The Sho-Air US Cup-CX announced on Sunday morning that additional funds are being pledged in order to increase the prize purse and now pay three-places deep for both the elite men’s and elite women’s final overall standings. The overall prize purse was originally a winner-take-all with the overall men’s and women’s winners each receiving $10,000.
A gofundme page has been set up to assist with raising the funds for the increased prize purse and Scott Tedro, President of Sho-Air International, has committed to matching all donations up to $7,500. Therefore, the already $20,000 prize list could grow by $15,000 or more. Velonews confirmed that should the goal be met, the winner would receive $12,500. Second and third-place would receive $3,000 and $2,000 respectively.
“I could not have asked for a better first year of the USCUP-CX series so far,” said series director Ryan Trebon. “The racing has been so close and so competitive each weekend, these women and men have truly earned and deserve more recognition for their efforts.”
Through the first four rounds, Tobin Ortenblad (Santa Cruz/Donkey Label Racing) is leading the elite men’s overall, having won three of the four rounds that have taken place. He swept the opening weekend at the U.S. Cup-CX/KMC Cross Fest in Thompson, Connecticut and won the first day of the U.S. Cup/Charm City Cross in Baltimore, Maryland. He finished fourth on day two in Baltimore.
Kaitlin Keough (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com) is in a tight battle with her teammate Emma White for the elite women’s overall title. Keough has not finished off the podium yet at a US Cup-CX race and as with Ortenbald on the men’s side, has three victories in the series. She won the opening day of the US Cup-CX/KMC Cross Fest and then swept the weekend in Baltimore.
The second round of the Sho-Air US Cup-CX took place this past weekend at the two-day Charm City Cross event in Baltimore, Maryland. Temperatures soared into the 80’s, and racers faced sweaty, damp conditions, as well as a twisting course and a sizable flyover. Kaitie Keough (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com) seized control of the series overall by winning both of the women’s races. Tobin Ortenblad (Donkey Label-Santa Cruz) padded his lead in the men’s series by winning Saturday’s event ahead of Jeremy Powers (Team Aspire Racing). On Sunday, reigning U.S. champion Stephen Hyde took the victory ahead of Spencer Petrov (Aspire Racing).
The series heads to Cincinnati, Ohio, for the third race weekend on October 28-29.
BALTIMORE, Maryland (VN) – Kaitlin Keough (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com) doubled up at the Sho-Air U.S. Cup-CX/Charm City Cross, winning day two in an impressive tactical battle with Canadian national champion Maghalie Rochette (Clif Pro Team).
Though Rochette was able to pull a two-bike-length lead heading into the last half lap, Keough ran the final small staircase halfway through the lap slightly better and was able to jump in front. She then powered her way through the latter technical, wooded portion of the course to pull out a three-second victory. Keough’s Cannondale teammate, Emma White, nabbed the final spot on the podium.
“Maghalie raced really smart today,” Keough said. “Emma and I worked well together again. Maghalie didn’t go to the front until the last lap. I really had to fight for that one.”
Keough thanked some hecklers in the woods for fueling her fire late in the race.
In the men’s race, Stephen Hyde (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com) took the win in another exciting, tactical battle with Spencer Petrov (Aspire Racing). In the last lap, Hyde’s front wheel slid out while in the lead. Petrov rode into the fallen national champ and the two became entangled for a brief moment. Hyde was able to remount a bit faster and the chase was on.
Petrov slipped a pedal on one of the last remounts of the day, hitting his leg. He let out a yell that Hyde heard, and that’s when Hyde gave it everything. He motored in for the win with a four-second lead over Petrov. Kerry Werner (Kona) rolled across the line soon after to round out the podium.
“I gave it my everything for the last lap,” Hyde said. “My plan from the first lap was to hit it as hard as I could to hurt [Tobin] Ortenblad. There’s a lot of elevation gain here; and he has a lot of snap to him. I just needed to break his spirit today.”
1. Stephen Hyde, (USA), 59:56
2. Spencer Petrov, (USA), 01:00:03
3. Kerry Werner, (USA), 01:00:10
4. Tobin Ortenblad, (USA), 01:00:17
5. James Driscoll, (USA), 01:01:21
6. Curtis White, (USA), 01:01:53
7. Jack Kisseberth, (USA), 01:02:07
8. Cooper Willsey, (USA), 01:02:08
9. Tristan Cowie, (USA), 01:02:27
10. Justin Lindine, (USA), 01:02:36
1. Kaitlin Keough, (USA), 44:13
2. Maghalie Rochette, (CAN), 44:16
3. Emma White, (USA), 44:51
4. Caroline Mani, (FRA), 45:14
5. Rebecca Fahringer, (USA), 45:39
6. Crystal Anthony, (USA), 46:24
7. Kathryn Cumming, (USA), 46:33
8. Stacey Barbossa, (USA), 46:43
9. Jennifer Malik, (USA), 46:57
10. Cassandra Maximenko, (USA), 47:17
How the women’s race unfolded
Rebecca Fahringer (Stan’s No Tubes) powered her way to the lead on lap one, closely followed by Ellen Noble (Aspire Racing), White, Keough, and Rochette. The full field was strung out behind.
By the midway point of the second lap, separation crept between the top-five women and the pack, with White on the front of the group. At the end of lap two, Keough moved up to join her teammate at the front, with Fahringer and Rochette close in tow. Noble began to fade while a charging Caroline Mani (Van Dessel) was joined by Crystal Anthony (Shimano-Maxxis) as they worked their way back to the lead pack.
Halfway through lap three, Keough, Rochette, and White began to pull away, leaving Fahringer five seconds back. Noble pulled into the pits and her day was done. Anthony and Mani were working together another 10 seconds back.
That order stayed locked until the middle of lap four when Keough and Rochette measuredly began to pull away from White, with the pair charging ahead to build a six-second lead with three laps to go. Meanwhile, Mani began to distance Anthony. Fahringer continued to dose her effort, staying alone in between the two groups, seven seconds up on Mani.
Keough seemed content to lead, accelerating hard out of every corner. Rochette stayed glued to her wheel.
Heading into the flyover—which was used to reverse the direction of the second half of the course in Druid Hill Park—Keough attacked to try and break the grip Rochette had on her wheel. The Canadian charged back and made contact by the top of the course’s first big climb.
“I really struggle in the heat, and yesterday I had a hard time,” Rochette said. She changed her strategy for the race, pouring water over her head and skipping any warm up. “And I took it mellow and didn’t take any pulls. I hesitated late in the race—I thought I should go but I didn’t, and Katie did. That was the difference.”
In the end, Keough rolled across the line with a three-second margin over Rochette. Further back, White rolled home comfortably in third, and Mani charged past Fahringer for fourth.
How the men’s race unfolded
Hyde, Tobin Ortenblad (Donkey Label-Santa Cruz) and Curtis White (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com) led the pack through the first half of lap one. Jeremy Powers (Aspire Racing) settled into the 10th spot as he worked his way through the twisting, grassy course.
Halfway through the second lap a group of seven formed at the front, containing Hyde, Ortenblad, White, Werner, Michael Van Den Ham (Garneau-Easton p/b Transitions Lifecare), Jamey Driscoll (Donnelly Cycling), and Petrov.
Soon after, things began to fall apart, as Werner took charge of the pace. Driscoll and White began to lose contact. Next, Hyde took the lead, with Ortenblad, Petrov, and Werner, in that order, charging forward.
Werner wasn’t done. He took the lead as the pace eased ever so slightly, allowing Driscoll back in.
Powers, who had continued to drift backward, dropped out at the midpoint in the race.
Petrov was the next to attack, over the barriers, and extended his lead to 10 bike lengths by the flyover. It grew to five seconds by the small staircase on course. Meanwhile, Driscoll suffered a mechanical and ran his way to the pits.
Forty minutes in, with three laps to go, Hyde clawed his way back to Petrov, and Werner made contact another quarter lap later. Ortenblad, jersey unzipped and visibly suffering, somehow found a way to grind his way to the back wheel of the Kona rider another minute later.
The four held a lead of over 45 seconds to Driscoll. Petrov sat up to stretch his back and Hyde took the lead. The four were riding in lockstep for the remainder of the lap, until Hyde struck out yet again. Petrov was the only one who could keep pace.
At the start of the final lap, the pair had quickly built a seven-second lead. Ortenblad and Werner settled in for their fight for the final podium spot.
“That was some of the best racing I’ve ever done in the U.S.,” Hyde said. “The way that race played out, and how hard everyone was going, it never happens like that. I’m really excited with the win.”
BALTIMORE, Maryland (VN) – Kaitlin Keough (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com) led for nearly the entire race at the Sho-Air US Cup-CX/Charm City Cross Day 1, winning solo with a 25-second lead over her teammate Emma White. Ellen Noble (Aspire Racing) charged across the line for third.
The two teammates, along with Noble, quickly separated themselves from the rest of the pack under unseasonably warm conditions at the UCI C1 event in Baltimore, Maryland. The mostly grass track was seared from the day’s previous groups, which included almost 1600 pre-registered athletes for the weekend.
“This comes at the end of a big block of racing for me so I’m definitely feeling it,” Keough said. “It’s also been really hot for the past five weeks and it’s taking its toll. I just wanted to end this block strong, and dig, and get more points at this C1. I’m really happy with the win.”
In a thrilling men’s race, strategy played an important role in the outcome, as Tobin Ortenblad (Donkey Label-Santa Cruz), Jeremy Powers (Aspire Racing), Stephen Hyde (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com), and Kerry Werner (Kona) charged into the last lap together, battling for position until the last corner of the race. Ultimately, Ortenblad sprinted to victory, passing Powers at the line, with Hyde completing the podium. Werner, who rode until the final quarter lap amongst the fold, rolled across the line soon after in fourth.
“That finish straight is so short we actually put smaller chainrings on because we knew the wind-up was going to be very important,” Ortenblad said. “There was a moment when [Powers] came back, and I was like, ‘Come on, this is a UCI C1!”
Men’s Top 10
1. Tobin Ortenblad, (USA), 1:00:14
2. Jeremy Powers, (USA), 1:00:14
3. Stephen Hyde, (USA), 1:00:16
4. Kerry Werner, (USA), 1:00:18
5. Spencer Petrov, (USA), 1:00:57
6. Curtis White, (USA), 1:01:18
7. Tristan Cowie, (USA), 1:01:26
8. James Driscoll, (USA), 1:01:36
9. Cody Kaiser, (USA), 1:02:34
10. Justin Lindine, (USA), 1:02:48
Women’s Top 10
1. Kaitlin Keough, (USA), 0:44:27
2. Emma White, (USA), 0:44:52
3. Ellen Noble, (USA), 0:45:14
4. Crystal Anthony, (USA), 0:45:21
5. Rebecca Fahringer, (USA), 0:45:36
6. Caroline Mani, (FRA), 0:45:51
7. Arley Kemmerer, (USA), 0:46:32
8. Hannah Arensman, (USA), 0:46:46
9. Lily Williams, (USA), 0:46:54
10. Kathryn Cumming, (USA), 0:46:59
How the women’s race unfolded
Maghalie Rochette (Clif Pro Team), Noble, Keough, and White led the pack around the first lap of the race, just gapping the rest of the field. By the end of lap one, White had gone to the front, bringing Noble with her. Keough was close behind. Crystal Anthony (Maxxis Shimano) led the chasing pack.
White, Noble, and Keough gained even more separation by the end of lap two. Anthony, Caroline Mani (Van Dessel/Atom Composites), and Rebecca Fahringer (Stan’s No Tubes) chased 15 seconds back. Soon after, the Cannondale pair went to the front and began to distance Noble. Meanwhile, Fahringer gapped her group over the barriers and set off in chase of the leaders.
Midway through the third lap, the gap was five seconds. Noble was caught in no-man’s land and struggling to hold the gap steady.
“I know how I race in the heat, and it’s not good,” Noble said. “I got to that point that I knew if I kept going that same pace that the race would be over and I would be back at the team tent and I wouldn’t finish. I pulled the plug early so I could keep going. Once these ladies rode away I knew it was just defensive racing to stay on the podium.”
At the line, the gap was nine seconds, as the two Cannondale riders took turns on the front throwing in digs. Fahringer was another 10 seconds back with Anthony closing the gap with every pedal stroke.
With two laps to go, Keough finally broke the stranglehold, distancing her teammate by five seconds by the time they cleared the barriers. Noble began to fade even further but still held a 12 second lead on Fahringer and Anthony.
At the bell, Keough held a 10-second lead over White. Noble was cruising another 20 seconds back. Anthony had by this time passed and distanced Fahringer, and was another 10 seconds behind the final podium spot.
Keough now leads the Sho-Air US Cup-CX Series over White.
How the men’s race unfolded
In the men’s race, Ortenblad took the holeshot to lead the group. Through lap one, nearly the entire field was strung out single-file, with Ortenblad still in the lead, as they twisted through the grassy knolls of Druid Hill Park.
At the start of lap two, Stephen Hyde surged as the group swelled. Slowly but surely, the group began to splinter. Jeremy Powers and teammate Spencer Petrov (Aspire Racing), Kerry Werner (Kona), Hyde, Curtis White (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com), and Ortenblad comprised the front group with five laps to go.
Jamey Driscoll (Donnelly Racing) dangled a few seconds back.
The race stayed in that formation for another lap, with Powers on the front for nearly the entire loop.
Midway through the next lap, Hyde took the lead and opened up the throttle. Driscoll was the first to be popped. Soon it was Werner’s turn to attack. White was put into difficulty and the gap began to grow. The lead group was down to five: Werner, Hyde, Powers, Ortenblad, and Petrov.
“At one point, I was thinking, ‘One of us is going to die,’” Hyde said. “The heat was getting to all of us. Either one of us was going to crash or die of heat stroke or win, and that’s how it worked out.”
With two laps to go, Petrov, 19, was the next to struggle to hold the front group. Still, he held the pace, until just before the last lap began when Hyde threw down a vicious attack. Still, the group remained intact.
On the last lap, Powers attacked into the 20-step flyover to move into second place behind Hyde. Out of every corner, Hyde snapped into high gear, and Petrov was dropped. It was down to four.
Aggressive racing saw the four swapping leads, blocking, and positioning themselves for a sprint finish on the last half of the last lap.
“I’m never good running with my bike awkwardly beside me in the sand, so I just dictated the pace and slowed it down just a bit,” Powers said. “Last year I sprinted Dan Timmerman to [second place] in this same exact way. I knew leading it out was going to be my best shot.”
Powers led onto the paved finishing straight, but couldn’t hold off a charging Ortenblad. The Santa Cruz rider leads the overall in the Sho-Air US Cup-CX Series, having won all three rounds that have been contested.
Who is the better cyclocross racer: Emma White, Maghalie Rochette, or Kaitlin Keough?
It’s the question that could be answered this coming weekend at Baltimore’s Charm City Cyclocross, which serves as the second race weekend of the new US Cup-CX series. After one weekend of racing, the three women are tied for first place in the series’ points standings.
The series is composed of seven total races (three UCI C1 and four UCI C2) spread out over four race weekends. The series awards 75 points to the winner of each C1 race and 70 to the winner of each C2 race, respectively.
The winner-take-all series pays out $10,000 to the winner of both the men’s and women’s standings.
Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com teammates Keough and White posted identical results during the KMC weekend; Keough won Friday’s C1 race and finished third during Sunday’s C2 event, while White finished third and first. Canadian champion Rochette (Team CLIF) was second on both days, giving her an identical points total.
All eyes will be on Tobin Ortenblad in Baltimore after the 23-year-old won both rounds at the KMC Festival. Ortenblad (Donkey Label-Santa Cruz) holds a commanding lead over Stephen Hyde (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com) in the men’s standings.
Weather could be a factor in the Baltimore races, which in 2016 featured thick, chunky mud and driving rain. The current weather report calls for sunshine and warm temperatures for Saturday’s C1 race and rain for the C2 race on Sunday. Stay tuned to velonews.com for news and updates from the US Cup-CX/Charm City Cross race weekend.
Sho Air US Cup-CX Standings
Elite Women Top-10
Emma White, Cannondale-Cylocrossworld.com, 135 points
Maghalie Rochette (Can), CLIF Pro Team, 135
Kaitlin Keough, Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com, 135
Rebecca Fahringer, Stans NoTubes-Maxxis, 105
Crystal Anthony, Maxxis-Shimano, 105
Christel Ferrier-Bruneau, Sas Macogep Aquisio, 105
Ellen Noble, Aspire Racing, 85
Arley Kemmerer, Fearless Femme, 65
Katie Clouse, Alpha Bicycle Co, 51
Allison Arensman, JA King-BRC, 50
Elite Men Top-10
Tobin Ortenblad, Donkey Label-Santa Cruz, 145 points
Stephen Hyde, Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com, 125
Kerry Werner, Kona Factory Team, 110
Curtis White, Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com, 105
Spencer Petrov, Aspire Racing, 90
Bjorn Selander, Borah, 85
Cooper Willsey, CCB Velotooler, 85
Jack Kisseberth, JAM Fund-NCC, 76
James Driscoll, Donnelly Racing, 75
Denzel Stephenson, Boulder Junior Cycling, 50