High temperatures and a smattering of cowbells heralded a soft start to the cyclocross season in New England this weekend.
CompEdge Cross, a two-day event held in Forest Park and Blunt Park in Springfield, MA, attracted about 200 racers each day, including some top-level athletes looking to get the year’s first races into their legs.
On Saturday’s race in Forest Park, Curtis White (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com) took a comfortable solo win on a course that featured hard-packed fire roads, fast descents and root-strewn trails. It was a chance for the New York-based racer to get an early start on a campaign that will take him to Europe and to his first UCI Elite World Cup race at Cross Vegas on September 16th.
We caught up with Curtis about his plans for the season:
In the women’s field, Jena Page Greaser was on the top step both days. Greaser, a professional mountain biker, is fundraising to go Pro in her cyclocross career with a goal of winning a UCI race this season.
“I would love to win a UCI race and now after this weekend, I know that is possible,” she said. “These past two days had a nice balance of straight up power and technical sections. I am not patient when it comes to racing a bike (which gets me in trouble on the road, but not in CX!) so when its time to go off the start line, I think I succeed so well on the XC and CX courses because I just turn it on and never look back. I know that in the upcoming UCI races with a lot more competitors, I will be gunning it even more than the past two days.”
Jena’s campaign will continue at the Ellison Park Cyclocross Festival in Rochester this weekend. She will then head to Nittany Lion Cross and the Gran Prix of Gloucester.
Notes: You can watch a POV video of Saturday’s CompEdge Cross course. Special thanks to Cyclonauts Racers for putting on the event and holding my filming gear while I endoed in the 3/4 race.