The Big Picture: NBX Grand Prix of Cyclocross Elite Men (Day One)

After a lead group of five traded blows over the majority of the race, Jeremy Martin (Louis Garneu) emerged victorious from fray at day 1 of the NBX Grand Prix of Cyclocross. Behind him, Anthony Clark (Squid Bikes) rode an aggressive race, driving the pace through many sections to secure 2nd. As a final survivor of some late-race attrition, the JAM Fund/NCC/Vittoria team scored a bonus podium spot, with Jack Kisseberth taking 3rd place.

Start line. Tire selection trended towards an all-around grifo tread, or something like the Challenge Chicane, seen here, for the mostly dry course. © 2015 John Kavouris www.johnkavouris.com
Start line. Tire selection trended towards an all-around grifo tread, or something like the Challenge Chicane, seen here, for the mostly dry course. © 2015 John Kavouris www.johnkavouris.com
Scott Smith (JAM Fund/Vittoria/NCC) got off the start line quickest to take the holeshot. © 2015 John Kavouris www.johnkavouris.com
Scott Smith (JAM Fund/Vittoria/NCC) got off the start line quickest to take the holeshot. © 2015 John Kavouris www.johnkavouris.com

After the start half-lap, the lead group began to form: Martin, Curtis White (Cannondale p/b CyclocrossWorld), Clark, Smith, Christian Favata (TRT Bicycles), and Peter Goguen (Race CF).

© 2015 John Kavouris www.johnkavouris.com
© 2015 John Kavouris www.johnkavouris.com
© 2015 John Kavouris www.johnkavouris.com
© 2015 John Kavouris www.johnkavouris.com
© 2015 John Kavouris www.johnkavouris.com
Dylan Mcnicholas (Polartec) and Kesseberth were just behind, and would soon move toward the front to animate the race. © 2015 John Kavouris www.johnkavouris.com
© 2015 John Kavouris www.johnkavouris.com
By the end of the lap, it appeared that Martin, White, and Clark might dominate the race, with everyone else fighting to hang on and contest the minor placing. © 2015 John Kavouris www.johnkavouris.com

However, despite setting a blistering early pace and almost establishing a gap on any chasers, the lead group’s escape would briefly lull.

Coming down onto the sand, Mcnicholas had made contact with the 3. © 2015 John Kavouris www.johnkavouris.com
Coming down onto the sand, Mcnicholas had made contact with the 3. © 2015 John Kavouris www.johnkavouris.com
Kesseberth, Smith, and Favata would lead chasers across the sand. Don’t let Smith’s cheeky attempy at riding the sand fool you – he was soon bogged down and forced to dismount. The only way across the beach was to run. © 2015 John Kavouris www.johnkavouris.com
Kesseberth, Smith, and Favata would lead chasers across the sand. Don’t let Smith’s cheeky attempy at riding the sand fool you – he was soon bogged down and forced to dismount. The only way across the beach was to run. © 2015 John Kavouris www.johnkavouris.com
Goguen, Ben Frederick (beyondCX), and Dan Chabanov (House Industire/Withings/KindHuman) were last across the sand to keep contact with the leaders. Goguen would unfortunately DNF, but Chabanov continued on for 9th place on the day!) © 2015 John Kavouris www.johnkavouris.com
Goguen, Ben Frederick (beyondCX), and Dan Chabanov (House Industire/Withings/KindHuman) were last across the sand to keep contact with the leaders. Goguen would unfortunately DNF, but Chabanov continued on for 9th place on the day!) © 2015 John Kavouris www.johnkavouris.com

After the sand and a quick stretch out and back on the far side of the course, Clark was leading the select group of five:

© 2015 John Kavouris www.johnkavouris.com
© 2015 John Kavouris www.johnkavouris.com

Clark, Martin, White, and Mcnicholas, with Kesseberth just out of view.

© 2015 John Kavouris www.johnkavouris.com
Early on, things didn’t look great for Kesseberth, who appeared to yo-yo a little bit on the back of the lead group. © 2015 John Kavouris www.johnkavouris.com [ed. note: I love this photo.]
But within a lap, Kesseberth found his legs and was able to tag onto the back of the leaders. © 2015 John Kavouris www.johnkavouris.com
But within a lap, Kesseberth found his legs and was able to tag onto the back of the leaders. © 2015 John Kavouris www.johnkavouris.com

Over the next few laps, Clark would stay at the front and set the pace:

Over the planks ... © 2015 John Kavouris www.johnkavouris.com
Over the planks … © 2015 John Kavouris www.johnkavouris.com
Through the sand ... © 2015 John Kavouris www.johnkavouris.com
Through the sand … © 2015 John Kavouris www.johnkavouris.com
Back up to the top-side of the course. © 2015 John Kavouris www.johnkavouris.com
Back up to the top-side of the course. © 2015 John Kavouris www.johnkavouris.com

Coming through the planks again, White bobbled, clipping his bike on one of the barriers and pitching it end-over-end.

© 2015 John Kavouris www.johnkavouris.com
White managed to catch the bike and get re-mounted without losing any time on his competitors, but the slip up would soon be the least of his worries… © 2015 John Kavouris www.johnkavouris.com
Coming through the ‘ant-farm’ series of successive 180s with Martin leading again, it looked as though the group had finally dispatched Kesseberth, and was soon to do the same to Mcnicholas. © 2015 John Kavouris www.johnkavouris.com
Coming through the ‘ant-farm’ series of successive 180s with Martin leading again, it looked as though the group had finally dispatched Kesseberth, and was soon to do the same to Mcnicholas. © 2015 John Kavouris www.johnkavouris.com
Back on the beach, both Mcnicholas and Kesseberth were back on. © 2015 John Kavouris www.johnkavouris.com
Back on the beach, both Mcnicholas and Kesseberth were back on. © 2015 John Kavouris www.johnkavouris.com
At the logs, Kesseberth had once again dropped back. © 2015 John Kavouris www.johnkavouris.com
At the logs, Kesseberth had once again dropped back. © 2015 John Kavouris www.johnkavouris.com
Bonus points to Kesseberth for hopping the logs in the background! Such a risky maneuver was typically reserved for riders in the scrub-zone, with mixed success… © 2015 John Kavouris www.johnkavouris.com
Bonus points to Kesseberth for hopping the logs in the background! Such a risky maneuver was typically reserved for riders in the scrub-zone, with mixed success… © 2015 John Kavouris www.johnkavouris.com

Back through the and-farm, and a new rider was missing:

© 2015 John Kavouris www.johnkavouris.com
© 2015 John Kavouris www.johnkavouris.com

White was absent from the front, having mechanicaled earlier in the lap and subsequently forced to limp to the pits and dropping back to 9th place.

White would eventually fight his way back to 6th place, but ran out of time to make up any further placings.

Martin, Clark, and Mcnicholas – MOVING. © 2015 John Kavouris www.johnkavouris.com
Martin, Clark, and Mcnicholas – MOVING. © 2015 John Kavouris www.johnkavouris.com
Meanwhile, although Kesseberth was out of contact with the lead group, he was still racing hard to limit his losses, holding a 5 second gap here. © 2015 John Kavouris www.johnkavouris.com
Meanwhile, although Kesseberth was out of contact with the lead group, he was still racing hard to limit his losses, holding a 5 second gap here. © 2015 John Kavouris www.johnkavouris.com
One last time across the sand, and the lead three are still together. © 2015 John Kavouris www.johnkavouris.com
One last time across the sand, and the lead three are still together. © 2015 John Kavouris www.johnkavouris.com
But a short time later, and Mcnicholas had been dropped on the out-and-back stretch of the course, with Martin leading… © 2015 John Kavouris www.johnkavouris.com
But a short time later, and Mcnicholas had been dropped on the out-and-back stretch of the course, with Martin leading… © 2015 John Kavouris www.johnkavouris.com
… and Clark fighting to stay in contact. © 2015 John Kavouris www.johnkavouris.com
… and Clark fighting to stay in contact. © 2015 John Kavouris www.johnkavouris.com
Behind them, Mcnicholas was back in the sights of Kesseberth, and a fight for 3rd was back on! © 2015 John Kavouris www.johnkavouris.com
Behind them, Mcnicholas was back in the sights of Kesseberth, and a fight for 3rd was back on! © 2015 John Kavouris www.johnkavouris.com

Despite Clark’s best efforts, Martin was able to stay away for the win, finishing just 2 seconds ahead of Clark in 2nd.

© 2015 John Kavouris www.johnkavouris.com
For 3rd, an upset! Mcnicholas crashed on a final turn, dropping back to finish 5th, and letting a STOKED Kesseberth finish 3rd, narrowly ahead of Frederick in 4th. © 2015 John Kavouris www.johnkavouris.com

Stay tuned for day 2, and the culmination of the Verge NECX series.

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