Danny Summerhill in the top 10 at the UCI C1 Kings Cup
The USA Cycling Pro CX Calendar traveled to Cincinnati, Ohio this weekend for the classic Cincy3 weekend of racing. In addition to the UCI events, the Sunday races also served as the Pan-American Cyclocross Championships, an important opportunity for American riders to gain UCI points in a strong field. With two days of fierce racing, the competitors were exposed to challenging conditions rarely seen outside of Europe, with slick mud and treacherous off-camber sections. During Saturday’s UCI C1 race, Danny Summerhill held his own to finish in 9th position, a solid result against the strongest riders on the continent.
In the women’s field, Erica Zaveta was looking for redemption after a late race crash at Colorado’s US Open of Cyclocross two weekends ago. Having previously raced the Kings course in the dark, it was a change for Zaveta to see it in daylight, “It was different this year riding Kings course in the daytime! Kings is always a challenging course with punchy climbs and long grass sections.”
With the goal of moving into the UCI points, which extend to 15th place, Zaveta started conservatively, “I knew the course would pull you backwards if you went out too hard. My plan worked and I kept moving forward as the race went on, passing more people each lap to finish in 15th place.”
The valuable UCI points, which are used to stage riders on the start line, will help ensure that Zaveta can be competitive for the rest of the season.
For Cari Higgins, in her first year of Pro Cyclocross, the European-style courses were a true challenge, “with a big overnight rain, Sunday’s course quickly became the most technical course on the pro cyclocross circuit. For this newbie, it pushed my limits of comfort, for sure.” Staying composed and focused, Higgins stayed in the race and moved up throughout. For Higgins, every race is a learning experience, “Each week I’m gaining skills and confidence when faced with new riding conditions. I finally feel like it’s all coming together.”
Danny Summerhill came into the Cincinnati weekend with great form, but after finding himself in the lead group of Saturday’s UCI C1 event, a stroke of bad luck saw Summerhill a few seconds behind the leaders. On such a demanding course, the lead group was gone, but Summerhill fought his way back into the select chase group, and held onto a strong 9th place finish. In the strongest field in North America, 9th place and the UCI points that go with it will ensure Summerhill can maintain his front row starting position for the rest of the season.
The Maxxis-Shimano Pro Cyclocross Team will travel to Louisville, Kentucky next weekend for another classic weekend of cyclocross at the Derby City Cup. The courses in Kentucky are known across the globe after hosting the Cyclocross World Championships in 2013, and have seen generations of stars take to the starting line.
Photos: Dejan Smaic