Twenty-six national titles awarded at the Marathon MTB National Championships

By: Tom Mahoney  May 07, 2018

Pros McElveen and Grotts duplicate last year’s sprint finish for gold.

ARKADELPHIA, ARK. MAY 7, 2018— It was a hot day in the backwoods outside of Arkadelphia, Ark. where the 2018 USA Cycling Marathon Mountain Bike National Championships were contested on a 50-mile course.

In a repeat of last year’s pro men’s race, former collegiate teammates Payson McElveen (Durango, Colo.) and Howard Grotts (Durango, Colo./Specialized Factory Racing) sprinted out for the stars and stripes with McElveen reaching the line first. Both riders punched the clock at three hours twelve minutes and 55 seconds. Said McElveen, “I think both Howard and I were better this year, but Howard was, has proportional improved more, at least on the day. He really put it to me on the main climb on the second lap.” Nicholas Beechan (Idyllwild, Calif./Trek Factory Racing) finished out the podium. 

Last year’s bronze medalist, Amy Beisel (Colorado Springs, Colo.) took the home the gold. Talking about when she knew she won, Beisel said, “I think when I crossed the finish line. You just never know. It’s not over until it’s over.” Finishing a minute and fourteen seconds back from Beisel was Kaysee Armstrong (Knoxville, Tenn.), taking the second step of the podium. Larissa Connors (Silverado, Calif.) took home the bronze, finishing in a time of 3:54:02.50. 

Twenty-four other national champions climbed atop the podium on Sunday, including Abbey O’Brien (Omaha, Neb./Harvest Racing) in the Women’s Junior 17-18, Jaron Wood (Benton, Ky./Wood-n-Wave) in the Men’s Junior 17-18, Staci Nash (Anaheim Hills, Calif.) in the Women’s Senior 19-29,  Brian Gordon (Santa Cruz, Calif.) in the Men’s Senior 19-29, Natalie Smith (San Antonio, Texas/Bicycle Heaven) in the Women’s Master 30-34, Daniel Munoz (Los Gatos, Calif.) in the Men’s Master 30-34, Amy Horstmeyer (Gainesville, Fla.) in the Women’s Master 35-39, Daniel Matheny (Colorado Springs, Colo./COS Racing) in the Men’s Master 35-39, Beata Wronska (Boynton Beach, Fla.) in the Women’s Master 40-44, Joshua Whitmore (Fairview, N.C./CTS Cycling Team fueled by Organic Valley) in the Men’s Master 40-44, Julie Seymour (Greenwood, S.C.) in the Women’s Master 45-49, Brian Schworm (Morehead, Ky.) in the Men’s Master 45-49, Elizabeth Sheldon (Washington, District of Columbia/Crosshairs Cycling) in the Women’s Master 50-54, Timothy Zimmerman (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.) in the Men’s Master 50-54, Karen Tripp (Sylva, N.C./Finkraft Cycling Team) in the Women’s Master 55-59, Scott Conover (Mesa, Ariz.) in the Men’s Master 55-59, Beverly Enslow (Metamora, Ill./Hammer Nutrition) in the Women’s Master 60-64, Robert Orr(Hot Spring, Ark.) in the Men’s Master 60-64, Cindi Toepel (Pahrump, Nev.) in the Women’s Master 65+, Doug Long (Chillicothe, Mo./360 Racing p/b VanDOit.com) in the Men's Master 65-69, Stan Ford (Temecula, Calif.) in the Men’s Master 70-74, Frederic Schmid(Waco, Texas/Waco Bicycle Club) in the Men’s Master 80+, Desiree White (Oklahoma City, Okla./Bike Lab Racing Team) in the Women’s Singlespeed, and Brandon Melott (Warr Acres, Okla.) in the Men’s Singlespeed.

Full results from Sunday’s event can be found here. Photo galleries from the event can be seen on the USA Cycling Facebook page here. For more information, go to the event website.

Rev. 5/8/18: We unfortunately excluded Doug Long, winner of the Men's Master 65-69 race, out of the original list of winners. He has now been added.