Competitors face wild weather at day 4 of Cyclo-cross Nationals

Bend, Ore. (Dec. 11, 2010) — Saturday’s competitors at the 2010 USA Cycling Cyclo-cross National Championships were greeted with weather conditions that could be described as purely ‘cross — a cold snow leading to rain in the morning, followed by driving winds in the afternoon. Through it all, six Stars-and-Stripes jerseys were awarded to men’s masters, junior 17-18 and U23 champions.

Danny Summerhill leads Zach McDonald during the men's U23 race.
Danny Summerhill leads Zach McDonald during the men's U23 race.

U23 Men

The U23 men led off the afternoon with what became a two-man duel lasting into the final lap. Defending champion Danny Summerhill (Centennial, Colo./Garmin Transitions-Team Holowesko Partners) and Zach McDonald (Bainbridge Island, Wash./Rapha Focus) took turns trying to ride away from each other after opening up a large gap on the rest of the field.

“That was a difficult race, for sure. We were battling the whole time,” said Summerhill, who had to overcome a first-lap crash to get back into the race. “In the first 30 seconds I thought he won because I got taken out right before the pit.”

Summerhill clawed back to the front and then took off with McDonald. “I usually stayed up front on all the straightaways and he’d duck around me on all the technical bits. On the backstretch we were battling back and forth.”

It wasn’t until the final lap that Summerhill was able to pull away for the win. “Danny was putting the power down and I was trying to stay on him,” explained McDonald. “I bobbled just a little bit and he was able to get away.”

Junior 17-18 Men

After winning back-to-back cyclo-cross national titles the last two years in the 15-16 year-old juniors race, Jeff Bahnson (Newark, Del./Van Dessel) showed he was ready to take the next step. Bahnson took the lead from Bjorn Fox (Incline Village, Nev./Clif Bar Dev. Squad) nearing two laps to go and rode away from the field to win the juniors 17-18 race with time to spare.

“For sure this is a much more competitive field,” said Bahnson. “(Fox) was killing it today – he was up there — really strong today.”

Masters Men 30-34

Gusty winds greeted the masters 30-34 year-old men, but to the rest of the field Matthew Pacocha (Boulder, Colo./Hudz-Subaru) must have appeared to be riding with a tailwind for much of the race. Pacocha bolted from the gun and by the end of the second lap had built a more than 20-second lead.

“I was just riding my own race the whole time,” Pacocha said. “I tried maybe with two to go to step it up because I heard the announcers calling that I wasn’t the fastest guy on the course. I thought I was going to get caught.” He didn’t, and cruised into the Stars-and-Stripes jersey ahead of Weston Schempf (Bethesda, Md./Charm City Cycling Squad) by 45 seconds.

Masters Men 35-39

At one point, the masters 35-39 men’s race seemed as much a test of wits as a battle of legs. Justin Robinson (Bonny Doon, Calif./California Giant-Specialized), Russell Stevenson (Seattle, Wash./Cycling Northwest) and Jonathan Baker (Boulder, Colo./Hudz-Subaru) rode together to begin the last lap in such a way as to draw comparisons from the announcers to track racing.

“We were just real tactical. We’d go hard in the mud and then slow down in the wind. I tried to take the lead a couple times but Russell was really strong. He wouldn’t let me take it,” recalled Baker, who took the lead for good around the last turn and hung on to beat Stevenson to the line by a mere three seconds and defend his 2009 national title. “The last lap, I knew that was my spot. So I just drilled it. I hit my line perfect and I hit the pavement first. I just sprinted until I hit the line.”

Pete Webber celebrates winning the masters 40-44 men's race.
Pete Webber celebrates winning the masters 40-44 men's race.

Masters Men 40-44

It was an all-Colorado affair in the front three for the masters 40-44 men, with Pete Webber (Boulder, Colo./Boulder Cycle Sport) defending his national title in the division.

“It feels awesome. Winning two in a row is incredible. Last year was really special because it was my first one, but I wanted it bad this year,” Webber exclaimed. Webber’s teammate Brandon Dwight (Boulder, Colo./Boulder Cycle Sport) out-dueled Jon Cariveau (Steamboat Springs, Colo./Moots) for the second podium spot.

“The crowd was incredible. My best friend Brandon pushed me right to the end, and he got second place. Really proud of him and our whole team,” continued Webber. “The conditions were just epic, which is great for me. The course was just 100 percent deep, deep mud. It was incredibly cold with lakes of ice water. My hands and feet were like blocks of wood – I couldn’t even feel the bike.”

Masters Men 50-54

The masters 50-54 men opened the day racing through a falling mixture of snow and rain. Steve Tilford (Topeka, Kan./Tradewind Energy-Trek) showed the kind of form that earned him two previous elite cyclo-cross national titles, riding to another Stars-and-Stripes jersey.

“I used to ride the masters as a pre-ride for the elite race, but now I’m kind of thinking of going to masters worlds,” explained Tilford. “Cyclo-cross is a culty sport. It’s amazing that at 8:30 in the morning when it is down-pouring rain how many people come out and watch. It’s like a big family and a nice party. It’s fun.”

Watch Sunday’s Elite Races Live Online

Call up orders for the final day of Nationals can be found online here. Racing concludes Sunday with the collegiate races and the men’s and women’s elite races, which you can watch live online beginning at 12:30 p.m. PT.

Full results are available on the event's results page.

For more information 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 tag #CXNats.

2010 USA Cycling Cyclo-cross National Championships
Dec. 7-12
Bend, Ore.

RESULTS

Junior Men 17-18
1. Jeff Bahnson (Newark, Del./Van Dessel) 0:42:32
2. Bjorn Fox (Incline Village, Nev./Clif Bar Dev. Squad) 0:43:01
3. Andrew Dillman (Fairdale, Ky./Prochain Cycling) 0:43:50
4. Richard Gorry (Payson, Ariz.) 0:44:15
5. Gunnar Bergey (Lederach, Penn./C3-Athletes Serving Athletes) 0:44:25

U23 Men
1. Danny Summerhill (Centennial, Colo./Garmin Transitions-Team Holowesko Partners) 0:49:20
2. Zach McDonald (Bainbridge Island, Wash./Rapha Focus) 0:50:05
3. Jerome Townsend (Princeton, Mass./Bikereg.com) 0:50:28
4. Eric Thompson (Banner Elk, N.C./Maplelag-Paramount Sports) 0:50:48
5. Chris Hurst (Lake Geneva, Wisc./Baraboo Sharks) 0:51:11<

Master Men 30-34
1. Matthew Pacocha (Boulder, Colo./Hudz-Subaru) 0:43:19
2. Weston Schempf (Bethesda, Md./Charm City Cycling Squad) 0:44:04
3. Cody Peterson (Bend, Ore./Rocky Mountain Cycling) 0:44:09
4. Damian Schmitt (Bend, Ore./Sunnyside Sports) 0:44:50
5. John Curry (Bozeman, Mont./Gallatin Valley Bicycle Club) 0:44:52

Master Men 35-39
1. Jonathan Baker (Boulder, Colo./Hudz-Subaru) 0:42:50
2. Russell Stevenson (Seattle, Wash./Cycling Northwest) 0:42:53
3. Justin Robinson (Bonny Doon, Calif./California Giant-Specialized) 0:43:16
4. J.T. Fountain (Moscow, ID/3FCX-Cyclocrossracing.com) 0:43:52
5. Troy Heithecker (Fort Collins, Colo./Echelon Energy) 0:44:19

Master Men 40-44
1. Pete Webber (Boulder, Colo./Boulder Cycle Sport) 0:42:11
2. Brandon Dwight (Boulder, Colo./Boulder Cycle Sport) 0:42:36
3. Jon Cariveau (Steamboat Springs, Colo./Moots) 0:42:37
4. Roger Aspholm (Haworth, N.J./Westwood Velo) 0:43:10
5. Richard Feldman (Ketcham, ID/Durance-Colnago) 0:43:14

Master Men 50-54
1. Steve Tilford (Topeka, Kan./Tradewind Energy-Trek) 0:43:09
2. Kevin Hines (East Wareham, Mass./Mid-State Cycling) 0:44:31
3. Richard Cramer (Beaverton, Ore./BicycleAttorney.com) 0:45:00
4. Bobby Langin (Thousand Oaks, Calif./Platinum Performance Cycling) 0:45:35
5. Thomas Price (Overland Park, Kan./Mercy Cycling Team) 0:45:35



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