CX Nats: Younger U23 riders need perfect rides to derail Curtis White’s ‘cross nationals ambitions

From ProVeloPassion

The frozen conditions should make for an interesting race … I think it will be a small group or a solo win on Sunday with such a hard track. -Maxx Chance

 

Curtis White at Austin’s 2015 cyclocross national championships

In three years as an under 23 rider Curtis White has charted a symmetrical climb to the top step of the cyclocross national championships podium. In 2014 as a newbie U23 he finished fourth, then third in 2015 followed by second in 2016. If he carries that trend to its logical conclusion on Sunday in Hartford, the Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com rider will at last go home with a cyclocross national champion’s jersey.

“The cyclocross national title is something that has always eluded me,” White wrote by email. “I’ve come close several times at ‘cross nationals, but I’ve never been able to seal the deal.”

The steady progress he’s realized since 2014 accelerated this past season. That giant step up consisted of eight domestic elite UCI C2 wins, his best collection of results in Europe and the U23 Pan American Continental Cyclocross Championship.

Those performances leave him poised to take yet another leap, and it’s one he’s very hungry for. “I feel like I’m coming into this year’s national championships better than I ever have.

“I’ve been working with my coach David Wenger for the past six years, and have relied on Frank McCormack the past couple years for ‘cross specific advice. Together, we’ve made a very formida

Brannan Fix races for Colorado Mesa University

ble team,” White wrote. “I missed a few markers in the first month of the season, but we nailed the majority of the season both domestically and abroad. Those guys have helped me get to where I am.

“I’m going into Sunday knowing what I’m capable of, and I plan on leaving it all out on the course.”

A posse-sized set of competitors with national titles or UCI wins in their pockets plans on doing the same. This crop of talented juniors has been aging into the U23 category as White has approached graduation from its ranks. Among them are Maxx Chance (EVOL DevoElite Racing), Grant Ellwood (Boulder Cycle Sport / YogaGlow), Brannan Fix (Alpha Bicycle Company – Vista Subaru), Lance Haidet (Raleigh Clement) and White’s devo teammate Cooper Willsey. Spencer Petrov (Cyclocross Alliance), Gage Hecht (Alpha Bicycle Company – Vista Subaru) and Eric Brunner (EVOL DevoElite Racing) just turned U23…

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