The competition in the elite women’s race at Cyntergy Hurtland in Tulsa, Oklahoma, featured four riders in the Top 20 of the ProCX standings, and all four riders have been on the podium this year.
Caroline Mani (Van Dessel/Atom Composites) jumped to the early lead, which she never relented. Sunny Gilbert (Van Dessel Factory Team) of Ballwin, Missouri, had the French woman in her sights in the early laps, but could not gain any time. With one lap to go, she had second place clinched.
“It was a good challenge, because Sunny is strong. She had a really good race last weekend, so I knew I had to be stronger,” said Mani, who is fourth overall in Elite Women’s ProCX standings. She races for France, so did not compete in the Pan Am Championships last weekend, and only raced Derby City Cup. She finished fourth in that C2 race. “I went off right away to try get a gap, and maintain it, and be careful. I crashed really hard in the pre-ride. So I know you can go down really quickly.”
With two wins at HPCX in New Jersey, Austin, Texas-native Samantha Runnels (Squid Bikes) battled with Gilbert for the early laps. She would finish third, 55 seconds back. Amanda Nauman (SDG-Muscle Monster) of Laguna Hills, Calif., would follow in fourth.
“I am really happy I came. The course is awesome. I think you did an amzing job,” added Mani, who captured her first win of the ProCX season in Tulsa. “Pushing the prize money is a big deal. You know, us racers we complain about prize money. So I wanted to support that because it’s a C2 and a pretty big deal.”
Mani has finished in the Top 10 in all of her 11 other races in the ProCX calendar. It was the second podium of the ProCX season for Gilbert, who won the C2 race at Jingle Cross in Iowa in September. She has six Top 10s, including eighth place at Derby City Cup last weekend.
Racing in Indianapolis, Ind. will return to the Indy Cycloplex for the 2017 Major Taylor ‘Cross Cup. In addition to ProCX points for Elite Women and Men, there will be competitions for Junior 17-18 Men. It is also a stop for the Ohio Valley Cyclocross (OVCX) Series event.
And on the West Coast, the weekend of cyclocross in the Los Angeles area has a new name and a new home. CX MoVal (Moreno Valley) will be held at March Field Park, neighboring March Air Reserve Base. The event is co-hosted by the City of Moreno Valley Recreation and Parks and SoCalCross. Categories will feature ProXC points for U23 Men as well as Junior 17-18 Men, Elite Women and Elite Men.
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