GLOUCESTER, Mass. -- Maybe there was magic in the mud in Gloucester as the second round of the North American Cyclocross Trophy saw Jonathon Page’s U.S. finale, Tim Johnson’s return to form, and Natasha Elliott’s stamp of dominance.
With previous NACT leader Christian Heule back in Europe, Page (Planet Bike) moved comfortably into the red jersey with his win on Saturday and second place on Sunday.
The Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com team has three riders in the top 10 with Jamey Driscoll in third, Johnson in fourth and Jeremy Powers in sixth. With Page heading back to Europe, the green and black onslaught of Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld.com will look to take control of the series as the NACT crosses the border into Toronto.
Bissell rider Andy Jacques-Maynes' fifth-place finishes on both days put him in – you guessed it – fifth place overall. Newcomer to ‘cross Chris Jones kept his eye on the podium with third- and sixth-place finishes. The Champion System rider sits in seventh overall, ahead of Danish champion Joachim Parbo and Jesse Anthony (Jamis). Russell Stevenson of Washington rounds out the top 10.
The Kona contingent was noticeably absent from Gloucester this past weekend, as they headed to Portland to help christen the 2009 Cross Crusade at Alpenrose, but a return of the bright orange boys could contribute to some more jostling in the series standings.
Portland's Sue Butler (Monavie-Cannondale) had her work cut out for her as she raced to keep her NACT leader’s jersey. Although top rival Helen Wyman (Kona) has returned to Europe for World Cup racing, Louis Garneau rider Natasha Elliott’s back to back wins moved her into second place overall, only 25 points behind Butler. With the series moving to Canada, Elliott may use the hometown crowd to wrest the jersey from Butler.
Although she didn't race in Gloucester, Luna's Alison Dunlap moved down one position into fourth overall. Laura Van Gilder (C3 Athletes Serving Athletes), Mo Bruno-Roy (Mm Racing/Seven Cycles), and Amanda Carey (Kenda/trainwitheric.com) all used Gloucester to move into fifth through seventh. Though Wendy Williams stayed in Oregon to race, the Hudz-Subaru rider kept her ninth place behind the also absent Kari Studley. Rebecca Wellons (Team Plan C) rode her way to 10th overall with two top 10 finishes at Gloucester.
With Elliott headed for the home-field advantage in Canada, and both Powers and Johnson past winners in Toronto, the 2009 GNC Toronto International Cyclo-Cross will ensure the NACT series continues as a points battle. Organizers also have some extracurricular events planned. On Friday, Oct. 17, Urban Male Magazine in conjunction with Cameron’s Brewing Co will host the TICC pre-race party at downtown Toronto’s iconic Brunswick House (481 Bloor Street West).
Registration is open at www.bikereg.com and more information can be found at www.ontariocycling.org and www.torontocyclocross.com. With the largest cyclocross purse in North America, racers’ eyes are on the prize as the series hits its halfway point. For more full standings and information, see http://www.nacyclocross.com. Follow us on Facebook and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/NACT.
(Submitted by the NACT)