The 2018 Vittoria Northeast Cyclocross Series presented by Clif Bar and Cycle-Smart will conclude this weekend with the NBX Gran Prix of Cyclocross. Rounds seven and eight of the Vittoria Series will take place Dec. 1 and 2 at Goddard Memorial State Park in West Warwick, R.I. The final chapter of the Series showcases the essence of cyclocross in New England with its twists and turns, rooty descents and the legendary long beach sections and will feature two days of Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) sanctioned races, Class 1 (C1) on Saturday and Class 2 (C2) on Sunday.
The Vittoria Series began in Gloucester, Mass., in mid October, followed by events in Northampton, Mass. and Suffern, N.Y. in November. With a total of eight events in the Northeast, the Vittoria Series is the longest standing, UCI cyclocross series in the United States.
At this weekend’s NBX Gran Prix of Cyclocross, athletes will compete for points on the USA Cycling Pro Cyclocross Calendar (ProCX), as well as for the Vittoria Series overall competition. A final Verge Sport jersey will be awarded to the winners this weekend in Rhode Island.
Ellen Noble (Trek Factory Racing) was the early leader for elite women, but was overtaken in the third week at Supercross Cup in Suffern, N.Y. by Rebecca Fahringer (Kona Maxxis Shimano). Using a ferocious victory over the young Canadian and last year’s Vittoria Series winner Ruby West (Specialized - Tenspeed Hero), Fahringer now leads Noble by a slim 10 points. For the elite men, this year’s story has been all about Curtis White (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com). White is currently undefeated in the elite men’s competition with six victories, and is set to defend his 2017 Vittoria Series title.
“NBX is always a big finale to the Vittoria Series,” said Series President Adam Myerson, “but this year with the C1 contest in the mix, with the elite women’s jersey still up for grabs, with Curtis trying to pitch a perfect game, and Hyde returning to racing, there’s a lot to pay attention to.”
Vittoria Series Standings:
Elite Women, Top 3:
Rebecca Fahringer (Kona Maxxis Shimano), 160 points
Ellen Noble (Trek Factory Racing), 150 points
Cassandra Maximenko (Van Dessel Factory Team), 129 points
U23 Women, Top 3:
Clio Dinan (Independent), 200 points
Anna Savage (JAM Fund/NCC), 155 points
Aliza Tobias (Killington Mountain School/BMB), 125 points
Elite Men, Top 3:
Curtis White (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com), 300 points
Sam Noel (UVM Cycling/Cannondale Cyclocross), 131 points
Spencer Petrov (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com), 116 points
U23 Men, Top 3:
Sam Noel (UVM Cycling/Cannondale Cyclocross), 230 points
Cooper Willsey (Furman University/Cannondale Cyclocross), 170 points
Spencer Petrov (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com), 170 points
After heartbreak and redemption at Supercross Cup, Fahringer (Kona Maxxis Shimano) is rested and ready to race for the elite women after the Thanksgiving break. “I had a really nice, quiet Thanksgiving,” said Fahringer, who captured her first ProCX win of the season at the second day of Supercross Cup and is second overall in ProCX standings. “It feels great not to be over traveled at this point in the season. And I’m very happy to finally have a win under by belt, but I also understand that at this point domestically, I have a C1 weekend and Nationals left before I start racing in Europe. So though I’d love to keep up a winning streak, it may be a fight for podiums or other top results! NBX has always proven a tricky course for me, but hopefully with confidence and less pressure to ‘finally’ win, I can race more relaxed.”
Returning to NBX this year is West (Specialized - Tenspeed Hero), who won her first U.S. UCI race in Warwick in 2017 as she claimed back-to-back victories to clinch the Vittoria Series title. “I'm super excited to be coming back to NBX this year. It's one of my favorite races on the schedule, with such a scenic venue and fun course. I had a breakthrough weekend at this race last year, so I'm hoping to draw on the things I learned from last year for the races this weekend. I was also thrilled to see Saturday will be a C1 this year, so I'm sure competition will be tough. I'm really excited for some good racing on the beach in Rhode Island.”
Also racing this weekend is Kaitlin Keough (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com). “I’m looking forward to racing in Warwick this weekend,” said Keough, who is fifth overall in ProCX standings. “Although I’ve never raced there, I’ve only ever heard wonderful things as it’s a classic New England CX race. I’m looking forward to the weekend and hoping to have one last solid race effort before heading into Nationals.”
Additional riders to watch in the elite women’s race include Caroline Nolan (Voler/Clif/Rock Lobster), who finished on the podium at the Verge Northampton International Cyclocross, Crystal Anthony (Liv Cycling), and Caroline Mani (Van Dessel Factory Team). All three are in the Top 15 of the ProCX standings.
For the elite men, White will look to maintain his undefeated Vittoria Series streak to claim the Series title for a second consecutive year.
“I'm really looking forward to racing in Warwick again,” said White, who moved to third place in ProCX standings with two wins at The Verge Northampton International. “It's another New England classic that I've raced since I was a kid. The course has always been unique and something special to Warwick.”
After Supercross Cup, White declared that the Stars-and-Stripes jersey was the goal going forward. “With it being a C1 this year, we'll see more top guys that are making their final preparations for Nationals. I'm focused on bringing my best to the start line. I just came off a big training block, and my form is right where I want it to be. As always, our goal is to put Cannondale on the top step. Both Spencer (Petrov) and Stephen (Hyde) will take the start, we have a few cards to play.”
Joining White will be Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com teammate and reigning U.S. Cyclocross National Champion Stephen Hyde. “NBX was one of the first UCI races I ever attended. It really opened my eyes to CX in New England and taught me about adapting to different course conditions. It also taught me the importance of running in your training! I've taken a long break from the race over the last four years, as I am normally in Europe racing the World Cup circuit. I can't wait to get back to racing on this iconic New England race. Also, really excited to be back in the Vittoria New England Series again! This will be my first race back since my injury at Pan Ams (Nov. 3-4) and I am ready to rip it up with my Cannondale presented by Cyclocrossworld.com teammates.”
Looking to upset those team tactics will be Kerry Werner (Kona Maxxis Shimano), who is the top-ranked ProCX rider for elite men. “I am really looking forward to racing NBX. I haven’t participated in four years or so, and I remember the course having a distinct Euro feel, with the beach run/ride and established trails through the woods. The vibe is great too and there are usually lots of spectators. Being the final C1 of the season and so close to Nationals, it should be a big reveal of how everyone’s National's training blocks have affected their fitness levels. Even though it is late in the season, I have some pre-race jitters already. In a way, it feels distinctly like the first race of the season, though we are three months into this dance.”
Racing in front of hometown sponsor Apex Technologies will be Justin Lindine (Hyperthreads/Apex Pro Cycling). The New England native has strong ties to the region even after moving to Ogden, Utah several years ago. “I’m really excited to be back in Rhode Island for NBX this weekend, and think it’s really exciting that the event has made the jump up to C1 status. I believe it really shows just how committed NBX is to supporting and growing the sport, to see them step up and try and run the highest caliber event. The race has been such a regular part of my season that it’s especially cool to be heading into the C1 weekend having raced here so many times. It’s been a while since I competed in a C1 event on a course I know and like so much. Hopefully, I can capitalize on some of that prior experience and grab a good result as we head into the final weeks before Nationals.”
Additional elite men to watch include Jack Kisseberth (Garneau Easton p/b Transitions Life Care), Merwin Davis (Cycle-Smart), and Scott Smith (Dirt League). These three riders are in the Top 20 of the ProCX standings.
The USA Cycling Cyclocross National Championships will be held two weeks following NBX, on Dec. 11-16. It will be the first time the event will be hosted in Louisville. Forty-two national titles will be on the line for male and female athletes, crowned in the Junior, Senior, Collegiate, U23, Masters and Elite categories.
Each day of NBX will feature amateur racing throughout the day prior to the elite competitions in the afternoon. Categories competing in the Vittoria Series finale will race for the final Verge Sport jerseys to be awarded. The current standings heading into Saturday and Sunday’s racing can be found here.
Watch the races unfold in person or by following tweets at @VittoriaSeries. Follow on Facebook and YouTube for race weekend highlights video highlights provided by DirtWire.TV.