Maghalie Rochette (Canyon Collective) completed her total domination of the USCX series by taking a solo win on day 2 of the Really Rad Festival of Cyclocross in Falmouth, Massachusetts. The Canadian racer swept the eight races of the series, starting with Virginia’s Blue Ridge Go Cross in mid-September.
Though the racers faced the same 3.3km course as Saturday’s C1 race, the rainy and cold weather conditions delivered tacky and greasy conditions for Sunday’s C2 contest.
Rochette crossed the finish line 59 seconds ahead of runner-up Sidney McGill (Cervélo/OrangeLiving). Katie Clouse (Steve Tilford Foundation) was third.
Though Rochette crashed in the first and final lap, she kept her composure to use the conditions to hone her skills in the mud and to practice the bike change with her team.
“I tried to make the most of it and I kept the power on the whole time, and I felt my technique getting better and better. So hopefully, good practice for going to Europe in a week,” Rochette said.
“I was pretty chilled today, and I think that maybe it backfired.” Rochette said of her early crash. “I didn’t really have much of a plan. I was just kind of going and having a good day, but I wasn’t cautious enough on the first lap and I was sliding around a lot, but then it got better.”
McGill took advantage of Rochette’s early crash to take over the front of the race on the first lap.
“I saw this splat right before I saw her on the ground and then closely by Lauren [Zoerner] also on the ground. At that point, it was all gas,” the young Canadian said. “It was fun.”
Rochette recovered quickly to give chase and quickly connected back to McGill with the duo building a lead to the rest of the field after one lap. After 16 minutes of racing, Rochette powered away from McGill and continued to press her advantage. Behind the duo, the chase group included Clouse, Raylyn Nuss, Jenaya Francis and Groove Off-Road Racing teammates Caroline Mani and Lauren Zoerner.
With three laps to go, Clouse was solidly in third place, as she returned to cyclocross racing after focusing for two years on racing on the road.
“I’m just super excited to be back. I obviously didn’t really know how this weekend was going to go. I had shoulder surgery again this past summer, so I took a long time off the bike. So I’m just kind of trying to ease back into it So I’m super excited about today’s race,” Clouse said. “Cyclocross has kind of always been my passion. Coming…