Race Preview: Supercross Cup

The 2018 Vittoria Northeast Cyclocross Series presented by Clif Bar and Cycle-Smart continues this weekend with the Rockland County Supercross Cup. Rounds five and six of the Vittoria Series will take place November 17 and 18 at Rockland Community College in Suffern, N.Y.  Returning to the Series for a third year, Supercross Cup will feature two days of Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) Class 2 (C2) racing as well as amatuer racing and children’s activities.

The Vittoria Series offers a total of four weekends of competitions on classic cyclocross courses in the Northeast, which include Gloucester, Mass., Northampton, Mass., Suffern, N.Y., and Warwick, R.I. It is the longest standing UCI cyclocross series in the United States.

At Supercross Cup, Elite C2 races will be held both days for professional women and men. Athletes will compete for points on the USA Cycling Pro Cyclocross Calendar (ProCX), as well as for the Vittoria Series overall competition. Currently, Ellen Noble (Trek Factory Racing) and Curtis White (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com) lead the elite women’s and men’s Vittoria Series competitions with 150 and 200 points respectively. Both athletes swept the opening races at the CRAFT Sportswear Gran Prix of Gloucester in October. White, who is third overall in the ProCX standings, remains undefeated at Vittoria Series races this season. Noble has finished on the podium in all 11 ProCX races this season and leads those standings for Elite Women.

With its “World Cup-style” venue at Rockland Community College boasting rolling hills and tricky off-cambers, Supercross tests even the most steel-nerved of racers. But what sets Supercross apart is truly its amenities, notes Race Director Myles Romanow. “We have a great relationship with the venue, a full college campus, that offers locker rooms, hot showers, and even indoor space for our kids activities if we face inclement weather.” The addition of new, forested single track sections will add new dimension and challenges to the course. A host of activities for young children not yet of racing age are planned, and Supercross offers free race registration for all juniors, ages 18 and under.

Race Preview

For the elite women, Rebecca Fahringer (Kona Maxxis Shimano) is hungry for a win. “I’m really looking forward to Supercross, where the weather is always unpredictable and Myles [Romanow] is always throwing new elements to all of his courses. I’ve been chasing a win all season long, and I’m planning on leaving it all out there, and it may be an all or nothing effort on at least one day. Kerry (Werner, a Kona teammate) is also racing, so I’m excited to see if we can sweep the top steps. And if not, hopefully I get to best him!!”

Returning to Supercross this year is Canadian Ruby West (Specialized - Tenspeed Hero). “I'm really looking forward to racing in N.Y. this weekend, I had a blast at this race last year and it was on my list of top picks for this year, so I'm so glad I'll get to race it. I'm coming off of two really successful weekends of racing in Canada, with Pan Am's and Nationals, where I just felt really at the top of my game, so I'm hoping to carry that momentum into this weekend. The start lists have some big names that we're used to seeing at the front of UCI races consistently, so I think that'll make for some good battles and exciting racing in N.Y.”

Also racing this weekend is Caroline Nolan (Voler/Clif/Rock Lobster), who finished on the podium last weekend at the Verge Northampton International Cyclocross, and Cassie Maximenko (Van Dessel Factory Team), who had two Top 10s at Northampton.

For the elite men, White (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com) will race in his home state, fresh off of his Pan-American Championship victory in Canada and back-to-back wins in Northampton. “I'm hoping to carry the momentum I have from Pan-Ams and Northampton into New York Supercross,” said White.  “It's a course I really like, and close to home. My teammate Spencer Petrov will take the start,, as well as devo teammates Sam Noel and Cooper Willsey. All of them are riding well now.” After a Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com podium sweep in Northampton, we can expect to see the team tactics and group racing continued at Supercross.

Looking to upset those team tactics will be Werner (Kona Maxxis Shimano). “I always look forward to racing Supercross,” said Werner who has seven ProCX wins to his name this season. “It is one of the races I have done since I started racing ‘cross about five to six years ago, back when it was back on Long Island. It’s a relatively short drive for my parents and me, which is nice when you get to the end of the season.”

“Heading into the weekend, I am keeping my expectations open,” continued Werner. “I am not treating the week leading up to the race as a typical race weekend. I took the whole week off after Pan Ams, in hopes of cramming in a mid-season rest block. For the upcoming week, I'll be training on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, in hopes of using those works and the race as part of a block of training. For sure I will be going for the win, but typically I do much less the week before a race to keep my legs fresh. With nationals coming up, in mid-December, there isn’t much time to train so using Supercross and then the Thanksgiving off-weekend as part of a block I am hoping to hit nationals ready to rock.”

Additional elite men to watch include White’s Cannondale teammates Willsey and Noel, and Max Judelson (Voler/Clif/HRS/Rock Lobster).

Following Supercross Cup this weekend, the Vittoria Series will conclude with its finale event at NBX Gran Prix of Cyclocross, Dec. 1 and 2 in Warwick, R.I. With UCI Class 1 and Class 2 events on the schedule, the Vittoria Series will kick things up a notch for the finale in Rhode Island.

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