The 2013 USA Cycling Cyclo-cross National Championships concluded Sunday at Badger Prairie Park with the elite men’s and women’s race and the collegiate men’s races. An overnight flurry and frigid temperatures left the course frozen with ruts from the week of racing. It did nothing to diminish the spirits and desire of the competitors as spectators watched spectacular elite racing live and streaming online.
In all, over one thousand competitors made over 1,400 starts throughout the five-day event in Wisconsin.
The elite men’s race pitted 82 of the country’s best cyclo-cross riders in a seven-lap race to crown the nation’s best. Jonathan Page (Northfield, NH/Engvt) pulled away from the field to secure his Stars-and-Stripes jersey. Page outdueled 21-year-old Zach McDonald (Bainbridge Island, WA/Team Rapha-Focus) over the last three laps to win by 47 seconds.
A six-rider group broke away from the field early in the first lap. As the group continued to grow its advantage on the field, it was evident that the winner would come from that lead pack. Page left no doubt as he took the lead and did not relinquish it. McDonald closed Page’s gap to as small as seven seconds with two laps remaining, but Page had more gas in the tank for the last two laps. He padded his lead by 31 seconds over the final two circuits as he completed the course in 58:31.
James Driscoll (Sandy, UT/Cannondale Cyclocrossworld) finished third, 59 seconds behind Page.
“The course turned out better than I had expected,” Page said. “I was a little worried with the weather turning very cold but the sun made it slippery and I’m psyched it wasn’t a group race. There’s nothing better than winning at nationals.”
Katie Compton (Colorado Springs, CO/Trek Cyclocross Collective) rode away with her ninth consecutive national championship after she won the elite women’s race Sunday. Compton completed her four-lap race in 43:02, 1:20 faster than the silver medalist Jade Wilcoxson (Talent, OR/Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies). Nicole Duke (Boulder, CO/Cyclocrossworld) overcame some mechanical issues to finish in third place, only three seconds behind Wilcoxson.
Kaitlin Antonneau (Racine, WI/Cannondale Cyclocrossworld), who topped the U23 women’s podium last year, repeated as the national champion, Sunday. Antonneau was the top-placed U23 rider in the elite women’s field, placing ninth overall to earn that crown.
Compton and Duke rode together off the front of the field in the early stages of the race. A slight bobble in the pit was the only opening Compton needed to attack and open a margin that continued to expand as the race went on. Compton was the only rider to complete each of her four laps in less than 11 minutes as she left the field battling for second place.
“I think this was the hardest course of all,” Compton said of this year’s national title in comparison to her previous eight. “My mechanics had to work hard in the pit trying to get everything to work right. I think they struggled more than I did just because the conditions were so brutal. I’m really happy with this one. I didn’t have the best start. I was wearing warmer gloves than I usually do and I didn’t get the shifting right. But other than that it was pretty smooth. I just tried to relax and pedal and push hard where I could and keep my bike upright. Now, I go home and get some rest and some proper training in and come into Louisville in good form and feeling well and hope for the best. I love having Worlds in Louisville.”
After finishing sixth in Saturday’s U23 national championship race, Kerry Werner (Banner Elk, NC/Lees-McRae College) was out to prove himself in Sunday’s collegiate Division I contest.
Werner finished the six-lap contest in 53:49, winning by 43 seconds over Joshua Johnson (Fort Wayne, IN/Marian University). The two riders rode away from the field during the first lap, completing their first circuit in just over nine minutes. As the two riders entered the pit on the second lap, Johnson crashed allowing Werner to attack and open an advantage. Johnson bounced up and gradually reeled Werner back, but the defending national champion attacked again and Johnson was unable to overcome that deficit. Rotem Ishay (Durango, CO/Fort Lewis College) placed third, 18 seconds behind Johnson and 54 seconds ahead of fourth-place Andrew Dillman (Fairdale, KY/Marian University). Skyler Trujillo (Fort Collins, CO/Fort Lewis College) placed fifth, 3:28 behind Werner.
“After winning it last year, I wanted to take it again and keep the streak going, so I got that done,” Werner said. “It feels good. The biggest thing, I think, was yesterday it was so muddy so you just had to ride it real different. There weren’t really any bike chain issues. It was just a matter of staying as consistent as possible, and not getting into your head too much.”
Robert Rimmer (Friendsville, TN/Virginia Intermont College) captured the day’s first race on the frozen terrain as he pulled away to secure the gold medal in the collegiate men’s Division II contest, earning the school’s first cycling national title.
Rimmer was even through the first lap with Casey Hildebrandt (Weston, WI/Ripon College) but steadily increased his advantage as the race wore on and crossed the line first in 47:38. Timothy Jenkinson (Mars Hill, NC/Mars Hill College) came on strong to finish in second place, 53 seconds behind Rimmer, while Hildebrandt hung on for the bronze medal with a time of 48:47.
“I knew I wanted to get out front in case somebody went down I didn’t want to be a part of it,” said Rimmer of the start. “I wanted to get the hole shot and then settle in and see what happens. There was one guy who stayed with me for a little while but then he fell off and the gap just kept increasing after that.”
Marian University and Brevard College won the Division I and II team omniums, respectively. Marian topped Fort Lewis College by 22 points. Bolstered by Werner’s win today, Lees-McRae College placed third in the team omnium, 42 points behind Marian. Brevard College and Mars Hill College tied atop the Division II team omnium. Brevard wins the tiebreaker due to Erica Zaveta’s (Erwinna, PA/Brevard College) win on Saturday.
For complete details on this event, including a complete schedule, results, course map and a photo gallery, please visit the event web site.
2013 USA Cycling Cyclo-cross National Championships
Badger Prairie Park
1. Jonathan Page (Northfield, NH/Engvt) 58:31
2. Zach McDonald (Bainbridge Island, WA/Team Rapha-Focus) +0:47
3. James Driscoll (Sandy, UT/Cannondale Cyclocrossworld) +0:59
4. Daniel Summerhill (Englewood, CO/Unitedhealthcare) +1:44
5. Timothy Johnson (Topsfield, MA/Cannondale Cyclocrossworld) +2:08
1. Katie Compton (Colorado Springs, CO/Trek Cyclocross Collective) 43:02
2. Jade Wilcoxson (Talent, OR/Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) +1:20
3. Nicole Duke (Boulder, CO/Cyclocrossworld) +1:23
4. Georgia Gould (Fort Collins, CO/Team Luna Chix) +1:42
5. Crystal Anthony (Beverly, MA/Cyclocrossworld) +2:14
1. Kaitlin Antonneau (Racine, WI/Cannondale Cyclocrossworld) 46:00
2. Allison Arensman (Rutherford College, NC/Pepper Palace-Spin Tech Training p/b ABRC) -1 lap
3. Emily Shields (Salisbury, NC/Mock Orange Racing) -1 lap
4. Katherina Shields (Salisbury, NC/Mock Orange Racing) -2 laps
5. Erin Donohue (Norwich, VT/Mock Orange Bikes) -2 laps
Division I Men
1. Kerry Werner (Banner Elk, NC/Lees-McRae College) 53:49
2. Joshua Johnson (Fort Wayne, IN/Marian University) +0:43
3. Rotem Ishay (Durango, CO/Fort Lewis College) +1:01
4. Andrew Dillman (Fairdale, KY/Marian University) +1:55
Division II Men
1. Robert Rimmer (Friendsville, TN/Virginia Intermont College) 47:38
2. Timothy Jenkinson (Mars Hill, NC/Mars Hill College) +0:53
3. Casey Hildebrandt (Weston, WI/Ripon College) +1:09
4. Wesley Lamberson (Limestone, TN/Union College-KY) +3:06
5. Michael Michetti (Elkhorn, WI/University of Wisconsin-Platteville) +3:13
Collegiate Team Omniums
1. Marian University 188
2. Fort Lewis College 166
3. Lees-McRae College 146
4. Lindenwood University 113
5. Virginia Tech 105
1. Brevard College 177
2. Mars Hill College 177
3. Colorado Mesa University 137
4. Massachusetts Institute of Technology 107
5. Union College-Ky. 98