Kenda Cup East Finale – Walpole, MA

Noah Tautfest and Crystal Anthony Take Kenda Cup East Series Finale

Written by: Karen Potter

The Kenda Cup East Series finale took place Sunday at the Barn Burner in Walpole, Massachusetts. Following up on Saturday’s Boston Rebellion ProXCT UCI 2 race, the Barn Burner used the same course with an additional mile of more rooty, twisty, New England-style singletrack to create a 5.5-mile lap.

While several of the local pros opted to race just Saturday’s Pro XCT event, many partook in a double race weekend to seal up their Kenda Cup East standings and some just for the fun of suffering.

Crystal Anthony navigates a rock garden in Walpole

Crystal Anthony navigates a rock garden in Walpole

It was another hot and humid day in New England so staying hydrated properly was important. With minimal elevation gain in the racecourse, riding steady and staying smooth through all the corners was the key to success.

In the elite/open women’s field, Saturday’s ProXCT winner Crystal Anthony (Riverside Racing) won handily over her competition and took the 2015 Kenda Cup East series title as well. Fifth place finisher in Saturday’s ProXCT race, Karen Potter (Pivot/ followed up in 2nd maintaining her 2nd overall in the series. Kimberly Quinlan (Bicycle Express Racing), who also raced Saturday, was within sight of Potter through the first 3 laps of the race but could not close the gap as Potter pulled away from her on the last lap. Quinlan finished 3rd.

The elite/open men’s race saw a battle between Noah Tautfest (Bicycle Express Racing) and Tom Sampson (Vittoria/Yeti) duking it out for the win and for 3rd place overall in the Kenda Cup East Series. Billy Melone (ATA Cycles) and Dan Timmerman (Riverside Racing) had 1st and 2nd places locked up and opted to race just Saturday’s ProXCT race and then Sunday’s Pro Short Track.

In the end, Taufest bested Sampson for the win at the Barn Burner by less then 30 seconds and gave him the final podium spot for the series overall.

Full results here:

Kenda Cup East Series Results:

Kenda Cup East Race #4 – Gnar Weasels Shredeth

Ellen Noble and Dan Timmerman Stomp Out the Gnar Weasels

Written by: Karen Potter

The 2015 Gnar Weasels Shredeth did not disappoint in ‘gnarliness’ despite having to move to a new race venue, Diamond Hill in Cumberland, Rhode Island. The new course proved to have a more big mountain feel than hill feel with a significant amount of climbing on the 4+ mile lap and super gnarly descents.

While the old race venue (Foxboro State Park) had more consistent technical aspects throughout the course, the Diamond Hill course was mostly downhill technical with full-on jumps, rock faces, gap jumps – just about everything to test your mettle. There were several “A” and “B” lines and some “A+” lines that were blocked to avoid having to call the ambulance too many times.

That being said there were plenty of crashes even by very skilled racers and plenty of flats and broken bikes. Add high temperatures and humidity the day of the event and it was quite a feat to finish the race.

Ellen Noble shredding the gnar

Ellen Noble shredding the gnar

The start was on a steep, loose double track climb before dumping into tight singletrack with a techy descent and minimal passing opportunities for a while. Race promoters offered a $50 prime to the first woman and man to the top to help separate out the pack.

In the elite women’s race, despite missing her pedal at the start, series leader Crystal Anthony (Riverside Racing) took the hill climb but Ellen Noble (Competitive Cyclist) closed in fast behind.

Noble quickly overtook Anthony on a technical section and put in attacks on the descents. Anthony responded on the climbs but Noble was riding strong and eventually her attacks took giving her the win in 2:07:59.

Anthony followed in second at 2:11:07.

Kimberlan Quinlan (Bicycle Express Racing) rode in third for the first lap but was overtaken by a very steady Bryna Blanchard (Windham Mountain Outfitters) to take the third spot in 2:14:48. Quinlan finished fourth and Karen Potter (Pivot/Epic Brewing) clawed her way back to finish 5th after suffering an early flat and mechanical issues that left her far in the back of the field.

The elite men’s race saw series leader Billy Melone (ATA Cycles) take the hole shot but Dan Timmerman (Riverside Racing) overtook him on a bobble.

Tom Sampson (Vittoria/Yeti Cycles) gapped up to TImmerman and the two duked it out for the next three laps with Timmerman gaining on the climbs and Sampson showing his descending skills that Timmerman couldn’t match.

On the 3rd of 4 laps, Timmerman managed a small gap on Sampson on the opening climb and was able to hold it for the win in 1:44:39,

Sampson finished just19 seconds back.

Chris Hamlin sporting the Gnar Weasels red badge

Chris Hamlin sporting the Gnar Weasels red badge

Billy Melone held onto third finishing in 1:48:15. Chris Hamlin finished in fourth (1:50:47) despite suffering a dramatic crash that left his face rather bloody. Noah Tautfest (Bicycle Express Racing) rounded out the podium in fifth (1:51:20)

Click Here for full results from all categories




Kenda Cup East #3 – Vermont

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.

Crystal Anthony grinder her way toward home

Crystal Anthony grinder her way toward home

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.

Kenda Cup East Round 2 – Weeping Willow EFTA – Ipswich, Massachusetts

Crystal Anthony and Billy Melone Continue Domination of Kenda Cup East

Written by: Karen Potter

The second stop of the Kenda Cup East took place Sunday, May 17th at a popular New England course in Willowdale Forest in Ipswich, Massachusetts.

Warm and dry weather coming into the race made for a dusty course with lots of loose corners. The 9.5-mile course entailed a few small climbs but mostly fast, windy trails making cornering at speed a much needed skill.

Predicted rain the day before did not transpire and despite being near the seacoast where temperatures are usually cooler in the spring, race day turned out to be quite warm. With elite racers doing three laps on the 9.5-mile course, hydration and nutrition were critical factors.

Local racer, Crystal Anthony (Riverside Racing) was favored among the women’s field. With her fitness peaking for the Transylvania Stage Race starting next weekend and racing on her home turf, she took charge from the start and soloed strong to the finish in 2:42. Elisa Otter (Bicycle Express) and Karen Potter (Pivot/Epic Brewing) tried to hold her wheel but couldn’t match Anthony’s pace on the opening climb.

Otter held onto second place until the final lap where lack of eating caught up with her. Potter gained on her towards the end of the second lap and was able to overtake Otter early in the final lap to finish 2nd in 2:49. Otter held onto 3rd place finishing in 2:54 with Bryna Blanchard (Wyndham Mountain) closing in for 4th in 2:55. Ellen Noble rounded out the Elite Women’s podium finishing in 3:02.

Billy Melone (ATA Cycles) continued his winning streak finishing in 2:22. Dan Timmerman was able to mirror Melone’s pace in the first lap but mechanicals kept him in chase mode and used up any energy reserves he had to challenge Melone for the win.

Timmerman finished 2nd in 2:25. Neal Burton (ERRace) couldn’t match Melone and Timmerman’s pace and found himself in no man’s land riding solo to third place in 2:27.

Christopher Ziegler and Matt O’Keefe (ATA Cycles) rounded out the Elite Men’s podium finishing 4th and 5th respectively.

Full results found here:

Kenda Cup East Race #1

Fat Tire Classic – Root 66 Race Series – Kenda Cup East Race #1

Written by: Karen Potter

The first round of the Kenda Cup East was held Sunday at the Root 66 Race Series Fat Tire Classic in Farmington, Connecticut. It was a course that highlighted aerobic fitness with smooth, fast rolling singletrack winding through the woods with minimal rest. The five-mile lap has a cyclocross feel with the seemingly constant accelerations needed out of the endless number of corners.

Race day was another cool spring day in New England and pleasantly dry. Both men’s and women’s elite fields had great turnout from all over the northeast.

The men’s elite race started insanely fast as getting the hole shot was an important factor, although there were sections of double track for passing in some spots.

Billy Melone (ATA Cycles) proved his fitness to be solid as he soloed start to finish in 1:53:32.

Behind him the battle for the remainder of the podium spots was intense with a large pack riding together until attacks splintered the group.

Christopher Hamlin pulled away from the chase group to finish in 2nd in 1:55:16. Third, fourth and fifth came to a sprint finish with Dan Timmerman (Riverside Racing) taking the sprint in 1:56:30, followed by Dylan McNicholas (Polartec) four seconds back and Brendan McCormack (CCB Racing) taking 5th one second back.

The women’s elite race started equally fierce and fast with Crystal Anthony (Riverside) jetting off the start line winning the sprint to the singletrack. She was followed by Elisa Otter (Bicycle Express Racing). Otter kept Anthony in sight for 2 of the 5 laps but could not match Anthony’s fitness.

Anthony went on to win in 2:09:57. Otter maintained 2nd in 2:12:41.

Karen Potter (Pivot/Epic Brewing) started slow off the line and had to make her way through the field in the opening lap but was able to make her way through and sit in 3rd for the rest of the race finishing in 2:14:40.



Elite Women

Crystal Anthony (Riverside Racing) 2:09:57

Elisa Otter (Bicycle Express Racing) 2:12:41

Karen Potter (Pivot/Epic Brewing) 2:14:50

Bryna Blanchard (Windham Mountain Outfitters) 2:16:48

Joanne Grogan (1K2GO Coffee/Burris Logistics) 2:17:15


Elite Men 

Billy Melone (ATA Cycles) 1:53:32

Christopher Hamlin (Bicycle Express Racing) 1:55:16

Dan Timmerman (Riverside) 1:56:30

Dylan McNicholas (Polartec) 1:56:34

Brendan McCormack (CCB Racing) 1:56:35


Full results here: