Downeast Cyclo-Cross - Cat. 3

USA, September 30, 2001


Sundt Steals Show in Cyclo-Cross Series Opener

Johnny Sundt flew across the country to start in the DownEast Cyclo-Cross. His New England competitors, however, saw no sign of jet lag.

Sundt (K2 Bikes) grabbed the lead from the start, breaking away with U.S. national cyclo-cross champ Tim Johnson (Saturn), and never looked back as he claimed the race title and with it, the yellow leader's jersey in the 2001 Verge New England Championship Cyclo-Cross Series.

Sundt and Johnson got their gap on the first series of barriers and methodlically added to their gap with every lap. For a while, it looked like the afternoon would be Johnson's, as the Saturn rider stayed glued to Sundt's wheel.

"I had to ride really hard from the beginning," said Sundt. "After Tim and I broke away, I knew he had a teammate not too far behind. I had to pull for the entire first half of the race."

Johnson's teammate was defending Verge champion Mark McCormack, who settled into third place. For the rest of the race, he couldn't quite seem to bridge up to the leaders, but he also wasn't losing very much ground on the highly technical course with three run-ups along the slopes of the Lost Valley Ski Area.

"This was my first cross race of the season," said McCormack, who won the San Rafael Criterium two weeks ago and hasn't been on a bike since. "I was just hoping for a top five."

Canadian national champion Peter Wedge (Kona/Voicestream) finished fourth.

When Johnson saw that McCormack wasn't going to be able to join him at the front, he began a series of blistering attacks that had Sundt on the ropes. But the gritty 27-year-old hung on with a tenacious effort, finally countering Johnson on the last run-up on the last lap. Coming down the long straight-away, Sundt was able to hold his precarious 4 second gap right to the finish line.

"Jonny just beat me today," Johnson said. "This race was one of the hardest I've ever done, with all the elevation changes and technical sections. I was happy just to survive."

"I'm happy to be going home with this result," said Sundt, who is returning to the West Coast for two more weeks of training before the next engagement in New England -- Round 2 of the Verge Series. "I've become a New England racer," he joked. "I will just have a longer commute. But really, K2 sent me here because this iswhere the best racers in the U.S. compete. Out here, you have to race against the very best the country has to offer. Plan on seeing a lot of me this year."

On the women's side, Saturn road race Lynne Bessette said she was in Maine "just for fun." But the Canadian national road and time trial champion may have found her true calling in cyclo-cross. In just her second race, she chalked up here second victory, finishing 62 seconds ahead of gritty Mary McConnelough (Jamba Juice) of California and nearly two full mintes in front of 3rd place Emily Thorne.

Bessette ended her road season two weeks ago, having decided against going to the World Championships in Lisbon next month in favor of rest. "I'm done on the road -- my brain is dead," she said. "This is just a chance to have fun."

Saturn Development team rider Oliver Stiler-Cote was the crowd favorite in the junior race, and he didn't disappoint. He broke away with U.S. junior national champion Jesse Anthony -- Stiler-Cote's teammate -- one the first lap enroute to his first victory of the 2001 season. Despite losing a pedal at the race's midway point, Anthony fought his way back into second, just 17 seconds behind Stiler-Cote. Jamey Driscoll (Green Mountain Cycling Club) finished in 3rd, more than 3 minutes in arrears.

Round 2 of the 2001 Verge New England Championship Cyclo-Cross Series will be the ECV Cyclo-Cross, held on Sunday, Oct. 14 in Gloucester, Mass. Like the Downeast Cyclo-Cross, it is a U.S. team selection event for the World Championship and a UCI Catgeory 3 race.


Elite Men
1 Jonny Sundt (K2 Bike) Redmond WA                    53.06.00
2 Tim Johnson (Saturn) Middleton MA                       0.04
3 Mark McCormack (Saturn) Easton MA                       2.20
4 Peter Wedge (Kona/Voicestream) Fredricton NB            2.38
5 Matt Svartek (Wheelworks/Cannondale) Carlisle MA        3.26
6 Curt Davis (Wheelworks/Cannondale) Bethel CT            3.27
7 Alec Donahue (NCC/ Northampton MA           4.09
8 Chris Peck (Wheelworks/Cannondale) Southbury CT         4.24
9 Jeff Leake (NCC/ Bennington VT              4.31
10 Adam Myerson ( Northampton MA              4.42
Elite Women
1 Lynne Bessette (Saturn) Bromont Quebec              43.17.00
2 Mary McConnelough (Jamba Juice) Fairfax CA              1.02
3 Emily Thorne ( Hamilton MA          1.56
4 Shaunna Giles-Smith (Gearworks/SRP) Cambridge MA        2.59
5 Katina Davis (Richard Sachs) Bethel CT                  3.18
6 Jodi Groesbeck (Putney/West Hill) Keene NH              3.22
7 Kathy Savary (Midstate Cycling) Lunenberg MA            4.48
8 Kathryn Roszko ( Northampton MA             5.17
9 Alicia Genest (Richard Sachs) Jamestown RI              5.29
10 Heather Peck (Wheelworks) Southbury CT                 4.42
1 Oliver Stiler-Cote (Saturn) Kennebunkport ME        41.53.00
2 Jesse Anthony (Saturn) Beverly MA                       0.17
3 Jamey Driscoll (GMBC) Jericho VT                        3.05
4 Chris Hill (NCC/ Wakefield MA               5.30
5 Kevin Wolfson (NEBC) Belmont MA                         6.58
6 Morgan MacLeod (no club) Cumberland ME                     l lap down
7 John Hanson (NESCA ) West Hartford MA                      l lap down
8 Ben Coleman (NESCA) Brattleboro VT                         1 lap down
1 Bob Bisson (Gearworks/SRP) Fall River MA            42.57.00
2 Scott Wade (Gearworks/SRP) Putney VT                    0.02
3 Paul Curley (Gearworks/SRP) Taunton MA                  0.11
4 Jamison Burt (no club) Hancock NH                       0.24
5 Sam Morse (Mass Bay RC) Cohasset MA                     0.44
6 Brian Sweeney (Gearworks/SRP) Sterling MA               1.37
7 Mike Bernard (Arc en Ceil) Milbury MA                   1.50
8 James Black (EVC) Wenham MA                             1.58
9 Eric Marro (BOB) Nashua NH                              2.05
10 Arthur Davis (Portland Velo) Falmouth ME               2.33
Intermediate Men
1 Michael Cote (UVM) Burlington VT                    41.44.00
2 Eric Bowker (Catamount CC) Williston VT                 0.06
3 Todd Rowell (NEBC) Nashua NH                            0.21
4 Matt Hersey (Portland Velo) Portland ME                 0.51
5 Alan Starrett (Portland Velo) Portland ME               1.04
Beginner Women
1 Jenny Olbrich                                          23.28
2 Melissa Smith                                           0.27
3 Elisabeth Leflavor                                      0.42
4 Martha Wilson                                           6.19
5 Marie Carey                                             6.46
Beginner Juniors
1 Morgan MacLeod                                         22.32
2 Robert Crouther                                         4.13
3 Tom Gosselin                                            7.04
4 Brendan Cornett                                         7.56
5 Jordan Jesiolwoski                                     11.19
Results and report courtsey of Jack Beaudoin