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Smith tops Bruno Roy in sprint finish

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Laura Van Gilder takes the North American Cyclocross Trophy title.

Laura Van Gilder takes the North American Cyclocross Trophy title. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Sally Annis (Cyclocrossresults.com) streaks down the descent

Sally Annis (Cyclocrossresults.com) streaks down the descent (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Linea Koons (Embrocation) rides some roots

Linea Koons (Embrocation) rides some roots (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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The women attack the first run-up on lap one.

The women attack the first run-up on lap one. (Image credit: Natalia Boltukhova/Pedal Power Photography)
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Laura Van Gilder (C3/Athletes Serving Athletes) leads on an off-camber.

Laura Van Gilder (C3/Athletes Serving Athletes) leads on an off-camber. (Image credit: Natalia Boltukhova/Pedal Power Photography)
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Sally Annis (crossresults.com p/b JRA Cycles) heads into the run-up.

Sally Annis (crossresults.com p/b JRA Cycles) heads into the run-up. (Image credit: Natalia Boltukhova/Pedal Power Photography)
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Laura Van Gilder (C3/Athletes Serving Athletes) leads Natasha Elliott (Garneau Club/Chaussure/Ogilvy), Andrea Smith (Ladies First Racing) and Sally Annis (crossresults.com p/b JRA Cycles) up the stairs.

Laura Van Gilder (C3/Athletes Serving Athletes) leads Natasha Elliott (Garneau Club/Chaussure/Ogilvy), Andrea Smith (Ladies First Racing) and Sally Annis (crossresults.com p/b JRA Cycles) up the stairs. (Image credit: Natalia Boltukhova/Pedal Power Photography)
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Sally Annis (crossresults.com p/b JRA Cycles) dives into a corner.

Sally Annis (crossresults.com p/b JRA Cycles) dives into a corner. (Image credit: Natalia Boltukhova/Pedal Power Photography)
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Natasha Elliott (Garneau Club/Chaussure/Ogilvy) focuses on the business at hand.

Natasha Elliott (Garneau Club/Chaussure/Ogilvy) focuses on the business at hand. (Image credit: Natalia Boltukhova/Pedal Power Photography)
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Natasha Elliott (Garneau Club/Chaussure/Ogilvy) runs the stairs.

Natasha Elliott (Garneau Club/Chaussure/Ogilvy) runs the stairs. (Image credit: Natalia Boltukhova/Pedal Power Photography)
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Elliott (Garneau Club/Chaussure/Ogilvy) and Arley Kemmerer (C3/Athletes Serving Athletes) through the hurdles.

Elliott (Garneau Club/Chaussure/Ogilvy) and Arley Kemmerer (C3/Athletes Serving Athletes) through the hurdles. (Image credit: Natalia Boltukhova/Pedal Power Photography)
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Andrea Smith (Ladies First Racing) celebrates with her coach, Larry Felton, following an impressive victory.

Andrea Smith (Ladies First Racing) celebrates with her coach, Larry Felton, following an impressive victory. (Image credit: Natalia Boltukhova/Pedal Power Photography)
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Mo Bruno-Roy (Bob’s Red Mill p/b Seven Cycles) and Andrea Smith (Ladies First Racing) took advantage of a mistake to take the top two steps of the podium.

Mo Bruno-Roy (Bob’s Red Mill p/b Seven Cycles) and Andrea Smith (Ladies First Racing) took advantage of a mistake to take the top two steps of the podium. (Image credit: Natalia Boltukhova/Pedal Power Photography)
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Mo Bruno-Roy (Bob’s Red Mill p/b Seven Cycles) hugs her race support, Matt Roy after her great second place.

Mo Bruno-Roy (Bob’s Red Mill p/b Seven Cycles) hugs her race support, Matt Roy after her great second place. (Image credit: Natalia Boltukhova/Pedal Power Photography)
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Andrea Smith (Ladies First Racing) found the small patch of daylight beside Bruno-Roy (Bob’s Red Mill p/b Seve Cycles) for the win.

Andrea Smith (Ladies First Racing) found the small patch of daylight beside Bruno-Roy (Bob’s Red Mill p/b Seve Cycles) for the win. (Image credit: Natalia Boltukhova/Pedal Power Photography)
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The women (L to R) Mo Bruno-Roy, Andrea Smith and Arley Kemmerer.

The women (L to R) Mo Bruno-Roy, Andrea Smith and Arley Kemmerer. (Image credit: Natalia Boltukhova/Pedal Power Photography)
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Andrea Smith (Ladies First Racing) took over series leadership with today’s victory.

Andrea Smith (Ladies First Racing) took over series leadership with today’s victory. (Image credit: Natalia Boltukhova/Pedal Power Photography)
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Women's winner Laura Van Gilder (C3/Athletes Serving Athletes) gets fit for the belt by Natasha Elliott (Garneau Club/Chaussure/Ogilvy).

Women's winner Laura Van Gilder (C3/Athletes Serving Athletes) gets fit for the belt by Natasha Elliott (Garneau Club/Chaussure/Ogilvy). (Image credit: Natalia Boltukhova/Pedal Power Photography)
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First and third on the series, Laura Van Gilder and Natasha Elliott.

First and third on the series, Laura Van Gilder and Natasha Elliott. (Image credit: Natalia Boltukhova/Pedal Power Photography)
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Laura Van Gilder, 2010 NACT champion.

Laura Van Gilder, 2010 NACT champion. (Image credit: Natalia Boltukhova/Pedal Power Photography)
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Laura Van Gilder (C3 Athletes Serving Athletes) leads out the elite women

Laura Van Gilder (C3 Athletes Serving Athletes) leads out the elite women (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Natasha Elliot (Garneau Club Chauschure) appeared to be on her game today

Natasha Elliot (Garneau Club Chauschure) appeared to be on her game today (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Andrea Smith (Ladies First Racing) takes a pull

Andrea Smith (Ladies First Racing) takes a pull (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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A Wheelhouse racer eyes a steep descent

A Wheelhouse racer eyes a steep descent (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Natasha Elliot (Garneau Club Chauschure) leads up a long painful climb

Natasha Elliot (Garneau Club Chauschure) leads up a long painful climb (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Laura Van Gilder (C3 Athletes Serving Athletes) riding on top of the ridge

Laura Van Gilder (C3 Athletes Serving Athletes) riding on top of the ridge (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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The lead women take to the barriers

The lead women take to the barriers (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Linea Koons (Embrocation) runs the barriers

Linea Koons (Embrocation) runs the barriers (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Crystal Anthony (Ladies First Racing) lifts her bike high over the barriers

Crystal Anthony (Ladies First Racing) lifts her bike high over the barriers (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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The leaders sit up a bit on the dirt track and regroup

The leaders sit up a bit on the dirt track and regroup (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Sallis Annis is the Verge Series leader

Sallis Annis is the Verge Series leader (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Sally Annis (Crossresults.com) leads Mo Bruno-Roy through one of the countless turns

Sally Annis (Crossresults.com) leads Mo Bruno-Roy through one of the countless turns (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Laura Van Gilder (C3 Athletes Serving Athletes) leads near the barriers mid-race

Laura Van Gilder (C3 Athletes Serving Athletes) leads near the barriers mid-race (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Andrea Smith (Ladies First Racing) chose to go with full leg warmers to battle the cold

Andrea Smith (Ladies First Racing) chose to go with full leg warmers to battle the cold (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Arley Kemmerer (C3 Athletes Serving Athletes) is having a brilliant weekend

Arley Kemmerer (C3 Athletes Serving Athletes) is having a brilliant weekend (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Laura Van Gilder (C3 Athletes Serving Athletes) had a missed bike exchange which probably cost her the race today

Laura Van Gilder (C3 Athletes Serving Athletes) had a missed bike exchange which probably cost her the race today (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Mud formed as the frozen ground thawed for the women's race

Mud formed as the frozen ground thawed for the women's race (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Mo Bruno-Roy (Bob's Red Mill-Seven) at the starting line

Mo Bruno-Roy (Bob's Red Mill-Seven) at the starting line (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Andrea Smith (Ladies First Racing) on the front row

Andrea Smith (Ladies First Racing) on the front row (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Chaos at the first trip up the new steps

Chaos at the first trip up the new steps (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Sally Annis (Cyclocrossresults.com) leads Bruno-Roy and Smith up the steepest climb

Sally Annis (Cyclocrossresults.com) leads Bruno-Roy and Smith up the steepest climb (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Mo Bruno-Roy (Bob's Red Mill-Seven) would prefer that her bike was rolling through some serious mud

Mo Bruno-Roy (Bob's Red Mill-Seven) would prefer that her bike was rolling through some serious mud (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Christina Tamillo (Ladies First Racing) hammers up a climb out of the saddle

Christina Tamillo (Ladies First Racing) hammers up a climb out of the saddle (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Rebecca Wellons (Pedros) on the climb

Rebecca Wellons (Pedros) on the climb (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Jena Greaser (Colavita) stays seated on the climb

Jena Greaser (Colavita) stays seated on the climb (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Natasha Elliot (Garneau Club Chauschure) enters the singletrack

Natasha Elliot (Garneau Club Chauschure) enters the singletrack (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Arley Kemmerer (C3 Athletes Serving Athletes) enters the woods

Arley Kemmerer (C3 Athletes Serving Athletes) enters the woods (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Carolyn Popovic (PAValleys.com) on a loose climb

Carolyn Popovic (PAValleys.com) on a loose climb (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Rebecca Wellons (Pedros) chases the leaders

Rebecca Wellons (Pedros) chases the leaders (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Andrea Smith and Maureen Bruno Roy battle it out in a sprint finish.

Andrea Smith and Maureen Bruno Roy battle it out in a sprint finish. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)

After riding nearly the entire race in a group of six riders, Andrea Smith (Ladies First Racing) took the win at Sterling in a sprint finish against Mo Bruno-Roy (Bob's Red Mill-Seven). The finish was so close that the officials had to replay the tape to determine who had crossed the line first. Arley Kemmerer (C-3 Athletes Serving Athletes) rounded out the podium with her third place finish. Laura Van Gilder (C-3 Athletes Serving Athletes) earned enough points with her fifth place finish to nail down the NACT series championship.

Today's conditions were slightly warmer than Saturday's races and as a result, some frozen ground thawed and became quite slippery. Course changes overnight were dramatic as riders were faced with a myriad of zig zags that changed the complexion of the racing significantly. Gone was the steep run-up, but riders now had to navigate some uphill and downhill singletrack through the woods.

"Today the twists and turns sort of slowed things down and let the group keep coming back together," said Bruno-Roy. "It also made for a lot more chances to make mistakes".

Laura Van Gilder (C-3 Athletes Serving Athletes) got the hole shot and for a while it appeared that there would be a repeat of Saturday's race. However a group formed behind her that included Sally Annis (Crossresults.com), Natasha Elliot (Garneau Club Chaussures), Bruno-Roy, Smith, and Kemmerer. At various times Van Gilder, Annis, Elliot, and Smith could be seen leading the race.

With one and a half laps to go, disaster struck Van Gilder. "I cracked my front rim and was starting to have a flat tire. When I went into the pits there was a debacle (missed transfer) - then I went down on a pretty crucial point on the descent," said Van Gilder. "I had really burned a lot of matches to get back to the front group so then it was just riding it in and trying to hold onto fifth place."

With one lap to go, Bruno Roy took advantage of some chaos behind her and attacked the group. It initially appeared that she may have created a sufficient gap to get the win, but Smith made contact with a massive effort. Knowing that Smith was likely to have a stronger sprint, Bruno-Roy's hand was forced with a half lap to go.

"I took a chance on the last technical section. If I got a gap it would have been good because the finishing sprint is kind of long," said Bruno-Roy. Smith was able to keep it close but was brought right to the line by Bruno-Roy's surprising final kick. Smith seemed unsure whether to sprint or not.

"To be honest, I was a bit confused as to whether we had one to go or this was it. So when I saw the (lap) cards with double zeros on them, I decided I'd better get up and sprint," said Smith. "I've never been in a race where there were six people together until the very last lap. Sally was riding really strong and Natasha was riding strong - it was anybody's race really."

The Verge series finale will take place at the NBX G.P of Cross in Warwick, Rhode Island on December 4-5. Many of the top racers, including Van Gilder, Annis, and Bruno-Roy, will now head to the USGP in Portland, Oregon, which is taking place on the same weekend.

Full Results
1Andrea Smith (USA) LadiesFirst Racing0:40:36
2Maureen Bruno Roy (USA) Bob's Red Mill p/b Seven Cycles
3Arley Kemmerer (USA) C3 - Athletes Serving Athletes0:00:07
4Natasha Elliott (Can) Garneau Club Chaussure-Ogilvy0:00:11
5Laura Van Gilder (USA) C3 - Athletes Serving Athletes0:00:21
6Sally Annis (USA) crossresults.com p/b JRA Cycles0:00:40
7Carolyn Popovic (USA) PAValleys.com0:00:48
8Linnea Koons (USA) Embrocation Cycling Journal0:00:54
9Crystal Anthony (USA) LadiesFirst Racing0:01:24
10Ann D'Ambruoso (USA) LadiesFirst Racing0:01:35
11Catherine Sterling (USA) Bikeman.com0:01:45
12Rebecca Blatt (USA) Silverbull Central Wheel0:02:13
13Rebecca Wellons (USA) Pedro's0:02:34
14Allison Snooks (USA) LadiesFirst Racing0:03:14
15Kristine Church (USA) Human Zoom-Pabst Blue Ribbon0:03:27
16Christina Tamilio (USA) LadiesFirst Racing0:03:40
17Laura Ralston (GBr) MIT
18Jena Greaser (USA) Colavita Racing0:04:52
19Arielle Filiberti (USA) Specialized D4 Women p/b Bicycle Haus0:05:58

 

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