Pro CX: Keough and Ortenblad Continue Assault of C1 Races
Men’s Juniors and U23 Points on line at US Open of Cyclocross Oct. 14-15; Upcoming Weekend Launches Vittoria Northeast Cyclocross Series at CRAFT Sportswear Gran Prix of Gloucester
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Oct. 10, 2017) — Winning ways continued for the leaders of USA Cycling’s Professional Cyclocross Calendar (ProCX) at Charm City Cross in Baltimore, Maryland. Kaitlin Keough (Racine, Wisc./Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com) added to her collection of podium finishes for the Elite Women with back-to-back victories at Druid Hill Park on Oct. 7-8. Tobin Ortenblad (Santa Cruz, Calif./Santa Cruz/Donkey Label Racing) followed his double wins at KMC Cross Fest with the Category 1 victory, and a Category 2 fourth-place finish, in the Elite Men’s events.
Both riders use success at Charm City Cross to pad their leads in the overall ProCX point standings. They also take the reigns in the four-event ShoAir US Cup-CX Series.
Keough has 505 total points for a solid lead in ProCX women’s standings. With a fourth place finish Saturday in the C1 race, and a sixth place Sunday in the C2, Crystal Anthony (Newbury Park, Calif./Maxxis-Shimano) moved up one spot to tie Ellen Noble (Kennebunkport, Maine/Aspire Racing) for a tie for second overall, each with 366 points. Noble would take a bronze in the C1 race in Baltimore, but only complete two laps and not finish the C2 contest the next day.
“This is like the fifth weekend of having a really hot (racing) and it’s starting to take a toll. Hopefully we’ll get some cool weather soon,” said Keough, who earned her seventh podium spot, five of those wins, this ProCX season. “This is my last race for a little bit at the end of a big block, so I’m happy to do well here this weekend.”
For a second consecutive week, Emma White (Delanson, N.Y./Cannondale p/b Cyclocross-World.com) was one of the big movers for the women, now sitting fourth overall. She gained 116 points with two podium finishes at Charm City Cross to raise her total to 324 ProCX points and jump ahead of Maghalie Rochette (St-Jerome,Quebec/CLIF Pro Team) and Caroline Mani (Besancon, France/Van Dessel). Rochette is now fifth overall, and Mani is just 10 points behind in sixth.
Stephen Hyde (Easthampton, Mass./Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com) keeps an eye on the red-hot Ortenblad and sits second to the California rider by only 25 points. The reigning U.S. national champ was on the podium twice at Charm City Cross, earning a bronze in the C1 and a gold in the C2 races. However, with points weighing higher for the C1 contest, the win in that event by Ortenblad gave him the edge in the ProCX standings to continue his lead.
With Laurens Sweeck (Leuven, Belgium/ERA Real Estate-Circus) racing in Europe now, he moved from third to sixth spot. This allowed the next three competitors to move up a notch as a group. Nineteen-year-old Spencer Petrov (Mason, Ohio/Aspire Racing) had two Top Five’s at Charm City Cross, including a second place finish in the C2 race, to move into third overall on the ProCX standings. Jeremy Powers (Southampton, Mass./Aspire Racing), used his second place finish in the Charm City C1 race to move into fourth place in the ProCX standings. And Kerry Werner (Kona Factory CX Team) used his third and fourth-place finishes at Charm City to overtake the fifth position in the overall standings.
One of the big movers on the men’s side this past week was Curtis White (Delanson, N.Y./Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com). He used a pair of sixth place finishes at Charm City Cross to move from 13th to eighth overall in ProCX standings. Celebrating a birthday in late September, the 22-year-old now joins Petrov as one of the top-ranked U23 riders. Reigning U23 Cyclocross national champion Lance Haidet (San Luis Obispo, Calif./Donnelly Sports),19 years of age, sits 10th overall in the ProCX standings.
Charm City Cross was the second stop of the ShoAir US Cup-CX Series. A prize purse of $20,000 will be shared equally for the top woman and man at the final race in Louisville, Ky. on Nov. 4. With top finishes in Baltimore, Keough and Ortenblad exit the weekend as the solid leaders in the Sho-Air US Cup-CX Series. White and Rochette are second and third, respectively, on the women’s side. For the men, Hyde sits in second place and Werner is in third.
“I came into the season and saw the prize purse was huge. I run my own so it’s a hustle to find sponsors, to find the money. So, 10 grand prize purse is pretty big,” said Ortenblad about the new ShoAir US Cup-CX Series and cash payout. “I knew it was something I could potentially win. When you are out there racing you forget about that part, and you just want to win no matter what. I am leading and hopefully, I can hold onto the lead for the next couple of weeks.”
This weekend, Oct. 14-15, ProCX will continue with Category 2 competitions in New England and Colorado. The first of four events for the Vittoria Northeast Cyclocross Series presented by Clif Bar will begin at the CRAFT Sportswear Gran Prix of Gloucester in Mass. Elite Women’s and Elite Men’s races will be held at historic Stage Fort Park in Gloucester for a 19th year, which has given the event the label of the “New England Worlds”.
Boulder, Colo. will feature the U.S. Open of Cyclocross at Valmont Bike Park. This event will feature UCI cyclocross events for Under-23 Men and Junior 17-18 Men. It will be the first Under-23 competition for men with ProCX points. This is the second event of the year for the Junior 17-18 Men, with Calder Wood (Anacortes, Wash./RAD Racing NW) leading ProCX points with his C1 win at KMC Cross Fest. Winning the C2 race in Conn., Benjamin Gomez Villafane (Scotts Valley, Calif./Top Club CycloCross) is second in the standings.
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 2017 ProCX schedule provides a total of 43 race days across 18 states and the District of Columbia. For information on the ProCX, visit www.usacycling.org/procx/. Follow Pro CX all season on Twitter - @USACProCX (#ProCX).