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Dec. 12, 2006
Mark McCormack’s Verge NECCS Race Report
Mark at TacomaThis just in from TCB Cyclocross rider Mark McCormack. We’re only a few days from the Cyclocross National Championships in Providence, RI, so it’s good to see both Mark and Jesse rolling well in December. Jesse finished 5th on Sunday at the Verge NECCS Round #7 race in Warwick, Rhode Island and Mark took 3rd to seal the deal and take the series overall title for the fifth time in the past six years. Here’s what Mark has to say about the race & the series title:

The 2006 Verge NECCS has ended! And I am the proud wearer of the final leader’s jersey. This accomplishment was one of my main goals at the start of the cross season and it feels really good to have achieved it.

This past weekend was the final two events in the series. Both races were held in Rhode Island under relatively mild and dry conditions. On Saturday the race was flat and fast with a few small hills and plenty of hairpin turns. I had a horrible first lap that made the remaining 55 minutes seem like an eternity. I was relieved to have made it up to 5th place with about ½ the race completed but by the time I had done so the front group was well out of my reach. And that is how I finished up. My biggest concern was that my nearest threat on the overall of the NECCS, Matt White, finished 4th and picked up 5 points on me which put him only 5 points behind me in the series going into the final race.

On Sunday, the race was held on the coast and had two beach sections that both required some running in deep sand. The course also had many changes in elevation and plenty of long power sections that helped create a bit more separation amongst everyone from the first lap. I thought my chance at the series was over when Matt White got away from me and was gaining ground thanks to a concerted effort with Tim Johnson. 

Fortunately for me I was able to keep my pace high and Matt eventually lost contact with Tim. I managed to catch Matt at about the ½ way point and quickly move past him. I was eventually caught by another rider, Tristan Shouten, but knew that all I had to do was prevent any mishaps and I would be sure to win the series. I was really hoping to finish off the race in 2nd, since Tim was nearly 1 minute up on me, but in the final sprint I pulled my foot out of my pedal and had no chance of winning a sprint with one foot attached and the other detached. 

It was a great feeling to pull on the final leader’s jersey and with only one week to go until the Nationals, I am feeling strong and hoping to put together a great effort and get myself and my bright red Team Clif Bar kit on the podium once again.

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Le Sensation American
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