Cyclo-cross Nationals Open With Junior and Master Contests

KANSAS CITY (December 14, 2007)—The USA Cycling Cyclo-cross National Championships officially opened Friday with just over 400 junior and master riders aged 10 to 67 competing for stars-and-stripes jerseys at Wyandotte County Park in Kansas City, Kan.
Friday’s kick-off is featured bone-chilling action across all junior age divisions as well as all master women’s categories. The highly anticipated master men 45-49 contest capped off the day of what is often referred to as competitive cycling’s fastest-growing discipline.
After Thursday’s B-races literally “broke in” the icy 1.91-mile course, the junior women’s race started the quest for a national championship under clear skies but with frozen course conditions on Friday morning. In a race that saw several riders take out barriers, Anna Young (Madison, Wis./Regent Cycling) rode comfortably to the win in the 17-18 age division. Michelle Morris (Cincinnati, Ohio/One Call Now-Troy Chiropractic) won the silver medal out of only seven ladies who took the start in the eldest of the junior divisions. With a time that would have put her among the top of all the young ladies, multi-time national road champion and defending national cyclo-cross champion, Coryn Rivera (Tustin, Calif./Team Redline) added another jersey to her collection with a win in the 15-16 age division. Kaitlin Antonneau (Racine, Wis./Nove-Iscorp) was the only rider able to hang even close to Rivera, finishing over one-minute back in second place. In the small 13-14 field, Elizabeth White (Bedford, N.H./NEBC-Cycleloft-Devonshire) rode away with the win, nearly four full minutes ahead of her closest competition. Of the seven 10-12 year-old young women who braved the early-morning December conditions, Andrea Casebolt (Olympia, Wash.) earned her first stars-and-stripes jersey in 36:25. 
The junior men 10-16 took off on the day’s second race with around 30 seconds dividing each age group.    Just as he did in Thursday’s U29 B-race it was Jeff Bahnson (Newark, Del./C2S-Henry’s Bikes) pushing the pace in the 15-16 age division. This time however, despite several early race crashes, he wasn’t going to let anything stop his quest for the gold. 
“Doing yesterday’s U29 B-race definitely paid off,” explained Bahnson. “It was a great warm up and helped me prepare for today.” 
Logan Owen (Bemberton, Wash./Unattached) took the 13-14 crown beating out a charging Curtis White (Delanson, N.Y./Capital Bikes) by just over 20 seconds. Eleven year-old BMX national champion, Austin Vincent (Weatogue, Conn.) added a cyclo-cross national title to his list of accomplishments, outracing the 20 other competitors who lined-up in the 10-12 age division.
In the popular 17-18 “elite” junior men’s category, the Pacific Northwest region showcased its bright young talent with three of the four top riders hailing from the state of Washington. It was however Luke Keough of Sandwich, Mass. (CL Noonan) who took the win by 40 seconds over the closest Washingtonian, Zach McDonald of Bainbridge Island (Oh Boy Oberto-Redline). After several of the pre-race favorites exited the race early, McDonald charged to overtake Rad Racing teammates Eric Emsky (Fall City, Wash.) and Steve Fisher (Lynnwood, Wash.) on the final lap to earn the silver.      
“These were the toughest conditions I’ve ever raced in,” said Keough after displaying superior bike handling skills. “This put Portland to shame.”
After a short break for lunch, the master women 40 – 60+ took to the line for their 45 minute national championship bout. Pro mountain biker Shannon Gibson (El Paso, Texas/Velo Bella-Kona) took a comfortable win in the master women 40-44 age-division. 
“I went out hard and there was some carnage behind me that worked in my favor,” explained Gibson.
After multiple lead changes in the 45-49 division, defending national champion, Catherine Walberg (Topeka, Kan./Team Kenda Tire) worked her way up and overtook second-place finisher Kris Walker (Pocatello, Id./ on the final lap.  Kathy Sarvary (Lunenburg, Mass./Gearworks Cyclery) took her fourth national title in impressive fashion in the 50-54 age division, while Diane Ostenso (Cottage Grove, Wis./Spring Street Sports) earned the title for the 55-59 women. As the sole competitors, Nancy Brown (Bennett, Neb./Unattached) and Julie Lockhart (Dunstable, Mass./NEBC-Cycleloft) earned stars-and-stripes jerseys in their respective age-categories, both with extremely strong times.     
With a stacked field that included many of the same women who will line up for Sunday’s elite contest, the 30-34 master women’s race was possibly the fastest of the day despite the thick, late-day mud. Rebecca Wellons (Woburn, Mass./Ridley Factory Team) charged out of the gate, but suffered an early crash that left her untangling her bike from the course marking tape. Maureen Bruno-Roy (Arlington, Mass./Independent Fabrication-Wheelworks) picked up the lead and rode strong through the sloppy course conditions to earn the national title. A charging Josie Jacques-Maynes (Capitola, Calif./Giant Berry Farms), overtook several riders on the first few laps and picked up an impressive second-place finish. 
“This course suited me,” stated Bruno-Roy. “If it were bone dry it would have been hard for me. The muddy, wet conditions actually made it easier for me.”
Another racer who will contest Sunday’s elite event, Sue Butler (Portland, Ore./River City Bicycles) gained and held a hefty lead despite battling a broken derailleur in the women’s 35-39 category. 
The day’s final race saw spectators gather to watch one of the area’s most popular racers, and infamous figures on this Kansas City course, Steve Tilford (Topeka, Kan./KCCX-Verge) take to the start of the master men’s 45-49 contest. With the day’s largest field of 120 riders all gunning for the pre-race favorite, the hometown hero did not disappoint, taking the lead from the get-go and never looking back, riding to a nearly two-minute victory. His closest competition, Kevin Hines (E. Warhem, Mass./Unattached) earned the silver medal in with a strong performance over third-place finisher Gunnar Shogren (Morgantown, W.Va./Fort Factory Team).          
The USA Cycling Cyclo-cross National Championships will continue Saturday, with U23 and master men battling not only each other but predicted snowy conditions for their shot at a national title.     
2007 USA Cycling Cyclo-cross National Championships
Kansas City, Kan.
December 14-16
Friday’s National Champions:
Women 10-12: Andrea Casebolt (Olympia, Wash.)
Women 13-14: Elizabeth White (Bedford, N.H.)
Women 15-16: Coryn Rivera (Tustin, Calif.)
Women 17-18: Anna Young (Madison, Wis.)
Men 10-12: Austin Vincent (Weatogue, Conn.)
Men 13-14: Logan Owen (Bremerton, Wash.)
Men 15-16: Jeff Bahnson (Newark, Del.)
Men 17-18: Luke Keough (Sandwich, Mass.)
Master Women 30-34: Maureen Bruno-Roy (Arlington, Mass.)
Master Women 35-39: Sue Butler (Portland, Ore.)
Master Women 40-44: Shannon Gibson (El Paso, Texas)
Master Women 45-49: Catherine Walberg (Topeka, Kan.)
Master Women 50-54: Kathy Sarvary (Lunenburg, Mass.)
Master Women 55-59: Diane Ostenso (Cottage Grove, Wis.)
Master Women 60-64: Nancy Brown (Bennet, Neb.)
Master Women 65+: Julie Lockhart (Dunstable, Mass.) 
Master Men 45-49: Steve Tilford (Topeka, Kan.)

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