Stateside after her recent European race program, Crystal Anthony claimed her first victory of the season at the NBX Gran Prix of Cyclocross at Goddard Park in Warwick, Rhode Island. In what quickly became a three-woman battle for the podium, Anthony attacked late to take the close win ahead of Ellen Noble (JAM Fund) and Elizabeth White (UVM Cycling), who claimed 2nd and 3rd respectively on day one of the two-day event.
Anthony details what it took to get the win, and how it felt to stand atop the top step of the podium for the first time this season.
“It was the first time I’d raced NBX in three years, and the course had changed a bit, but I knew that it’s the type of course where a lead group tends to stay together and then gets whittled down slowly as the race progresses. I was patient and sat in the lead group until 1.5 laps to go. I attacked just before a technical woods section and got a small gap. Ellen caught up to me briefly on the final lap, but I attacked again and established enough of a gap to win. It felt so good to claim my first victory of the season and to feel my form coming around.
The course is pretty flat and the separating features are a sand run/ride, twisty woods section with slick roots, and some wind-exposed drags on pavement. Like I said, it is a very hard course to ride away on, and tends to see groups forming and sticking.
I definitely think racing in Europe helps raise the bar and just re-inspire me as a racer. I love racing at home, in New England especially, but there’s something epic about Euro courses that always brings me back to the joy of racing. No doubt all the Belgian waffles were good fuel for the hard efforts this weekend too.”
In the men’s race, the Orange & Black’s Kerry Werner was also involved in a three-rider battle for the podium, ultimately sprinting to 3rd. Curtis White (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld) and Dan Timmerman (House Industries/Simplehuman) took 1st and 2nd just ahead of Werner.
NBX Gran Prix Day Two
On the second day of racing, Anthony and Noble again faced off head-to-head. The second time around, however, Noble bested Anthony by a tire-width in the sprint for victory. Arley Kemmerer (PB2 Pro Cycling) crossed the line in 3rd, twenty-two seconds back.
Werner and White also faced off for the victory again on day two, with White ultimately besting Werner and taking the victory by a three-second margin. Justin Lindine (Redline Factory / NBX) rounded-out the podium, crossing the line in 3rd position another eleven seconds back.
Crystal concluded her thoughts, “It was just a blast to be racing among friends and a home crowd. The cheers and atmosphere were the best. I was happy with how I executed my strategy; it was hard to be patient but it paid off. Our mechanic Chris Kreidl and my little brother Caleb Anthony took excellent care of Kerry (Werner) and I all weekend, and I couldn’t be happier to get the win for the team!
Next up for me are the Christmas week races in Europe: Namur and Zolder World Cups, and a couple C1 events, all in Belgium.”