It was sunny and hot at the Providence Festival of Cyclocross this weekend, which everyone found disorienting and dusty. We managed to see several of our favorite riders do well despite the trying conditions.
On Saturday, Mary McConneloug of Team Kenda/Seven/No Tubes finished second in the elite women’s field, and then outsprinted the Day 1 winner, Laura van Gilder, for top spot on Day 2.
These were extra impressive results for McConneloug who is only just back from racing the World Cup circuit in Europe for the summer. Making that transition from mountain to cross can be difficult, but it’s a testament to Mary’s sheer class that she can hit home soil, swap bikes and come up with a big win and a second place. Laura van Gilder, who topped Mary on Saturday, said of McConneloug after Sunday’s race, “the ideal cross racer is a mix of mountain biker and roadie. Mary has those both, she’s incredible.”
Andrea Smith of Ladies First Racing rode her Seven Mudhoney SLX to 7th on Saturday and an impressive 4th on Sunday. Smith won the Verge Series last season and stands 3rd on the New England points list for 2011, just behind van Gilder. Since winning at Monson in her opening race of the season, and finishing 11th in a super tough field at Cross Vegas, she’s been solid and consistent, big keys to winning any series.
With Mary, Andrea and Mo doing so well, that’s three Sevens in the top ten in Providence, BOTH DAYS!!!!!
Carl Ring was there to represent the Seven Development Squad on the men’s side:
“I lined up both days, I got stuck behind a bad start line crash on Saturday, fought my way up to the front half of the field, then lost all my spark. Back slid all the way back to the tail of the field. Sunday was better. I managed to advance pretty well in the first two laps, but I’m still lacking the fitness I need after knee surgery early this year. I hope to be back to full strength in 3-4 weeks. Still it was fun racing and a great venue…(it) was great to see Mary McConneloug line up. I noticed that Andrea Smith and a few of the other Ladies First riders are also on Seven’s now. Looking foward to seeing you at the Maine Verge Series races.”