Maghalie Rochette (Canyon Collective) won the opening day at Rochester Cyclocross on Saturday, leading the race from start to finish and crossing the with over a minute ahead of her nearest competitors.
Caroline Mani (Groove Off-Road) finished in second, and Sidney McGill (Cervelo/Orange) in third.
“I love Rochester. For me, it’s six hours away from where I live, but consider it sort of my home race. It’s close enough, and there’s a lot of people from Canada and a lot of people that I know. It’s always a special race. I feel more nervous at this one, I really want to do well every time. I enjoy the course. It is hard, but the ways the turns are made, they are fun,” Rochette said.
“The technical sections here in Rochester are always key parts of the races. Double Trouble, for example, it’s a pretty technical section, and for me, that was a challenge. I was riding it, and I wasn’t clearing it perfectly every lap, but I did [clear it] a few times, and that is where I actually set myself apart from the other riders. I came in first in that section and opened up a little gap.
“There was also the hill just before going into the woods. It’s a steep hill, and you are coming in with a false-flat uphill with a headwind, so it’s pretty tough.”
Rochette had the fastest time in the opening lap, covering the circuit in just over seven minutes and completed the opener with a lead on chasing duo Mani and McGill by 12 seconds.
Slightly further back was junior world champion Isabella Holmgren (Stimulus Orbea), Raylyn Nuss (Steve Tilford Foundation), Kaya Musgrave (Cervelo/Orange), Elle Brenneman (CXD-Trek), Lauren Zoerner (Groove Off-Road) and Greta Kilburn (Green Mountain).
By the halfway point of the race, the chasing groups behind Rochette had splintered into solo efforts, with Mani trailing by 36 seconds, McGill by 38, and Holmgren by nearly a minute back.
The gaps only widened through the final laps until Rochette crossed the finish line with over a minute ahead of Mani and McGill.
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