Millstone Grind, Websterville, Vermont
Kenda Cup East #3
Written by: Karen Potter
The warm and remarkably dry weather the Northeast was enjoying came to a rapid end overnight Saturday. Warm, humid 85-degree temperatures changed to frigid 48 degrees and heavy rain for race day catching several racers off guard and unprepared for the cold, wet conditions. While the downpours had passed before the elite racers took the course, rain was still falling at the start of the race making for difficult conditions on an already technical course. Mud would cake up racers’ tires making traction very tough. Conditions improved somewhat once the rain stopped early in the race.
In a remarkable feat of grit and ambition, series leader, Crystal Anthony (Riverside Racing) made the long trek from central Pennsylvania to Vermont to make it 8 days in a row of racing. After coming in 3rd overall in the Trans-Sylvania Epic Stage Race, Anthony was able to maintain her lead in the Kenda Cup East series with a 5th place finish at Millstone despite the frigid temps and muddy conditions adding to her fatigue.
It was Elisa Otter (Bicycle Express) showing off her Vermont skills taking the hole shot and hammering away from the rest of the field to take the win. She had no problem handling the very technical course in the slick, muddy conditions. Karen Potter (Pivot/Epic Brewing) followed behind Otter into the singletrack but could not keep her pace once in the woods. Kathleen Harding (Rare Disease Racing) had Potter in her sights most of the race but was unable to close the gap, finishing in 3rd to Potter. Kimberly Quinlan (Bicycle Express Racing) followed up in 4th.
In a the Elite Men’s field, series leader, Billy Melone (ATA Cycles) won his 3rd in a row but not without a bit of a struggle. Tom Sampson (Adigga Racing) lead the race with a significant gap to Melone, but Melone was able to bridge up to the front and take the win. Sampson faded in the final lap to finish 4th. A sprint finish ensued for 2nd place between Noah Tautfest (Bicycle Express Racing) and 18-year-old Charles Faucher Robert (Pivot Cycles-Ote) with Faucher edging out Tautfest. Tyler Berliner (ENGVT) finished in 5th.