Six juniors ride to national titles in the criterium on Saturday

Bend, Ore. (August 1, 2009) – Saturday was the penultimate day of the USA Cycling Junior, U23, and Elite Road National Championships, and what a thrilling day of races it was. Six more national champions were crowned in Bend’s Old Mill District as the junior riders ages 10-16 contested their criteriums to give spectators quite a show.

The most thrilling performance of the day was put on by the junior men in the 15-16 age group. Although it was arguably the hottest day of the national championship so far, this final event went off just as a cloud cover offered the riders a break from the heat. With 67 riders in the field, it was sure to be a hotly contested battle, but it heated up even more when Yannick Eckmann (Boulder, Colo./5280) blew the field apart right at the gun. Michael Pincus (Pearland, Texas) made quite the courageous move when he attacked in the last few laps and got an eight second lead, but the fast and furious pack reeled him back in by the bell lap. In the end, Cory Williams (Los Angeles, Calif./Major Motion) had the legs for the sprint and as 30 some riders sprinted toward the finish line together, he crossed just ahead of silver and bronze medalists Scott Carlyle (ASC Racing/Redline) and Yannick Eckmann.

Byrds rider Grace Alexander (Boise, Idaho) slipped into a Stars-and-Stripes jersey following her win in the women’s 15-16 race which was contested right before the men’s. The group of 22 riders stayed together for the most part over their 20-kilometer contest until after the final turn when five strong riders attacked to go for the sprint. Alexander proved to have the strongest legs as she crossed the line ahead of second- and third-place finishers Ruth Winder (Lafayette, Calif./Proman Hit Squad) and Somersby Jenkins (Santa Barbara, Calif./Echelon of Santa Barbara)

Also producing plenty of excitement was the men’s 13-14 group which saw 65 riders toe the line for 20 kilometers of the hot course. Jonathon Schilling (Grover, Mo./Mesa) had what might be considered the ride of the day as he went off the front of the field very early when there were still 15 laps remaining.

“I attacked really hard and really strong five laps in and got a gap really fast,” he explained. “Before I knew it, it was 25 seconds and people were throwing water on me and telling me time splits. I knew with three laps to go that I still had 20 seconds so I thought I had it in the bag and I just time trialed into the finish. It felt really good.”

After Schilling rode his way into a Stars-and-Stripes jersey, Logan Owen (Bremerton, Wash./Hagens Berman) and Miguel Bryon (Team Velocity) sprinted to the line for the silver and bronze medals.

Sarah Huang (Kenosha, Wis./NOVA IS Corp) was the woman of the day in the women’s 13-14 contest. The group of 21 stayed together for the entire race until the end when they rounded the last turn for a field sprint. Huang put forth the winning effort to take the national title ahead of silver and bronze medalists Bailey Semian (Mertztown, Pa./Team Vortex Cycling Club) and Zoe Frazier (Suwanee, Ga./Frazier Cycling).

The juniors in the 10-12 age group were the first ones to race on Saturday. In the women’s race, two very determined riders went off the front early on as the rest of the group spread themselves out over the course. Emma White (Delanson, NY/Capital Bicycle Racing Club) and Ciara Hopkins (Clermont, Fla./Orlando Road Club) worked together lap after lap as the clear contenders for the win. When the duo came around the final curve, an all-out battle ensued for the national title that was on the line, and White bested Hopkins in the sprint to slip into the Stars-and-Stripes jersey. Hopkins added the silver medal to the two golds she picked up earlier this week in the road race and time trial. Crossing the line for the bronze medal was Abigail Aldridge (Duluth, Ga./Frazier Cycling).

In the men’s 10-12 contest, Ethan Reynolds (Boise, Idaho/Byrds) bested the 39-competitor field by winning the sprint for the finish after his 15-kilometers in the sun. As the group stayed together over the course of the race, he won the sprint finish ahead of Grant McElroy (Portland, Ore./Beaverton Bicycle Club) and Matteo Jorgenson (Boise, Idaho/Byrds)

More criterium action takes place in downtown Bend on Sunday as the 2009 USA Cycling Junior, U23, and Elite Road National Championships close out with racing in the junior 17-18 and U23 categories. Check out www.usacycling.org for coverage of the final day of racing.

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 Women 10-12 Criterium
1. Emma White (Delanson, NY/Capital Bicycle Racing Club)
2. Ciara Hopkins (Clermont, Calif./Orlando Road Club)
3. Abigail Aldridge (Duluth, Ga./Frazier Cycling)
4. Rachel Cross (Costa Mesa, Calif./Sho-air Sonance)
5. Julyn Aguila (Major Motion)

Junior Men 10-12 Criterium
1. Ethan Reynolds (Boise, Idaho/Byrds)
2. Grant McElroy (Portland, Ore./Beaverton Bicyle Club)
3. Matteo Jorgenson (Boise, Idaho/Byrds)
4. George Hecht (Parker, Colo./ICCC)
5. Jonathan Brown (Covington, Tenn./Tristar Cycling Team)

Junior Women 13-14 Criterium
1. Sarah Huang (Kenosha, Wis./NOVA IS Corp)
2. Bailey Semian (Mertztown, Pa./Team Vortex Cycling Club)
3. Zoe Frazier (Suwanee, Ga./Frazier Cycling)
4. Michelle Blake (Orlando, Fla./Colavita Central Florida)
5. Katrina Howard (Fresno, Calif./Vapor Racing Team)

Junior Men 13-14 Criterium
1. Jonathon Schilling (Grover, Mo./Mesa)
2. Logan Owen (Bremerton, Wash./Hagens Berman)
3. Miguel Bryon (Mmiami, Fla./Team Velocity)
4. Nat Morse (Cohasset, Mass./C.I. Noonan/Kam/Coast to Coast)
5. Imari Miller “(Fort Worth, Texas)

Junior Women 15-16 Criterium
1. Alexander Grace (Boise, Idaho/Byrds)
2. Ruth Winder (Lafayette, Calif./Proman Hit Squad)
3. Somersby Jenkins (Santa Barbara, Calif./Echelon of Santa Barbara)
4. Ashlyn Gerber (Sanford, Fla./All-Sport Team Swift)
5. Alexis Ryan (Ventura, Calif./Major Motion Development)

Junior Men 15-16 Criterium
1. Cory Williams (Los Angeles, Calif.Major Motion)
2. Scott Carlyle (Bellingham, Wash./ASC Racing/Redline)
3. Yannick Eckmann (Boulder, Colo./5280)
4. James LaBerge (Napa, Calif./Team Specialiezd Racing)
5. Neal Shepherd (Palm Coast, Fla./Orlando Road Club)



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