C2 Winners Take Sho-Air US Cup-CX Series
Tobin Ortenblad (Santa Cruz/Donkey Label Racing) doubled up with KMC Cross Fest wins on the weekend and came away with the C2 victory for elite men. For the elite women, Under-23 World Cup leader Emma White (Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld.com) scored her first win of the cyclocross season on Oct. 1. When the dust cleared at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park weekend, it was Ortenblad and White who also took home leader jerseys for the start of the seven-event Sho-Air US Cup-CX series.
As part of USA Cycling’s Professional Cyclocross calendar (ProCX), the Men’s 17-18 Juniors Category 2 race was also held on Sunday, where Benjamin Gomez Villafane of Top Club CycloCross took the win ahead of Alex Morton (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com).
In the Women’s Elite C2 race Sunday, Kaitlin Keough (Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld.com) would lead the explosive start, but an early flat would see her dropped from the front group. Keough’s teammate White and Canadian Maghalie Rochette (Clif Pro Team) took over the front and asserted a gap to drive the pace. Keough would rally just in time for the bell lap to chase back into third position. With a half of a lap to go, White would attack to cross the line solo for the win, leaving second place to Rochette. Keough took a hard-fought third place.
“This is definitely the biggest ride of the season. I haven’t had a ride that I was totatlly happy with until today,” said White about her win on Sunday, coming off a third-place finish in the C1 race on Friday. ““I was pretty confident going into today. It’s the fourth weekend of racing, and coming off of road season, I knew I had a little bit left in the tank. I felt good in the (final) runup, so I just attacked, got a little bit of a gap and then went 100 percent from there.”
Rochette repeated in second place at KMC Cross Fest. “Both days were good battles with the Cannondale girls, which are also my friends. I really wanted to win. I’m kindof tired of being second. I couldn’t do any more today and I am happy with that. It is all good,” she said.
The Men’s Elite C2 race would play out similarly to Friday night’s C1 race, with highly tactical group racing. Many attacks would fly from a group of 11 riders, then shed down to eight in the final lap. It would be Ortenblad and Stephen Hyde (Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld.com) who would make a final break, hopping barriers side by side as they entered the final turns of the race course. Ortenblad took his second victory of the weekend, and Hyde would fade to second. Curtis White (Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld.com) secured third with a bike throw over Kerry Werner (Kona Factory CX Team).
“It was a double weekend. It was the last lap, Hyde and I went into that runup neck and neck. I actually
ran super wide, and bumped into the tape, but it was all good,” Ortenblad said about his battle with
Hyde on the last lap. “He and I hit that runup super hard. Coming down we had a gap and Hyde started
rolling it. It was all I could do to stay on his wheel. And then sure enough, it was a little bit of a gap and I
was able to out-maneuver him over the barriers, and wound up the sprint a bit quicker than him.
“Today I didn’t feel like I was that snappy. I tried to sit in a bit more, ride more conservative rather than
just going for it, like I did Friday night. This race is super pack oriented. And I like that. I personally love
races like this. It has been a great weekend for ProCX points, US Cup points, UCI points, sponsor
exposure, everything. A win-win- win for sure,” added Ortenblad.
The ProCX competitions continue next weekend with the Elite Women’s and Men’s races at
Charm City Cross, Oct. 7-8 in Baltimore, Md. It will also be the second stop for the new USA
Cycling US Cup-CX series. The SHO-AIR Cycling Group partnered with four events on the
ProCX calendar to create an exciting series for riders and fans. A prize purse of $20,000 will be
shared equally for the top woman and man at the final event in Louisville, Ky. on Nov. 4.
For detailed information and racing highlight videos, visit the official KMC Cross Fest web site,
www.kmccrossfest.com or on Facebook (KMCcrossfest) and on Twitter (@KMCcrossfest #KMCCX).
Follow the Pro Cyclocross Calendar on Twitter at @USACProCX.