On a day where high temperatures reached the mid-80s in degrees Fahrenheit, Kaitie Keough (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com) and Tobin Ortenblad (Santa Cruz/Donkey Label Racing) took wins on the UCI C1-rated first day of the 2017 Charm City Cross in Baltimore, Md. The dry, grassy course with near-constant elevation change saw two different types of races play out, with a decisive show of strength in the women’s field, and a tactical battle of attrition among the men.
The women’s race saw Aspire Racing’s Ellen Noble and the Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com duo of Keough and Emma White create an early selection. Noble was the first to fall off the pace, leaving teammates Keough and White to press their advantage. With around two laps remaining, a gap appeared between Keough and her teammate, which extended to 25 seconds by the finish. Noble secured the last step of the podium by holding off a charge from Crystal Anthony (Maxxis-Shimano), who had left behind a chase group of Becca Fahringer (Stan’s NoTubes p/b Maxxis) and Caroline Mani (Van Dessel). US Cup-CX series co-leader Maghalie Rochette (Clif) led the opening portion of the race, but appeared to pay for her efforts and slipped to 11th place on the day.
The men’s race featured a large group which whittled down in size until four riders were left to battle the finale. Eventual winner Tobin Ortenblad led the field for over a lap, creating the initial selection of 13 riders. By midway through the race, the group was down to eight: Ortenblad, Stephen Hyde and Curtis White (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com), Jeremy Powers and Spencer Petrov (Aspire Racing), Kerry Werner (Kona), Tristan Cowie (Organic Valley/Hiball Energy) and Jamey Driscoll (Donnelly). Constant pressure by the major contenders saw only four in the lead by midway through the final lap: Ortenblad, Hyde, Powers and Werner. In the finale, Powers assumed control at the front, but Ortenblad stayed glued to his wheel and came around on the paved uphill finishing sprint. Hyde attempted but could not execute a late pass on Ortenblad, and finished third.
Full results are posted at livelynxresults.com. Charm City Cross continues on Sunday with a slate of C2-rated races, with rain in the forecast.
Lead photo: Tobin Ortenblad outsprints Jeremy Powers for the win. © 2017 Bruce Buckley