Hendersonville, Cyclo-cross

Hendersonville, NC Cyclocross Grand Prix

Day 1 of the Hunter SUBARU North Carolina Grand Prix presented by Liberty Bicycles brought in national talent from 16 states and one foreign country – Belgium. The crisp temperatures and dry ground created a fast course that included a run-up ‘wall’, barriers and very long climb in the woods.

In the men’s race it was the Belgian, Ben Berden (Ops Ale – Stoemper) taking the win. Berden stands in fourth place in the USICX and won the Boulder Cup (C1) earlier in November. Brian Matter (Team GeargrinderOhio) from Ohio, stayed with Berden throughout the race but yielded the final sprint to the Belgian. Berden and Matter used the long climb to get away and stayed just out in front of the chasing Travis Livermon (Smart Stop/Mock Orange pb Ridley). Liverman’s third place made him the top North Carolina finisher.

Ben Berden: “That hill was difficult but not difficult enough to make a gap [over Matter]. I have a good sprint, so I waited for the sprint.”

The NC GP is part of Berden’s adventure.

BB: I did a lot of racing in Belgium for almost twenty years. I wanted to see this part of the world and that’s why I’m here. I’m racing the East Coast, West Coast, and the middle of the country – so for me it’s part of an adventure. This is my last year I’m going to race, so why not.”
In the women’s race, the victory went to Chloe Forsman (Race Club 11) fromTucson, AZ. She took an early lead and held off Pennsylvania racers Nicole Thiemann (Team Cystic Fibrosis) and Carolyn Popovic (Team Cystic Fibrosis).

Cloe Foresman: “This is a fun course here. Every course has been pretty different. What categorized this course was the longer climb on the back [in the woods]. It almost felt like a mountain bike climb. I think that’s really where I was able to separate myself on the first lap. Every lap through there I just kind of dug deep and felt like that’s where I was making up a bit of ground.”

CF: “This is my first year racing cyclocross. I come from a mountain bike background. So the objective was to gain as much experience as possible and come out and get a feel for what ‘cross is like.”

Chloe has been on a month-long road trip that included the Boulder Cup CX, the Iceman Cometh point to point MTB bike race in Michigan, the Harbin Park Cincinnati CX and the Louisville CX. The NC GP is her first CX UCI win.

Top North Carolina finishers were Meghan Korol (Bob’s Red Mill) from Asheville, NC and Allison Arensman (Fiets Maan CX–p/b– Studio7 Multisport) from Rutherford College, NC.

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