Meredith Miller wins elite women's road race title in Bend

Bend, Ore. (July 30, 2009) – Four more Stars-and-Stripes jerseys were awarded on Thursday in Bend, Ore. as the road racing portion of the USA Cycling Junior, U23, & Elite Road National Championships concluded.

Meredith Miller (Fort Collins, Colo./Team TIBCO) claimed her very first national title in the elite women’s contest after eleven years of racing while Amy Dombroksi (Boulder, Colo./Webcor Builders Cycling Team) crossed the line in fourth to take the U23 women’s crown. Mike Olheiser (Huntsville, Ala./warp9bikes.com-TriStar) sprinted to the win in the elite men’s race and Max Durtschi (Sun Valley, Idaho/Hammer CMG) soloed over the line for the national title in the junior men’s 17-18 event. 

The 122-rider junior men’s field was the first to toe the line on Thursday. The group left the start bright and early for four laps of the 27-kilometer course in morning temperatures which were much cooler than they were in Wednesday’s 100-degree U23 contest. Although the field stayed together for the most part, a lead group was able to gain a minute and 20 seconds on the rest of the pack by the time they entered the final lap. Max Durtschi was in that group, and in the final kilometer he made the winning attack to solo over the finish line for the national title. Nathan Wilson (Arlington, Va./Kelly Benefits Strategies) beat out Steven Black (Vienna, Va./National Capital Velo Club) in the sprint for the silver medal, and Ty Magner (Griffin, Ga./Hincapie) and Kit Recca (Golden, Colo./Front Rangers Cycling Club) were the fourth- and fifth-place finishers.

Fifteen minutes after the juniors went off, 87 elite and U23 women lined up for a combined race consisting of the same four laps. Amber Rais (Reno, Nev./Team TIBCO) attacked in the first lap and built a lead of a minute and a half over the field, but by the time the ladies reached their fourth and final lap, an organized chase had reeled her back in. It was the second breakaway, initiated by Kori Seehafer (Louisville, Colo./Team Type 1), that proved to be the decisive move of the day. Meredith Miller found herself in that break and then in a lead group of five going into the final climb.

“I punched it just a little bit over the top to see if we could drop Kori because I thought she’d be the fastest rider at the finish,” Miller explained after winning the race.

Seehafer fought her way back though. With approximately two kilometers left, Miller decided to go for it and she held off Christin Ruiter (Bend, Ore./Value Added Capital) and Kristen LaSasso (La Canada, Calif./Mellow Mushroom) who sprinted in for the silver and bronze medals.

“Going over the last little rise before the descent to the roundabout, I just put in an attack and put my head down and took it all the way to the line,” the winner said after taking her very first national title.

Amy Dombroski (Boulder, Colo./Webcor Builders Cycling Team) was also in that group of five who took over the race in the last lap. She crossed the line in fourth place for a step on the elite women’s podium, and for the national title in the U23 women’s contest.

“A goal of mine was to take the U23 jersey for sure but I’ve been racing at an elite level this whole year and last year, so the elite jersey is definitely a goal of mine too. But I guess you have to take one thing at a time,” Dombroski explained after winning the U23 crown and proving herself to be a serious contender for an elite national title. 

After starting the winning break, Seehafer crossed the finish line for the fifth spot on the elite women’s podium.

Following the women’s event, a seasoned group of elite men capped off the road race portion of the national championships. A late afternoon cloud cover provided a bit of relief from the heat as the men set out for a total of 162 kilometers.

On lap three, a good-sized group went off the front to form a breakaway that ended up being the winning move. Among others, riders like Mike Olheiser, Matthew Busche (Wauwatosa, Wis./Nova Cycle Sport Foundation), Justin England (California Giant Berry Farms), Peter Horn (Boulder, Colo.John Bruyneel Cycling Academy), former USPS Pro Cycling squad rider David Clinger (Holladay, Utah/Cole Sport), Erik Slack (Boise, Idaho/Team Bobs-Bicycles.com), and two-time Cyclo-cross national champ  Ryan Trebon (Bend, Ore./Kona) were in that break.

As the leaders came down the final descent and rode into the finishing straight, about eight riders were in contention to take the crown. An all-out battle ensued and it was Olheiser who sprinted in the strongest, claiming the Stars-and-Stripes jersey about a second faster than David Clinger and Erik Slack who took the silver and bronze medals. Peter Horn and Matthew Busche then rounded out the elite men’s podium in fourth and fifth.

With Olheiser’s victory, the road racing portion of the 2009 USA Cycling Junior, U23, Elite, and Paralympic Road National Championshjps entered the books. Riders in all categories, including Paralympic athletes, will race the clock on Friday for national titles in the time trial.

Stay tuned to www.usacycling.org for full coverage of the action.

Click here for video from the event on USA Cycling’s You Tube channel.

Click here for a photo gallery from the event.

Click here for complete results.

2009 USA Cycling Junior, U23, Elite Paralympic Road National Championships
Bend, Ore.
July 28-Aug. 2, 2009

Junior Men 17-18 Road Race
1. Max Durtschi (Sun Valley, Idaho/Hammer CMG)
2. Nathan Wilson (Arlington, Va./Kelly Benefits Strategies)
3. Steven Black (Vienna, Va./National Capital Velo Club)
4. Ty Magner (Griffin, Ga./Hincapie)
5. Kit Recca (Golden, Colo./Front Rangers Cycling Club)

U23 Women Road Race
1. Amy Dombroski (Boulder, Colo./Webcor Builders Cycling Team)
2. Ally Stacher (Banner Elk, N.C./Team Kenda)

3. Jacqueline Crowell (Maitland, Fla./Team Type 1)

4. Rachel Warner (Luray, Va./Charlottesville Racing Club)

5. Ashley Anderson (Greenville, S.C./Proman Hit Squad)

Elite Women Road Race 1. Meredith Miller (Fort Collins, Colo./Team TIBCO) 2. Christin Ruiter (Bend, Ore./Value Added Capital) 3. Kristen LaSasso (Mellow Mushroom)
4. Amy Dombroski (Boulder, Colo./Webcor Builders Cycling Team)
5. Kori Seehafer (Louisville, Colo./Team Type 1)
Elite Men Road Race

1. Michael Olheiser (Huntsville, Ala./Marx and Bensdorf Realtors)
2. David Clinger (Holladay, Utah/Cole Sport) 3. Erik Slack (Boise, Idaho/Team Bobs-Bicycles.com)
4. Peter Horn (Boulder, Colo./John Bruyneel Cycling Academy)

5. Matthew Busche (Wauwatosa, Wis./Nova Cycle Sport Foundation)
  About USA Cycling   

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