As most of the nation digests their Thanksgiving meals and recovers from the Black Friday extravaganza, the cross world focuses on New England for the final two rounds of the Verge New England Cyclocross series in Sterling, MA. This year, Baystate Cyclocross offers a pair of UCI C2 races, which will bring out the regions top riders. Saturdayâ€™s race will be a typical New England affair, with the regions top riders battling it out for victory. Sunday however, will bring the big guns to town. Jeremy Powers and Tim Johnson confirmed that they will race Sundayâ€™s race and both men are looking for victory. Hereâ€™s how I think the weekend will play out:
Baystate Cyclocross – Day 1 (C2)
Justin Lindine – Lindine hasnâ€™t been able to reproduce last years season, which made him a household name. However, he has quietly had a very solid season in New England and looks set to take the Verge Series title. Look for Lindine to pick up the win in Sterling.
Jeremy Durrin – Durrin is always a podium threat. Last year he landed inside the top five both days. I expect him to podium on Saturday and could even make a bid for victory.
Dan Timmerman – Timmermanâ€™s return to elite cross has been a bit quiet as of late. Timmerman tends to excel in wet conditions, which doesnâ€™t look likely this weekend. However, for some reason, I like Timmerman this weekend. Look for him to podium on Saturday.
Baystate Cyclocross – Day 2 (C2)
Jeremy Powers – Powers seems unstoppable right now. Heâ€™ll head to Europe next weekend for the Roubaix round of the World Cup and we will again see where he stacks up against the worldâ€™s best. For now, look for him to crush it on Sunday.
Tim Johnson – coming off a pair of victories in Iowa, many think Tim Johnson may be back. Heâ€™ll have his hands full with a hungry New England field and perennial rival Jeremy Powers. I would love to say that Johnson could pull off the upset, but I just donâ€™t see it. I expect him to podium though.
Justin Lindine – after a win on Saturday, look for Lindine to try and stay in the mix on Sunday. I think Powers and Johnson are still a step ahead of Lindine, but I like his odds to podium on Sunday.