McDonald shines in muddy Providence 'cross

The second round of the Shimano NEPCX Series concluded with the UCI C2 events at the Providence Cyclo-cross Festival at Roger Williams Park in Providence, Rhode Island. In the UCI Men’s event, it was U23 US National Champion Zach McDonald (Rapha-Focus) who took one of the biggest wins of his career over 2nd place Ben Berden (Raleigh/Clement) and Tim Johnson (Cannondale p/b CyclocrossWorld).

Just when it looked as though weather would not play a role in the weekend’s races, the skies opened up just minutes before the UCI men’s and women’s races forcing riders to quickly make tire tread and pressure changes.

Ian Field (Hargroves Cycles – Specialized) was the first rider off the pavement with Johnson, McDonald, Jeremy Powers (Rapha-Focus), Ryan Trebon (Cannondale p/b CyclocrossWorld), Dylan McNicholas (CyclocrossWorld) and Berden in tow.

It would be Field who would end up riding the greasy course to near perfection early on, with McDonald being the only rider able to keep pace. The duo were able to separate themselves from the rest of the field early and while they traded the lead, Johnson and Powers stayed just within reach hovering five to ten seconds behind. Further back, Trebon, Berden, McNicholas, and Tristan Schouten (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) tried to limit their losses early.

At the start of the third lap, Ryan Trebon suffered the ultimate loss when he went down hard in a crash that would break a shifter and cost him enough time for him to decide to pack his bags early and look to the next race in Fort Collins, CO.

On lap four, the halfway point of the race, McDonald and Field were still together at the front and it looked like Powers and Johnson would be able to make contact, but on the icy, off-camber section opposite the finish stretch, Powers pushed the pace a little too hard and ended up tangled in the Clif Bar fencing on the side of the course. Johnson capitalized on his mistake and moved into 3rd position. Behind Johnson, Berden was riding away from the rest of the chasers and moved to within 10 seconds of Powers, who was now in 4th spot.

“I saw I was within reach of Field and McDonald,” said Powers of his crash, “so I tried to push it a little on the off-camber. An extra mile per hour ended up being too much in that mud and next thing I knew I was in the fencing.”

McDonald’s superior bike handling and lack of mistakes on the day’s treacherous course eventually got the best of Field and by lap five he opened a lead of 10 seconds and this gap over 2nd place would only increase as the race wore on. Johnson, meanwhile, was slowly eating away at the gap to Field while Berden was also moving forward eventually passing Powers for 4th place on the sixth of eight laps.

On the seventh lap, McDonald grew his lead all the way to thirty seconds. Field, still riding in 2nd place at the time went down on a corner leading into the fly-over, and this allowed Johnson to make contact with the British Champion. Berden, meanwhile, loomed in the near distance, just ten seconds behind the pair of Field and Johnson.

A massive effort by Johnson on the 7th lap cut McDonald’s lead down to twelve seconds and distanced him from Field by six seconds and Berden by twelve, but by the halfway point of the last lap McDonald extended his lead back up to twenty seconds and Berden and Field connected with Johnson.

Johnson, Berden, and Field fought hard for 2nd position over the course of the last lap with Berden and Johnson bumping shoulders fighting to lead the way into the final wooded section of the course.

“It was totally clean racing,” said Johnson of his shoulder bumping with Berden on the last lap. “It made a big difference to get there first and we were both just trying to get there first.”

McDonald ended up crossing the finish line first after a flawless ride in the extremely slippery conditions. Berden was able to get around Johnson and leading onto the final 100 meters of paved finish stretch would prove enough to secure second place, 5 seconds behind McDonald. Johnson crossed the line eleven seconds behind Berden in 3rd place.

“When it started to rain,” said McDonald, “I changed my warm-up. Instead of warming up on the trainer I went and did a recon lap and a hot lap on the course just to see how the lines were changing. I think it helped me a lot. I don’t think anyone else was out there.”


Swipe to scroll horizontally
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Zach Mcdonald (USA) Rapha-Focus1:03:51
2Ben Berden (Bel) Raleigh-Clement0:00:05
3Timothy Johnson (USA) Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld0:00:16
4Ian Field (GBr) Hargroves Cycles-Specialized0:01:17
5Jeremy Powers (USA) Rapha-Focus0:01:39
6Yannick Eckmann (Ger) Cal Giant Berry Farms/Specialized0:01:49
7James Driscoll (USA) Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld0:01:53
8Tristan Schouten (USA) Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies0:02:28
9Jake Wells (USA) No Tubes Elite Cross Team0:03:00
10Joachim Parbo (Den) Challenge Tires0:03:13
11Jeremy Durrin (USA) JAM Fund / NCC0:03:29
12Adam Myerson (USA) Team SmartStop/Mountain Khakis0:03:43
13Mike Garrigan (Can) Blacksmithcycle/Stage-RaceRow 12 - Cell 2
14Cody Kaiser (USA) Cal Giant Berry Farms/SpecializedRow 13 - Cell 2
15Anthony Clark (USA) JAM Fund / NCCRow 14 - Cell 2
16Dylan McNicholas (USA) cyclocrossworld.com0:04:14
17Luke Keough (USA) www.keoughcyclocross.com0:04:20
18Justin Lindine (USA) BikeReg0:04:34
19Craig Richey (Can) SponsorConnected.com0:04:59
20Nicholas Keough (USA) www.keoughcyclocross.com0:05:00
21Bradley White (USA) Moms in Tow Cyclocross0:05:06
22Joël Desgreniers (Can) Ride with Rendall0:05:18
23Christopher Jones (USA) Rapha-FocusRow 22 - Cell 2
24Dan Timmerman (USA) Richard Sachs - RGM Watches - Radix0:05:53
25Daniel Chabanov (USA) Richard Sachs - RGM Watches - Radix0:06:02
26Derrick St John (Can) Stevens Racing p/b the Cyclery0:06:09
27Adam St. Germain (USA) NBX Bikes/Quadfire Racing/Narragans0:06:26
28Allen Krughoff (USA) Raleigh-Clement0:06:38
29Michael Broderick (USA) Team Kenda-Seven-NoTubes0:06:57
30Jérémy Martin (Can) Rocky Mountain Factory Team0:07:09
-1LapJesse Keough (USA) www.keoughcyclocross.comRow 30 - Cell 2
-1LapMaksym Shepitko (Ukr) Hudson Furniture Racing TeamRow 31 - Cell 2
-1LapSynjen Marrocco (USA) CyclocrossWorld.comRow 32 - Cell 2
-2lapsEvan Huff (USA) / Joe's GarageRow 33 - Cell 2
-2lapsMark McCormack (USA) Clif Bar/PactimoRow 34 - Cell 2
-2lapsMike De Bie (Bel)Row 35 - Cell 2
-2lapsPatrick Bradley (USA) Philadelphia Cyclocross SchoolRow 36 - Cell 2
-2lapsThomas Sampson (USA) JAM Fund / NCCRow 37 - Cell 2
-2lapsMichael Wissell (USA) B2C2 p/b BolocoRow 38 - Cell 2
-2lapsGraham Garber (USA) Central WheelRow 39 - Cell 2
-2lapsMathew Green (USA) Bicycle ExpressRow 40 - Cell 2
-2lapsEvan Murphy (USA) NYC VeloRow 41 - Cell 2
-3lapsCharles Schubert (USA) Bikes Not Bombs / Circle A CyclesRow 42 - Cell 2
-3lapsRobert Marion (USA) American Classic Pro Cyclocross TeamRow 43 - Cell 2
-3lapsGeoffrey Bouchard (USA) NBX Bikes/Narragansett Beer p/b ApexRow 44 - Cell 2
-3lapsIan Schon (USA) B2C2 p/b BolocoRow 45 - Cell 2
-3lapsBrian Hughes (USA) Fast Splits MultisportRow 46 - Cell 2
-3lapsDonny Green (USA) Cycle-SmartRow 47 - Cell 2
-3lapsJoshua Thornton (USA) St. Pete Bike and FitnessRow 48 - Cell 2
-3lapsJoshua Friedman (USA) The Devil's Gear Bike ShopRow 49 - Cell 2
-3lapsAdam Sullivan (USA) Embrocation Cycling JournalRow 50 - Cell 2
-3lapsChase Dickens (USA) American Classic Pro Cyclocross TeamRow 51 - Cell 2
-3lapsCary Fridrich (USA) Mad Alchemy/Verge Rider CooperativeRow 52 - Cell 2
-4lapsHunter Pronovost (USA) Cheshire Cycle Racing - CyclistsAreNotRockstars.comRow 53 - Cell 2
-4lapsAndrew Lysaght (USA) B2C2 p/b BolocoRow 54 - Cell 2
-4lapsJohn Hanson (USA) NBX/Narragansett Beer/Apex Tech. Cycling TeamRow 55 - Cell 2
-4lapsJohn Burns (USA) Burns RacingRow 56 - Cell 2
-4lapsTimothy Durrin (USA) NYCrossRow 57 - Cell 2
-4lapsNoah Tautfest (USA) Bicycle Express/Kona BikesRow 58 - Cell 2
-4lapsAndrew Logiudice (USA) Skylands/Sussex BikeRow 59 - Cell 2
-5lapsJoseph O'Brien-Applegate (USA) Bicycle RootsRow 60 - Cell 2

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