Lane Maher and Rebecca Fahringer left little doubt as to their pre-nationals form following their respective victories at the annual NBX Grand Prix of Cross last weekend.
Under clear skies and relatively bearable New England temperatures, the 20-year-old Maher (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld) who enjoyed consecutive podiums in his last outing at Super Cross in Suffern, N.Y., opened a successful attack from the gun.
Through two laps, Sam Noel of Comp Edge Racing/UVM Cycling and Ben Frederick (ORNOT) stayed within the confines of valid contention with the rest of the serpentine bunch grinding for minor places.
“I chose good lines throughout the race and my head was in the right mindset, so I realized I would have to suffer for a bit to get a win,” said Maher after Saturday’s triumph.
Noel followed Maher to the finish, 55 seconds in arrears while Fredricks got there for third, 59 seconds out. Nick Lando (Comp Edge Racing) and Benjamin Gomez-Villafane rounded out the top five.
“I found the course bumpy with a lot of roots,” Maher said. “If you had the right gear and right line, you could basically float over them. I think that was key.”
Fahringer (Kona Maxxis Shimano), who collected her 10th win of a crisp 2019 campaign embraced a similar script in the women’s race, placing the onus on the field to work their way into the mix.
But the 31-year-old adroitly powered away leaving her pursuers and leading to a double-win weekend. In both instances, Lizzy Gunsalas (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld) and Ruby West of Pivot Maxx p/b Stan’s No Tubes served as the remaining podium standouts.
“This was prep for nationals, making sure everything is clicking and firing right, and after today, I’m happy with the way it played out,” Maher said.
Ken Castro is a sports journalist and photographer based in Rhode Island.