U23 & Collegiate champs awarded on penultimate day of cross nats


The 2012 USA Cycling Cyclo-cross National Championships reached its penultimate day Saturday and crowned eight more national champions, including the U23 men's and Collegiate women's champions. The temperatures began to reflect the calendar as the record highs earlier in the competition yielded to lower digits more common of Badger Prairie Park outside Madison, Wisc.

U23 Men
In the day's main event, Zach McDonald (Bainbridge Island, Wash./Team Rapha-Focus) turned five of the six laps of the race in under nine minutes to win by 2:21. McDonald's fastest lap was 8:37 and his slowest was 9:03 en route to an impressive 2:21 margin of victory. Cody Kaiser (El Dorado, Calif./California Giant Berry Farms-Specialized) bested a hard-charging Jeffrey Bahnson (Newark, Del./Van Dessel Factory Team) by 46 seconds to earn the silver medal while Bahnson secured the bronze.

"I wanted to keep the power down the whole race," McDonald said. "With the luck I've had in the past I wanted to have a little room for error. I just kind of got the gap and settled in. That was the goal and it worked out."

Junior 17-18 Men

Logan Owen emerged victorious in the junior men 17-18 race.
Logan Owen emerged victorious in the junior men 17-18 race.

Logan Owen (Bremerton, Wash./Team Redline) earned his seventh straight national title in the junior men’s 17-18 event, jumping out to the early lead. The man with the most consecutive junior titles on record, Owen was able to open a nearly 10-second gap on Andrew Dillman (Fairdale, Ky./Red Zone Cycling) who was chasing hard when he went down on lap two and lost several places. With Dillman down, that left Tobin Ortenbland (Santa Cruz, Calif./California Giant-Specialized) and Richard Cypress Gorry (Payson, Ariz./Whole Athlete Specialized) to fight it out for the silver. Ortenbland was able to hold off Gorry in a sprint finish for second while Dillman made a nice recovery for fourth. Curtis White (Delanson, N.Y./Hot Tubes) recorded a strong final lap to grab the fifth and final podium spot.

Collegiate Women

Marian University’s flexed their muscles handily taking first and second place in the Division I women’s race. Racine, Wisconsin’s Kaitlin Antonneau and her Marian teammate, multi-time junior national champion Coryn Rivera (Tustin, Calif.) distanced themselves from the start. Antonneau was able to open a small gap on her teammate after a bobble on the first lap forced Rivera off course.

“I was just going to play it by ear, but then she (Rivera) made a mistake and I just pushed on,” explained Antonneau post-race.

Emily Shields (Salisbury, N.C.) of rival Lees-McRae finished nearly three minutes behind Rivera for bronze. Fort Lewis College’s Sarah Sturm (Durango, Colo.) came in next and Katherine Shields (Salisbury, N.C./Lees-McRae College) joined her teammate on the podium in fifth. Beginning what will be a fierce battle for the team title, Marian, Lees-McRae and Fort Lewis locked up all of the race’s first 13 places.

Rebecca Gross (Lakewood, Colo./Uninversity of Denver) bolted right from the gun, flying through her first of four laps in 13:01, but Mariske Strauss (Mars Hill, N.C./Mars Hill College) was just 16 seconds behind. Strauss and Gross dueled throughout the race. Heading into the last lap, Gross held a narrow nine-second advantage. Strauss swapped a muddy bike for a "squeaky clean" two wheeler to chase Gross down. The swap worked as Strauss traversed the course in 11:21, which was 22 seconds faster than Gross to prevail with an overall time of 47:22, 13 seconds faster than Gross.

Kaitlin Antonneau (trailing) won the women's DI race.
Kaitlin Antonneau (trailing) won the women's DI race.
"At the tape zone she (Gross) wiped out and I took the gap and just put the hammer down from there," Strauss said. "So it was quite a nice cat and mouse game going on. It was well done. It was a great race and a great track out there today."

For the second-consecutive day, the masters riders opened and closed the day's racing. The first competition of the day was the men 45-49, who tangled with the 2.1-mile course left frozen by plummeting temperatures and an overnight freeze.

The rigid ruts throughout the course were no match for 1996 Olympian Don Myrah (San Jose, Calif.), who competed in the Olympic debut of discipline of mountain biking in Atlanta. Myrah bested the 64-rider field with a time of 49:10. Jon Cariveau (Steamboat Springs, Colo./MOOTS) hung with Myrah though the first three of the five-lap race, but a dropped chain on the penultimate lap cost him valuable time. Myrah secured the seventh national title of his career while Cariveau, who finished 58 seconds back, earned the silver ahead of bronze medalist James Coats (Campbell, Calif./California Giant Cycling).

"This is exactly what I thought it would be," Myrah said of the course. "After last night when it was all loose I knew it would freeze up hard this morning. It was a matter of picking really clean lines, which there aren't that many. Just whatever I could find."

The second race pitted 81 of the nation's best men 40-44 against each other. After the first of the five laps, Adam Myerson (Dorchester, Mass./Mock Orange Bike-SmartStop), Brandon Dwight (Boulder, Colo./Boulder Cycle Sport) and Pete Webber (Boulder, Colo./Boulder Cycle Sport) were off the front opened a large gap on the field. The two Boulder Cycle Sport teammates worked together to leave Myerson 30 seconds behind as they completed their second circuit and 47 seconds back after their third. On the second-to-last lap, Dwight opened a seven-second cushion on Webber and a 90-second advantage on Myerson before riding solo to victory.

"I tried to be conservative where you could go down pretty easily and just tried to push hard where it was safe," Dwight said. "Even up to the last lap I almost caught a rut and almost went right into the barrier. So you really had to stay focused through whole race."

The evening's masters races had a distinct New England flavor to them with both winners residing in that region.

In the men's 35-39 contest, Brian Wilichoski (Danvers, N.H./Cyclocrossworld) rode away with the Stars-and-Stripes, but not without some anxious moments. On the last of the five-lap competition, Wilichoski pulled his foot out of the pedal, but accidentally hit the brake pad, knocking it into his spokes. Wilichoski dismounted, pulled the brake pad out and rode to the finish line. Christopher Case (Golden, Colo./Feedback Sports Racing) and Scott Frederick (Raleigh, N.C./Inland-Back to Dirt) locked horns in a battle for the silver and bronze medals. Case crossed the finish line just two seconds ahead of Frederick to earn second place, while Frederick secured the bronze. Weston Schempf (Rockville, Md./Charm City Cycling LLC), who had to forego an early lead due to a mechanical problem, rallied to finish fifth.

"I could see them," Wilichoski said of Case and Frederick. "I had a good gap like two laps in then I started fading a little bit and I started making mistakes and I’m looking back and they are closing and my eyes are blowing out of my head. It was everything I had to keep it together."

Dylan McNicholas (Stratham, N.H./Cyclocrossworld-Cannondale Cyclocrossworld) rode away with the men's 30-34 race to cap the day's racing. McNicholas opened a 30-second lead after the first lap. As the sun set during the race allowing the ground to harden slightly, McNicholas flew through his second lap in 8:56 before finishing his third circuit in only 9:01 to help him win the first national championship of his career. With the top step of the podium decided, a three-rider bunch fought for second, third and fourth. Matthew Pacocha (Boulder, Colo./BikeRadar.com), Robert Marion (Mount Airy, N.C./American Classic Pro Team) and Jake Wells (Avon, Colo./Stan's NoTubes) offered no quarter in their battle. Pacocha attacked the group late to secure the silver medal. Marion saved his best lap for last to edge Wells by four seconds to earn the bronze medal.

"I made my way through traffic, I started at the back," McNicholas explained. "Made contact with the leaders on the first lap over the top of the hill. I went over the top a bit faster and that's where I got my gap. And just tried to grow it."

Next Up

The event culminates Sunday with the Collegiate Division I and II men's races and the men's and women's elite competitions.

Live Stream

Watch the elite men's and women's race live online at http://media.usacycling.org/2012CX-NatsStream.html or www.youtube.com/usacyclingorg.

More Info

Visit the official event webpage of the 2012 USA Cycling Cyclo-cross National Championships for more information on the event, including eligibility and call-up details, complete schedule, results, collegiate results, photo gallery and more. Follow the event on Twitter, using hashtag #CXNats.

2012 USA Cycling Cyclo-cross National Championships
January 4-8, 2012
Verona, Wisc.


Master Men 45-49
1. Donald Myrah (San Jose, Calif.) 49:10
2. Jon Cariveau (Steamboat Springs, Colo./Moots) 50:08
3. James Coats (Campbell, Calif./California Giant Berry Farms-Specialized) 51:44
4. Gannon Myall (Lafayette, Calif./California Giant Cycling) 51:51
5. Greg Ferguson (Glassboro, N.J./Cape Atlantic Racing-Beaconcycling.com) 52:16

Master Men 40-44
1. Brandon Dwight (Boulder, Colo./Boulder Cycle Sport) 48:34
2. Pete Webber (Boulder, Colo./Boulder Cycle Sport) 48:53
3. Adam Myerson (Dorchester, Mass./Mock Orange Bike-Smart Stop-Mock Orange Bike p/b Ridley) 50:28
4. Michael Yozell (Emmaus, Pa./Kapelmuue Independent) 51:21
5. Mark Savery (Omaha, Neb./Midwest Cycling Community NE) 51:47

Junior Men 17-18
1. Logan Owen (Bremerton, Wash./Team Redline) 36:55
2. Tobin Ortenblad (Santa Cruz, Calif./California Giant Berry Farms-Specialized) 37:43
3. Richard Cypress Gorry (Payson, Ariz./Whole Athlete-Whole Athlete Specialized) 37:43
4. Andrew Dillman (Fairdale, Ky./Red Zone Cycling) 38:24
5. Curtis White (Delanson, N.Y./Hot Tubes Development Cycling Team Inc.) 38:30

U23 Men
1. Zach McDonald (Bainbridge Island, Wash./Team Rapha-Focus) 52:44
2. Cody Kaiser (El Dorado Hills, Calif./California Giant Berry Farms) 55:05
3. Jeffery Bahnson (Newark, Del./Van Dessel Factory Team) 55:51
4. Jesse Keough (Sandwich, Mass./Corner Cycle Cycling Club-Champion System p/b Keough Cyclocross) 57:36
5. Joseph Welsh (Cordova, Tenn./Raleigh Allstars Cycling Club) 58:05

Collegiate Women - DI
1. Kaitlin Antonneau (Racine, Wisc./Marian University) 42:47
2. Coryn Rivera (Tustin, Calif./Marian University) 43:10
3. Emily Shields (Salisburry, N.C./Lees-McRae College) 46:01
4. Sarah Sturm (Durango, Colo./Fort Lewis College) 46:54
5. Katherine Shields (Salisbury, N.C./Lees-McRae College ) 47:16

Collegiate Women - DII
1. Mariske Strauss (Mars Hill, N.C./ Mars Hill College ) 47:22
2. Rebecca Gross (Lakewood, Colo./University of Denver) 47:35
3. Kimberly Flynn (Hixson, Tenn./University of Tennessee-Chattanooga) 48:55
4. Elizabeth So (Washington, D.C./Georgetown University) 50:42
5. Niki Soderberg (Rochester, Minn./University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire ) 51:02

Masters Men 35-39
1. Brian Wilichoski (Danvers, Mass./Cyclocrossworld) 48:15
2. Christopher Case (Golden, Colo./Feedback Sports Racing) 48:25
3. Scott Frederick (Raleigh, N.C./Inland-Back to Dirt) 48:27
4. Weston Schempf (Rockville, Md./Charm City Cycling LLC) 49:12
5. Justin Robinson (Bonny Doon, Calif./California Giant Berry Farms) 49:47

Masters Men 30-34
1. Dylan McNicholas (Stratham, N.H./Cyclocrossworld-Cannondale Cyclocrossworld) 45:25
2. Matthew Pacocha (Boulder, Colo./BikeRadar.com) 47:19
3. Robert Marion (Mount Airy, N.C./American Classic Pro Team) 48:09
4. Jake Wells (Avon, Colo./Stan's No Tubes) 48:13
5. Brad Cole (Fort Collins, Colo./KCCX Fuji Elite Cyclocross Team p/b Challenge Tires) 48:45

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This Article Published January 7, 2012 For more information contact: