10/9/2013 - NEWS!
Berden outsprints Johnson to win day 2 in Providence
Shimano NEPCX - Providence Cyclo-cross Festival 2 2013
Gagne finishes 3rd at Providence Cyclo-cross Festival
With yesterday's C1 winner, Jeremy Powers (Rapha-Focus), choosing to withdraw from Sunday's race at the last minute due to illness, it was anyone's race to win.
In his teammate's absence, Zach McDonald capitalized on the day's slippery conditions and immediately opened a 15-second gap on a chase group that included Cannondale p/b CyclocrossWorld.com teammates Tim Johnson and Ryan Trebon, Raleigh-Clement teammates Ben Berden and Jamey Driscoll, Cal Giant Berry Farms - Specialized teammates Yannick Eckmann and Tobin Ortenblad, Stephen Hyde (JAM Fund/NCC), Lukas Winterberg (Muller Landscape - BH Bikes), Evan McNeely (Norco Factory Team), and Raphael Gagne (Rocky Mountain Factory Team).
With 5 laps remaining in the race, McDonald held the same lead but a hard effort by Berden with Johnson in tow closed the gap within a half lap and the two immediately disposed of the Rapha-Focus rider who then ended his race with a crash on the backside of the course.
Further behind, Trebon sat on the chase group that now only contained Gagne, Winterberg, and Hyde while the gap to Berden and Johnson grew to nearly 30 seconds.
Two laps later, Gagne attacked on the steps after a flat tire put Trebon out of the chase group. Winterberg also suffered a mechanical, dropping his chain and ending his chances of finishing with the group.
At the front, Johnson and Berden traded punches with neither rider succeeding in dispatching the other. Johnson continued trying to dispose of Berden before the finishing asphalt stretch, hoping not to sprint against the Belgian, but he was unable to do so.
Johnson led Berden to the final stretch of pavement, choosing to sprint up the inside of the sweeping left but Berden sprinted around the outside to take the win. Gagne was able to hold off a hard-charging Trebon for 3rd place, 41 seconds behind the two leaders while Hyde rounded out the top five.
"With two laps to go, Tim dropped his chain after the stairs and I attacked him," said Berden. "He was able to get back to me pretty quickly, so I knew neither of us was going to escape. I have a pretty good sprint, so I just saved myself for the final 200 meters."
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