Posted by Editoress on 11/26/09
After the dust had settled and the mud washed off the bikes, the NACT crowned two new champions. Both Tim Johnson (Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld.com) and Natasha Elliott (Garneau Club Chaussure Ogilvy) took the overall titles with comfortable leads over their closest competitors. The men's and women's fields provided two very different storylines over the past few months, as Johnson and his teammates managed to win or get on the podium at every single race, while Elliott's efforts were a solo act.
After a bad crash in September at Star Crossed sidelined Johnson for a while, the former U.S. national champion came back to the racing circuit with a vengeance. Armed with teammates Jeremy Powers and Jamey Driscoll, Johnson went on to win six of the next seven races. The green and black boys decided to make the series a family affair; Powers gathered seven podium places including a win ahead of Johnson in Toronto while Driscoll improved from thirteenth at Star Crossed to never finishing lower than third for the remainder of the series. Powers and Driscoll joined Johnson on the overall podium in second and third, respectively. Though in the midst of his usual European tour, Jonathon Page (Planet Bike) reminded the domestic racing scene how he got onto the podium at the World Championships a few years ago. Page's 2009 racing calendar included stops at Star Crossed, Rad Racing GP, and the Gran Prix of Gloucester, with wins at the Rad Racing GP and day one in Gloucester. Despite skipping the pond after Gloucester, Page finished fourth in the series.
Though seeing Johnson and Page atop the podium is fairly common, there were some breakout moments. Fifth place Series' finisher Chris Jones (Champion-Systems) a seasoned road racer, made the transition to cyclocross this year and his talents from the pavement quickly transferred over to the dirt. Strong performances throughout the series - including a third place finish on day two of Gloucester - indicate a new force for the North American cyclocross scene. And then there were some moments that were just broken. Ryan Trebon (Kona/FSA) the 2008 NACT champion, failed to win a Series race this year.
Elite Men's Final Standings
|1 Tim Johnson (Cyclocrossworld.com / Cannondale)||425 points|
|2 Jeremy Powers (Cyclocrossworld.com / Cannondale)||314|
|3 James Driscoll (Cyclocrossworld.com / Cannondale)||289|
|4 Jonathan Page (Planet Bike)||190|
|5 Christopher Jones (Champion System)||120|
While Cannondale kept things under control in the men's race, the women mixed it up. British national champion Helen Wyman made a trip to the U.S., leaving an impression on the American field after she rode away with the win at Star Crossed. Monavie-Cannondale's Sue Butler and the recently un-retired Alison Dunlap (Luna Chix) gave Wyman the biggest challenge, and after Wyman's departure, Butler took over the NACT leaders' jersey in Gloucester. But Butler's time in the lead was short-lived as the Gloucester race saw the explosion of Canadian Natasha Elliott (Garneau Club Chaussure Ogilvy) who went on a four-race winning streak from Gloucester to Toronto, asserting her place atop the standings. Current U.S. champion Katie Compton (Planet Bike) decided to play some tricks in Colorado as the UCI points leader walked away with wins in Longmont and Boulder. And, despite a slow start, Amy Dombroski (Clement/Primus Mootry) made her first appearance on the podium with a second place finish behind Compton in Boulder. Back in Southampton, Elliott returned to the NACT series to enforce her lead while Dombroski had another plans. Back to back wins at Whitmore's Super Cross launched Dombroski up the NACT standings, though Elliott's fifth and sixth place finishes were enough to earn her the win "heavyweight" belt and Series' title. Dombroski finished second and Butler held on to third, only fifteen points ahead of Dunlap.
Elite Women's Final Standings
|1 Natasha Elliott (Garneau Club Chaussure Ogilvy)||278 points|
|2 Amy Drombroski (Clement / Primus Mootry)||208|
|3 Sue Butler (Cannondale / Monavie)||145|
|4 Alison Dunlap (Luna)||130|
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