Ellen Noble (Trek Factory Racing) won out of a field sprint on Tuesday night in downtown Exeter, New Hampshire at the 35th Exeter Classic.
The women's race stayed mostly together, and the hundreds of dollars of primes offered to the field kept the pace lively but nothing got off the front. Laura Van Gilder (Mellow Mushroom/Van Dessel) - racing Exeter for the first time in her decorated career - first appeared at the front of the race with three laps to go as she started marking the Trek rider. But it wasn't to be - Noble kept herself at the front and out of trouble, opening up her sprint on the slight rise before the finish and making it across the line with enough daylight for an enthusiastic celebration. Defending Exeter - and VERGE Sport New England Crit Week - Champion Regina Legge (Green Line Velo) rounded out the podium in third.
The men's race played out similarly - with big cash primes (including a $557.75 crowd prime won by Velocio Northeast's Mike Morse) - lining the racer's pockets but the field staying together.
Adam Myerson (Cycle-Smart) went into Exeter fourth overall in the VERGE Sport standings. He was hungry for points and the leader's jersey by winning both point primes at the 20 minute and 40 minute mark of the race.
The field was all together in the final lap, and as they came into sight, Myerson began winding up his sprint as the field fanned out around him. Great form for Myerson - fresh off of his Master's Nationals Win - and a bike throw got him ahead of Danny Estevez (Fusion Cycles/Families Together LLC) and Sam Rosenholtz (TORONTO HUSTLE).
Myerson's mid-race points and his win knocked the jersey off the shoulders of Kevin Goguen (CRCA/Jamison Capital - Cannondale), heading into Beverly with an 11 point lead.
Ellen Noble's Trek Factory Racing and Adam Myerson's Cycle-Smart are the leading teams heading into the third race of the series
Mad Alchemy Spiciest RIDERS
In the mix off the front throughout the night, and recovering brilliantly from a stop in the pit, Michael Owens (Veloselect - Apogee Racing Team) earned the SPICIEST RIDER award for the men's race.
Ashlyn Woods (unattached - someone give this woman a team kit!) was marking Ellen Noble throughout the night and went home with a pocket full of prime money. She animated the race and kept Noble, Van Gilder and Legge on their toes and as a result of her efforts was the women's SPICIEST RIDER.
Ellen Noble and Kevin Goguen are heading into the Exeter Classic as the defenders of the VERGE Sport New England Crit Week leader's jersey. Goguen broke Cole Archmbault's (Green Line Velo) string of back to back wins at Greenfield.
Noble (Trek Factory Racing) was active all day in the Women's Pro 1/2/3 race, eventually getting into a late-race move with Ashlyn Woods. Noble took the $230 crowd prime with Woods at four laps to go, and eventually gapped her break mate to come across the line on her own.
The Men's Pro 1/2/3 race started under cloudy skies, and 20 laps in the skies opened up and it started pouring. The field started with 75 riders, and was eventually whittled down to a main group of 40 or so. It came down to a field sprint, and Goguen (CRCA/Jamison Capital - Cannondale) was able wind up the gears faster than Travis Wold.
Ellen Noble's Trek Factory Racing team - of whom Noble is the only member at Crit Week - is the current women's leader.
Kevin Goguen's CRCA/Jamison Capital - Cannondale is the current men's leader. He and his teammates are going to go into Exeter as the marked riders - both for the individual and team overalls.
Mad Alchemy SPICIEST RIDERS
Lauren LeClaire (Levine Law Group p/b Huseby.com) put in some series efforts in the last few laps of the Women's Pro 1/2/3 in an attempt to get her teammates up to the Noble/Woods split - but it did not come back together. In recognition of her efforts, she earned the Mad Alchemy SPICIEST RIDER award.
Michael Landry (CT Cycling Advancement Program) was in every move that mattered and all over the front of the race, however, the Men's Pro 1/2/3 event came down to a field sprint that Landry was unable to contest. He animated the race and certainly caused a few riders to get popped out of the back - and for this, he is the men's SPICIEST RIDER for the Greenfield Crit.
New England-based embrocation and skincare company Mad Alchemy will be awarding the most combative rider a prize pack as well as the title of SPICIEST RIDER.
The combativity award will be decided by officials, promoters, announcers, and maybe even some enthusiastic crowd support at each race. This is a chance for a racer who rides with guts - but maybe misses out on a good result - to be recognized for the efforts, and to go home as the SPICIEST RIDER.
Mad Alchemy will also have several sponsored riders racing throughout VERGE Sport New England Crit Week, and will be at the Exeter Classic if you'd like to sample or purchase any products.
Eight days and five fun and challenging bike races - that’s what’s on tap for this year’s New England Crit Week. Beginning on Sunday, June 24th and running through Sunday, July 1, the series will attract racers across New England as they compete not only for individual wins at each race, but for the overall leader’s prize purse and coveted jersey - a custom, bright blue, top-of-the-line VERGE Sport piece from their 2018 collection. The series also awards teamwork, with an overall omnium for the team earning the most points throughout the series. Returning to the series in 2018 are the Greenfield Criterium (June 24), the Exeter Classic (June 26), and the Longsjo Classic (June 30 and July 31). New in 2018, the Gran Prix of Beverly will take place on June 28th bringing one of New England’s premiere events to the series.
Team and individual leaders are awarded at the conclusion of each race with the overall prize purse and awards reserved for the final day of racing. Omnium points are earned at each race based on final placement, in addition to point primes - laps during which extra omnium points are available for the first person to cross the line during a specific lap. The omnium competitions adds a layer of complexity to the racing, and provides a space for teamwork to truly shine.
“The New England Crit Week team omnium provided a unique opportunity for our team to work together and and collaborate,” said Meredith Moran, a Jamaica Plain resident and member of Green Line Velo’s elite women’s team. “Cycling is a team sport, but it can often be difficult to race in a fearless and self-sacrificing way to truly protect your team leader. As we set goals and came up with plans as a team, we all made huge strides in evaluating our strengths and weaknesses as riders, learning to trust each other, and pushing beyond what we had previously thought our limitations to be.”
The beauty of a series like New England Crit Week is its simplicity. Each of these races have stood and could continue to stand on their own. Each has a unique feel and contributes something a little different to the bike racing scene in New England. Some, like the concluding race in Fitchburg, are known for their history. The Longsjo is a classic race that this year celebrates its 58th edition. Others, like the Exeter Classic and Gran Prix of Beverly epitomize downtown New England racing with notoriously technical courses and electric crowds. The youngest race of the series - the Greenfield Criterium - offers a grassroots community feel with a flying-fast, four-corner, one-kilometer course.
Add a bit of collaboration to five fantastic races and a series is born - one that people can motivate for, plan their season around, or travel to from other regions to experience great New England racing on a compact schedule. “New England Crit Week ties together some of the best downtown races in New England and helps to tell the story of a uniquely American racing format,” says JD Bilodeau, coordinator for the New England Bicycle Racing Association. “The races in New England Crit Week have featured some of America’s greatest cyclists and serve as both a link to New Englands racing past and a platform to showcase for our region’s current top riders.”
For more information about New England Crit Week, please visit the series website at necritweek.com. For questions about individual races, additional information is available at the following locations:
Greenfield Criterium | June 24 | greenfieldcrit.com | bikereg.com/greenfield
Exeter Classic | June 26 | exeterclassic.com | bikereg.com/exeter-classic-criterium
Gran Prix of Beverly | June 28 | granprixbeverly.com | bikereg.com/gpbeverly18
Longsjo Classic | June 30 - July 1 | longsjo.com | bikereg.com/longsjo-classic