Caroline Mani (Alpha Bicycle Co-Groove Silverthorne) ended the US Cyclocross Series (USCX) in the same fashion as she started, sweeping a weekend of races. The final sweep at Really Rad Festival of Cyclocross in Falmouth, Massachusetts on November 5 and 6 gave her the elite women’s overall title, and the first-time cash prize.
Mani carried a 44-point lead into the final two contests of the eight-race series, and extended that margin to 60 points over runner-up Raylyn Nuss, who finished second at both days of Really Rad. Austin Killips sealed third place in the series on the final weekend, just 14 points behind Nuss.
“It was great, and everyone worked hard to put that series together. I really wanted to be part of it, and I’m super happy I won,” Mani said about securing the overall USCX title with podium finishes in all eight races, including four wins.
The men’s competition in the second edition of USCX came down to the final three of the eight events, with Curtis White (Steve Tilford Foundation) taking the title by three points over Eric Brunner (Blue Competition Cycles p/b Build) when the dust settled at Really Rad Festival of Cyclocross.
Belgian Vincent Baestaens (Spits CX) went five-for-five with wins and added a second place to open the series with a commanding lead of 262 total points. He then traveled back to home soil to pursue his European program and left the battle to the US duo of White and Brunner.
On the second day at Charm City Cross, White took the victory and leapt into second place in the series with 212 points, 19 points ahead of Brunner. The reigning US elite men’s ‘cross champion then won the final two rounds at Really Rad, but with points for second-place finishes, White was able to hold off Brunner for the series title.
The USCX overall winners for elite men and elite women received $3,000 each, with runners-up receiving $1,800. The total $15,000 prize purse was new for 2022, and athletes received exposure via livestream broadcasts on GCN+ for all elite races.
Mani and White also captured the overall crowns in the USA Cycling Pro Cyclocross calendar. Raylyn Nuss was second in the women’s individual standings and Brunner was second in the men’s individual standings.
Rooted Vermont paused for 2023
After a three-year run, the popular Rooted Vermont gravel event will not be back in 2023. Organizers announced this month that the off-road event that was part of a three-day summer weekend in the Green Mountains would be “paused” for the next year.
“We’ve been quiet for some time as we have spent months deliberating the future of Rooted Vermont. Our news is that Rooted Vermont will be on indefinite pause in 2023,” read a statement from organizers, Ted and Laura King along with Kirstin Motley.
“The overall positivity, especially in the wake of a superlative 2022 event, leaves us uplifted. We feel there is something valuable in bidding farewell from the high of a successful edition.”
The last hurray for Rooted Vermont, which began in 2019, was July 31 when the event hosted a sold-out field of 850 riders from a random selection process that included an equal number of male and female riders as well as six non-binary athletes .
Rooted Vermont was proud to maintain a grassroots feel with self-navigated courses of 45 and 85-mile distances, plenty of Vermont-specific prizes but no prize purse, and a “mullet protocol: business in the front, party in the back”. Along with overall winners crowned for men and women, the event also had non-binary, para-cycling and junior categories.
“There are changes taking place in gravel that present risks each race organization must consider and weigh. As a united team, we’ve made the decision that we know is best for our young families and our community,” the statement explained. “Regardless of the future, we’ll continue to work in this direction through a variety of capacities.”
Organizers said an email would be sent to volunteers who earned complimentary registration for a future ride, as well as riders who deferred entries prior to a July 15, 2022 deadline. The event web site will remain active to provide updates.
Team Skyline back in 2023 with 13-rider men’s roster
Team Skyline confirmed they have completed the 2023 men’s roster on its UCI Continental program with 13 riders from across North America, with a focus on stage racing and criteriums.
Among the eight new riders on the Pennsylvania-based US team are Canadians Julien Gagné, moving from the Premier Tech U23 Cycling Project, and David Dubé, formerly with Toronto Hustle. Gagné won the GC at both the GP Boris Carene and GP Charlevoix last year, while Dubé was 10th overall at Redlands Bicycle Classic.
Returning to the team from last season are Rene Corella of Mexico, Chaz Turmon of USA and a trio of Canadians Lukas Conly, Nick Kleban and Joseph Lupien.
Management also announced it would register a women’s US domestic elite program next year. While the selection process is still underway, the team confirmed eight-time US national champion Colleen Gulick as their first signing. Gulick, who has a doctorate in exercise physiology, is a criterium specialist and will begin her 13th season in 2023. She had 15 podiums in 2022, including a win at Wilmington Grand Prix and runner-up finish at Rochester Twilight Criterium on back-to -back weekends.
“Where other teams are looking to Europe to sign talent, we are committed to giving our home-grown riders opportunities to make it to the next level,” says team Director Michael Tacci. “As we head into the 2023 season, we’ve been able to make some great signings. Our roster is deep and we are looking forward to showcasing it.”
The men’s team will begin competition in March 2023 at the South Aegean Tour, Rhodes GP and International Tour of Rhodes, which cover a span of 17 days on the Greek island of Rhodes. The full team will then hold a training camp ahead of the Tour of the Gila in April.
Team Skyline 2023 men’s roster
- Lukas Conly (Can)
- Rene Corella (Mex)
- David Dub (Can)
- David Gabriel (USA)
- Julien Gagn (Can)
- Emile Hamm (Can)
- Nick Kleban (Can)
- Joseph Lupien (Can)
- Stephen Pimentel (USA)
- Lucas Poupard (USA)
- Nicholas Salazar (USA)
- Chaz Turmon (USA)
- Jeffery Watts (USA)