Davide Frattini (Team Fuji) captured a solo victory at the first UCI cyclo-cross race of the US season in Trexlertown, Pennsylvania. At a distance behind, Adam Myerson (CycleSmart) won a convincing sprint for second place ahead of the young Luke Keough (Champion System) in third.
"It's great and I feel surprised because honestly, I took a nice week-long rest after the Tour of Missouri and I wasn't sure how I was going to feel physically," said Frattini who recently joined forces with Fuji Bikes for the 'cross season. "I'm glad to start the season with a win. It's the best way to say thank you when you ride for a team that supports you so well."
Warm summer's end sunshine, typical of east coast Septembers, greeted the some 50 Pro and Elite 'crossers at the Nittany Lion Cross UCI C2 event. The bunch could not have asked for a dryer, flatter or faster circuit to play on. The hard packed grounds along the outskirts of the Lehigh Valley Preferred Velodrome made for a race similar to that of a criterium on the grass.
"It was a nice course," Frattini said. "It was definitely fast with some technical sections that you had to negotiate at speed. Under dry conditions it was pretty much an advantage for riders who just finished the road season. It also had some off camber parts and Fuji made this new bike that I found worked well, reacted quickly and easy to corner."
One rider who knows the road season all too well is runner up Adam Myerson who found himself mano-a-mano with Frattini setting pace at the front of a select group of seven riders after the first lap. The leaders also included Luke Keough, the younger brother of well-known American riders Jake and Nick Keough, Tyler Wren (Colavita-Sutter Home), Ryan Dewald (Battley-Harley Davidson), Ryan Knapp (Bikereg.com) and former Canadian-national champion Mike Carrigan (La Bicicletta).
"I'm trying to change my style a little bit and be more aggressive," said Myerson. He not only races but also organises the pair of Cycle Smart International events held in North Hampton in November. "I want to race with more confidence. When Jeremy [Powers] and Tim [Johnson] and Ryan [Trebon] are back, I want to make the front group. I'm a little blocked today from racing Thursday night in Dallas, Texas and flying yesterday left me under recovered and not so fresh today. But, the form is there and I wasn't afraid to go hard today."
Myerson and Frattini took turns taking monster pulls but it was Frattini's one jump over the barriers and through a technical chicane that broke the elastic band and gained him a valuable 10-second cushion. "It was clear that Davide and I were going to be the two strongest guys," Myerson said. "Davide hit it after the barriers and I just wasn't right on his wheel. I know Davide is a little stronger than I am but I turn a little better than he does. So I thought I would get him back at the next corner, except I didn't. For the next two laps it was my responsibility to chase."
Keough smartly sat on Myerson's wheel forcing him to commit to the chase as the remaining five riders fell off pace and splintered behind Frattini's attack. Myerson spent nearly two laps chasing and emptying his tank in an effort to catch the escapee but without help from Keough, Frattini's advantage grew to a damaging 30 seconds.
"I had a bad starting spot 'cause I have no points," said Keough who is competing in his first season as an Under 23. "I worked my way up to Adam and Davide who were working it at the front. I knew Myerson was so experienced and strong so he wasn't making me do much work. I pulled through when he asked me too but we knew Davide was gone 'cause he kept gaining so much time on us."
The six chasers gradually came back together and Myerson was able to take a breather when Wren, Carrigan and Keough took their turns pulling. With Frattini well on his way to victory, a tactical game for second place started with attacks from Wren and Carrigan. Myerson, known for his fast finishes, took matters into his own hands stealing the first position through each technical turn toward the finish line – until it was time to sprint.
"I want to race hard but I'm still not going to be stupid," Myerson said. "Trying to drag five guys around was just going to bring myself down to the point where they were going attack me. So with two to go, I rode to win the race against the group. I knew I was the best sprinter in the group and if I got to the end first no one would be able to come around."
|1||Davide Frattini (Team Fuji)||0:57:57|
|2||Adam Myerson (CYCLESMART)||0:00:31|
|3||Luke Keough (Champion Systems Pro Cyclocross)||0:00:32|
|4||Mike Garrigan (La Bicicletta/ Jetpower)|
|5||Tyler Wrenn (COLAVITA SUTTER HOME)||0:00:33|
|6||Ryan Dewald (Battley HARLEY-DAVIDSON)|
|7||Ryan Knapp (BikeReg.com)||0:01:01|
|8||Weston Schempf (C3-Athletes Serving Athletes)||0:01:14|
|9||Andrew Wulfkuhle (C3-Athletes Serving Athletes)||0:01:25|
|10||Travis Livermon (Cannondale)|
|11||Jared Nieters (Haymarket Bicycles/Trakkers)||0:02:10|
|12||Stephen Cummings (Indiana Regional Medical Center)||0:02:35|
|13||Guillaume Nelessen (Van Dessel Factory Team)||0:03:01|
|14||Greg Wittwer (ALAN North America Cycling Team)||0:03:13|
|15||Bill Elliston (Van Dessel Factory Team)||0:03:23|
|16||Christopher Consorto (Allied Milk (MTB) / Allied Milk (road))|
|17||Richard Visinski (Exodus Road Racing)||0:03:32|
|18||Nathanael Wyatt (Carolina Fatz pb Santa Cruz Bicycles)||0:03:40|
|19||Shawn Adams (Lake Effect)|
|20||Gavriel Epstein (RadicalVelo.com)||0:03:47|
|21||Jordan Kahlenberg (Breakawaybikes.com)||0:04:25|
|22||Ian Mathias (Team BBC)||0:04:39|
|23||Zach Adams (C3-Athletes Serving Athletes)||0:04:51|
|24||Michael Jenks (Highland Park Hermes p/b Kim's Bike Shop)||0:05:38|
|25||Matt Spohn (Dynaflo Racing)||0:05:52|
|26||J Gabriel Lloyd (Van Dessel Factory Team)||0:06:15|
|27||Adam Szczepanski (Wissahickon)||0:06:35|
|28||Patrick Bradley (Rutgers University Cycling Team)||0:08:10|
|-2 laps||Bradley Ford (South Mountain Cycles)|
|-2 laps||Jacob Florence (Boone Velo)|
|DNF||Dan Langlois (Embrocation Cycling Journal)|
|DNF||Noah Niwinski (Boone Velo)|
|DNF||Tim Ciarkowski (Hudz-Subaru Cycling Team)|
|DNF||Tyler Karnes (Hincapie Development)|
|DNF||Tyler Johnson (YSG Racing)|
|DNS||Nicholas Keough (Champion Systems Pro Cyclocross)|
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