Pro CX: Keough Moves to ProCX Lead for Women with C1 Win at Jingle Cross; Hyde Maintains Top Spot for Men
With a hard-fought win in the UCI C1 women’s contest on Sept. 15 at the Johnson County Fairgrounds, Kaitlin Keough (Racine, Wisc./Cannondale p/b CyclocrossWorld.com) moved from fourth position in the ProCX to the overall lead. Using the points from a bronze-medal finish in the C1 event, Caroline Mani (Besancon, France/Van Dessel) moved from sixth to second overall. Ellen Noble (Kennebunkport, Maine/Aspire Racing) moved down one position to third, just two points behind Mani. First-week points leader, Maghalie Rochette (St-Jerome,Quebec/CLIF Pro Team), moved to fourth position in the ProCX women’s individual standings.
U.S. Cyclocross National Champion Stephen Hyde (Easthampton, Mass./Cannondale p/b Cyclocross-World.com) maintained his lead in the ProCX men’s individual standings with a Top 10-finish in the C1 race. The big mover for the men was Tobin Ortenblad (Santa Cruz, Calif./Santa Cruz-Donkey Label Racing), who moved from seventh to third in the ProCX standings. He finished third on Sept. 16 in the C2 battle and 11th overall in the C1 contest. Rob Peeters (Dessel, Belgium/Pauwels Sauzen-Vastgoedservic) finished behind Ortenblad on Saturday in fourth and maintained his hold on second overall in the ProCX. Jeremy Powers (Southampton, Mass./Aspire Racing), who entered Jingle Cross weekend in third position of ProCX, moved down to fifth position.
Jingle Cross Highlights - Women
An impressive field competed in the C1 contest on Friday night, including the early leaders in the ProCX - Rochette, Noble and Keough. Among the roster of national champions in the field joining Rochette, the Canadian national champ, French champion Mani, 13-time U.S. Cyclocross champion Katie Compton (Colorado Springs, Colo./KFC Racing p/b Trek-Panache), and Britain’s Helen Wyman (Kona), who won the opening race at Jingle Cross last year.
The dusty course punished the field for seven laps, with Keough and Compton taking turns at the front, leaving the others to fight for third.
“I wasn’t really trying to drop her (Compton). I was planning on trying to sprint against her,” said C1 winner Keough, who grew up a few hours away in Wisconsin. “So to finish a bit ahead of her was even better. I was trying to just lead on the descent of Mount Krumpit. So I just ran hard up the hill and put a little dig when we got back on (the bikes) on the climb. Then when we turned left to come down, I noticed I had a bit of a gap, so I just kept going.”
Making the podium for the women was Mani in third. Noble managed a 12th place finish and first-week ProCX leader Rochette finished 15th.
The 23-rider field in the C2 event was dominated by Jingle Cross veteran Sunny Gilbert (Ballwin, Missouri/Van Dessel Factory Team), who was racing for a 12th year in Iowa. Twenty-year-old Clara Honsinger (Portland, Ore./Team S&M CX) and 23-year-old Sofia Gomez-Villafane of Argentina completed the podium in second and third, respectively.
Many women opted not to compete in the C2 event on Saturday, resting for the World Cup event on Sunday. This turned out to be an advantage for American Keough, who captured a silver medal in the Telenet UCI World Cup.
Jingle Cross Highlists - Men
The “Friday Night Lights” edition of the men’s C1 race started with the Europeans establishing a long line at the front of the 50-rider race and powering through the course to dominate the podium. Belgian riders Laurens Sweeck (ERA-Circus) and Quinten Hermans (Telenet Fidea Lions) finished one-two, with Michael Boros (Pauwels Sauzen Vastgoedservice) of the Czech Republic in third.
Hyde chased the leaders all night and finished eighth. “It hurt,” Hyde said about the furious pace on the first day at Jingle Cross. “It feels good though for the second race weekend of the year. The level of racing here is just so high, it’s really good. I’m really happy with my early-season form.”
Ortenblad was 11th and Powers finished 27th. Belgian rider Peeters did not race Friday.
Saturday’s nine-lap C2 race was a chance for 33 ment to put on a show for Jingle Cross crowds. With three laps to go, the final separation had been made. Belgium’s Gianni Vermeersch (Team Steylaerts) made his final attack on Mount Krumpit, hit the sand pit alone, and kept a six-second gap to the finish for the win. France’s Steve Chainel (Team Chazal/Canyon) crossed the line in second, and Ortenblad was another 13 seconds back for third. Finishing another full minute behind the leaders was Peeters for fourth.
“I tried to be at the front tonight, when there wasn’t a bad headwind, just be smarter than I have been the past couple of races. Yeah, I was up there a lot. You don’t want to get too far behind the group, or it starts rubber banding, and those guys can jump out of the corners really hard,” Ortenblad said after his podium finish.
Since its inception in 2004, Jingle Cross has donated all proceeds to the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital. During podium ceremonies at the races, former pediatric patients treated at the hospital were on stage to present bouquets to the male and female winners.
ProCX continues Sept. 20 at Clif Bar CrossVegas in Las Vegas, Nevada for a C1 event, and Sept. 22 at Trek CXC Cup in Waterloo, Wisc. for a C2 event. Live webcasting will be available for Clif Bar CrossVegas at FloCycling, flobikes.com.
USA Cycling ProCX features the premier cyclocross events in America and uses an overall ranking system to determine the best individual male and female ‘cross racers over the course of the season. The ProCX calendar includes 43 UCI-inscripted Category 1 and Category 2 races in the country. To learn more about USA Cycling, visit usacycling.org, and follow Pro CX all season on Twitter - @USACProCX (#ProCX).