Ellen Noble (Trek Factory Racing CX) took the Charm City crown Saturday in Baltimore, Maryland. Noble also claimed early leads for the Parkway CX Trophy presented by Union Craft Brewery. Saturday’s ProCX races were the first of four events in the new series. Racing started at Druid Hill Park in Baltimore under cloudy skies and mild temperatures. Rain from Thursday and Friday had created muddy conditions for the early events, with hundreds of juniors and masters riders packing down some of the areas. After two turns on the circuit, the Elite Women’s field saw a battle at the front between the top two women in the ProCX standings, Noble, who is now ranked second overall, and points leader Maghalie Rochette (CXFever p/b Specialized). Trailing a few seconds behind in third was Kaitie Keough (/Cannondale p/b CyclocrossWorld). Another 10 to 15 seconds in full chase mode was Rebecca Fahringer (Kona Maxxis Shimano).ADVERTISEMENT Rochette, who took the holeshot, did most of the work out front for the first half of the 5-lap contest. With two to go, Noble attacked on the back side of the course and tried to open a gap on her nemesis. The move extended the lead of the duo over Keough to 20 seconds, but the two continued to battle until the final lap. “It was definitely a super tactical race, which is something that I’m not really used to. Maghalie is specifically such a hard racer to race against,” said Noble, who finished third in the 2017 Charm City C1 race. “We’re both pretty punchy and pretty good technically. So figuring out how to beat her has been an ongoing process. What it took today was finding out where she was making mistakes and capitalizing on that. I knew she was struggling on the 180 going along Club Row. I didn’t know if she was bluffing a little bit or if she was starting to ‘take on water,' but I figured I would put in one more dig. Otherwise, I was saving a little bit for the sprint.” Noble attacked after the final climb up the staircase and took a gap into the final turns. She did not need to use energy for a sprint, as she went solo across the finish in 45 minutes, 37 seconds. Rochette would follow in second place 28 seconds later. Keough took third place, 58 seconds back.
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