Laura Van Gilder (C3-Athletes Serving Athletes) took a second solo victory of the weekend at the C2 Cycle-Smart International held at Look Park in Northampton, Massachusetts. In the 20th edition of the event, the UCI world points leader rode away from a small lead group to take the win ahead of Sara Bresnick-Zocchi (Crossresults.com) in second and Andrea Smith (LadiesFirst Racing) in third.
"I'm very pleased and felt that I rode a solid race and that my skills were really there today," Van Gilder said. "I feel like people were looking to beat me, sort of like I had a bulls eye on me and so no victory comes easily for me. I'm pleased with how I'm riding and being able to test myself with each race this season."
"The promoters also offered equal prize money to the top places in the women's and men's field," she added. "I'm very appreciative of the promoters that are able to do that. I'm happy to support those races because they are supporting us."
The Cycle-Smart International is a member of the Verge New England Championship Cyclo-cross 10-round series. Sally Annis (Crossresults.com) is currently leading the overall ranking.
The UCI elite women's race quickly shook out to reveal a strong lead group of five riders in contention for the race win. The upper level of the course is known for its embedded roots that cater to the technically talented riders like pro mountain biker Bresnick-Zocchi. Others in the front group included Van Gilder, Smith, Annis and Maureen Bruno Roy (Bob's Red Mill-Seven Cycles).
"I think the course lent itself to aggressive riding," Van Gilder said. "People came out riding hungry for the win. It showed because everyone was riding really well and tried to break up the group. But everyone, at times, had a little bit of difficulty."
The course drop down to the lower half where racers contested several raised train track crossings, technical and fast twists, long straightaways and a deep sand pit that better-suited Van Gilder's riding style.
"Today I made more mistakes and bobbles than I did yesterday," Van Gilder said. "I kept my head together and regrouped after every instance. Mo really pushed the pace and so did Bresnick and Annis. I got a clean break out of the sand pit and was clear for the last lap and a quarter."
Van Gilder gain several second exiting the sand pit forcing Bresnick-Zocchi, Annis and Smith to chase. She increased her lead on the final lap securing her second victory of the weekend. Bresnick-Zocchi lead the chase all the way into the finish line for second place on the day ahead of Smith and Bruno-Roy.
|1||Laura Van Gilder (USA) C3 - Athletes Serving Athletes||0:39:49|
|2||Sara Bresnick-Zocchi (USA) Crossresults.Com-Pedalpowercoaching.com||0:00:05|
|3||Andrea Smith (USA) LadiesFirst Racing||0:00:06|
|4||Maureen Bruno Roy (USA) Bob's Red Mill p/b Seven Cycles||Row 3 - Cell 2|
|5||Sally Annis (USA) crossresults.com p/b JRA Cycles||0:00:29|
|6||Arley Kemmerer (USA) C3 - Athletes Serving Athletes||0:01:04|
|7||Carolyn Popovic (USA) PAValleys.com||0:01:12|
|8||Christina Tamilio (USA) LadiesFirst Racing||0:01:13|
|9||Linnea Koons (USA) Embrocation Cycling Journal||0:01:27|
|10||Nikki Thiemann (USA) Team CF||0:01:35|
|11||Rebecca Wellons (USA) Pedro's||0:01:47|
|12||Rebecca Blatt (USA) Silverbull Central Wheel||0:01:55|
|13||Anna Barensfeld (USA) LadiesFirst Racing||0:01:57|
|14||Sarah Kaufmann (USA) elete/Roaring Mouse||0:02:33|
|15||Arielle Filiberti (USA) Specialized D4 Women p/b Bicycle Haus||0:02:39|
|16||Marilyn Ruseckas (USA) Seven Cycles/NoTubes/FitWerx||Row 15 - Cell 2|
|17||Sarah Krzysiak (USA) NYCross.com / CBRC||0:02:59|
|18||Cassandra Maximenko (USA) silverbull centralwheel||0:03:00|
|19||Catherine Sterling (USA) Bikeman.com||0:03:43|
|20||Laura Ralston (GBr) MIT||0:03:48|
|21||Bryna Nestor (USA)||0:03:53|
|22||Amy Cutler (USA) Team EPS-CSS p/b Brielle Cyclery||0:04:20|
|23||Jena Greaser (USA) Colavita Racing||0:04:32|
|24||Patricia Dowd (USA) Team Delphine||0:04:42|
|25||Jessica Hayes Conroy (USA) North American Velo||0:05:08|
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Kirsten Frattini is the Deputy Editor of Cyclingnews, overseeing the global racing content plan.
Kirsten has a background in Kinesiology and Health Science. She has been involved in cycling from the community and grassroots level to professional cycling's biggest races, reporting on the WorldTour, Spring Classics, Tours de France, World Championships and Olympic Games.
She began her sports journalism career with Cyclingnews as a North American Correspondent in 2006. In 2018, Kirsten became Women's Editor – overseeing the content strategy, race coverage and growth of women's professional cycling – before becoming Deputy Editor in 2023.