The 2018 Silver Goose Pan American cyclocross championships weekend kicked off on Saturday at Little Lake Park in Midland, Ontario. Not only were the championships being held in Canada for the first time, but it was also the first time that Masters racers would race for Pan-American titles. Day One was raced in suitably miserable conditions: snow, hail, wind and rain with the temperature hovering at three degrees Celsius. Canadian women won three Masters titles, while the C2 wins went to Gage Hecht and Ellen Noble.

In the first two contests, multiple age fields raced at the same time. Throughout the day, the sand became easier to negotiate as a rut was worn, but the mud grew thicker. Canadian geese formed a lake flotilla to keep an eye on the action.

Master Men 65+ Gold: Charles Townsend (USA) 31:09, Silver: James Laird (Canada) +0:01, Bronze: Robert Dillon (Canada) +4:44

Master Women 65+ Gold: Patricia Konantz (Canada) 26:57

Master Women 55-64 Gold: Marit Sheffield (USA) 24:23, Silver: Marcie Girouard (Canada) +0:38, Bronze: Lori Kofman (Canada) +0:54

Master Women 45-54 Gold: Lisa Holmgren (Canada) 41:41, Silver: Alana Heise (Canada) +1:53, Bronze: Kathleen Macewen (Canada) +3:39

Master Women 35-55 Gold: Sarah Gilchrist (Canada) 41:40, Silver: Joanne Grogan (USA) +0:10, Bronze: Rhonda Stickle (Canada) +0:22

Master Men 55-64 Canadian Robert Orange looked like he was running away with the race, but crashed on the final lap. Card had to take his foot out of the pedal after a touch of wheels in the sand and Don Seib made a gap. Canadian Cycling Magazine‘s Bob Bergman earned the bronze. Gold: Don Seib (USA) 39:36, Silver: Jonathan Card (USA) +0:13, Bronze: Bob Bergman (Canada) +1:53

The Master Men 55-64 podium with CCM’s Bob Bergman earning bronze.

Master Men 45-54 American champ Adam Myerson nabbed the early lead on the first of four laps and had a squirrel challenge him. Gold: Adam Myserson (USA) 37:52, Silver: Todd Bowden (USA) +0:15, Bronze: Jean Francois Blais (Canada) +0:21

Master Men 35-44 Snow returned for the final Masters race of the day, joined briefly by the sun to run the weather gamut. After five laps Matt Timmerman (USA) had dominated the race. Gold: Matt Timmerman (USA) 47:51, Silver: Jake Wells (USA) +1:10, Bronze: Frederic Auger (Canada) +1:25

Elite Men After the masters races came the Silver Goose C2 events. In the men’s race Americans Gage Hecht, Tobin Ortenblad, Stephen Hyde and Brannen Fix were the early leaders on the first of seven laps. Canadians Michael van den Ham and Marc André Fortier were the closest Canadians.

National champion van den Ham seized the lead on the third lap, leading a tight pack of seven. The group became smaller on Lap 4 as Hyde led the way.

Hecht powered ahead on the penultimate lap, with van den Ham the closest chaser and Hyde farther back. Hyde passed the Canadian on the bell lap. Van den Ham held onto bronze. Canada’s Gunnar Holmgren was ninth. Gold: Gage Hecht (USA) 59:55, Silver: Stephen Hyde (USA) +0:08, Bronze: Michael van den Ham (Canada) +0:14

Van den Ham talked about the nature of the race: “It would get strung out after the technical sections and then guys who were hammering would pit. Gage came around me just after Pit 1, after the stairs there and really put the hammer down and I guess that really blew the race apart. He was going so fast down this pavement stretch and couldn’t get in his draft.”

Elite Women: In the C2 women’s race Canada’s Maghalie Rochette would face Americans Kaitlin Keough, the winner on the 2018-2019 World Cup’s second race at Jinglecross, and Ellen Noble, second place at Waterloo. After one lap of five, Noble led the field and Jenn Jackson was the top Canadian in fourth.

Rochette had to pick her way through the field from 11th. Noble pulled farther away from compatriot Keough, and Rochette worked herself into a place where she could vie for the podium. Into the bell lap Rochette had gone clear into third place. Gold: Ellen Noble (USA) 47:59, Silver: Kaitlin Keough (USA) +0:10, Bronze: Maghalie Rochette (Canada) +0:20

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