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Cross of the North, Clouse and Riveros do Friday night cyclocross right

October 10, 2015

CX North roost

The folks who run Cross of the North have outdone themselves this year. They’ve moved to the site of the former USGP series race in Fort Collins, CO. It was easy to imagine the USGP had come back to life: riders scaled a World Cup quality flyover, the team tent village hummed along with the light generators, and plenty of spectators took advantage of bonuses like an elevated viewing lounge.

In the women’s open race Nicole Duke (SRAM Factory) and Katie Clouse (Alpha Bicycle Company – Vista Subaru) quickly left the field behind. Park City, Utah resident Clouse frequently travels with her brother Evan Clouse to Colorado competitions, and the 14 year-old has become accustomed to the fast company of veterans like Duke, Georgia Gould (Luna Pro Team), and Meredith Miller (Noosa Pro Cyclocross Team).

Duke and Clouse paced each other, swapping places and finding lines through the numerous corners and turns on the compact night-course design.

“Usually I’ll sit behind someone and I’ll get pretty frustrated,” Duke later said about the battle with Clouse. “She challenged me on all the corners. There was maybe one where I thought she should go to the outside and I passed her on that corner a couple of times. But all the rest of it, she was flawless.”

In the final lap Clouse stretched Duke’s limits by putting in multiple maximum efforts. She pulled away and won alone under the spotlights.

In the final meters Duke watched the junior fly and decided she not only deserved the win but would get it in any case based on her power. “I just let her go and sat up and didn’t even want to contest her,” Duke said. “She had so much power at the end that I knew even if I got out onto the finishing straight she would still probably beat me. So I was like, ‘I’m done. I tried.’

“I thought she’d do maybe four efforts [in the last lap] and get tired and then kind of go steady, but she didn’t. She just kept doing it. She’s incredibly strong. She’s really good technically and she’s got the power. And she pushes a bigger gear than me, so it’s impressive.”

2015 Cross of the North Friday women's open solo winner, Katie Clouse

2015 Cross of the North Friday women’s open solo winner, Katie Clouse, strolls the venue during the men’s open race to cheer on her teammates.

After the race Clouse shared her thoughts about contesting the win with Duke. “She’s so fast. We’ve know each other for a couple of years and I love racing with her because we are supportive of each other when we race. So we can work together and it’s just fun racing with her and racing with a stronger girl than me.

“She pushes me, so it’s awesome.”

Evol Racing’s Melissa Barker pushed the rest of the field and finished third.

Men’s open won by Riveros

Similarly the men’s open race saw a solo winner, Fernando Riveros (Raleigh Clement). Riveros, a mountain biker who likes to dabble in cyclocross, started near the back of the large field. By the second lap he reached the front of the race which was then driven by Spencer Powlison (Evol Racing), Brady Kappius (CLIF Bar), Gage Hecht and Brannan Fix of Alpha Bicycle Company – Vista Subaru, Ben Berden and Chris Baddick (Boulder Cycle Sport).

Riveros passed them and never looked back for nearly 40 minutes. Tim Allen’s (Feedback Sports) efforts earned him separation from the leaders and second place nine seconds after Riveros’ arrival.

“I caught the leaders and just decided to go for it,” Riveros said, “and didn’t care if I blew up.” It was the Colombian’s second ‘cross win this season.

2015 Cross of North Friday men's open solo winner, Fernando Riveros

2015 Cross of the North Friday men’s open solo winner, Fernando Riveros

For complete results see the Bicycle Racing Association of Colorado’s website.

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