Two of Americaâ€™s top cross series conclude this weekend on opposite sides of the country. The NBX Grand Prix in Warwick, Rhode Island hosts the finale of the NEPCX with two UCI C2 races. Jeremy Powers has locked up the overall, but the rest of the top five arenâ€™t racing this weekend. That leaves room for a handful of New Englanders to podium in the overall. The Cross After Dark series concludes in Los Angeles, California this weekend. CXLA provides a pair of UCI C2 races, including Saturdayâ€™s Cross After Dark finale. Hereâ€™s how I think things will shape up:
NBX Grand Prix – Day 1 (C2)
Jeremy Durrin – after picking up his first UCI victory last weekend, look for Durrin to make a late charge for a NEPCX podium appearance with a win in Rhode Island. If he can win, that would put him within an earshot of the podium.
Dylan McNicholas – another rider who could make a bid for the NEPCX podium, McNicholas rode well here last year. Iâ€™m expecting a large lead group to form, so anyone could have a shot at victory. Right now I give the edge to Durrin, but a win by McNicholas wouldnâ€™t surprise me.
Shawn Milne – somewhat of a revelation last weekend in Sterling, Milne has been around the cross scene for a while. Look for him to continue his recent podium appearances with another one on Saturday.
CXLA Weekend – Day 1 (C2)
Ben Berden – thereâ€™s a lot of top names headed to LA this weekend, but Iâ€™m going to give the edge to Berden. Once again, Berden is in a neck-and-neck battle with Ryan Trebon for the Cross After Dark overall. What better way to win the crown, than winning the last race.
Ryan Trebon – Trebon rode well in Iowa, minus Sundayâ€™s abrupt disappearance. He took last weekend off and looks poised for some good results. Look for him to land on the podium on Sunday.
Chris Jones – as previously mentioned, thereâ€™s about a dozen or so guys in LA who could land on the podium. Look for Jones to continue his strong season with a podium place on Saturday.
NBX Grand prix – Day 2 (C2)
Dylan McNicholas – the depth and quality of the elite fields in New England right now is astounding. To be perfectly honest, I could pick half-a-dozen people to win. I like McNicholas in a slower race on Sunday.
Mike Garrigan – always a podium threat, look for Garrigan to push for victory on Sunday. Heâ€™ll make things interesting, much like he did in Sterling last Saturday. In the end, I expect him to land on the podium, but I feel a win coming in the future.
Jeremy Durrin – last year I was perusing a World Cup start list and saw this American rider listed. Honestly, I had never heard of him. After watching him get a Euro beatdown for nearly a month, I knew Durrin was a rider to watch. I think his time has come. For some reason I canâ€™t see him doing the double, but I expect him on the podium.
CXLA Weekend – Day 2 (C2)
Ryan Trebon – after failing to win on Saturday, Trebon should pick up the victory on Sunday. The USGP heads to his native Oregon next weekend and a victory in LA should give him an extra boost for those races.
James Driscoll – the â€œstudious oneâ€ has had another excellent season. Always a podium threat, look for him the land on the podium with his teammate, Trebon.
Zach McDonald – despite suffering a bit of a burnout, and bad legs, last weekend in Koksijde, McDonald is still a top rider and a podium threat. I expect him to make things interesting all weekend and have him on the podium on Sunday.