Monday, November 7, 2011

Kimani Nielsen victorious in Ed Sander cyclocross

Kimani Nielsen of local bike racing team Squadra Coppi won the men's 3-4 race in this past Sunday's Ed Sander Memorial Cyclocross race.  Nielsen's Squadra Coppi teammate Brad Evans finished fifth to give Squadra Coppi impressive representation in the front of the 72-man field. 

The race played out on a dry, windy, relatively technical course in Adamstown, Maryland.  Nielsen rode a smart race early on, avoiding crashes and staying towards the front of the field but on other riders' wheels.  With three laps to go, Eric Krause from Antietam Velo Club attacked.  Nielsen kept on his wheel and the two broke away from the field.  Teammate Evans stayed off the front of the chase group to help out his teammate Nielsen, then dramatically punched through a steep muddy drop to bridge up to work with his teammate.  However, unattached rider Jimmy Picard launched a strong move out of the chase group, pulling back Evans and making contact with leaders Krause and Nielsen.  With three-quarters of a lap to go, Nielsen launched a dramatic attack.  It wasn't enough, however, to drop Krause and Picard.  Going into the home stretch, Nielsen was leading out Krause and Picard.  That's not the position a rider wants to be in to win a race.  But Nielsen got down into his drops and powered out an impressive win. Josh  Doorly of Haymarket Cycles managed to pass Brad Evans through the barriers, and Evans, who took a bad line through a couple of final turns, couldn't recover his position.  Nonetheless, Evans finished a highly respectable fifth.

The above photo, courtesy of top-ranked cyclocross photojournalist Jay Wescott, shows Nielsen and Evans in action.  Check out more of Wescott's photos of the Ed Sander Cyclocross.  Here are complete results for all the day's races

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