'Cross Nats open w/ first-ever singlespeed titles & masters racing

Adam Craig rides to the first-ever singlespeed cyclo-cross  national title in his own style.
Adam Craig rides to the first-ever singlespeed cyclo-cross national title in his own style.
Bend, Ore. (Dec. 9, 2010)
– The first 11 national titles of USA Cycling’s Cyclo-cross National Championships were awarded Thursday in Bend’s Old Mill District. Mild temperatures and muddy conditions added to the action-packed day that included multiple masters national titles and the first singlespeed cyclo-cross national titles awarded in history.  
2008 mountain bike Olympian Adam Craig (Bend, Ore./Giant) blew away the competition in front of his hometown crowd to earn the first-ever singlespeed national title. Third-place finisher Aaron Bradford (Santa Cruz,Calif./Specialized-Onsite Ultrasound) rode out front for the first couple of laps before Craig was able to create a gap and grab his first ‘cross Stars-and-Stripes jersey in style. J.T. Fountain (Moscow, Idaho/3Fcx-Cycloracing.com) gradually surged late in the race to earn the silver medal.
Another mountain biker, Kathy Pruitt (Santa Cruz, Calif./Family Cycling Center-Jamis), used her technical skills to pull away from the women’s singlespeed field following a pileup on the first lap. In only her fourth ‘cross race ever, the 2009 world championship downhill bronze medalist seemed rejuvenated in her quest for a different type of Stars-and-Stripes after suffering injury at this summer’s USA Cycling Mountain Bike National Championships.
“This is fun for me right now,” said Pruitt. “It’s a hoot -- all muddy, slippery and crazy. It’s just such a fun sport.”  
Just over a minute later Stella Carey (Felton, Calf./Velo Bella) crossed the line to earn the silver.
Overend, Williams Highlight Masters Races
Prior to the day’s singlespeed nightcap, the 55-59 master men’s contest was a battle of heavy hitters. Finishing second in yesterday’s time trial to ‘Cross Vegas organizer Brooke Watts (Longmont, Colo/Cody Racing), the legendary Ned Overend (Durango, Colo./Specialized) squeaked in a front row start with reigning national champion Paul Curley (Taunton, Mass./Midstate Cycling Club-Gear Works) and six other strong men. It was Norman Kreiss (Orinda, Calif./Morgan Stanley) surging up from the second row however who took the early lead. Curley and Overend rode patiently behind Kreiss in the first lap before Overend was able to make some room.
“The course was changing all the time,” explained Overend. “It was kind of dicey on that first lap, but then I was able to bridge up to Norm and put it down on the grass areas.”
The 40-44 women’s contest provided one of the most exciting finishes of the day with Wendy Williams (Portland, Ore./River City Bicycles) sling-shotting to the line to take the national title from Gina Hall (Orinda, Calif./Cal Giant Cycling). After a chaotic first lap, the pair of ladies were able to separate themselves by nearly three minutes from third-place finisher Katrina Dowidchuk (Wilmington, Del.). A powerful sprinter, Williams surged to victory once she hit the pavement. The nearly 50-rider field was a clear indicator of the popularity and growth of women’s cyclo-cross.
Karen Hogan crosses the line victorious in the women's 45-49 contest.
Karen Hogan crosses the line victorious in the women's 45-49 contest.
The morning’s races crowned champions in the 45+ master women divisions and the 60+ master men age groups. Karen Hogan (Louisville, Colo./JustinS-Titus Mountain Bike) was able to surge to her first national title in the strong 45-49 women’s division, 30 seconds ahead of Shannon Gibson (Durango, Colo/Velo Bella).
“I’ve been trying for a few years -- third twice and second once,” explained Hogan. “Today ended up being my day. Starting out, I got behind three other women, but in the technical sections on the first part of the course I was able to get around them and start a gap. I slowly built on that, was relatively mistake free and ended up winning by about 25 to 30 seconds or so. It was a fantastic course, grippy conditions, a little wet but it was all fun.”
In the 50-54 women’s contest, multiple-time national champion Kris Walker (Pocatello, Idaho/Church of the Big Ring) edged Maryilyn Ruseckas (Waitsfield, Vt.) to add another Stars-and-Stripes to her closet. The first half of a husband and wife national champion duo, Linda Elgart (Sacramento, Calif./Alto Velo) earned the win in the 55-59 women’s race after passing second- and third-place finishers Lee Smith (Seattle, Wash./Sound Velo) and Tove Shere (Santa Fe, N.M./KHSNM.com).
Martha Iverson(Durango, Colo./Durango Wheel Club) got the win over Flo Leibowitz (Corvallis, Ore.) in the 60-64 contest while multiple-discipline masters star Julie Lockhart (Dunstable, Mass/NEBC) won yet another title in the 70-74 division.
Glen Norton(Ronald, Wash./Puget Sound Cycling) earned a national title over Fred Wittwer (Charlottesville, Va./Alan North America) and George Pawle (Westfield, Mass./Cyclonauts) in the 60-64 master men’s race. John Elgart (Sacramento, Calif./Alto Velo Racing) won the 65-69 men’s event to join his wife atop the podium.
“The former national champion Jim Wagner was right on me for two laps,” said Elgart. “He eventually went off his line, and I got a gap and managed the win.”
Erik Nordenson (Moab, Utah) rode strong to win the 70-74 men’s title, as did Walter Axthelm (Durango, Colo./Durango Wheel Club) in the 75-79 race.
Time trials continued today in the NW Crossing district. Following the time trials, call up orders for tomorrow’s national championship races can be found online here.
Full results are available on the event’s results page
Racing will continue tomorrow with the junior divisions and remaining masters events.
For more information, including schedules, rules, course maps and more, visit the Cyclo-cross National Championships official event page.
To view a collage of photos from the event check out USA Cycling’s photo gallery,and to view and purchase a variety of high-quality images from the week’s racing, visit CascadeEventPhotography.com. Also check out USA Cycling’s YouTube page to view a random selection of videos from the event and follow the event on Twitter using the hashtag #CXNats.
For more info on ancillary activities around Bend, check out Visit Bend.com 
2010 USA Cycling Cyclo-cross National Championships
Dec. 7-12
Bend, Ore.
Women’s Singlespeed
1. Kathy Pruitt (Santa Cruz, Calif./ Family Cycling Center-Jamis Bicycle) 0:39:32               
2. Stella Carey (Felton, Calif./Velo Bella) 0:40:40
3. Megan Lawson (Bozeman, Mont.) 0:41:03
4. Julie Lewis-Sroka (North Royalton, OH/Lake Effect Cycling Team) 0:42:07     
5. Evie Edwards (Baltimore, MD/ SpokesWomen Syndicate-Performance Bicycle Racing) 0:42:39
Men’s Singlespeed
1. Adam Craig (Bend, OR/ Giant-Rabobank) 0:39:20 
2. JT Fountain (Moscow, ID/ 3FCX-Cyclocrossracing.com) 0:40:10
3. Aaron Bradford (Santa Cruz, Calif./ Specialized-Onsite Ultrasound) 0:40:42   
4. Jon Cariveau (Steamboat Springs, CO-Moots) 0:41:18
5. Brennan Wodtli (Bend, OR) 0:41:21
Masters Women 40-44
1. Wendy Williams (Portland, OR/River City Bicycles) 0:37:06
2. Gina Hall (Orinda, Calif./ Cal Giant Cycling-Specialized) 0:37:08
3. Katrina Dowidchuk (Wilmington, Del.) 0:38:27
4. Christina Probert (Murrieta, Calif.) 0:40:03
5. Stella Carey (Felton, Calif./Velo Bella) 0:40:11
Masters Women 45-49
1. Karen Hogan (Louisville, CO/ Justin's-Titus Mountain Bike) 0:38:29
2. Shannon Gibson (Durango, CO/Velo Bella) 0:38:59              
3. Lauri Webber (Newmark, Del./Secret Henry’s Team) 0:39:52
4. Catherine Walberg (Topeka, Kan./Team Kenda p/b GEARGRINDER) 0:40:01
5. Karen Brems (Redwood City, Calif./Alto Velo Racing Club) 0:40:03
Masters Women 50-54
1. Kris Walker (Pocatello, ID/Church of the Big Ring) 0:39:51
2. Marilyn Ruseckas (Waitsfield, VT) 0:39:59
3. Jane Finsterwald (Basalt, CO/Colobikelaw.com) 0:40:12
4. Kathy Sarvary (Lunenburg, MA/Blue Steel Cyclery) 0:42:36
5. Karen Kenlan (Bend, OR) 0:43:39
Masters Women 55-59
1. Linda Elgart (Sacramento, Calif./ Webcor-Alto Velo Racing Club) 0:43:28       
2. Lee Smith (Seattle, Wash./ Sound Velo Cycling Club-Team Group Health) 0:44:51       
3. Tove Shere (Santa Fe, NM/ Khsnm.Com-Thenationalsproject.com) 0:45:33   
4. Carol Ruckle (Redlands, Calif./Pull Thru Racing-Team PossAbilities) 0:47:24
5. Margaret Thompson (Clinton, NY/ Team Hammer Nutrition) 0:48:01
Masters Men 55-59
1. Ned Overend (Durango, CO/Specialized) 0:42:38
2. Norman Kreiss (Orinda, Calif./Morgan Stanley Cycling Team) 0:43:35             
3. Randall Root (Sterling, VA/Evolution Cycling Club p/b Long & Foster) 0:45:29
4. Paul Curley (Taunton, MA/Mid State Cycling Club/Gear Works) 0:45:51           
5. George Smith (Menlo Park, Calif./Webcor-Alto Velo Racing Club)0:46:35
Masters Women 60-64
1. Martha Iverson (Durango, Colo./Durango Wheel Club) 0:50:49
2. Flo Leibowitz (Corvallis, OR) 0:51:02
Masters Men 60-64
1. Glen Norton (Ronald, Wash./Puget Sound Cycling Club) 0:35:44
2. Fred Wittwer (Charlottesvle, VA/Alan North America Cycling) 0:36:18               
3. George Pawle (Westfield, MA/Cyclonauts Racers Inc.) 0:37:14           
4. David Rath (Williston, VT/Corner Cycle Cycling Club) 0:38:15
5. Bob Guglielmelli (San Luis Obispo, Calif./Central Coast Tire CCT) 0:38:37
Masters Men 65-69
1. John Elgart (Sacramento, Calif./Alto Velo Racing Club) 0:39:14         
2. James Wagner (Auburn, WA/Cycle Therapy-4 Corners Cycling) 0:39:47          
3. Robert Llamas (Montrose, Calif./Montrose Cycling Club) 0:43:03       
4. Bob Ludecke (Milldale, Conn./Laurel Bicycle Club) 0:43:16 
5. Harry Williamson (Healdsburg, Calif./Fightin' Bobas) 0:44:18             
Masters Women 70-74
1. Julie Lockhart (Dunstable, MA/Northeast Bicycle Club) 0:45:46
Masters Men 70-74
1. Erik Nordenson (Moab, UT) 0:35:21
2. Loren Hettinger (Lakewood, CO) 0:35:42
3. Mike MacDonald (Rancho Cordova, Calif./Jaeger Wheelmen) 0:39:41
Masters Men 75-79
1. Walter Axthelm (Durango, CO/Durango Wheel Club) 0:36:49
2. Ronald Riley (Aptos, Calif./Bike Station Aptos/BSA Racing) 0:41:47

This Article Published December 9, 2010 For more information contact: