North American Cyclocross Weekend Review, Thanksgiving Edition

Todd Wells at CrossVegas 2011

Jingle Cross Rock (C2/C2/C1)

Jamey Driscoll fired the first shot at Rock 1, kicking off the three-day Jingle Cross Rock races by pulling in a victory for a squad that has underperformed in the Wins department. It was a commanding victory – Driscoll finished nearly 20 seconds ahead of Chris Jones and almost a minute ahead of Driscoll’s teammate Tim Johnson. The race was well blown apart, as National Champion Todd Wells rolled across the line a minute after Johnson to pick up fourth place in his final weekend of cyclocross racing for the season.

As expected, Driscoll and Johnson skipped a very muddy Rock 2 on Saturday in order to rest ahead of the all important C1 Rock 3 on Sunday. This left the door wide open for Wells to pick up the victory in Iowa City. Chris Jones once again rolled across the line in second a head of mid-west standout and workingman’s pro Tristan Schouten.

With a bevy of points on the line, Sunday’s Rock 3 saw a field nearly twice the size of the first two dayss line up in Iowa City. Day 3 was raced under only slightly less heavy conditions than the previous day – still quite muddy. Proving that a little rest goes a long way, Tim Johnson picked up his first UCI victory of the year, besting teammate Driscoll by 46 seconds. Johnson has clearly not been on form during the first half of the season, perhaps he’s coming around at just the right time. Racing his final cross race of the season, Todd Wells rolled across the line in third, capping off a fine weekend for him.

Ben Berden had a relatively quiet weekend considering his success in recent weeks, coming in only 4th and 5th on Saturday and Sunday – perhaps his traveling has caught up with him. We also expected a higher placing from Troy Wells, who managed 4th place on Saturday sandwiched between a pair of 6th places. But overall, the big news from the weekend is the long-awaited victories by Driscoll and Johnson. Now they can get back to work without the burden of no results hanging over them.

Baystate Cyclocross (C2)

Canadian Dylan McNicholas picked up his first UCI victory of the year after multiple podium finishes. He did it in stellar fashion, attacking mid-way through the race and soloing to victory. It seems that McNicholas is emerging to be the dominant force in New England cross in this half of the season, after Justin Lindine, who dominated the early part of the season, has struggled to extend his hot streak.

Fellow Canadian Raphael Gagne finished second ahead of American Jeremy Durrin. Durrin will begin a European campaign next weekend in Iggore, Spain. Meanwhile, a sick and dehydrated Lindine finished fifth, well off the pace. Lindine hopes to get healthy ahead of next weekends NEPCX finale.

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