Team Maxxis-Shimano excel at Ruts n’ Guts UCI event

BROKEN ARROW, Okla. – Danny Summerhill and Travis Livermon narrowly missed the top step of the podium this past weekend at Ruts N’ Guts with Summerhill claiming second place on Saturday and Livermon grabbing the same result the next day

Summerhill, fresh off a three-week break, said he was completely surprised by his result.

“Prior to the race, I had didn’t think I could crack the top ten, but somehow after the first lap I found myself off the front by about 20 seconds. That lasted for all but the last two laps,” Summerhill said. “It came down to tactics, luck and some guts, but unfortunately heading in the last corner, luck was not totally on my side.”

“I’m still in shock and pleased with second although after putting in the work for the whole race, a win would’ve felt much better,” he added.

Tobin Ortenblad (Santa Cruz Factory Racing) took the win while Maxxis-Shimano’s Livermon picked up a solid fifth place.

Despite being new to Ruts N’ Guts, Crystal Anthony held her own in the UCI women’s event. Anthony claimed fifth place on Saturday after a crash set her back a few crucial positions.

“The course was fun to race, with several choose-your-own-adventure creek crossings and twisty technical sections,” she said. “There was a pretty cool up and downhill sand pit and a few power grass sections.”

Katie Compton went off the front from the start on Saturday, with Anthony making the lead chase group. A strong acceleration on the final lap saw her finish in fifth.

Sunday’s C2 race belonged to Livermon, who crushed the competition to finish a close second behind Ortenblad.

“I felt like I had better legs than everyone in the front group, but just couldn’t get separation,” Livermon said. “I led the last few laps and could tell I had everyone on the ropes but Tobin was able to come around me with a couple turns to go and that was it. I’m happy with the result, but frustrated to miss out on the win by so little.”

In the women’s event, Compton rode away again while Anthony had a back and forth battle with Becca Fahringer, Katie Antonneau and Sunny Gilbert before a few unfortunate crashes had her chasing hard and left her in sixth place.

“The bikes worked great and the support was awesome as always,” Anthony said. “I’m looking forward to getting back on my game next weekend in Asheville.”

Next weekend, the racing heads back east for North Carolina Grand Prix in Hendersonville, N.C. Having lost last year to his Summerville, Livermon hopes that he’ll see the top step of the podium in 2016.

“Being from NC and having many friends in the Asheville area makes this feel like a hometown race,” Livermon says. “I’ve been second the past four times I’ve raced it really eats at me that I’ve never won. I’m working hard to try and make sure this is finally the year.”

With Summerhill and Anthony both hoping to repeat their 2015 wins in Hendersonville, this event could turn into a fantastic success for the Maxxis-Shimano squad and a great way to lead into the USA Cycling Cyclocross National Championships in Hartford Connecticut once the calendar clicks over into 2017 a few weeks later.

Double Wins for Danny Summerhill at North Carolina GP of Cyclocross

The North Carolina Grand Prix of Cyclocross spanned two days over the past weekend in Hendersonville, NC. Revealing his great form coming into nationals, Danny Summerhill of the Maxxis Shimano Cyclocross Team won both days of the event after some tactical and hard fought racing.

In what proved to be dry conditions in North Carolina, the fast and open course at Jackson Park created unusual dynamics for cyclocross racing in the US. With little to break up the field, the front of the Elite Men’s race stayed together on Day 1. With both Yannick Eckmann and Summerhill representing Team Maxxis Shimano, the riders had a distinct advantage. As experienced road-racers in their own right, Summerhill and Eckmann worked strongly to control the moves and set Danny up for a strong finish, “Travis Liverman was a fierce competitor today. Without the help of Yannick, it would have been more difficult to come away with the win”
Danny Summerhill sprinted from the lead group to take the win, with Eckmann also sprinting to a very strong 4th place finish.

The second day of racing followed a similar playbook to the first, albeit with tired riders. For Summerhill, it was again a race of patience, “There was so much back and forth in the last lap. I thought I’d lost the race so many times in the last few corners, but I had just enough horsepower to overcome Liverman once again for the win.” The dual victories are testament to Summerhill’s combined road racing knowledge with smooth technical riding. He was once again helped onto the top step of the podium by teammate Eckmann, who rounded out the weekend’s racing with 5th place on Sunday.

“Hendersonville was a fun weekend for the whole team. The riders and mechanics are really clicking at this point in the season, and that made for smooth sailing both days” –  Danny Summerhill

The Elite Women’s race followed a similar story both days. The strong lead group got away early, and made Erica Zaveta chase for most of the race, “I was riding the technical parts well and able to put down good power, but I missed the lead group on both Saturday and Sunday” Stuck in no-man’s land, Zaveta worked hard alone for a strong 4th place on Saturday, and a fifth place on Sunday.


Coming Up Next!

For the riders of the Maxxis Shimano Cyclocross team, attention is now turning to Elite Cyclocross Nationals. With just over a month to go, the opportunity for the team to race in North Carolina was useful, as nationals will be held just down the road in Asheville.

Summerhill, with dual goals of cyclocross nationals and the road season in 2016 is currently putting in the miles to gain fitness, “It’s easy to train hard right now with the focus on nationals coming up. I’m really committed to doing well in Asheville, and I hope it sets me up well for the rest of the season”.

Zaveta is also in the middle of a hard bout of training, “My training load has been high but even so I can feel the power coming around.” As a local of North Carolina, the chance to race on home turf at a National Championship is an added incentive for Zaveta, ” Living in Brevard, only 40 minutes from the national course doesn’t hurt either!”