Compton and Hyde Defend Elite Titles at #CXNats
January 14, 2018 (Reno, Nev.) The 2018 USA Cycling Cyclocross National Championships crowned five champions on the final day of racing in Reno on Sunday. A full six days of competitions featured 35 national championship contests with more than 1,600 athletes taking to the start line. On the final day, sunny skies, mild temperatures and large crowds of cheering spectators greeted the competitors around the 3.3-kilometer course at Rancho San Rafael Regional Park.
Rocketing off the line, 13-time Elite Women’s Cyclocross Champ Katie Compton (Colorado Springs, Colo./KFC Racing p/b Trek/Knight) took control of the Women’s Elite race on the first lap and continued her reign as national champion for a 14th consecutive year. She finished the six-lap contest riding solo to the line in 49:51.
“I keep thinking that if you win a lot, it will get easier, but it never gets easier,” said Compton. “It was hard, Ellen (Noble) is riding well and was pretty close the entire race. I really had to focus, and this course requires quite a bit of focus, strength and fitness. It has a little bit of everything, and it was surprising how fast it was. It was probably the fastest nationals we have had in many years.”
Last year’s U23 winner Ellen Noble (Kennebunkport, Maine./Aspire Racing) fought hard to keep Compton in sight throughout the race, surging on the final lap to close within six seconds on the line. Kaitlin Keough (Colorado Springs, Colo./Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com) rounded out the podium with a solid finish in third.
In the fading afternoon sun, Stephen Hyde (Easthampton, Mass./Cannondale Cyclocrossworld) successfully defended his Men’s Elite title in 59:09, with aggressive riding to hold off Jeremy Powers (Southampton, Mass./Aspire Racing) by 12 seconds. Kerry Werner (Advance, N.C./Kona Factory Racing) crossed the line in third.
“Today’s win was important, or more important than last year. No one wants to be a one-hit wonder,” said Hyde. “I attacked with three laps to go, and it hurt so bad, I didn’t know if I could do the rest of the race. When Jeremy (Powers) attacked me again, I was like, I’m back, I can do this. Let’s play! It was fun; it was hard and brutally fast. Jeremy has got something to prove. He’s had a bad year, and this was an incredible ride for him. I am really proud of him, really happy for him.”
The men’s race was dominated by a five-man leading group comprised Hyde, Powers, Werner, Hyde, Tobin Ortenblad (Santa Cruz/Donkey Label Racing) and Jack Kisseberth (Westhampton, Mass./JAM Fund / NCC). Powers set the pace through the first half of the event. With three laps to go, the group fractured as Powers increased the speed. A counter-attack from Hyde left just him and Powers at the front and in with a chance of pulling on the Stars-and-Stripes. On the final lap, Hyde was able to gap Powers on the final run-up to claim his second straight title.
Earlier in the day, Benjamin Gomez Villafane (Scotts Valley, Calif./Northern California/Nevada Cycling) held off numerous attacks to take the crown in the Junior Men’s 17-18 competition. The 18-year-old crossed the line in a time of 40:01 to beat Scott Funston (Maple Valley, Wash./Rad Racing) by 16 seconds.
“Coming to this race as the leading American in the world rankings and American champion, that's a lot of hype to live it up to,” said Gomez Villafane, who won this year’s Pan-American Championships for Junior 17-18 Men. “Everyone is expecting [you] to show up on your A game and win. So I was very happy to deliver. I'm from Santa Cruz, California, it's five hours from Reno. This is as local as it gets for this big of a race. I heard my name, and it made me push a little bit harder.”
Emma White (Delanson, N.Y./Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com) dominated the Women’s U23 division from wire to wire, completing the course in a winning time of 45:04. White finished 33 seconds ahead of silver medalist Clara Honsinger (Portland, Ore./Washington State Bicycle Association). Sixteen-year-old Katie Clouse (Park City, Utah/Alpha Bicycle Co.- Groove Subaru) finished third, and also secured the 17-18 division title for junior women.
“The juniors who raced before me came back with some pretty good insight on how slippery the corners were,” said White about course management. “I think that tripped a couple of people on the first lap. I wanted to get a gap as soon as possible, so I was able to be cautious through those sections, and it ended up coming in handy because I slipped a couple of times. It's a course that suits me, and the technical sections were difficult. It was a tough, challenging course. I thought it was great.”
The battle for the Men’s U23 national title was won by Christopher Blevins (Durango, Colo./Axeon Hagens Berman) for his first CX championship. Only six seconds separated the 20-year-old from his 52:38 winning time and Eric Brunner (Boulder, Colo./EVOL DevoElite Racing, who was second.
“I think it was a great course for me and it couldn't be much better,” said Blevins. “There was a lot of those straight power sections, and I felt that I could reel what I lost on some of the corners back on those straightaways. Some of the features, like the stairs and the barriers, I could get over, and that played to my advantage. Cross is a mixture of road and mountain, so I could draw from those experiences for it.”
View all championship results at LiveLynxResults.com, .
Replays of Sunday’s webcast are available on USA Cycling’s YouTube page here.
TOP FIVE RESULTS
1. Katherine Compton (Colorado Springs, Colo./KFC Racing p/b Trek/Knight) - 49:51
2. Ellen Noble (Kennebunkport, Maine./Aspire Racing) - 49:58
3. Kaitlin Keough (Colorado Springs, Colo./Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com) - 51:31
4. Courtenay McFadden (Bellingham, Wash,/Pivot Cycles p/b DNA Cycling) - 53:08
5. Amanda Nauman (Mission Viejo Calif./SDG-Muscle Monster) - 53:25
1. Stephen Hyde (Easthampton, Mass./Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com) - 59:09
2. Jeremy Powers (Southampton, Mass./Aspire Racing) - 59:22
3. Kerry Werner (Advance, N.C./Kona Factory Racing) - 1:00:24
4. Tobin Ortenblad (Santa Cruz/Donkey Label Racing) - 1:00:28
5. Curtis White (Delanson, N.Y./Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com) - 1:00:29
Junior Men 17-18
1. Benjamin Gomez Villafane (Scotts Valley, Calif./Northern California/Nevada Cycling) - 40:01
2. Scott Funston (Maple Valley, Wash./Rad Racing) - 40:17
3. Dillon McNeill (Bellevue, Neb./Trek Cyclocross Collective) - 40:24
4. Sam Noel (Shelburne, Vt./Cannondale Cyclocrossworld) - 40:30
5. Gregory Gunsalusn (Dudley, Mass./AP Junior Development - 40:51
Women U23 17-22
1. Emma White (Delanson, N.Y./Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com) - 45:04
2. Clara Honsinger (Portland, Ore./Washington State Bicycle Association) - 45:37
3. Katie Clouse (Park City, Utah/Alpha Bicycle Co.- Groove Subaru) - 46:02
4. Emma Swartz (Madison Wisc./Trek Cyclocross Collective) - 46:55
5. Shannon Mallory (Bellingham, Wash./Northwest Womens Cyclocross Pro) - 47:11
Men U23 17-22
1. Christopher Blevins (Durango, Colo./Axeon Hagens Berman) - 52:38
2. Eric Brunner (Boulder, Colo./EVOL DevoElite Racing - 52:44
3. Grant Ellwood (Boulder, Colo./Boulder Cycle Sport) - 53:00
4. Gage Hecht (Parker, Colo./Alpha Bicycle Co.- Groove Subaru) - 54:04
5. Spencer Petrov (Mason, Ohio/Aspire Racing) - 54:29
Photos by Weldon Weaver: Katie Compton celebrates her 14th straight Women’s Elite title. | Stephen Hyde drives to the line for his second Men’s Elite title.
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