CX
National Championships

Sloppy Track Challenges Junior & Collegiate Racers on Penultimate Day of #CXNats

By: Peloton Sports  December 15, 2018

Louisville, Ky. -- Heavy overnight rains brought treacherous mud for the penultimate day at the 2018 USA Cycling Cyclocross National Championships 18.2 in the Derby City. The “sloppy to heavy” track conditions forced riders off their bikes on the challenging course at Joe Creason Park, located only two miles away from one of the most famous Thoroughbred racetracks in the world, Churchill Downs. A total 10 Stars-and-Stripes jerseys were awarded Saturday in Juniors Women and Men categories, Division I and II collegiate relays, as well as women's and men's categories for Singlespeed competitions. Two Non-championship titles were contested for women and men in Industry races.

As rain continued to saturate the course in the early morning, Industry races were held for men and women. David Greif (Boulder, Colo./Sabino Cycles Racing) and Lisa Hudson (Golden, Colo./Feedback Sports Racing) claimed the Industry Men and Women crowns, respectively. Greif won in 29 minutes, 31 seconds and Hudson took the title in 39:55. 

In the Junior Men 13-14 division, Ian Brown (Bend, Ore./Bend Endurance Academy) lead from the start to capture his first national title in 22:15. Wesley Haggstrom (Clemmons, N.C./Velocious Sport) was second and Magnus White (Boulder, Colo./Boulder Junior Cycling) was third. 

Ella Brenneman (York, Pa.) stormed the course to claim her first Stars-and-Stripes jersey, taking the Junior Women 13-14 title in 26:37. Vida Lopez de San Roman (Sebastopol, Calif./CX Nation), who started in the fifth and last row, took second and Kaya Musgrave (Littleton, Colo./Avout Racing) was third. 

Local favorite George Frazier (Louisville, Ky./1 EYED CAT RACING) recovered from a bobble on the final lap to win the Junior Men 11-12 championship. Crossing the finish lap 33 seconds later, Kai Peterka (Littleton, Colo./Avout Racing) took second, and Emiliano Arteaga (Broadview, Ill./The Weather Channel) was third.

After starting on the third row, Eire Chen (Del Mar, Calif./Team Velosport Junior & U23 Dev.) won the Junior Women 11-12 contest in 22:44, edging Lidia Cusack (Chevy Chase, Md.) by three seconds. Alexis Jaramillo (Colorado Springs, Colo.) was third, 11 seconds back. It was the first national title for both 11-12 junior athletes, Frazier and Chen. 

The afternoon races continued on a very sloppy track where Ivan Gallego (Missoula, Mont./MBW Racing) took the Junior Men 15-16 national title in 29:11. After a slow start, Gallego used his off-the-bike skills to surge to the front of the 84-field contest by the end of the first lap. He sustained a 31-second lead to hold off runner-up Dylan Zakrajsek (Lake Geneva, Wisc./Lake Geneva Youth Cycling). Max Palmer (Zionsville, Ind./Midwest Devo) earned the bronze.

“I had a terrible start. I went to clip into my pedals, but instead it skidded in the back and then I lost a bunch of places. And then, I don't know, I just found my way to the front,” said a smiling Gallego after claiming his first national title. “I'm not a very technical rider, but given that it was so bad out there, running helped me a lot. Today there was so much running, three times as much running (as riding). It's crazy.”

 “I had a terrible start. I went to clip into my pedals, but instead it skidded in the back and then I lost a bunch of places. And then, I don't know, I just found my way to the front,” said a smiling Gallego after claiming his first national title. “I'm not a very technical rider, but given that it was so bad out there, running helped me a lot. Today there was so much running, three times as much running (as riding). It's crazy.”

Defending champion Lauren Zoerner (Highlandsranch, Colo./Alpha Bicycle Co.- Groove Subaru) worked her way from third to first place to retain the Junior Women 15-16 title. Cassidy Hickey (Parker, Colo./Prestige Imports/Porsche/Audi Race Team) crossed the line 18 seconds later for second place, and Kaia Schmid (Marblehead, Mass./New England Devo p/b Cadence Wealth Management) took third.

“By the end of the first lap, I don't know how far I was behind them (the leaders), but they were pretty much out of sight. I didn't think I would be able to make it back, but I hit a run-up pretty hard and I rode up most of it, and so I caught up to their wheels,” Zoerner said.

Zoerner also found that getting off the bike and running was the fastest way to get around the muddy course. She added, “I made the right choice I guess, I kept on running instead of riding. I fought to stay in front as long as I could. Then I looked back and they weren't as close as I thought, so I just tried to stay consistent in the last lap. And then I took it home.”

Sarah Sturm (Durango, Colo./Specialized - Tenspeed Hero), a runner-up in her last cyclocross national title race, used her technical bicycle skills to win the Women Singlespeed championship. Sturm won in a time of 36:57. In the Men Singlespeed race, defending champion Jake Wells (Avon, Colo./FORM Attainment Studio p/b IRC) defended his title and captured his second Stars-and-Stripes jersey of the week. He was the best in the largest field of the day, 137 riders, in a time of 43:24. Earlier in the week he won the Masters Men 40-44 crown.

Saturday finished with the Collegiate 4x4 Lap Team Relay events for club and varsity teams. Brevard College took the Varsity title in 41:31, which was 30 seconds faster than second-place Fort Lewis College. Marian University finished 58 seconds back for third place. The University of Arizona won the Club contest in 46:33. Colorado State University was second and Clemson University was third.

The six-day USA Cycling Cyclocross National Championships will conclude Sunday with five championship races - Junior Men’s, youth Women’s (ages 17-22), U23 men’s, Elite Women’s, and Elite Men’s races. The 10 & Under Non-championship race will also be contested. All events on Sunday will be broadcast via live stream on USA Cycling’s YouTube channel and Facebook Page.

Fans can follow races on all USA Cycling social channels using hashtag #CXNats. Championship and non-championship aces will be covered all week on Twitter via @USACyclingLIVE. Galleries will be posted nightly on USA Cycling’s Facebook Page. Follow your favorite athletes this week at www.livelynxresults.com. One2Go Results will provide live lap splits for every athlete every time they cross the line for all events.

Day Five results can be found here. Day Six start lists and call ups can be found here. More information about the USA Cycling Cyclocross National Championships is available on the event webpage.