GO Cross Day 1 Recap

A bit of thunder and lightning signaled a proper start to the 2018 ProCX calendar on day one of GO Cross presented by Deschutes Brewery. It’s been a stormy summer in the mid-Atlantic, so it’s only fitting that a hard rain hit the twisty 3K course in Roanoke, Va., just before elite racers rolled out for the first UCI race on this year’s calendar. [all photos © 2018 Bruce Buckley.]

Kerry Werner (Kona) and Caroline Mani (Van Dessel Factory Team) won the men’s and women’s C2 races, respectively, on a course that would have raced like a grass crit in dry conditions, but instead featured damp straightaways and slick corners.

“You had to stay on your toes quite a bit out there,” Werner said. “Stuff changed throughout the race. We started in a drizzle and then it stopped. Everything was changing, so had to take different lines every lap.”

With its newly-minted C2 UCI status, GO Cross drew top men’s contenders from around the U.S., including Werner, last year’s Go Cross winner Tristan Cowie (CTS Cycling Team), 2017 ProCX champion Tobin Ortenblad (Santa Cruz/Donkey Label Racing), and Jack Kisseberth (Garneau-Easton p/b Transitions Lifecare).

Unfazed by the added competition, Cowie took the holeshot to establish his place at the front early. “It was cool to see the first race of the year really deep with talent and fast dudes,” Cowie said. “It’s the first race, and questionable to see where your fitness is and how much depth you have. I was testing the waters a little and it felt good.”

Werner, Kisserberth, Ortenblad and Cowie soon traded turns at the front of the field and within two laps, they had opened a gap on the rest of the competition. “The last three laps, maybe four, it was about positioning,” Werner said. “We were all riding pretty similarly, so it was hard to differentiate. We were all riding really well technically, too. In the middle (of the race), we had (a) chase group getting close to us. We didn’t want to add any guys to the mix, so I went, Jack went, Tobin went, Tristan went. We kind of took our turns and solidified (the break).”

The pace started to take its toll on Cowie. After he yo-yoed behind the leaders a bit, he reconnected with the front group. “They started throwing the big moves and I was pretty taxed,” he recalled. “I was maxed out. I think it was Kerry who hit it pretty hard going through the pits with a lap to go, and I was like, ‘I think I’m done.’”

Kerry continued to push hard for the finish and Ortenbald also got slightly gapped off the back. Going into the final turn, Werner and Kisserberth sprinted shoulder-to-shoulder to the line with Werner taking the win by 9/100ths of a second. Ortenblad finished less than two seconds behind for third. [Check out video coverage of the race on Crosshairs Television.]

Day one at Fallon Park finished off with a strong elite women’s field, featuring Mani, Sunny Gilbert (Van Dessel Factory Team), Crystal Anthony (LIV Cycling) and Rebecca Fahringer (Stan’s NoTubes-Maxxis). Allison Arensman (JA King p/b BR’C) took the holeshot and led the field on the first lap. Mani, Gilbert and Fahringer soon took over at the front with Arensman, Caroline Nolan (Voler/Clif/Rock Lobster), Carla Williams (Deschutes Brewery) and Emily Shields (Amy D Foundation) in the mix.

After pulling out of her pedals at the start, Anthony fought her way through the field of 27 women to the front group. “I knew that it was a hot day, so I had to be aggressive getting back, but somewhat patient,” Anthony said. “So I just picked my way back lap by lap. Part of the way, I wasn’t sure, there were so many strong women there.”

Gilbert decided to make the first big move of the race and was eventually joined by teammate Mani. “I think we combined together well. We had different strengths,” Mani said. “I was better climbing and maybe technically, but on the flat sections she has a lot of power. It was a double win today.”

With the gap opening to the chase group, Fahringer went off on her own, hoping to bridge. Behind, the small chase group—which included Anthony—kept Fahringer in sight.

Although the Van Dessel teammates looked like they would go to the line together, Gilbert slid out with three laps to go. “I laid it down on the drivetrain side and jammed my derailleur and spokes,” Gilbert said. “I had to wrench my derailleur out of my spokes and single-speed with two to go to the pit.”

Fahringer pulled closer to Gilbert, but couldn’t make contact. After sitting in to get a bit of recovery, Anthony made her move on the final lap and reeled in Fahringer, claiming the third spot.

Mani, the 2017 ProCX champion, finished 10 seconds ahead of Gilbert, in 46 minutes 11 seconds. “She was strong, probably stronger than me in the flat sections.”

After taking the top two spots on the podium, Mani and Gilbert head into day two as favorites to repeat their dominant Saturday performance.


Men’s Results

Rank BIB Last Name First Name Country Age Result IRM
1 2 WERNER Kerry USA 27 1:01:59
2 3 KISSEBERTH Jack USA 25 1:01:59
3 1 ORTENBLAD Tobin USA 24 1:02:02
4 8 COWIE Tristan USA 29 1:02:25
5 9 WELLS Troy USA 34 1:02:58
6 4 VAN TICHELT Yorben BEL 24 1:03:11
7 6 THOMPSON Eric USA 29 1:03:15
8 5 KAISER Cody USA 26 1:03:49
9 12 POSTIER Dylan USA 27 1:04:23
10 7 SMITH Scott USA 24 1:04:45
11 14 GIELAR Ian USA 25 1:05:11
12 41 PURSELL Terol USA 30 1:05:22
13 10 DAVIS Merwin USA 26 1:05:44
14 25 WITTWER Greg USA 35 1:05:51
15 36 MULLALY Keith USA 20 1:06:09
16 11 RYAN Alex USA 30 1:06:20
17 32 SCHULZ George USA 19 1:06:23
18 20 SMITH Tyler USA 18 1:06:25
19 30 POTTER Michael USA 27 1:06:26
20 27 ELLSWORTH Kevin USA 30 1:06:30
21 13 COLLINS Patrick USA 23 1:06:52
22 37 ALBAUGH Scott USA 25 1:07:13
23 21 THOMAS Joseph USA 20 1:07:46
24 40 LIVERMON Lucas USA 35 1:08:35
25 31 NIETERS Jared USA 41 1 Lap LAP
26 23 MEGALE Ian USA 30 1 Lap LAP
27 28 OKENFUSS Jon USA 25 2 Lap LAP
28 34 MARION Robert USA 36 2 Lap LAP
29 26 GEIGER Shawn USA 25 2 Lap LAP
30 38 BLACKBURN Trent USA 23 2 Lap LAP
31 42 BORNER Thomas USA 26 2 Lap LAP
32 35 DEAL Frank USA 39 4 Lap LAP
33 22 JOHNSTON Spencer USA 19 4 Lap LAP
34 24 JEFFERSON Gentry USA 18 5 Lap LAP
35 39 BRISTOL Justin USA 30 5 Lap LAP
29 BARING Elliott USA 23 DNS

Women’s Results

Rank BIB Last Name First Name Country Team Age Result IRM
1 101 MANI Caroline FRA 31 0:46:11.32
2 104 GILBERT Sunny USA 39 0:46:21.93
3 103 ANTHONY Crystal USA 38 0:46:31.32
4 102 FAHRINGER Rebecca USA 29 0:46:37.71
5 112 NOLAN Caroline USA 29 0:46:49.54
6 109 WILLIAMS Carla USA 31 0:47:15.21
7 115 NUSS Raylyn USA 27 0:47:40.07
8 108 SHIELDS Emily USA 25 0:47:58.76
9 106 CUMMING Kathryn USA 32 0:48:37.62
10 123 KUYK-WHITE Taylor USA 31 0:48:45.99
12 105 MALIK Jennifer USA 27 0:49:06.47
13 133 TOOLEY Bridget USA 16 0:49:11.17
14 110 SANTOS Katherine USA 21 0:49:15.22
15 111 COOGAN CISEK Corey USA 41 0:49:31.94
16 107 ARENSMAN Allison USA 24 0:49:48.56
17 126 MEGALE Anna USA 27 0:50:04.99
18 132 SHELDON Elisabeth USA 52 0:50:35.32
19 130 ROSSI Jane USA 25 0:50:38.09
20 134 WILLIAMS Marianna USA 28 0:50:56.17
21 125 MARION Philicia USA 35 0:51:04.71
22 120 CAMPBELLFORTE Alexandra USA 37 0:51:31.66
23 122 HUNTER Julie USA 31 0:51:46.30
24 127 PADUCH Kelly USA 27 0:53:22.98
25 128 REINKORDT Elisabeth USA 35 0:54:16.42
26 129 RICE Laura USA 30 LAP
131 RUBINO Rachel USA 34 DNS
114 FERRO Shane USA 29 DNS
121 SCALES Avanell USA 32 DNS

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