2014 - US Cyclocross National Championships Day 3

Tim Faia winning
Photo Credit: 303Photo

Press Release from USAC

Boulder, Colo. (Jan. 10, 2014) - High winds, gusting to over 40 mph, threw an additional challenge at the competitors during Friday's competition at the 2014 USA Cycling Cyclo-cross National Championships held at Valmont Bike Park in Boulder, Colo. At the end of the day, 11 new national champions emerged through the elements to don the Stars-and-Stripes jerseys.

The 115-rider men's 45-49 race was contested in the early, frigid temperatures and strong, gusty winds. Tim Faia (Breckenridge, Colo.) capitalized on the dry conditions to ride to victory and secure the first national championship of his career.

Faia was riding third after three of the five laps. Michael Robson (Boulder, Colo./Moots) was clinging to a lead as world champion Don Myrah (San Jose, Calif.) was closing. As that trio turned into its fifth and final lap, Faia had not only overtaken Robson and Myrah, but opened a 12-second advantage on Myrah.

"Michael, Don and I hooked up briefly. Those guys had issues, I think," Faia said. "I just got around them. I didn't go to the red. I just went to the nice yellow color and I stayed there and won a national championship. Oh my god!"

Faia held his lead and finished the five-lap contest in 41:05. Myrah earned the silver medal after crossing the finish line 15 seconds behind Faia. Robson finished 57 seconds behind Faia to ride away with the bronze medal.

Rebecca Gross (Golden, Colo./Donnelly Sports) won the masters women's 30-34 championship, pulling away for a comfortable victory by a 46-second margin over Rebecca Blatt (Lakewood, Colo./Van Dessel Factory Team). BethAnn Orton (Portland, Ore.) rounded out the top three on the podium.

Gross, who was fourth in last year's race, credited the home-state advantage in fueling her winning effort this year.

"It's a home course and I love Boulder and I love the people," said Gross. "Everyone is out here cheering and I know a lot of people and that always makes a difference when you hear your name everywhere. I love Colorado and altitude works to my advantage too since I live here. I can't wait until Sunday, it's probably going to be packed and be super fun."

Similar to the day's first race, the juniors women's 17-18 and 15-16 race was contested despite swirling, strong winds. Emma White (Delanson, N.Y./Cyclocrossworld) was threatening to ride away with the gold medal but was unable to finish the race, allowing Katherine Santos (Louisville, Ky./Red Zone Cycling) to secure the Stars-and-Stripes jersey.

"I'm so excited," Santos said. "I thought I'd do well, but not that well. I love the mud!"

Laurel Rathbun (Monument, Colo./Twenty16 Pro Cycling) finished four seconds behind Santos to earn the silver medal, while Ksenia Lepikhina (Boulder, Colo.) took the bronze, 28 seconds back.

Hannah Arensman (Rutherford College, N.C./Evolution Jr. Devo Team) turned in a spectacular ride to claim the top step of the juniors women's 15-16 podium. Arensman turned her three laps in 32:18 to win the national title by 1:05 over her closest competitor. In fact, Arensman was faster than all but the top three juniors 17-18 women. Mina Anderberg (Boulder, Colo./Sports T.E.A.M.), who was the runner-up in the women's 15-16 race last year, once again earned the silver medal after finishing 1:05 behind Arensman. Ashley Zoerner (Highlands Ranch, Colo./Alpha Bicycle Co.-Vista Subaru) earned the bronze medal after finishing 2:12 behind Arensman.

"It feels amazing," Arensman said. "I've never won at cyclo-cross nationals before. I've come in third and dead last. It is a pretty amazing feeling."

After finishing second to Gage Hecht (Parker, Colo./Specialized Racing) at the last two USA Cycling Cyclo-cross National Championships, Spencer Petrov (Mason, Ohio/Bob's Red Mill Cyclocross) dug deeper and climbed to the step at this year's juniors men's 15-16 race. Petrov opened a gap on the first lap and did not relinquish his lead through the three-lap race.

Petrov used his prior silver medals as motivation to grab the gold today as he dug deep to hold off a surging Hecht to finish the race three laps in 26:32. Hecht earned the silver medal after completing his race in 26:50. Jordan Lewis (Gray, Tenn./Asheville Bicycle Racing Club) finished third.

"Long time coming," Petrov said. "The past two years, I've come in second to Gage Hecht two times in a row. It's fine because I respect him so much. He's such an amazing racer. It's been a while coming. It's a good feeling. It's a very good feeling I haven't had."

One of the day's tightest races was contested by the juniors men 13-14. The top five riders were separated by only 30 seconds with Calder Wood (Anacortes, Wash./Rad Racing NW) posting the winning time of 17:19. Wood's time was just six seconds ahead of Andrew Schmidt (Lake Geneva, Wis./WCJ Racing) and a mere eight seconds better than both Scott Funston (Black Diamond, Wash./Rad Racing NW) and Ethan Wright (Boulder, Colo./Boulder Junior Cycling).

Another race in which 30 seconds separated the top five was the juniors men 11-12. Ryan Campbell (Lakewood, Colo./Black Sheep Junior Cycling) bested the 42-rider field with a time of 17:19. Jared Scott (Boulder, Colo./Boulder Junior Cycling) narrowly missed winning the national title after finishing the race only three seconds behind Campbell. Dakota Cline (Boulder, Colo./Boulder Junior Cycling) placed third after crossing the finish line 25 seconds behind Campbell.

Close was not the case in the juniors women's 13-14 contest as Katie Clouse (Park City, Utah/Canyon Bicycles-Shimano) made it look easy in taking the crown by a margin of 1:18.

"We've raced here a couple times this year and it's just a really fun course," said Clouse. "I'm not really that good in the wind but I have a lot of power so I can power through it."

Clouse's closest competitor was Turner Ramsay (Rutland, Vt./KMS Cycling-Killington Mountain) who earned the silver medal, while Abigail Youngwerth (Boise, Idaho/BYRDS (Boise Young Rider Dev Squad)) took home the bronze.

Tea Wright (Boulder, Colo./Boulder Junior Cycling) cruised to victory in the women's 11-12 race. Wright finished her lap in 18:50 to win by 1:21 over the silver medalist, Jamie McHenry (Angier, N.C./Evolution Jr. Devo Team). McHenry narrowly beat Emma Osborne (Mequon, Wis./Team Extreme), who claimed the bronze medal after finishing only eight seconds out of second place.

In the youngest divisions of the day, Paul Haley (Louisville, Ky./Red Zone Cycling) won the juniors men's 9-10 title ahead of a couple local riders, Kahill Bailey (Lyons, Colo./Boulder Junior Cycling) and Seamus Keller (Boulder, Colo./Boulder Junior Cycling), while Alison McKeithan (Raleigh, N.C./Evolution Jr. Devo Team) rode away with the juniors women's 9-10 gold medal, besting Isabella Meyers (Maple Valley, Wash./Rad Racing NW) and Claire Beeler (Lone Tree, Colo./Alpha Bicycle Co. - Vista Subaru).

Marian University jumped to an early lead in the Division I omnium with a victory in the collegiate team relay. Andrew Dillman (Fairdale, Ky.) handed the Knights an advantage with a stellar opening lap. He exchanged to Allie Dragoo (Grand Rapids, Mich.) who expanded Marian's advantage. Coryn Rivera (Tustin, Calif.) yielded a little ground to Brevard College, who was leading the collegiate race. Josh Johnson (Fort Wayne, Ind.) finished off Marian's victory with a strong fourth and final lap. Fort Lewis College is sitting in second place in the omnium after finishing the team relay 42 seconds behind Marian. The University of Vermont placed third after completing the relay only six seconds in front of Lees-McRae College. Cumberland University is sitting in fifth place after its performance in the relay.

Brevard College staked an early claim to the top spot of the Division II team omnium after winning the team relay. Brevard, which finished third among all of the collegiate teams, completed its four laps in 36:44. Ripon College is sitting in second place in the omnium standings after finishing the relay 1:16 behind Brevard. King University was only 17 seconds behind Ripon to claim third place among Division II schools. Colorado Mesa University finished fourth while the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is in fifth place.

The racing continues through Sunday, Jan. 12. Saturday's action features the first UCI category as the U23 men take center stage. The penultimate day of competition also includes masters men 30-44, masters women 35-39 and collegiate women riding for Stars-and-Stripes jerseys.

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