Rochester Cyclocross Day 2: Rochette beats Holmgren to win two in a row

Maghalie Rochette (Canyon Collective) made it two in a row after winning the second day of cyclocross racing at the Rochester Cyclocross on Sunday. It was the fourth of eight races in the US Cyclocross Series (USCX).

The winner of Saturday's C1 race, Rochette finished 22 seconds ahead of junior World Champion Isabella Holmgren (Stimulus Orbea) in second, and 1:29 ahead of Sidney McGill (Cervelo/Orange Living) in third, making it a Canadian sweep of the podium.

Rochette started the race with the fastest lap and with a small group that also included McGill and Lauren Zoerner (Groove Off-Road) along with Holmgren, Kaya Musgrave (Cervelo/Orange Living) and Caroline Mani (Groove Off-Road) and a close chase by Raylyn Nuss (Steve Tilford Foundation).

Although Rochette dominated the opening round from start to finish on Saturday, she faced several technical issues and closer competition on day two of racing.

“I started pretty well, actually. It was drizzling, but it wasn’t too wet. Then at some point on the second lap, I hit my bike on a barrier and dropped my chain inside so I couldn’t get it back on. Everyone was passing me,” Rochette recounted after the race, saying she took the time as a little rest. Once she got the chain back on, it was game on as she worked from 8th position.

“So I started chasing, made it back to the front and then I had a problem with my cleats, getting stuffed up. As I was trying to clip back, I crashed. And then I crashed again. Bella [Holmgren] was out there in front, she was riding super strong. She knows how to win races, so I had to take it seriously. I had to de-fluster myself. It was about racing my own race and not making mistakes, riding steady," Rochette said. 

"Eventually, I got back up to her and was able to drop her. For the last three laps we were back and forth. It was an eventful race.”

Rochette managed to open her gap to more than 20 seconds as she crossed the line with her fourth consecutive win in the USCX. There are two more race weekends in the race series, next up Charm City Cross in Baltimore, Maryland September 30 and October 1.

Holmgren did not race the opening USCX round in Go Cross, so made a dent in the standings with a fourth place on Saturday and runner-up on Sunday.

“It started out with a group of about five or six of us. I was just trying to get ahead in the technical sections, especially as it got more slippery. If there was a mistake then I wouldn’t get caught up in it. I was just trying to focus on my own race. I’ve worked on staying calm and just go as hard as I can," the 19-year-old said, happy with second place in the C2 race. "Go Canada!"


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