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NBX Grand Prix of Cross #2 - C2
Warwick, Rhode Island, USA, December 7-, 2008
Race 2 - December 7: Elite men
Driscoll takes day and overall
By Dave McElwaine in Warwick, Rhode Island
With six wins going into today's race, Jamey Driscoll (Cyclocrossworld.com) has competed all season as if he feared his closest rivals. Normally, he would make very early attacks in an attempt to get away for good. But today he seemed to know he could win anytime he wanted. And so it was no surprise that he took his second victory of the weekend, in doing so securing the Verge New England Cyclocross Series.
Sitting in the middle of a large group of riders for half the race, it appeared Driscoll had no cares in the world. However, when he decided it was time to go, he opened a 100-metre lead in a heartbeat and never looked back.
Justin Spinelli (Richard Sachs/RGM), now with some significant 'cross experience under his belt, has looked strong lately. He took second place in a sprint finish with Derrick St. John (Stevens). Adam Myerson (Cycle-Smart/Van Dessel) was fourth, and 19-year old Nick Keough fifth.
The weather was a huge factor today at Goddard Park. Up to two inches of snow came down overnight, turning the course into a combination of tacky mud, snow, and ice. Riders could be seen prior to the start further reducing their tyre pressure to just over 20psi. Shortly after the start of the race, moderate snowfall began again, adding to the already festive atmosphere at the park.
When asked about his tactics today, Driscoll responded, "I felt like I was sitting in enough, and it was a comfortable enough pace where I could whack the guys and see if any of them could respond." He added that, "I was able to get a gap in a technical section and hold it the rest of the race."
For Driscoll, it appeared that the team decision to have him concentrate on winning the Verge Championship (and skip Grand Prix races) seemed to pay off. The support he has received this season from Cyclcrossworld.com has been impressive in terms of logistics, travel and equipment.
"Stu (Thorne) was amazing," explained Driscoll. "He gave me more support than I kind of deserved, based on last season, and fortunately I was able to step it up to meet or exceed his expectations." He added that, "Having a national champion (Tim Johnson) on my team... I would be happy here for years to come."
How it unfolded
Nick Keough got the hole shot and led the racers into the woods. When they emerged, Adam Myerson has taken the lead, followed by Keough and Spinelli.
Near the end of the first lap, Matthew O'Keefe (CCB/Volkswagon) surged into the lead, followed closely by Myerson, Spinelli and Driscoll. It seemed that the race favourites were happy to follow someone else's wheel for a while.
After 20 minutes the lead group became ten riders, with Driscoll seemingly happy to ride fifth wheel. After resisting a couple of attacks and remaining calm, Driscoll launched his own foray off the front with two laps to go. He maintained a 100-metre lead, but Spinelli was chasing as if he believed he could close the deficit. Following close behind were Keough, Myerson, and St. John. Matt White added himself to the list of racers who could not hold the frenetic pace.
Despite the best efforts of the chasers, Driscoll extended his lead to 200 metres with one lap to go as St. John led the chasers but bobbled a corner and Spinelli went around him. Heading into the final S-turns, Spinelli launched a massive attack to which only St. John could respond; it wasn't in time to prevent Spinelli getting onto the final pavement first, however.
The ensuing sprint was exciting but Spinelli was assured second place due to how little pavement was available before the finish line. Myerson and Keough rounded out the top five.
All of today's top racers will now head to the US National Championships to be held in Kansas City next weekend.
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by Dave McElwaine/www.trailwatch.net
Images by Paul Weiss/www.paulweiss.biz
1 Jamey Driscoll (Cyclocrossworld.Com/Cannondale) 59.05 2 Justin Spinelli (RGM Watches-Richard Sachs-Boathouse Inc) 0.12 3 Derrick St John (Stevens Cross) 0.15 4 Adam Myerson (Cycle-Smart) 0.22 5 Nicholas Keough (Sonic/ Louis Garneau) 0.33 6 Matt White (Bikereg.Com/Joe's Garage) 1.09 7 Matthew O'keefe (CCB/Volkswagen) 1.18 8 Matt Kraus (Rgm Watches - Richard Sachs - Boathouse Inc) 9 Justin Lindine (Targetraining) 10 Alec Donahue (Bikereg.Com/Joe's Garage) 2.23 11 Jerome Townsend (Ridley Factory Team) 2.27 12 Nathaniel Ward (Bikereg.Com/Joe's Garage) 13 Rickey Visinski (Exodus Road Racing) 2.57 14 Josh Dillon (Fiordifrutta/Cannondale) 3.17 15 Adam Snyder (3-D Racing) 3.36 16 J Gabriel Lloyd (Targetraining) 3.43 17 Peter Rubijono (Embrocation/Igleheart/Cambridge/Mad Alchemy) 4.06 18 John Burns (Bikeman.Com) 4.30 19 Todd Wheelden (Portland Velo Club/Kona/661) 4.45 20 Will Dugan (Richard Sachs) 5.44 21 Dan Langlois (Embrocation/ Circle A Cycles) 5.53 22 Mukunda Feldman (Spooky) 7.05 23 Peter Bradshaw (Embrocation/Igleheart/Cambridge/Mad Alchemy) 7.33 24 Jonathan Bruno (Ft/If Powered By Lionette's) 8.46 One lap behind 25 Joshua Friedman (The Devil's Gear/New Haven Bicycling Club) 26 Michael Patrick (Bikebarn Racing)