Posted by Editor on 11/26/06
Bay State Cyclo-cross (Verge NECCS #5) - Sterling, Massachusetts
Report courtesy Milliman Media Group
While the sunny skies and high temperatures made it feel more like early-season, Saturday's Gear Works Bay State Cyclocross, round 5 of the 2006 Verge New England Championship Cyclo-Cross Series, packed all the punch of a classic East Coast 'Cross throwdown. Cyclocross's first couple, Lyne Bessette (Cyclocrossworld.com) and Tim Johnson (Cannondale-cyclocrossworld.com), won the Elite Women's and Men's races, though under very different circumstances.
The flowing Chocksett School course offered few technical challenges, instead rewarding flat out strength and speed. Those requirements fit perfectly into Bessette's skill set and the Canadian champion dashed off the front of a flummoxed Elite Women's field on the first lap, never looking back. With Verge NECCS jersey holder Mackenzie Dickey (Verge Sports) suffering through a sub-par outing, local favorites Rebecca Wellons (GearWorks-SpinArts) and Mo Bruno Roy (Independent Fabrication-Wheelworks) took up the ultimately fruitless pursuit of Bessette. With Bessette comfortably ahead, Wellons took second and Bruno Roy third.
"I really feel like the form is there right now," said Bessette after her third Verge NECCS win in as many starts this year. "Because I didn't race this summer it's been a little late in coming, but now I'm starting to feel that ease on the pedals. I really want to get the jersey back and win the Series, but I'll have to win the remaining two races to do it. We'll see."
As for Bessette's husband, Johnson won from a powerful trio with fellow New Englanders Mark McCormack (Clif Bar) and Jeremy Powers (Jelly Belly) on a spectacular last-lap attack. Having spent nearly an hour figuring just the right spot for a definitive acceleration, Johnson put full effort through a small set of chicanes and opened the race winning margin. Powers, who had been the most aggressive of the leading three, found his legs not up to the task when Johnson went, and McCormack too had no answer for the defending Verge NECCS champ's move. McCormack outkicked Powers for second.
"I saw there was only one place I could really make a gap," said Johnson after his win. "So I knew I had to hit it as hard as I could without crashing, it was pretty much all or nothing. Mark may be an old guy but he's a fast guy and no way did I want to sprint it out with him."
Dickey retained the Elite Women's leader's jersey while the Elite Men's lead passed from Matt White (FiordiFrutta) to McCormack. The Verge NECCS concludes December 9-10 in Rhode Island with the W.E. Steadman Grand Prix and Caster's Cyclocross.
1 Tim Johnson (Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld.com) 58:06
2 Mark McCormack (Colavita) at 0:04
3 Jeremy Powers (Jelly Belly Pro Cycling) s.t.
4 Matt White (Fiordifrutta) 0:54
5 Greg Reain (Stevens International) s.t.
1 Lyne Bessette (Cyclocrossworld.com) 40:41
2 Rebecca Wellons (Gearworks/Spin Arts Cycling) at 0:26
3 Maureen Bruno Roy (Independent Fabrication/Wheelworks) 0:58
4 Amy Wallace (RGM Watches - Richard Sachs - Rex Chiu) 1:12
5 Mandy Lozano (Cheerwine Cycling) 1:32
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