Rochette distances Mani and Nuss for GO Cross C1 victory Saturday

Women's C1 podium at Virginia's Blue Ridge GO Cross 2023 (L to R): second place for Caroline Mani, winner Maghalie Rochette and third-placed Raylyn Nuss
Women's C1 podium at Virginia's Blue Ridge GO Cross 2023 (L to R): second place for Caroline Mani, winner Maghalie Rochette and third-placed Raylyn Nuss (Image credit: US Cyclocross Series 2023)

Maghalie Rochette (Canyon Collective) won the C1 elite women’s contest at Virginia’s Blue Ridge GO Cross on Saturday, which served as the opener of the eight-race US Cyclocross Series (USCX). Last year’s GO Cross and eventual USCX champion Caroline Mani (Groove Off Road Racing) took second while reigning Pan Am Champion Raylyn Nuss (Steve Tilford Foundation Racing) finished third. 

Rochette took control of the 2.9km circuit after the second lap. She and her podium companions along with Sidney McGill (Cervelo/Orange Living) created separation from the rest of the 24-rider field after one circuit at Fallon Park. Lauren Zoerner (Groove Off-road Racing) chased five seconds back in fifth place early on, but fell back to sixth after Taylor Kuyk-White surged past.

“Caroline Mani, she was strong and she made me suffer. And the heat was a factor today,” Mani said, noting the high temperatures and dry conditions during the six-lap contest.

“I think I kind of got it [the lead] at the stairs. I really accelerated really quickly afterwards. I clipped in quicker and I accelerated quicker, and I got a tiny gap there. That was my goal today, to work on executing really well. I kept pushing and the gap increased, so that's where it happened.”

The Fallon Park stairs are a signature part of the permanent course, which have awkward spacing to make it extremely difficult to run, or even try to ride, the obstacle. 

"It's the first race of the season and we don't know how everyone will be doing. So I wanted to start conservatively. The climbs were tough. There's always a climb coming and it makes it harder to recover. It was challenging," Rochette added about the course.

Sunday riders return for C2 races for elite women and men, points on offer for a second day for the USCX competition.


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Jackie Tyson
North American Production editor

Jackie has been involved in professional sports for more than 30 years in news reporting, sports marketing and public relations. She founded Peloton Sports in 1998, a sports marketing and public relations agency, which managed projects for Tour de Georgia, Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah and USA Cycling. She also founded Bike Alpharetta Inc, a Georgia non-profit to promote safe cycling. She is proud to have worked in professional baseball for six years - from selling advertising to pulling the tarp for several minor league teams. She has climbed l'Alpe d'Huez three times (not fast). Her favorite road and gravel rides are around horse farms in north Georgia (USA) and around lavender fields in Provence (France), and some mtb rides in Park City, Utah (USA).

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