Only two UCI cyclo-cross races were held in the United States this past weekend at the North Carolina Grand Prix in Hendersonville, NC. Though the conditions varied tremendously from Saturday to Sunday, the same podium was repeated in the elite women's races with Amanda Carey (Volkswagen Boise) winning both days. For the elite men's races, Brian Matter (RACC p/b Geargrinder) and Kerry Werner Jr (BMC U23 Development Team) each took a win.
On a dry course on Saturday afternoon, Carey led from start to finish to claim her first ever UCI victory at the eighth annual UCI North Carolina Cyclo-Cross Grand Prix presented by Hunter Subaru. Crossing the line 20 seconds later was Katie Arnold (Bob's Red Mill Cyclocross) with Emily Shields (Mock Orange Bikes) a further 14 seconds, in third place.
“This is a deceivingly hard course because there is so much power. You have to pedal and if you're not pedaling, you're getting shut down because it's just go, go, go there's absolutely no rest because the second you stop pedaling you're losing time.” Carey told Asheville's Citizen-Times.
For Matter, it was a third victory at this event when he crossed the line five seconds ahead Werner Jr. The two, along with Dan Timmerman (Richard Sachs - RGM Watches – Radix) were in the lead group. Timmerman held on for third place.
The weather changed the next morning with rain turning the course on the grounds of Jackson Park into a sloppy mess. The course, at roughly 3.3 km in length, consisted of a paved start and finish, grass, hard packed trail and gravel trail. Once again however, Carey took the win ahead of Arnold and Shields. In the men's race, 21-year old Werner, a student at Lees McRae College, claimed the victory as the rain started in earnest once again during the elite men's race. Matter was 17 seconds back for second while Jake Wells (Stan's NoTubes Elite Cross Team) took third.