Posted by Editoress on 10/22/09
The Verge NECCS Cross-toberfest concludes this weekend with the return of the Downeast Cyclocross Weekend. For two days, the idyllic rolling hills of New Gloucester will be disturbed by a hard-charging pack of elite New England talent. Last a part of the series in 2006, the courses have been completely redesigned but the venue has stayed the same. Pineland Farm boasts over 5000 acres of mixed-use land with a working farm, Nordic ski trails and a diverse array of businesses. Race organizers Lee Strout and John Grenier have brought all the facets of the farmland into play with a melange of off-cambers, challenging descents, fast stretches on Nordic ski trails and even a pass through a barn (the barn, Strout hastened to add, doesn't actually have any animals living in it).
With the USGP in Kentucky this weekend, many of the national figures have headed south leaving all the leaders' jerseys up for grabs. In the women's field, Amanda Carey (Kenda/trainwitheric.com) is looking to continue her consistent finishes while Minuteman Road Club rider Andrea Smith is looking to take another step after her second place finish last weekend at Granogue. Not to be forgotten, Mary McConneloug (Kenda/Seven/NoTubes) is continuing her return to local racing and is a definite favorite to take victory. The men's field should see some of the best competition of the season with a who's who of younger elites taking aim at the podium, including no less than three Keoughs (the youngest of whom, Luke, is the current U23 leader) and two Goguens (Manny currently sits third in the U23 field). Jerome Townsend (bikereg.com/Joe's Garage/IF) comes in fifth overall in the series and second in the U23 and will definitely be looking to make up some ground.
Racing starts at 9:30 Saturday morning with the Category 4 men and continues through Sunday at 3pm when the Elite men go off for the second time. Registration can be found online at www.bikereg.com/events/Register.asp?EventID=9308.
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