Successful mountain bike races highlight week for National Development Program

USA Cycling's U23 program found success in two European mountain bike races while also contesting a road race in Belgium.

MOUNTAIN BIKE

The mountain bike team of Stephen Ettinger, Russell Finsterwald, Jack Hinkens and Kerry Werner pose for a photo at the Solothurn Swiss Racer Bikes Cup. (Photo by Marc Gullickson)
The mountain bike team of Stephen Ettinger, Russell Finsterwald, Jack Hinkens and Kerry Werner pose for a photo at the Solothurn Swiss Racer Bikes Cup. (Photo by Marc Gullickson)

On Saturday, a group of USA Cycling's U23 riders competed in the Solothurn Swiss Racer Bikes Cup in Solothurn, Switzerland.

Despite arriving in Europe only 36 hours prior to the start of the race, the American espoirs produced strong results in a contest which pitted them against elite mountain bikers. Stephen Ettinger (Cashmere, Wash./BMC MTB Development) was completely undaunted by that as he produced the team's best performance, placing 12th overall and second among the U23 riders in the race's final results. On the fast, rolling course, Ettinger finished 3:41 behind the winner, Swiss champ Nino Schurter. Kerry Werner (Banner Elk, N.C./BMC MTB Development) placed 33rd, Jack Hinkens (Eden Prairie, Minn./BMC MTB Development) finished 38th and Russell Finsterwald (Boulder, Colo./Subaru-Trek) crossed in 54th place.

Stephen Ettinger stands atop the podium following the Wittnau Taeler Cup. (Photo by Marc Gullickson)
Stephen Ettinger stands atop the podium following the Wittnau Taeler Cup. (Photo by Marc Gullickson)

The riders were greeted with sunny skies and temperatures in the mid 70s. Riders know that to be successful on the Solothurn course he must have good position at the start of a steep, technical climb.

The same group of four riders also contested the Wittnau Taeler Cup on Sunday, in Oberried, Germany. The Americans put forth a very strong performance with three riders in the top 10 in the race's final results, including Ettinger winning the race. Werner placed fifth, Finsterwald finished ninth and Hinkens was 19th.

Ettinger's win follows in the footsteps of Tad Elliott (2009) and Rob Squire (2010) as the last three Americans to win the Wittnau Taeler Cup.

ROAD

A group of USA Cycling's U23 riders contested the Circuit de Wallonie in Belgium on Sunday. Nathan Wilson (Boulder, Colo./Univ. of Colo.-California Giant) posted the team's best result, placing 102nd on the arduous course, spanning 176.4 kilometers, featuring several treacherous climbs.

Below is the list of riders who contested the Circuit de Wallonie with Wilson:

Eamon Franck (Pacific Grove, Calif./California Giant)
Nate Geoffrion (Petaluma, Calif./Firefighters Cycling Association)
Marshall Opel (Whitefish, Mont./Team Hammer Nutrition
Tanner Putt (Roswell, Ga./Team Type 1)

For complete results of the Circuit de Wallonie, click here.

COMING UP

On May 15, the following group of four U23 mountain bike riders will compete in the Sallhausen Bundesliga in Saalhausen, Germany:

Stephen Ettinger (Cashmere, Wash./BMC MTB Development)
Russell Finsterwald (Boulder, Colo./Subaru-Trek)
Jack Hinkens (Eden Prairie, Minn./BMC MTB Development)
Kerry Werner (Banner Elk, N.C./BMC MTB Development)

On the road side, the following group of six women will ride in the Tour of Chongming Island in China on May 11-13 and May 15:

Jackie Crowell (Maitland, Fla./Team Type 1)
Andrea Dvorak (Crozet, Va./Colavita-Forno d'Asolo)
Lindsay Myers (Paradise, Calif./Chico Corsa Cycling)
Jessica Prinner (South Elgin, Ill./ABD Cycle Club)
Coryn Rivera (Tustin, Calif./Peanut Butter & Co. TWENTY 12)
Lauren Tamayo (Asheville, N.C./Peanut Butter & Co. TWENTY 12)

From May 13-15 the following group of six junior riders will contest the Etappeen der Rad in Frankfurt, Germany:

David Benkoski (Menlo Park, Calif./Team Specialized)
Austin Boswell (Bend, Ore./Hot Tubes Development)
Dean Haas (Lakewood, Colo./Team Specialized Racing)
Kristo Jorgenson (Boise, Idaho/Boise Young Riders Dev Squad)
Erik Volotzky (Chatsworth, Calif./Cycle World)
Benjamin Wolfe (Niantic, Conn./Corner Cycle Cycling)

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