ www.trailwatch.net)
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Natasha Elliot (Garnerau Club Chaussure) rounding a downhill 180 turn

Natasha Elliot (Garnerau Club Chaussure) rounding a downhill 180 turn (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/ www.trailwatch.net)
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Sally Annis (Crossresults) running at the top of the course

Sally Annis (Crossresults) running at the top of the course (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/ www.trailwatch.net)
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Natasha Elliot (Garnerau Club Chaussure) leading the race at the steep run-up

Natasha Elliot (Garnerau Club Chaussure) leading the race at the steep run-up (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/ www.trailwatch.net)
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Rebecca Wellons (Pedros) riding some tight turns

Rebecca Wellons (Pedros) riding some tight turns (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/ www.trailwatch.net)
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Carolyn Popovic (PAValleys.com) riding to a top ten finish today

Carolyn Popovic (PAValleys.com) riding to a top ten finish today (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/ www.trailwatch.net)
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Arley Kemmerer (C3 Athletes Serving Athletes) was locked in a battle with Bruno-Royfor fourth place

Arley Kemmerer (C3 Athletes Serving Athletes) was locked in a battle with Bruno-Royfor fourth place (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/ www.trailwatch.net)
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Maureen Bruno-Roy (Bob’s Red Mill p/b Seven Cycles) leads the group up the run-up.

Maureen Bruno-Roy (Bob’s Red Mill p/b Seven Cycles) leads the group up the run-up. (Image credit: Natalia Boltukhova/Pedal Power Photography)
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Maureen Bruno-Roy (Bob’s Red Mill p/b Seven Cycles) had to do most of the work while Arley Kemmerer (C3/Athletes Serving Athletes) had a teammate up the road.

Maureen Bruno-Roy (Bob’s Red Mill p/b Seven Cycles) had to do most of the work while Arley Kemmerer (C3/Athletes Serving Athletes) had a teammate up the road. (Image credit: Natalia Boltukhova/Pedal Power Photography)
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Spectators watch the racers on the far side of the course.

Spectators watch the racers on the far side of the course. (Image credit: Natalia Boltukhova/Pedal Power Photography)
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Carolyn Popovic (PAValleys.com) pushes on an off-camber.

Carolyn Popovic (PAValleys.com) pushes on an off-camber. (Image credit: Natalia Boltukhova/Pedal Power Photography)
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The leading trio running after the barriers.

The leading trio running after the barriers. (Image credit: Natalia Boltukhova/Pedal Power Photography)
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Natasha Elliott (Garneau Club/Chaussure/Ogilvy) led Laura Van Gilder (C3/Athletes Serving Athletes) for much of the day.

Natasha Elliott (Garneau Club/Chaussure/Ogilvy) led Laura Van Gilder (C3/Athletes Serving Athletes) for much of the day. (Image credit: Natalia Boltukhova/Pedal Power Photography)
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Maureen Bruno-Roy (Bob’s Red Mill p/b Seven Cycles) pushed hard to close the gap.

Maureen Bruno-Roy (Bob’s Red Mill p/b Seven Cycles) pushed hard to close the gap. (Image credit: Natalia Boltukhova/Pedal Power Photography)
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Natasha Elliott (Garneau Club/Chaussure/Ogilvy) leads Sally Annis (crossresults.com p/b JRA Cycles).

Natasha Elliott (Garneau Club/Chaussure/Ogilvy) leads Sally Annis (crossresults.com p/b JRA Cycles). (Image credit: Natalia Boltukhova/Pedal Power Photography)
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The Elite Women attack the run-up.

The Elite Women attack the run-up. (Image credit: Natalia Boltukhova/Pedal Power Photography)

On a typical New England brisk and windy late November day, Laura Van Gilder (C3 Athletes Serving Athletes) proved again that none of her rivals have an answer for her impressive sprint finish.

Natasha Elliot (Garneau Club Chaussure) and Sally Annis (Cyclocrossresults.com) both made impressive moves but could not drop Van Gilder on the fairly flat course. Elliot took second place in the sprint, while the ever-improving Annis finished third.

The race was the seventh round of the New England Verge Series and the first half of the North American Trophy Cup Finals (NACT). The Verge series leader heading into the race was Andrea Smith (Ladies First Racing) but she would relinquish her leaders jersey at day’s end. She finished sixth nearly a minute off the fast pace set by the Van Gilder group.

Course conditions at race time were fast and dry but a strong wind out of the west made it a day for drafting when possible. Riders were treated to another interesting course designed by master builder Tom Stevens. It included many twists and turns, a trip around the Chocksett Middle School running track, a steep run-up with loose footing, and even a climb over an equestrian jump. But perhaps the course’s main feature was long sections in the wind on an open field that forced riders in stay in groups while trying to conserve precious energy.

Determined to defend her leader’s jersey, Andrea Smith got the hole shot but Mo Bruno-Roy quickly moved to the front and lead into the first run-up. Not known for power riding into the wind, Bruno-Roy pushed the pace beyond what most of the women could follow. A lead group that included Van Gilder, Elliot, Annis, Smith, and Arley Kemmerer (C3 Athletes Serving Athletes) broke away from the field within the first lap. For a while it appeared that the C3 team would have the advantage of numbers but that advantage never really developed.

Natasha Elliot moved to the front and stayed there for the vast majority of the race. “I led because I felt better in some of the technical sections and wanted to lead there. I was getting a lot of gaps but making a lot of mistakes as well” explained Elliot. “I thought that maybe if I could get a big enough gap or if someone crashed I could get it done. I wanted to be with one rider because pulling around two isn’t the greatest. I gave it a shot.”

The pace set by Elliot eventually shed Bruno-Roy, Smith, and Kemmerer who waged a vicious battle for fourth place. Kemmerer and Bruno-Roy finally got away from Smith after she made a small mistake. Bruno-Roy seemed better on some of the technical sections but Kemmerer seemed powerful on the flats. Bruno-Roy gave a final sprint her best shot but Kemmerer’s power proved too much.

Laura Van Gilder entered today’s race ranked third in the world in UCI points. “Being ranked first for two weeks and then third has been a real treat” remarked a smiling Van Gilder. “It was not something I planned to achieve”. She has raced her bike virtually every weekend because she claims she is having so much fun.

When asked about today’s race tactics, Van Gilder said: “I felt confident but it was windy out there. I felt that it was a course where you could really cook yourself on the front. Unfortunately there were a lot of bobbles and crashes that I was caught in right from the start…I just wanted to make sure that I had a clean last lap and if I had a chance I would attack”.

Knowing of Van Gider’s sprinting prowess, both Elliot and Annis realized that they needed to try a move on the last lap. Annis was the first to go but Van Gilder responded in a heartbeat, relegating Elliot to third wheel. When the three came onto the final cinder track Van Gilder simply powered away from her rivals to take the win.

“I was hoping for a small gap but with Laura you need a quarter mile. I didn’t quite get that today so she passed me like I was standing still” lamented Annis. “Natasha rode really strong today. I was just trying to hang on. She really deserved winning that “Most Aggressive Rider” award.

The Elite Women will return to Sterling for round eight of the Verge Series on Sunday. Stay tuned to Cyclingnews.com for full results and race coverage.
 

Full Results
1Laura Van Gilder (USA) C3 - Athletes Serving Athletes0:40:31
2Natasha Elliott (Can) Garneau Club Chaussure-Ogilvy
3Sally Annis (USA) crossresults.com p/b JRA Cycles
4Arley Kemmerer (USA) C3 - Athletes Serving Athletes0:00:20
5Maureen Bruno Roy (USA) Bob's Red Mill p/b Seven Cycles
6Andrea Smith (USA) LadiesFirst Racing0:00:55
7Ann D'Ambruoso (USA) LadiesFirst Racing0:00:59
8Linnea Koons (USA) Embrocation Cycling Journal0:01:05
9Crystal Anthony (USA) LadiesFirst Racing0:01:11
10Carolyn Popovic (USA) PAValleys.com
11Rebecca Blatt (USA) Silverbull Central Wheel
12Christina Tamilio (USA) LadiesFirst Racing0:01:53
13Arielle Filiberti (USA) Specialized D4 Women p/b Bicycle Haus0:02:36
14Rebecca Wellons (USA) Pedro's0:02:53
15Marilyn Ruseckas (USA) Seven Cycles/NoTubes/FitWerx
16Allison Snooks (USA) LadiesFirst Racing
17Kristine Church (USA) Human Zoom-Pabst Blue Ribbon0:04:03
18Jena Greaser (USA) Colavita Racing0:04:28
19Jessica Hayes Conroy (USA) North American Velo0:06:15

 

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