The Big Picture: NBX Grand Prix of Cyclocross Elite Men (Day 2)
SICK WHAT!!!! New England local favorite Anthony Clark (Squid Bikes) brought home a HUGE win on day 2 of the NBX GP of ‘Cross, ahead of Dylan Mcnicholas (Polartec) in 2nd, and Curtis White (Cannondale p/b CyclocrossWorld) in 3rd. This win was Clark’s first time on the top step of a UCI podium, and also scored Clark first place in the Verge overall series standings.
Pro-move: Next time you have to shoulder your bike for a run, reach back with the non-shouldering hand to set the pedal/crank for optimal reentry. Adam Myerson (Cycle-Smart) will show you how:
A lap later, and the lead group had been reduced to 4 – Favata having fell off the pace (And eventually would exacerbate a previous injury and DNF as a result. Hope you’re on the mend, Christian!)
With Clark still on the front, Martin began to yo-yo off the back of the group as he started to wear down.
Suddenly, Clark’s chances for a win look a bit slimmer. Before dismounting for the sand, Clark realized he has a dropped chain – while the single-ring setups are lighter and faster and simpler and other assorted marketing speak, the simple fact remains: if you do manage to drop your chain, it’s a manual operation to re-fit it and you’re probably going to lose a little time.
White would lead for the next half-lap or so, who then turned pace-making duties over to Mcnicholas. It’s unclear whether White needed to recover, or was trying to play it safe and tactical, letting Mcnicholas do some work having already established a lead on Clark. Regardless of reasoning, a most extraordinary thing occurred with Mcnicholas at the helm. Clark powered through the next half lap, and was catching back on!
However, after such a strong bridging attempt, Clark should have absolutely been vulnerable to a counter attack.
White went to the front to dole out some punishment for Clark, but still couldn’t shake him!
By this point, Clark was riding like he was on fire. He must have been hurting. He should have cracked by now? And if not now, then soon?
Over the final lap, Clark rode like a man possessed to maintain his lead, his body literally at the breaking point: