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Brad White (Moms in Tow Cyclocross)

Nittany Lion Cross Weekend Recap

A dusty weekend of cross in the Lehigh Valley.

The temps have not dropped, and the leaves are still green, but cross season has arrived in Pennsylvania. The 2012 Nittany Lion Cross was very different from the 2011 edition. Last year, riders battled through wet conditions with multiple mud sections that left some riders without their shoes. This year’s drought filled summer made for a super fast, dusty course.

Wyman (Kona Factory Team) and Day (Rapha-Focus)

Wyman (Kona Factory Team) and Day (Rapha-Focus)

Saturday was a day for the defending champs. UK National Champion, Helen Wyman (Kona Factory Team) led the race from start to finish, leaving Gabby Day (Rapha-Focus) and Christel Ferrier-Bruneau (Beziers Mediterrane Cyclisme) to battle for the remaining podium positions. Wyman continued to feel the pressure as she slowly pulled away. Day and Ferrier-Bruneau continued to swapped positions, using their strengths to their advantage. “Gabby’s super fast around the corners, so she was going ahead of Christel, and then Christel got in front of her on the straights until eventually Gabby dropped her. It’s just tough, a tough day,” remarked Wyman.

Not far behind, local favorite Laura Van Gilder (Mellow Mushroom) led the charge for the Americans, pushing to keep in contact with the leaders. Arley Kemmerer (C3-Athletes Serving Athletes) rounded out the top 5. Regardless of their positions on the course though, the women’s field enjoyed the support of the fans throughout the course. “Racing out here is great,” said Wyman. “The spectators are so much different, so much supportive of everybody, which is great when you come over from Europe. They heckle you a lot, which is obviously really funny for us. I’m really looking forward to worlds and hopefully you can have a lot of people there hecking. You are much more supportive of women, which I love.”

Powers (Rapha-Focus) and Dewald (SEAVS/Haymarket)

Powers (Rapha-Focus) and Dewald (SEAVS/Haymarket)

In the men’s feature race, defending champ Jeremy Powers (Rapha-Focus) was able to hold off the field to take his second win of the year. The US National Champion led the race early on, but back to back bike changes left Powers as far back as 7th place.  “I had two bikes down here, I was just testing some different positions and different things,” explained Powers. “Helen Wyman’s husband Seth helped me out in the pits, so I appreciated that. I was just trying to get some stuff dialed in before Vegas.”  Ryan Knapp (Pony Shop Cyclocross), Jeremy Durrin (Jam Fund/NCC), Jared Nieters and Ryan Dewald (SEAVS/Haymarket), Robert Marion (American Classics Cyclocross Team), and Craig Richey, kept the tempo high throughout the course. Powers and Durrin broke away from the group and stretched their lead out to about 30 seconds with 3 laps to go. Knapp, Richey, and Dewald began the chase, but were not able to pull the duo back.  With 1 to go, Powers left Durrin behind to take the win.

Day 2 of Nittany Lion Cross was another dry day at the office for the riders. The course was run in reverse though, with some added twists. Many thought it was faster, while the log barrier not far after the pits provided a few “Joey’s OK” moments throughout the day.

Ferrier-Bruneau (Beziers Mediterrane Cyclisme) wins ahead of Van Gilder (Mellow Mushroom) and Day (Rapha-Focus)

Ferrier-Bruneau (Beziers Mediterrane Cyclisme) wins ahead of Van Gilder (Mellow Mushroom) and Day (Rapha-Focus)

The women’s race started as a repeat of Saturday until Wyman fell going through the barriers. Blood poured from her lip as she recovered and road to the pits. While her race was over, Day, Ferrier-Bruneau, Van Gilder, and Kemmerer battled on the front. As Ferrier-Bruneau began to pull away on the last lap, Van Gilder made her move to get around Day in the final sections of the race. Day tried to make it a sprint down the final straight, but Van Gilder was able to hold her advantage as Ferrier-Bruneau celebrated while crossing the line.

Brad White (Moms in Tow Cyclocross)

Brad White (Moms in Tow Cyclocross)

To close out the weekend, the men took to the course one last time.  Richey lead the field over “The Log” on the first lap cleanly, but Brad White (Moms in Tow Cyclocross) wasn’t able to negotiate it as cleanly on the second lap. After a superman landing on the other side, he was able to collect himself, and charge back to the front. SEAVS/Haymarket was well represented at the front with Nieters, Dewald, and Weston Schempf mixing it up with Richey, Knapp, Robert Marion and Chase Dickens (American Classic Cyclocross Team) and Alec Donahue and Anthony Clark (Jam Fund/NCC). Nieters and White attacked with the group with 2 laps to go. Nieters opened up a small gap on White, and was able to hold it long enough to take the win.

Saturday – UCI Women Results

  1. Helen Wyman (Kona Factory Team)
  2. Gabby Day (Rapha-Focus)
  3. Christel Ferrier-Bruneau (Beziers Mediterrane Cyclisme)
  4. Laura Van Gilder (Mellow Mushroom)
  5. Arley Kemmerer (C3-Athletes Serving Athletes)

Saturday – UCI Men Results

  1. Jeremy Powers (Rapha-Focus)
  2. Jeremy Durrin (Jam Fund/NCC)
  3. Ryan Knapp (Pony Shop Cyclocross)
  4. Craig Richey
  5. Ryan Dewald (SEAVS/Haymarket)

Sunday – UCI Women Results

  1. Christel Ferrier-Bruneau (Beziers Mediterrane Cyclisme)
  2. Laura Van Gilder (Mellow Mushroom)
  3. Gabby Day (Rapha-Focus)
  4. Arley Kemmerer (C3-Athletes Serving Athletes)
  5. Joyce Vanderbeken (Wielerteam Decock Sportivo Moorsele)

Sunday – UCI Men Results

  1. Jared Nieters (SEAVS/Haymarket)
  2. Brad White (Moms in Tow Cyclocross)
  3. Craig Richey
  4. Weston Schempf (SEAVS/Haymarket)
  5. Ryan Dewald (SEAVS/Haymarket)

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