November 18, 2017 (Suffern, N.Y.) – Racers faced cold and slippery conditions on Saturday at SuperCross Cup in Suffern, N.Y. It was the second year at Rockland Community College, offering rolling hills and tricky off-cambers. The changing weather was a major factor for course conditions in the Elite races, providing points for Professional Cyclocross Calendar (ProCX) and the Vittoria Northeast Cyclocross Series presented by Clif Bar and Cycle-Smart. Kerry Werner (Kona Factory CX Team) of Birdsboro, Penn. and Canadian National Champion Christel Ferrier-Bruneau (SAS-Macogep) conquered the conditions and the course, riding away to solo victories.
“The victory with the jersey (Canadian National Championship) was very nice,” said Ferrier Bruneau in English, her second language. She earned her maple-leaf emblazoned kit earlier this month. “The race was good. It was mostly me in the rain. I am good on some parts, I like a technical race.”
Maximenko would slot into second place after battling the deteriorating weather conditions. She would finish 53 seconds behind Saturday’s winner, and a give herself a little gap from a charging Kathryn Cumming (Jalapeno Cycling), who was third.
Cumming attacked Ruby West (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com) and Regina Legge (Trek Cyclocross Collective), moving to try to reel in Maximenko.
“The start was crazy, with all the loose gravel,” exclaimed Cumming. “I think people were probably running low (tire) pressure. Everyone slid everywhere. But then things opened up quickly in the grass, and it just kind of became hammer the climbs. And when you fall, just make sure it doesn’t last too long.”
For the Elite Men, it would be Werner who would excel in the slick conditions. Werner would lead out the bunch and eventually escape the duo of Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com riders, Curtis White and Cooper Willsey. With a light drizzle turning into a steady rain, riders and mechanics faced challenges throughout the final contest of the damp day, where many would struggle to adjust tire pressure to keep up with the changing course conditions.
“So we started with my tire pressure a little high,” explained Werner, “and then the rain started coming down a little bit more. It’s kind of an interesting course because 90 percent of it you can run with 20 PSI, but then you hit the slick section right before the finish and there are lots of rocks and roots, so you are risking a flat if you do that. I took a bike change with two laps and that seemed to do it, so I was pretty comfortable out there. I held a steady pace and gradually got a gap, and stayed on it.”
Werner would ride to his fourth ProCX win of the season, maintaining a 40-second gap over second-place finisher and Vittoria Series overall leader Curtis White.White and Willsey would battle back and forth until the very end, where White would edge out his 21-year-old teammate in a sprint finish.
“First, we were battling ourselves against the course. And then just fighting each other,” said White. “The first couple of laps I was in the lead group with Kerry and Coop. Kerry was on a really good day. He’s technically a very good rider. I was struggling through the technical parts early on. It was a very technical course. We really had to get it dialed. Unfortunately, it took me a longer to figure out than some guys.
“A couple trips to the pit and got the tire pressure sorted out, then I started hooking up just right and rallied towards the end. And Cooper was riding exceptionally well towards the end. We were really going at it, which was fun.”
Willsey’s third-place finish would catapult him into the Men’s U23 Vittoria Series leader jersey. He, is now tied with Nick Lando (Hands-On Cycling), who finished 10th on Saturday
“Having Kerry and Curtis and Justin (Lindine) and Jeremy (Powers) out there, I knew it would be a hard race,” said Willsey. “The rain came in, so sure enough it got kind of slippery. You saw everyone switching to lower (tire) pressures out there. Third lap or so, Curtis and Kerry pitted. It ended up just being me and Kerry. And Kerry got a gap on me and just rode away. He seems to have an extra gear. It ended up being me and Curtis in the end, and Curtis got me in the sprint. He just passed me before the last wooded section, and I could not come around him in the finish.”
Lindine (Apex / NBX / Hyperthreads) would finish fourth and Powers (Aspire Racing) would finish sixth.
1. Christel Ferrier Bruneau (Can) SAS Macogep 0:47:58
2. Cassandra Maximenko (USA) VanDessel/Atom Composite Wheels 0:53
3. Kathryn Cumming (USA) Jalapeno Cycling 1:14
4. Regina Legge (USA) Trek Cyclocross Collective 1:50
5. Ruby West (Can) Cannondale Cyclocrossworld.com 2:23
6. Stacey Barbossa (USA) MidAtlantic Colavita Women’s Te 2:35
7. Julie Wright (USA) Team Averica 2:59
8. Christa Ghent (USA) Amy D Foundation 3:16
9. Natasha Elliott (Can) Garneau-Easton p/b Transitions 3:41
10. Natalie Tapias (USA) JAM / NCC 3:44
1. Kerry Werner Jr. (USA) Kona Factory CX Team 0:59:21
2. Curtis White (USA) Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld 0:40
3. Cooper Willsey (USA) Furman University
4. Justin Lindine (USA) Apex / NBX / Hyperthreads 2:03
5. Max Judelson (USA) Voler/Clif/HRS/Rock Lobster 2:54
6. Jeremy Powers (USA) Aspire Racing 3:42
7. Michael Owens (USA) Hands-On Cycling p/b Guerciotti 4:03
8. Dan Chabanov (USA) House Ind/Nokia Health/Simplehu 4:26
9. Derrick St John (Can) Van Dessel p/b Hyperthreades 4:31
10. Nick Lando (USA) UVM Cycling 4:36