NORTHAMPTON, Mass. — Tobin Ortenblad averted an unwanted scenario on the way to a thrilling win at the 29th annual Verge Northampton International Cyclocross race on Sunday.
The 26-year-old Californian, representing the colors of Santa Cruz/Donkey Label racing, sought his second consecutive victory of the weekend following a sprint win over Nick Lando (Competitive Edge Racing) a day earlier at the oldest UCI cyclocross race in North America.
Caroline Nolan (Voler/Easton/HRS/Rock Lobster) garnered a pair wins and her seventh of the season. The 31-year-old powered past Arley Kemmerer (Bike Law Network/P/B Piscitello Law) and Caitlin Bernstein (Easton/Velocio/McGovern Bicycles) in the final 100 meters, securing the victory.
Ortenblad methodically opened a significant gap through the first half of the race but pitted with four laps remaining to allow chaser Travis Livermon a robust opportunity to insert himself back in the mix.
“I had a slipup in the corner and rolled a tire, “ said Ortenbland, and indeed Livermon worked his way back, forcing a two-way sprint to the line. “I knew I had a big enough gap and he didn’t pass me so I knew that I might have to sprint again, but I thought I might be able to crack him, but that wasn’t the case.”
Ben Frederick (Ornot) collected the final podium spot on the day.
“I didn’t want to sprint,” Livermon said. “I was hoping to make a move going into the woods and taking [the lead].”
Jonah Vasquez (Hot Tubes Development Team) and Annabel Buckley McMahon (New England Development/Cadance Wealth) took their respective Junior races on Sunday.
Ken Castro is a sports journalist and photographer based in Rhode Island.