Q&A: Georgia Gould on motherhood and returning to racing

BALTIMORE, Maryland (VN) — Georgia Gould doesn’t need much introduction. A bronze medalist at the 2012 London Olympic Games mountain bike race, she has been at the top of off-road racing for over a decade, winning multiple mountain bike national titles, as well as scores of races and series in mountain biking and cyclocross.

In June, Gould gave birth to a daughter, Quinn. Now, she has returned to racing, taking baby steps back into the cyclocross scene.

VeloNews caught up with Gould at the U.S. Cup-CX/Charm City Cross where she started at the back of the field and worked her way to 17th Saturday and 11th Sunday.

VeloNews: First, tell us about motherhood.

Georgia Gould: It’s a lot, it’s overwhelming, it’s very cool. I’ve been having such a good time with her; it seems like every day there’s something new, just leaps and bounds. To see everything from the perspective of someone who’s never seen anything is awesome. The first time she was awake in the grocery store, just looking around, like, ‘Oh, that’s a lot of cabbages! Different colors!’ You realize all the stuff that we filter out. You just adjust your perspective. I’ve had a really good time. Sure, you don’t sleep the first little bit there. I think, ‘Oh, I think I’m recovered from that,’ and then I’ll put cereal back in the fridge. ‘Whoa, I’m clearly not all there!’ All my energy is going toward keeping this person safe and fed and healthy and then everything else kind of falls apart a little bit. But so far so good.

VN: Was it always your intention to return to racing this cyclocross season?

GG: I always knew I was going to race again, but I didn’t know what that was going to look like because I’m not sure there is a market for, like, new moms, ‘We want to pay you a lot of money to race your bike even though you’ll probably be at the back of the field!” If there is, please feel free to contact me! You can find all my contact info through VeloNews.

[Laughs]

I knew I would come back to racing in some capacity, I just figured it would be kind of a weekend-warrior type of scenario. Which is fine, because I love racing — I’ll always do it in some form or another. But I didn’t put a timeline on that because there’s just so much stuff that can happen. I wanted to make sure that my baby was my focus, especially during those first few months. I felt totally okay to put racing and training fully on the back burner, and I’m glad that I did. And it’s also been fun to come back without any expectation and almost start all over again. Called up in the back, I’ve got one bike — I don’t even have a pit bike, just one set of wheels that I always forget to pick up after the race. Back to my roots!

VN: What’s it like to be the mother of a four-month-old on race day?

GG: It’s a whole different pre-race routine. ‘Okay, I’m going to pre-ride, and then I’m going to feed the baby, and …’ What’s nice for me is that, since I haven’t been training — I’ve been riding a little bit but not what I would consider training to be ready for a race — I don’t have an expectation going into race day. It’s, ‘Hopefully I can pre-ride! But who knows! I might not be able to, and that’s fine too.’ It almost fits in perfectly with being a new mom. I’ve found you kind of have to have a plan, but be flexible. There’s a balance between trying to have fixed habits and be flexible so you aren’t just like a robot. Your baby isn’t a robot so you’re going to have to give and take a little bit. At this point in my life, it’s about going with the flow.

VN: You won a bronze medal at the Olympics. Now you’re starting at the back of the field in local ’cross races. Is that at all strange or disappointing to you?

GG: No, not at all. Again, if I’d been training and felt like I deserved to be at the front of the race, then, yeah, that would be disappointing to be in the back. But I think it depends on the perspective that you have. When I decided to jump into a few races, I did it knowing it was going to be really hard — I hadn’t done any race efforts, you know. ‘Knowing all that and that I’m going to be in the back, do I still want to race? Do I still like racing for the sake of racing? Or do I really just care about winning races?’

The season after the Olympics I had my worst season ever. After a couple rough seasons, I had to have that talk with myself anyways. ‘Do I want to retire because I’m sucking in the races? Or do I keep going and, even though I’m not doing as well as I’d like, is there still something there?’ I realize that I do like racing for racing’s sake. I think that made this a lot easier for me. You have to earn to get up to the front. You have to earn it every time. It’s not like once you win a race you belong up there. No, you have to earn it every single race — again, anew.

I’m happy to sort of start that process over, and of course, it’s in a different way because I’m not getting paid to train and race my bike. But I love it. People are still racing in the back. It’s still a challenge. That’s sort of what I wanted to do. I missed that. It’s funny, the very first race I did was just a local race in Colorado. Earlier that morning I was folding up laundry and the baby was there, and it was ‘Oh man, I’m racing later!’ And I got butterflies. I mean full-on, ‘I’m racing, oh my god!’ Seriously? I haven’t even prepared for this. ‘Oh my gosh, how’s it going to go?’ I think that’s how you know that you still want to race. For me, it’s not really about the results.

VN: Have you begun to daydream about the time when you can take Quinn out for her first bike ride?

GG: Well, yes it’s already been so much fun. We have a little bike trailer and just going out and cruising around on the bike path. There’s a little screen that comes down and I didn’t put it down, it was a little wet out that day, and we get back and there’s like dirt all over her and bugs in her hair! [laughs] Ooh, not the mom of the year! But doing anything with her is so much fun because it’s the first time. ‘Look, this is an apple!’ So, of course, it will be so much fun to teach her how to ride a bike or a motorcycle and start over again from her perspective. That will be really cool.

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How Charm City Cross keeps pushing cyclocross forward

BALTIMORE, Maryland (VN) — Fifteen years ago, Kris Auer brought his New England cyclocross roots to Baltimore, Maryland. After moving from Keene, New Hampshire, where he grew up racing and training with the McCormack brothers, Adam Myerson, Jonathan Page, among other pioneering talents in the sport, Auer saw a scene that, as he describes it, was a bit of “jungle cross.” It was fun, but it wasn’t structured.

He missed his New England community, so he set out to build a new one in the Mid-Atlantic. He began teaching clinics every Wednesday from August to November. (He continued to do so for the next 13 years.) He started a race and called it Charm City Cross. (In 1975, at a meeting of advertisers, the nickname “Charm City” was given to Baltimore in an effort to improve the city’s reputation.)

Next, he started a team, and then he opened a bike shop, Twenty20 Cycling. The day he opened, he had a 50-rider club and a small pro team that supported the likes of Laura Van Gilder. They hit the ground running and worked diligently and methodically to craft their marquee event.

For the past 13 years, Charm City Cross has continued to evolve and push forward the notion that ’cross can be a professionally run, dynamic sport for both amateurs and professionals alike. Now it’s part of the Sho-Air U.S. Cup-CX, a new national series that is reinvigorating ’cross.

“I knew the type of product Kris put together — it’s very professional,” said series director and former pro Ryan Trebon. “I knew it’s a race that we could come into with the series and it would be an awesome show. It would make what we’re doing look good, and hopefully make him look even better. The Mid-Atlantic tends to get forgotten in the national scene, but it has a great history of races with fantastic events. This is a race that, now being here and seeing what it is, I’m bummed I never got to race.”

VeloNews caught up with Auer to discuss his and his club’s efforts to push ‘cross forward while standing under the gargantuan flyover that sat at the center of the Charm City course in Baltimore’s Druid Hill Park.

In 2014, Twenty20 Cycling put up money to provide equal payout for the women’s field at Koppenbergcross. How did that come about?

That was Helen Wyman and myself. [At that point, Wyman had won the Charm City race four times consecutively, and Auer and Wyman had become good friends. -Ed.] I was over in Belgium during the Christmas period taking care of some of my riders. We were just chatting and she asked, ‘Do you think anyone would be interested in equalizing prize money in Europe, because the Koppenbergcross is interested in having this discussion?’ I immediately was, ‘I’ll do it!’

Why?

Because it needed to be done. There was no other reason than — okay, ego speaking — it’s really cool. I was like, ‘I can be part of one of the biggest races!’ The flip-side to that is, over there when you see an event, when the women can’t park where the men park, when they are literally making a tenth of what the men make. So it makes sense, and if you’ve been following ’cross for the last few years, quite honestly, the women’s races have been — in one guy’s opinion — better races. It’s not that the men aren’t talented and fast and exciting to watch. But the women’s races are not open and shut — you’ve got to learn it; you’ve got to watch it and know any one of 10 or 12 women could win. You never know who it’s going to be next. That’s really cool, and it’s more exciting as a fan. They’re providing the sport with great entertainment and great racing, and so we should provide for them.

I think it was good that an American did it because a lot of folks in Europe were like, ‘That’s not cool.’ So it made them think about it for a second. It made them say, ‘He did that? Wait a second, how’d that work out?’ It’s ridiculous that a bike shop in America sponsored one of the biggest cross races in the world. It’s absolutely absurd.

(After two years of supporting the race, Auer had sold out of Twenty20 Cycling. Even though he had the option to continue supporting the Koppenbergcross, he decided to pass. As the driver of the initiative, and guarantor of the monies, it was time to step back. Now, as he notes, it’s part of the culture and the UCI rulebook.)

What did Twenty20 get in return?

Primarily the satisfaction, and the fact that, I believe, we were able to take a step forward and get the ball farther down the field. We weren’t able to monetize that, but we really didn’t try to monetize it. We operated more along the lines of, ‘Hey, it’d be rad if … and people bought some bikes because of it.’

On the other hand, in my travels across the country and around the world, every now and again someone will unexpectedly say, ‘Oh, hey man, I know that. I know what you did.’ That’s really cool. Even though I don’t think it spread even through the cyclocross community completely, enough people got it that they respect it and the push that’s still needed. Now C1s offer equal payouts, C2s are equal, and now Trek has equalized a World Cup for the first time, and prize money is increasing. Helen Wyman has been a huge, huge factor in that.

How did the relationship with the U.S. Cup-CX come about?

Ryan [Trebon] gave me a shout. I’ve known Ryan for a few years. He hit me up and asked me if I’d be interested if this comes together. It was the same thing as with the Koppenberg. ‘Yup!’ He said, ‘I don’t really have anything but broad strokes.’ I said, ‘No problem, all good.’

The U.S. needs a series and I was like, ‘Why not?’ It’s being well received. There’s probably going to be some good feedback. Sho-Air is awesome to that relationship. They’re a huge supporter of cycling and I’m psyched they’re in ’cross now. It may not be that my race is perfect; it may not be that the series is perfect. Certainly nothing in bike racing is perfect. But we learn every time to do things better; I think the potential here is huge.

I hope we’re part of the series going forward. It’s important for the series to have a [UCI] C1 race. That might not honestly be something we can continue to do. It does almost eliminate all possibility of any profit. I’m not talking about profit that allows you to go to Hawaii. I’m talking profit — in dollars — that helps you continue to grow the race. We didn’t achieve that last year as a C1. And no one gets paid. It’s all volunteers.

I think it’s important for the U.S. to have a series. Our problem with ’cross is scheduling and the size of the country. We need to have big races to have the best people at them. For our race, the pros are just the cherry on top. For a series, we need the professionalism that something like the U.S. Cup brings.

What did it take from a race organization perspective to be part of the U.S. Cup-CX?

There’s a little bit more infrastructure and amenities — an air-conditioned media tent, for example! [laughs] We’ve never even had a media tent before. We may not get the full-on national respect here in Baltimore; we just try to focus on the product and aren’t maybe the greatest self-promoters. But the series helped motivate the staff — even though we didn’t know what the U.S. Cup was going to be — to take that extra step forward. We’ve always thought about the ways to make the event bigger and better — an infield with food trucks and a kid’s race with a mini-flyover — and this really helped push us forward. While it didn’t monetarily cost us anything, per se, to be a part of the series, it made us move forward.

Whose idea was it to build the mammoth 20-step flyover this year?

That was me and Jay Lazar, my partner in the race. The opportunity came up through one of our sponsors, who had a connection with this scaffolding company, and we talked about how we could do it. Believe it or not, it’s smaller than we were going to have it. In hindsight, maybe it should have been a bit smaller still [laughs]. This was four full days of work — it was labor intensive.

We had just over 1,600 pre-registered athletes this year, which is just slightly higher than last year, and I think that’s because we were a C1 and part of the U.S. Cup-CX. Hopefully, after this year people will get the message — I think we did something special. We may have overcompensated a little bit this year, in a good way [laughs].

Basically, we had this silly idea. It was a ridiculous thing to do. And so we had to do it. I’ve never seen one this big in the States. I’m not trying to outdo anybody, I just thought why not? It shows opportunities. We’re always trying to push it forward.

What’s your philosophy as a race director?

To me, ’cross is about getting off your bike. If no one got off their bike on this course, I wouldn’t be interested. Here, depending on how skilled you are, you may be off the bike five times a lap. It teaches people to have skills again. Not just strength. I want both. Strongest, smartest, and most skilled wins: That’s my dream winner. There’s a place for grass tracks, so to speak, but I want to see people dismount, I want to see people screw up a remount, I want people to have to think things through. So much bike racing is formulaic, it’s nice to see something more dynamic.

I like to believe that people see what we do and they think about their courses, even if it’s for five more minutes, and add a feature or something to their course that makes it better. I hope that’s what’s happening. If you put on a race tomorrow and put up a bigger flyover than us — which I wouldn’t recommend to anybody [laughs] — I would think that was the raddest thing in the world. I’m all for us going back and forth with every club in the area and blowing things up. It’s not like we want to be better than you, it’s about all being better together.

You’re a soft-spoken person. What has made you so successful as a leader?

I’m a quiet guy most of the time, but put me in a bike race or put me around bike people, my people, and I’m an opinionated son of a bitch. I’ll put my opinion out there. It’s not always right or popular, and eventually, I see my faults.

But more importantly, I genuinely appreciate every volunteer here. It sounds idiotic, but I usually give a little speech at the end of the race weekend, and I damn near bust out crying every year because it’s everybody doing this. That’s rad. We live in such a huge country, with so many people, to find a community you can be in and be tight with even if you don’t always agree, is really meaningful to me.

What’s the story behind the name, Charm City Cross?

I came here for a summer and I stayed for 15 years. It was a really great place for me to be; it was a really easy place to create something. That’s a lot of what still goes on in Baltimore. Baltimore is just not recognized, people look down on it, and people here use that as a strength. Trust me, it’s not without its issues. Coming here from New England, I heard the name Charm City and I just didn’t get it at first. But two years in, forget it. I don’t know about the advertiser thing, but it really has its charms. We call it ‘Smalltimore,’ and a few other less nice names at times, but the community is so easy to get into here. You can create here. There are no shackles.

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Video: Highlights from the US Cup-CX/Charm City Cross

 

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.

Video produced by Sam Smith/US Cup-CX

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Charm City Cross: Keough, Hyde take Day 2 in Baltimore

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.”

Men’s Top-10

  • 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

Women’s Top-10

  • 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

Kaitlin Keough (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com) won again on day 2 of the Sho-Air U.S. Cup-CX/Charm City Cross to sweep the weekend. Photo: Ricoh Riott/Peloton Sports

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.”

Men’s full results

  • 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
  • 11. Cody Kaiser, (USA), 01:02:49
  • 12. Michael Van Den Ham, (CAN), 01:03:08
  • 13. Samuel O’keefe, (USA), 01:03:11
  • 14. Gunnar Holmgren, (CAN), 01:03:21
  • 15. Byron Rice, (USA), 01:03:21
  • 16. Scott Smith, (USA), 01:03:44
  • 17. Scott Mcgill, (USA), 01:04:05
  • 18. Evan Murphy, (USA), 01:04:13
  • 19. Trevor O’donnell, (CAN), 01:04:18
  • 20. Daniel Chabanov, (USA), 01:04:46
  • 21. Nicholas Diniz, (CAN), 01:04:55
  • 22. Bjorn Selander, (USA), 01:05:05
  • 23. Troy Wells, (USA), 01:05:26
  • 24. Kevin Bradford-Parish, (USA), 01:05:50
  • 25. Andrew Giniat, (USA), 01:06:26
  • 26. Dylan Postier, (USA), 01:06:53
  • 27. Tyler Cloutier, (USA)
  • 28. Jared Nieters, (USA)
  • 29. Christopher Rabadi, (USA)
  • 30. Jesse Stauffer, (USA)
  • 31. William Sheftall, (USA)
  • 32. Mike Festa, (USA)
  • 33. Jules Goguely, (USA)
  • 34. Samuel Kieffer, (USA)
  • 35. Jeremy Burkhardt, (USA)
  • 36. Merwin Davis, (USA)
  • 37. Trent Blackburn, (USA)
  • 38. Andrew Bailey, (USA)
  • 39. Ryan Dewald, (USA)
  • 40. Ryan Grenier, (USA)
  • 41. Scott Myers, (USA)
  • 42. Matthew Tyler, (USA)
  • 43. Patrick Miller, (USA)
  • 44. George Schulz, (USA)
  • 45. Christian Ricci, (CAN)
  • 46. Jon Fields, (USA)
  • 47. Matthew Reeves, (USA)

Women’s full results

  • 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
  • 11. Georgia Gould, (USA), 47:32
  • 12. Hannah Arensman, (USA), 47:40
  • 13. Lily Williams, (USA), 47:56
  • 14. Rebecca Gross, (USA), 48:02
  • 15. Emily Shields, (USA), 48:12
  • 16. Laura Van Gilder, (USA), 48:23
  • 17. Rachel Rubino, (USA), 48:26
  • 18. Nicole Dorinzi, (USA), 48:28
  • 19. Natalie Tapias, (USA), 48:42
  • 20. Julie Hunter, (USA), 49:03
  • 21. Leslie Lupien, (USA), 49:13
  • 22. Taylor Kuyk-White, (USA), 49:39
  • 23. Beth Ann Orton, (USA), 49:56
  • 24. Avanell Schmitz, (USA), 50:06
  • 25. Elisabeth Sheldon, (USA), 50:16
  • 26. Julie Kuliecza, (USA), 50:46
  • 27. Karen Talleymead, (USA), 50:58
  • 28. Sophie Russenberger, (USA), 51:01
  • 29. Erica Zaveta, (USA), 52:25
  • 30. Philicia Marion, (USA)
  • 31. Samantha Brode, (USA)
  • 32. Dana Gilligan, (CAN)
  • 33. Taryn Mudge, (USA)
  • 34. Kelli Montgomery, (USA)
  • 35. Elisabeth Reinkordt, (USA)
  • 36. Siobhan Kelly, (CAN)
  • 37. Kathleen Wulfkuhle, (USA)
  • 38. Anya Malarski, (USA)

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Charm City Cross: Keough, Ortenblad take Day 1

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

Tobin Ortenblad outsprinted Jeremy Powers to win the third round of the Sho-Air US Cup-CX in Baltimore, MD. Photo: Wil Matthews

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.

Men’s day 1 full results

  • 1. Tobin Ortenblad, (USA), 1:00:14
  • 2. Jeremy Powers, (USA), 1:0014
  • 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
  • 11. Jack Kisseberth, (USA), 1:03:01
  • 12. Michael Van Den Ham, (CAN), 1:03:13
  • 13. Cooper Willsey, (USA), 1:03:36
  • 14. Daniel Chabanov, (USA), 1:04:06
  • 15. Bjorn Selander, (USA), 1:04:24
  • 16. Nicholas Diniz, (CAN), 1:04:41
  • 17. Jules Goguely, (USA), 1:05:02
  • 18. Scott Smith, (USA), 1:05:15
  • 19. Evan Murphy, (USA), 1:05:16
  • 20. Byron Rice, (USA), 1:05:16
  • 21. Jordan Snyder, (USA), 1:05:41
  • 22. Kevin Bradford-Parish, (USA), 1:06:03
  • 23. Merwin Davis, (USA), 1:06:09
  • 24. Trevor O’donnell, (CAN), 1:06:13
  • 25. Gunnar Holmgren, (CAN), 1:06:36
  • 26. Christopher Rabadi, (USA), 1:06:38
  • 27. Tyler Cloutier, (USA), 1:07:32
  • 28. Alex Ryan, (USA)
  • 29. Andrew Giniat, (USA)
  • 30. Andrew Wulfkuhle, (USA)
  • 31. Jordan Villella, (USA)
  • 32. Jeremy Burkhardt, (USA)
  • 33. Samuel Kieffer, (USA)
  • 34. Scott Mcgill, (USA)
  • 35. William Sheftall, (USA)
  • 36. Matthew Tyler, (USA)
  • 37. Thomas Borner, (USA)
  • 38. Brendan Mccormack, (USA)
  • 39. Christian Ricci, (CAN)
  • 40. Mike Festa, (USA)
  • 41. Gregg Griffo, (USA)
  • 42. Ryan Grenier, (USA)
  • 43. Scott Myers, (USA)
  • 44. Andrew Bailey, (USA)
  • 45. Jesse Stauffer, (USA)
  • 46. Trent Blackburn, (USA)
  • 47. Patrick Miller, (USA)
  • 48. Christian Sundquist, (USA)
  • 49. George Schulz, (USA)

Women’s day 1 full results

  • 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
  • 11. Maghalie Rochette, (CAN), 0:47:05
  • 12. Cassandra Maximenko, (USA), 0:47:12
  • 13. Jennifer Malik, (USA), 0:47:19
  • 14. Stacey Barbossa, (USA), 0:47:24
  • 15. Laura Van Gilder, (USA), 0:48:30
  • 16. Emily Shields, (USA), 0:48:37
  • 17. Georgia Gould, (USA), 0:48:42
  • 18. Laura Winberry, (USA), 0:49:04
  • 19. Julie Hunter, (USA), 0:49:12
  • 20. Rachel Rubino, (USA), 0:49:13
  • 21. Gray Patton, (USA), 0:49:39
  • 22. Avanell Schmitz, (USA), 0:49:40
  • 23. Elisabeth Sheldon, (USA), 0:49:46
  • 24. Beth Ann Orton, (USA), 0:49:57
  • 25. Natalie Tapias, (USA), 0:50:07
  • 26. Nicole Dorinzi, (USA), 0:50:13
  • 27. Dana Gilligan, (CAN), 0:50:44
  • 28. Karen Talleymead, (USA), 0:50:58
  • 29. Rebecca Gross, (USA), 0:51:08
  • 30. Anya Malarski, (USA), 0:51:12
  • 31. Leslie Lupien, (USA), 0:51:22
  • 32. Erica Zaveta, (USA), 0:51:43
  • 33. Erin Faccone, (USA), 0:51:49
  • 34. Julie Kuliecza, (USA), 0:52:37
  • 35. Samantha Brode, (USA), 0:52:55
  • 36. Alexandra Campbellforte, (USA)
  • 37. Barb Blakley, (USA)
  • 38. Taryn Mudge, (USA)
  • 39. Sophie Russenberger, (USA)
  • 40. Siobhan Kelly, (CAN)
  • 41. Elisabeth Reinkordt, (USA)
  • 42. Philicia Marion, (USA)
  • 43. Kelli Montgomery, (USA)
  • 44. Lauren Festa, (USA)
  • DQS. Allison Arensman, (USA)

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