Koch, Stetina ride to junior national titles

Koch rode to a win with a little show of sportsmanship by Geist (Photo: Casey B. Gibson)
Park City, Utah (June 23, 2005)óThe Park City Cycling Festival continued Thursday as Kimberly Geist (Emmaus, Pa.) sacrificed her shot at a national title in the junior womenís 17-18 race, instead opting for a classy display of sportsmanship towards her breakaway companion and eventual race winner Shannon Koch (Flower Mound, Texas).

After 53 miles of racing, Koch and Geist were together inside of the final mile calculating their strategies and preparing for a possible two-up sprint when Kochís chain suddenly dislodged itself from the chainring Ė a move that should have ended her hopes right then and there. But instead of making a selfish dash to the finish line, Geist sat up and waited for Koch to get assistance from the caravan before continuing on.

From there, the two riders continued towards the finish where Koch barely outsprinted Geist to take the national championship and an automatic nomination to represent the United States at the junior world championships this August in Austria.

Factor in the fact that Koch also narrowly edged Geist by 13 seconds one day earlier to capture the junior womenís 17-18 time trial national title and Geistís gesture becomes even more impressive.

ďIt was awesome that she waited for me because I was freaking out,Ē said Koch afterwards. Right before the roundabout, maybe like 3k to go, my chain fell off and I couldnít get it back on without getting off my bike and Danny jumped out of the car and put it back on for me. It was really nice of her, because she really didnít have to do that.Ē

Stetina led the Team 5280 Magazine 1-2 punch (Photo: Casey B. Gibson)
By Kochís estimation, she had a decent shot at taking home the stars and stripes jersey anyway given the nature of the final uphill finishing stretch. ďI figured all day long I was leading up every single climb so I figured if I went on that last little pitch up to the finish that Iíd probably have a little better chance that Kimberly. I just went as hard as I could and didnít look back.Ē

Koch improved upon her third-place finish in 2004 as the 18-year-old competes in her final year of eligibility in the junior ranks.

In the other internationally recognized category held on Thursday, Peter Stetina (Boulder, Colo.) was the first rider across the line in the junior menís 17-18 race. Stetina crossed the line hand-in-hand with teammate and last yearís junior menís 15-16 champion Tejay Van Garderen (Fort Collins, Colo.).

A field of 133 riders endured a windy day that made the already challenging course more difficult. Early on in the 78 mile race, a small collection of top junior riders escaped from the main field. After an earlier failed attempt at an initial solo breakaway, Spencer Beamer (Knoxville, Tenn.) attacked the group again and successfully mounted a significant advantage. Still 14 miles and two serious climbs to the finish, the altitude, terrain and severe headwind doomed the chances of Beamer as Stetina and Nick Frey (Des Moines, Iowa) caught and passed Beamer near the top of the first climb.

Near the top of the second and longer climb, Van Garderen had bridged across to the two leaders and it became a simple game of numbers.

Park City continues to provide a stunning backdrop for nationals (Photo: Casey B. Gibson)
ďThere were just team numbers and Tejay and I are both climbing specialists and Nick is more of a time trialist so we were just able to work him over on the hills,Ē said Stetina. ďIt was great because we were both taking strong pulls.Ē

Van Garderen and Stetina dropped Frey and arrived at the finish line together with Van Garderen giving the elder Stetina the win in an uncontested sprint.

ďIíve never won a national championship before and he has nine,Ē said Stetina of the decision on which of the Team 5280 Magazine riders would take the win. ďHeís already got a more guaranteed spot for the world championships, but now if we have two teammates over there it would be a lot better. He was just extremely strong. I think he was actually a little stronger that I was today.Ē

In total, eight junior national championships were awarded today. Other winners included Hannah Hayduck (Kutztown, Pa.) in the junior womenís 10-12, Justin Koelbl (Fairfax Station, Va.) in the junior menís 10-12, Katlin Antonneau (Racine, Wis.) in the junior womenís 13-14, Stephen Koelbl (Fairfax Station, Va.) in the junior menís 13-14, Danielle Haulman (Denver, Colo. ) in the junior womenís 15-16, and Daniel Summerhill (Centennial, Colo.) in the junior menís 15-16.

The Park City Cycling Festival continues on Friday with criterium racing in the junior and U23 categories.


Junior Menís 17-18

Junior Womenís 17-18

Junior Menís 15-16

Junior Womenís 15-16

Junior Menís 13-14

Junior Womenís 13-14

Junior Menís 10-12

Junior Womenís 10-12

This Article Published June 23, 2005 For more information contact: